Do you ever have a piece of music that has some odd bowing? For instance, you have a string of 8- 1/16 notes, but instead of each note being a separate bow, or the opposite where all eight are on one bow, you have the first note on one bow, then slur two, then two more on separate bows, slur the next 2, and then one more on a separate bow?  Something like this:

This (or some strange variation)  may not come up a lot, but when it does you need some help.   That’s when I say, “There’s a Feuillard for that”.  If you’re not familiar with Feuillard, it’s a book of daily exercises that looks quite intimidating but is actually quite useful.  There are many exercises in the book for different studies, but there is one that has been quite useful for me.   The idea is that Feuillard gives you a simple melody that is fairly easy to learn.  Then you incorporate the various bowing into the melody you have already learned.  In other words, you aren’t struggling with notes because you have learned them and it’s way more interesting than plugging these odd bowing into scales.   The repetition with this melody combined with the bowing helps you train your right hand and that elusive cranky bow to behave.   You can probably accomplish the same thing with scales, but try it with a melody that’s simple.  It will be more enjoyable, thus you will be more likely to practice it and learn it.

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