Exercises for Bow Comfort and Security
Alan MacNair, Oakland University
The Spider and the Fly
The Spider – With an imaginary bow in the right hand, practice being a Spider by moving the fingers in and out of the palm of the hand, causing them to go from relatively straight to very curved.
The Fly – Holding the bow in front with two hands, secure the tip end by making a strong circle with the left thumb and middle finger. Drop the bow from the right hand, allowing it to swing freely from the left hand. The swinging frog becomes the Fly.
Catching the Fly – After letting the bow swing several times, catch the frog with the right hand in a proper bow grip position. Be careful not to squeeze too hard – we don’t want the squash the Fly!
Struggling Fly – Try to pull the Fly out of the Spider’s grasp by tugging gently with the left hand. If the right hand fingers and wrist are loose, only the fingers and the wrist on the right hand will move as the left hand pulls the bow back and forth. Keep in mind the Spider webs are very sticky, so the fingertips of the right hand should “stick” to the frog
Spinning the Web – Slowly straighten and curve the right thumb, causing the bow to rotate in the right hand.
Chewing the Fly – Chew the Fly by making inward and outward movements as in “A”.
Swallowing the Fly – Swallow the Fly with up and down right wrist movements.
Digesting the Fly – Digest the Fly with circular wrist movements of the right hand.
Good-bye Fly – Have a ceremonial “moment of silence” for the Fly, by relaxing the right hand completely. Then it’s time to look for another Fly!
Horatio at the Bridge
The Bridge – Hold the bow in front of you with two hands. The right hand at the frog is Horatio with his two friends. The left hand represents the Etruscans, who have come to invade Rome.
The Battle – Both hands move slowly to the middle of the bow in a crawling motion. Horatio (being a smart guy)knows how to hold a bow, so the right hand should maintain a proper bow hold position as it crawls to the middle. The Etruscans, of course, do not. When they both arrive at the middle, they fight. Mash both hands together with lots of commotion, battle noises, etc. Both ends of the bow will bob violently as the Bridge shakes.
The Plan – As the fighting slows, Horatio’s friends begin to chop down the Bridge. Use the pinkie of the right hand to simulate chopping – strong downward pushes with the tip of the pinkie that cause the tip of the bow to bob.
The Collapse – When Horatio’s friends have chopped through, the Etruscan’s end plunges down into the water. Point the tip straight down, and slide the left hand off. (Splashing noises!)
The Return – Horatio bobs gently in the water (up and down movements of the right wrist), then swims back to shore. Crawl back to the frog with the right hand, maintaining a good bow hold, and keeping the bow as still as possible – it is a very calm day, and there are no waves in the water!