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Preparing & Strengthening the Bow Hand

These exercises build a young player’s bowing facility and build strength and awareness in the bow hand.

SS Thumb & Pinky Taps

Thumb & Pinky Taps

This exercise builds a stronger mind-to-body connection, so the student can gain the ability to maintain a curved pinky and bent thumb.

SS Silent rocking

Silent Rocking

This trains the motion for crossing strings. A relaxed and balanced arm is required to pivot silently between strings.

SS Spider crawl

Spider Crawl

This exercise helps the student feel the balance of the bow and develop independence and coordination among their fingers.

SS Elevator lifts


Landing without bounces requires being aware of and controlling the tip of the bow.

Foundation Exercises

These exercises build the foundation for left- and right-hand technique for a beginning player.

SS Who Ate My Pie – open strings

Who Ate My Pie? (open strings)

This very first exercise creates an awareness of space between notes, bow division, and clear note endings.

Who Ate My Pie 4-note scale on D & A

Who Ate My Pie: 4-Note Scale

This combines “pluckato” notes with placing the left-hand fingers on the correct angle.

SS Who ate my pie full scale

Who Ate My Pie: Full Scale

This exercise series culminates in a full third position scale on D and A strings.

SS Catch & release

Catch & Release

To create the “pluckato” bowstroke, tug on the string slightly with the bow, give a quick impulse (down- or up-bow), and let inertia carry your arm a short distance.

SS Smile, wink, wink

Smile, Wink, Wink

While the bowing technique is almost the same as “Who Ate My Pie,” the pluckato notes are no longer assisted by gravity (since they are now on up-bow).

SS Circle bows

Circle Bows

Getting a clean landing requires having a good bowhold and control of the tip of the bow.

Open Popup

Circle Bows: Correct & Incorrect

Observe the action of the wrist and upper arm in correct and incorrect circle bows.

Open Popup

Raisin Bread

Small notes at the frog and tip require conscious control and focus. The long notes build steady control awareness of the bow path.

Bread & Cheese

This exercise builds conscious awareness of the bow direction and bow division.

Open Popup

Huckleberry Pie

This continues developing control of small notes at the frog and tip.

Slur Exercise

This introduces the concept of many notes sharing the same bow direction.


This exercise builds finger speed and clarity.

Gooseberry Pie

This introduces the skill of martele (also called “poof bows” or “rocket bows”).

Gingersnap Cream

This uses the martele bowstroke within a different rhythm.

Bread & Cheese II

This continues to build awareness of bow direction and bow division.

Motorcycle Down, Motorcycle Up

This helps build awareness of note groupings and alternating down- and up-bows.

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