The Right Thumb

Charles Benedetti, an active reader of Cello Playing for Music Lovers, has written to tell me that, as he strove to get a richer tone, he pressed too hard on the bow and stressed out the muscles of his right thumb. Here’s another reminder that relaxation of the muscles of the hands is as critical as relaxation of the shoulders and arms. In fact, as you relax your right arm, it should become heavy, right? Now allow that relaxed heavy arm to fall onto the string. It is that relaxed weight which will give you a rich sound. I’m aware that this is easier said than done. Remaining relaxed takes much vigilance. However, it is very worth while.

Two other bow holds were suggested to Mr. Benedetti by another cellist: one  is, to place the thumb under the frog rather than against the bow stick, or place it parallel to the bow stick in a baroque-style hold.

I’m always pleased to hear how my readers are progressing and especially how the book is working for you. Keep in touch!

Reposted from January 2008