Having never played a bowed instrument before, I'm anxious to know if I'm doing it right. I have gone over info here, but I still have a question about bow direction.
If you're playing the same note more than once - eg Twinkle, twinkle little star, where it's the same 2 notes for "twinkle", should the bow move in the same direction for both notes, or back and forth? Does it matter?
Hi Ruth. This is a common question for beginner psaltery players. Technically, it doesn't matter if you go in the same direction or back and forth. However, you will have a more fluid movement and get a better sound if you go back and forth. When you go in one direction, you will tend to get a more "choppy" sound. When you go back and forth, you are able to draw out each note a little more and get the beautiful sound you are probably looking for. Once you play a little more, you will find the back and forth motion allows you to play with feeling and emotion and also allows you to be in a better position for bowing the sharps and flats. I would recommend using the back and forth motion. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Some people bow both ways. Back and forth saves time and energy but do lift the bow off the string before you change direction. If you "saw" it you will tear up the horsehair.