Improving Your Sound

Posted by Christian Raabe on

Every string player wants to improve their sound. However, with such a range of factors that affect a player's sound it can be very difficult to know just how to do this. Before becoming discouraged or rushing out to find a whole new instrument, players should first consider the following tips to improve their sound.

1. Bow Tension and Pressure: The tension on the bow and how much pressure is applied will directly affect the sound that the instrument produces. Players should always take time in their personal practice to familiarize themselves with the tension and pressure that they need to get their best sound.

2. Bow Position and Angle: The position of the bow on the string affects everything from timbre to volume on a string instrument. There is a vast range of sounds that can be created just by adjusting how close to the bridge the bow is drawn. On every instrument there is a "sweet-spot" that will be the easiest place to get a full sound on the instrument. Players should aim for this "sweet-spot" but also be aware of the sonic changes that are derived from playing elsewhere. The bow should always be held straight across the strings for the best economy and for the best tone.

3. Bow Grip and Speed: The grip that a player uses will go hand in hand with the amount of pressure that they use. For this reason the player should have a relaxed, comfortable grip on their bow so that they can be in total control of pressure. The same principle applies to speed. Even though speed should be a dynamic facet of the players style, it is key to be relaxed to have the most control possible of it.

These are not the only things that affect the sound of a player. The instrument itself, the bow and the strings being used make a huge difference. It is always best to experiment whenever possible to achieve a sound that works for you!