I am trying out different bowing exercises for violin and I am realising as I go for the down bow, I'm not able to keep my arm straight. I meant just from my wrist action, my arm straightens out with still some top portion of bow remaining. And in order to complete the whole bow, I have to slant my bow. I know something is wrong but I don't know what. This specially happens for G and D open strings. Please help

  • 1
    I see no other chance as somebody taking a look at how you are bowing. In textual form this simply can't be handled.
    – guidot
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 10:15
  • I agree with @guidot, while we could try to give you suggestions, these kind of issues must be solved by watching you and your movements, possibly in person, otherwise you might risk taking bad playing habits that can become very problematic and hard to readjust. Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 13:27

2 Answers 2


I know this is an old question- but for anyone else struggling with the same thing, it might be worth playing around with a center chin rest! I’m on the shorter side, and have always struggled with having a straight bow at the tip on lower strings. In grad school, I actually ended up with some tendon problems in my right elbow from over-extending. Moving to a center chin rest solved the problem for me!


In general you can move your violin in 3 ways which can change how easy or difficult it is to play. With one end anchored on your shoulder you can:

  1. Raise and lower the scroll. This can make changing left hand position (moving from 1st position to 3rd or higher and back down again) easier.
  2. Twist the neck of the violin so that the violin is flatter or the side points more towards the floor.
  3. Move your left arm sideways so that either the violin points much more to the side or much more to the front.

If you have generally short arms and struggle to use a full bow on all strings then 3 will help you. Move your left arm sideways to the right so that the violin points more towards the center and less to the left and you will be able to use more of the full bow before your arm straightens and you can't bow any further.

If you are OK on the A and E strings but have problems on the G and D strings then 2 will help you. Twist the neck slightly so that the edge of the violin points more towards the floor than horizontal and the angle for the G string in particular will become easier. You may then need to twist in the other direction to play on the E string. Making these kind of adjustments while you are playing is much easier if you play without a shoulder rest but I have seen a short-armed violinist (Red Desert Violin on YouTube) do this with a shoulder rest.

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    I will try these out tomorrow and update on how it goes! If there's still a problem, I'll come along with a photo. Thanks for your response.
    – Ruchi
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 15:33

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