The Bow Right is advertised as the perfect tool for developing a sound bow technique. It’s stainless steel guides are positioned above the strings between the bridge and fingerboard, and it is attached to the sides of the violin with plastic fittings held securely underneath with a rubber elastic ring. Once in place it will not damage your violin, however caution must be used when attaching and removing the Bow Right so you don’t scratch the finish of the violin.
Once set up, you place your bow between the metal bars and allow the device to guide your bow at the correct angle. Immediately, I felt the difference. Like most beginners, I tend to use too much shoulder and not enough wrist when bowing. This results in crooked bowing. The Bow Right forces me to use less shoulder and more wrist by encouraging correct wrist action.
Previously, I had been using my practice mirror, sitting at a 90 degree angle to check my bowing pattern for straightness, but I found this difficult as I had to keep turning my head, which in itself threw off my posture and my bowing. With the Bow Right, there is no need to contort myself, nor is there any guess work. I am free to concentrate on the feel of bowing straight as I train my muscles to move in the proper way.
I guess you could use the bow right for hours on end, but my preferred method is to attach it at the beginning of my practice. I then bow at least twenty long bow strokes on each open string followed by scale work with rhythms and variations. I know when it is time to remove the Bow Right when I can consistently bow without my bow touching the two rails of the Bow Right. I continue my practice session without it, and if I find myself drifting back into crooked bowing, I reattach the Bow Right for a while. This way I am not becoming dependent on the Bow Right, but using it as a tool to slowly and methodically increase my bowing muscle memory.
I had been looking at the Bow Right for some time, but was hesitant to buy it, not because I questioned it’s value in learning how to bow straight, but because I felt somewhat embarrassed as it is marketed to beginning children. I decided to write a post about it at Adult Starters – Violin/Fiddle and was pleasantly surprised at the amount of responses I received encouraging me to use it, and even more surprised at how many adult starters have used it!
Now, that I have gotten over my embarrassment, I am so happy I purchased this learning tool. It definitely is helping me to learn how to bow straight. If you are a beginner, and struggling with bowing straight, I encourage you to look into the Bow Right.
As always, if you enjoy this website and decide to purchase the Bow Right, please consider using my link to Amazon. Whatever small commission I make goes directly back into maintaining this website. Thank you.