When switching from bowing to plucking (also known as pizzicato), there are some other options besides just putting down the bow.

Roll Tuck n’ Pluck

Roll the bow into right hand, use the thumb as a support. When you want to switch back to bowing, roll the bow out of your hand back to the standard the standard bow hold. It will take some practice to get the hang of it. You can practice this without playing.

I use this method if I plan on plucking for a while because it’s more stable

On-the-go plucking

This is my term for plucking using the standard bow hold.

You just released your right index finger a bit, and pluck the strings without supporting the right hand.

I use this for short bursts of plucking.

Left-hand plucking

You can use your left-hand pinky to pluck or strum the strings. It’s used as an effect in certain old-time tunes. You can also use it to do a light chord strum.

If you’re learning to use the fourth finger, then left-hand plucking is a great way to build strength in the pinky finger. Practice this with simple string crossing patterns.

Why bother plucking anyway?

Plucking is a great practice tool for working out to keep left hand fingering. If you take away the added challenge of bowing, you can totally focus on the left hand motions.

Plucking is also a great way to express the music differently. The fiddle has a wide range of textures which that you can use to re-invent a tune, or make practice more interesting. Other textures are Staccato and

This will also help you to remember tunes more easily because your brain is connecting the same information in different ways. 🧠

Possibly most important: plucking sounds cool and can make your practice sessions more fun. If you can find a way to enjoy practice, you’ll naturally do it every day.

Further learning

My basic fiddlosophy on adding variation to music

Practice loops

Plucked up

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