Violin 101: What Is Bow Speed? Understanding Bow Speed in Violin, and How Bow Speed Can Affect Sound

Written by the MasterClass staff

Last updated: Sep 29, 2021 • 2 min read

A violinist must master many elements of physical control in order to fully exploit the instrument's potential. The violinist’s left hand is accountable for nimbleness across the fingerboard, vibrato technique, and proper strength from the first finger all the way to the pinky. The right hand is responsible for bowing (as is true for all stringed instruments). This can involve dynamic changes (like crescendo or diminuendo) or it can involve manual dexterity. Perhaps more than anything else, a player’s bow speed will affect her ultimate mastery of the instrument.