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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I play viola and I started wondering what differences there are between placing the thumb on the bow by the frog, or placing the thumb on/near the pad in the middle of the bow, and if one method is better than the other.


I performed a sound analysis of all 4 strings while using both holding methods, trying my best to keep each recording's volume level as even possible: not too heavy and not too light.

Here are my results.

(assuming that the lightest string is #1 and the heaviest string is #4)

For the position with the thumb on the pad between the bow: Strings 1 and 2 had the best amplification of their resonances, while string 3 and 4 turned out to have less amplification than the other method.

For the position with the thumb on the frog: Strings 3 and 4 had the best/fullest amplification of their resonances, while strings 1 and 2 had a much flatter and rougher sound than the other method.

However each method both produced a clear instrument sound without a huge fundamental difference between either.


So for the conclusions.

Ideally, the best method for holding your bow, is by holding it at the pad. This allows for the upper strings to resonate the best, and you can still play the lower strings properly by adding more pressure.

For the other method, given that the bow still produces the distinct instrument sound without a lose of quality, the method by holding the frog will give you a more of a rural sound, and works well with the lower notes of the instrument.
 
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