Following my teacher's recommendation I have started to record myself play violin. I was horrified when I listened to back to it. The notes I play as detaché, sound like they have a big silence in between them. If I compare with other people's recordings on YouTube, their detaché sounds seamless, almost like they are playing legato.

How can I play my notes detaché without a silence in between?

  • 2
    I'm so happy to hear you have a teacher, because the simplest and best advice is "ask them." Having a really healthy detaché is a big goal to pursue and enhance over years of work, and involves meticulous work on the flexibility and motion of wrist, fingers, forearm, elbow, etc. If I could see you play in person I could give very specific feedback; in the meantime, you might bet a much more useful answer if you can post the recording you made. Commented Sep 13, 2023 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


I'll post a very broad answer that might apply to many; I hope to edit it to more specific advice if you can add a recording of yourself.

Pay attention to the moment that the bow changes direction. (Well, okay, that mantra will be part of any work on bowing, including work on proper form and motion.) It's very easy to instinctively slow the bow speed down or even stop entirely before changing bow. For your plain-vanilla detaché, though, you want the speed and weight to be constant; all that changes is direction. Think of the bow as "bouncing off of" something, like the ball in the video game Pong. (Though, by the way, you want to have the control to be able to do anything with the bow, including tapering off the speed or stopping early before a bow change.)

Now, one big reason you might stop before changing direction is that you're focusing on the left hand, changing your finger. Simplify your bow work by practicing on an open string. Simplify even further: put the violin down and just move the bow in the air (or rest it on your shoulder, inside a cardboard tube, or other ways to support it in the right position without worrying about the violin). Think about the fact that the bow doesn't move itself; observe and reflect on the way your right arm is moving and what effect it has on the bow. Think about the movement of your upper arm, your elbow, your forearm, your wrist, and each knuckle in your fingers.

Once you have the seamless motion you're looking for, "de-simplify" in stages. Put the violin back under the bow and bow open strings. Get the left hand involved again by playing something very simple like a scale.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.