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A Short Story About The Up and Down Bow Staccato For The Violin

This video by Mimi Zweig is a short story about the up and down bow staccato for the violin. The Up-and-Down Bow Staccato is one of many different bowing styles that violinists must learn and be able to execute flawlessly. We hope violinists, music enthusiasts, music teachers, and music students tuning in find this information extremely helpful.

Think of the Up-and-Down bow Staccato as a Legato stroke with an intentional ‘stop’ at the end of each note.  The end of the first note becomes the beginning of the next note in succession and so on.     

A well-executed Staccato stroke always starts with the bow ‘from’ the string and maintains its connection. It should produce a clean, crisp articulation with a healthy ‘ring’ through the stops.

Practice slowly with and without a metronome and listen carefully to your tone production. Try varying the arm weight and bow speed until the tone is just right. If there is too much pressure or too little bow speed the Staccato may sound a bit ‘crunchy’ or ‘choked.’  If there is too little pressure or too much bow speed for the bow to maintain a good connection with the string, the sound may sound thin and glassy as if it the hair is just skating along the surface.

Mimi recommends teaching the stroke by playing down and up bow with 2 notes per bow while keeping the bow moving with a constant legato tone. Once we are confident, add 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 12 notes per down and up bow making sure that the stroke begins with the stopped sound from the previous note. 

In summary, the up-and-down bow Staccato for the violin is like a Legato stroke with ‘stops’ between each note. The bow is “in the string” and the sound rings while producing a clean, crisp articulation.  

Mimi Zweig is a well-respected teacher who shares her knowledge of the violin with others. She has created this video to demonstrate the basis of how to play the Staccato stroke on the violin as well as steps that can be taken towards mastery. Mimi Zweig has many other playing tips & tricks, check out Mimi’s StirngPedagogy.com for great online lessons!