Cello : Bowing Technique
Level : Easy

Small ideas to nicely draw the bow


1.The Elephants go parachuting !

Starting up " in the sky ", an elephant squad is ready to land on your bow ! Make a big circle and land at the heel, drawing a loud and ringing G sound : at the end of the bow ( " end of the the runway " ), let your arm take off with all the elephants ready for another big loop in the sky followed by another landing, and another one, and ... several more !
Notes :
It is more fun to play this game with the piano accompaniment (" Elephant parachutist " : see midi files on the site )

2."Take a break" on the road from Bristol to London

Letís pretend that the heel of the bow is Bristol ( home ) and the tip is London ( where you could go to the toy shop ). Your trip starts in Bristol and you move with all your arm up to the middle of the bow ( petrol station ) ; then, from the middle of the bow, you go up to London, but just with your elbow. Coming back you will use just the elbow up to the petrol station ( another break ! ) and finally back home with all your arm.
Notes : What toy did you buy in London ? This little exercise is better done with piano accompaniment ( " The Squirrel " : see midi files on the site )

3.The Road back from London to Bristol

We are coming back from the toy shop in London and our arm, at the tip, is straight ( ready to travel on the M4 ) ; before arriving home, the road start turning in a gentle curve : the wrist, at the heel, becomes nicely curved.
Notes : At the heel your wrist is pointing at the fingerboard

4.The railway tracks

We are all traveling by train ! Your bow forms one rail and the bridge forms the other : bow and bridge travel parallel to each other all the time. If not, the train will go off the rails and have a crash ( horrible sound ). When the bow travels parallel to the bridge, the sound is clear and pure, because the bow is going straight ! Good driving !

5.Chocolate Spread

Do you like chocolate spread ? If not, you could choose any other ( Jam, Peanut Butter, Marmite ). When you play with your bow, imagine to spread a thick crunchy layer of chocolate on your strings to produce a deep and ringing sound : dig in !
Notes :
When you want to play with chocolate spread sound (quite

6.Floating as a sailing boat

When you want to play nice and softly, go closer to the fingerboard and use lots of smooth and fast bow like a sailing boat blown gently by the wind.
Notes : When you want to play "Piano" ( softly ), do not use


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Last modified: February 27, 2000