How to Relax Your Pinkie on the Bow

Relax your hand and pinkie

As I mentioned at the end of Curved pinkie on the bow, we need to relax our pinkie for it to stay curved. Let's do some exercises to keep your pinkie relaxed.

Tilting of the hand

To relax the pinkie, first we need to learn how not to put weight on the pinkie. Here is what we will do gain a sense of no weight on the pinkie

1. Hold the bow with thumb and index finger only

  1. Place the middle of the bow on the D string how you would normally.
  2. Lift the pinkie up in the air by tilting your hand towards the index finger.
  3. Lift the ring finger up in the air by tiling your hand more towards the index finger.
  4. Do the same for the middle finger. Now, your hand should be tilted extremely to the index finger with middle, ring, and pinkie fingers up in th air.
  5. Check to see if the thumb and index finger are curved. Do not keep them straight.

2. Draw the bow with the tilted hand

Start drawing the bow with the tilted hand. Do not use the frog part of the bow at this stage.

Make sure your pinkie is staying relaxed and curved a little. If it is stiff or straight, wriggle the pinkie, and the other two fingers, up in the air until you start to feel the pinkie getting loosened up.

3. Put fingers back on the bow

Play for a while with only the thumb and index finger until you feel comfortable drawing the bow.

You should be feeling a lot of weight on the index finger. By tilting your hand, all of your arm weight should be on the index finger.

After you can feel the pinkie completely relaxed and curved, you can start to put the middle finger back on the bow, then the ring finger, and finally the pinkie.

Do this slowly so you can keep feeling the relaxation on your fingers as you put them back on the bow

4. Repeat until you can completely relax the pinkie

Practice going back and forth between playing with all of the fingers down and playing with just thumb and index finger.

Avoid using the frog until you feel confident that you can keep the pinkie relaxed using the rest of the bow other than the frog. Then start coming back to the frog and see if you can still keep the weight off of pinkie. You should feel only the slight amount of weight on the pinkie when you are at the frog. Although we don't tilt the bow as much at the frog, there still should be a tilt towards the index finger even when the bow is at the frog.

Lift and wriggle the pinkie up in the air if you start to feel tension on it.