I am currently learning Hunters' Chorus, and was a little confused about something by the marked note:

Hunters' chorus

As you can see, the note is supposed to be played as an up-bow, but when you are playing this song, you would already be on an up-bow on the previous note.

At first I thought you were supposed to pick up the bow and move it down so you could play the up bow, but then I realized that this would create a pause. Maybe this actually is the right way and you just need to move the bow quickly.

My question is: How are you supposed to play two up-bows in a row in this situation?

5 Answers 5


You stop the bow just like you would when changing direction and continue just like if you had changed direction: this is not supposed to sound differently from a normal note (and if you made some bowing mistake on the way here, you just resynchronize with the bowing instructions at this point). The phrases here are short enough that you won't need to reset your bow: just continue at the same place where you stopped.

When this is used as a special effect rather than "just continue in the same direction", you'll get a slur with portato bars (or staccato dots, or spiccato signs or whatever) over the notes, and often this construct will repeat then for several groups of notes.

enter image description here

But in this context, it is just "play an upbow like it was regularly following a downbow". The listener should be unaware of it.


An up-bow doesn't have to start at the tip of the bow. It often does, but to get this bar, it can be taken off momentarily, then re-applied, still as an up-bow, for the last note, which will more often be an up, so the downbeat of the next bar can be a downbow.I wonder why the first slur looks printed, while the other two look hand written.

  • 1
    They look hand written because I used a composition software to recreate the song, but then realized that I had forgotten some things. So I hand edited the image. I wasn't able to do the best job since I had to use my touchpad :P. It looks like I screwed some other stuff up so I'll add a better image.
    – Lysol
    Feb 3, 2015 at 17:06

As is often the case with questions about bow direction, it helps to think about the musical phrasing - how would you sing this? That D at the end is an anacrusis, a pickup note that forms part of the next phrase. It makes sense that there should be a slight pause (a "breath") between the end of one phrase and the beginning of the next.

To get that "breath" between the two up bow notes, you could stop the bow and restart it, but you risk the end of the G sounding rather abrupt. Better to keep the bow moving, but to lift it slightly off the string.


Supposing that every non-legato note is being played with a different bow, then, yes you'll have to pause for a tiny bit there. At first the pause might be slightly longer than needed, but with practice you'll be able to find the 'right amount' of pause.

The reason the pause needs to be there is because if it isn't, these two notes will sound like legato notes - that isn't notated, so you want to avoid that.

It will sound slightly longer than the two staccato notes on the previous bar.


Typically, I would say that you should end up around the middle of the bow on the note before D. So, just use the rest of the bow. Let me recommend to you a channel on Youtube, Allyson's Violin Studio. She has play-through videos, and practice clips.

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