Arm Weight/Gravity

  • Arm Weight + Motion = Power
  • Muscular release allows the full weight of your arm, especially the weight of the upper arm, to drop into the cello.
  • How dropping the full weight of your bow arm into the cello unleashes easy power.
  • Maximize weight for the biggest possible sound. Minimize weight by lifting it, suspending it, for the softest  possible sound.The bigger you can play and the softer you can play, the more expressive colors in your palate.
  • This lesson is specifically about letting all of your arm weight down for a big sound. Dynamics, shaping and color require infinite varieties of weight, speed and contact point.
  • Dropping “free-fall” is not possible without total muscular release.
  • Let gravity do the vertical work for you–spend your energy pulling.  Release (drop) your full weight into the string and pull(drag) through the resistance using the large muscles of the arm and back.
  • When we shape and change dynamics we don’t use maximum power all of the time.  Shaping phrases and changing dynamics require holding weight off the string as well as sinking deeply into the string.  Watch Artistry in Sound and Right Hand Expression.
  • Keep your sound free by pulling through the string; remember the MOTION part of the equation. Use maximum arm weight when you want a rich sound with depth and substance. If it sounds or feels stuck, try pulling more.


Playing the cello is dropping all of your weight into the instrument, or holding all of it off, and… everything in between! Gregor Piatigorsky

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