‘Free and ringing, never forced’ - Technique: Developing bow control for improved tone

Martin Outram, cr Melanie Outram

Violist Martin Outram on mix of exercises to help you draw out sound actively and attentively with the right hand

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There are many issues that get in the way of successful tone development. This article is intended to help students – especially those who have migrated from the violin to the viola – develop their sound so that it is always free and ringing, never forced. Very often violinists who start to play the viola think that they need to use more bow weight, because the viola is a bigger instrument with thicker strings, but sound can be crushed on the viola as easily as it can on the violin. It’s all about releasing the string as much as possible and discovering how much weight one’s own instrument can take…

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