Notation on the music for the violin says "pick slide." I have heard of it on guitar. How would you play it on a violin?

  • 2
    Can you include a picture?
    – MattPutnam
    Oct 15, 2018 at 2:51
  • And while you're at it, identify the piece and the composer. Is they (latest pronoun usage at work!) intending this piece for electric violin? Oct 15, 2018 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


(cannot comment, new user) @Doktor Mayhem: Violin strings can be wound and, with the exception of most E-strings and pure gut strings, usually are. E.g. my favourite strings (GDA at least, the regular E string is too harsh on my violin), the Evah Pirazzi, are wound with Aluminium (A) and silver (G, D).

I would likely try and emulate a "pick slide" with the side of the bow, not the frog, but it is pretty silent. It would work amplified or as a whole section in an orchestra, though. There are modern-ish composers that require you to do something like this, I have come across it in my orchestra "career"* (though not very often, and I cannot remember the composer).

*"career" in the sense of time spent playing in groups, it is not my day job....

  • That's good to know - I have never played or seen a wound string on a violin, so I stand corrected. Yeah, the side of the bow is pretty quiet though, as there is no edge.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Oct 16, 2018 at 6:55
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    There is also the "hammering-with-the-bow thingy", also more modern-ish, have seen this once or twice in a performance. For a solo part: impossible, too quiet, but as a group it works. But seriously: go ahead and try these strings - they are not too cheap, but not nearly at the top end of the (open?) price range. Experimenting with strings is fun (I was at a luthier's and played five different sets before deciding). (and now I can comment!)
    – Joe W
    Oct 17, 2018 at 5:06

It should be read the same way as for a guitar - you rake a pick down the strings - depending on the music you may have time to grab a pick, or you may need to make do. The edge of the frog can make a pretty good corner for this, but it is very hard compared to a pick, so you need to hold the bow gently, otherwise it will give you more of a grind.

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