The Causes of a Lacking Fundamental

insufficient arm weight

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bow position too close to the bridge

insufficient rosin on bow hair

What Causes Lack of focus/ weak sound

insufficient arm weight

not enough bow( bow speed too slow)

Bow position too close to fingerboard

Playing two strings at once when only one is called for

incorrect bow angle( adjust from the elbow)

Bow position too close to fingerboard

Crunched, scrappy or choked sound

holding bow too tightly

pushing the bow into the string

insufficient bow speed

not maintaining perpendicular bow to string angle (windshield wiper)

Pitches are off by a fourth or fifth

correct fingering

incorrect string

some notes are in tune, while others are not within one position

poor left hand arm position

violin/viola- bent wrist

cello/ bass dropped elbow

All- thumb wrapped around the neck

violins read:

Violas read:

Cellos and basses read:


violin: treble clef exclusively

violas: treble clef and alto clef

Cellos and basses:







double bass


arco(arco, archet, bogen,or bog)
the bow is to be used in a conventional manner
this technique involves plucking the strings with the fingers. guitar involves holding a violin or viola in the manner of a guitar and strumming the strings.
each note is articulated with its own bow stroke. the bow is kept  on the string.
slurred or legato playing
1 note within 1 bow stroke
slurred staccato
mulitple notes are are articulated within a single bow stroke. loure and portato are similar bowing techniques, but the amount of re-articulation for each note is greatly reduced.
hooked bowing
this is a form of slurred staccato where two notes of unequal value are articulated within the same bow stroke.
sul ponticello
the bow is placed very close to the bridge producing a sound rich in overtones and lacking in the fundamental.
sul tasto
the bow is placed close to or over the fingerboard, taking some of the richness and focus out of the sound.
seperate notes which may be played on or off the string.
this is the basic off the string technique. the bow is bouncing on the string, usually near the middle or balance point of the bow for greater control, each note having its own stroke. other names for this technique inclued, ricochet, saltando, sautille, springbogen and jete.
col legno
the use of the wood rather than the hair of the bow. the stick can be drawn across the string or more commonly applied vertically as a percussive device. players often cheat and use some of the hair as well as the stick to produce more sound.
tip and frog
these terms indicate that one of the bow should be used. playing at the point produces a light delicate sound. playing at the frosch talon or heel creates  a heavier more empathic sound.