FiddleHed Dan asked, “I’ve been playing a long time but seem to be getting nowhere. How can I improve the tone?”


Your sound may not be as bad as you think it is

People tend to be harsh critics of themselves. This unkindness is mostly unproductive. Be curious about your sound and the way you play. Let this curiosity replace the unkindness.

Here are some exercises you can practice:

  • Practice throwaway bow.
    •  Start by doing throwaway bows on a single note.
    • Build up a tune phrase Note by note, always ending with a throwaway bow.
  • Play with volume changes. 
    •  Quiet, medium, and Loud volumes.
    • Also practice volume swells. 
      • Start quiet, slowly get louder, then get quiet again. I call this Soft/loud/soft. These volume swells can happen very slowly, or they can happen within a single note.
  • Use less bow
  • Keep returning to simple tunes.
  • This is a great way to focus on good sound. Because you already know the tune, you can put all of your attention on the tone, tuning, timing and flow. 

Further learning

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