The Creative Workshop
Master teacher Harry Wimmer  leads a cello class in The Creative Workshop. The day's  topic is how hand gestures can turn into expressive bow strokes. . . . a class is in progress . . .


HW: Bow strokes like Détaché, Martelé,
Spiccato, can be learned purely mechanically.
This technical aspect is, of course, most important, but what I would like to show you here
is the inner source that will make these strokes more meaningful, full of color, intensity
and variety.

Let's rethink the hand: because of its ingenious construction it is capable of a vast array
of expressive gestures. All over the world, people "speak with their hands" to express all
shades of meaning. Such hand gestures can be the basis of much more expressive bowing.

Try these two fun exercises with me, expanded from Master Lesson 2 of my

Joy of
Cello Playing Books:
How to Order Master Lesson 2
Scrub it Down! - Scrubbing gestures for Rubbing Detache bow stroke. Ex1 from The  Joy of Cello Playing book series, Master Lesson 2, by Harry Wimmer.
Copyright©1986 by Harry Wimmer

NOW make the repertoire connection: with the same energy as in the above exercise, play this Rubbing Détaché passage from the Frescobaldi Toccata:
Rubbing Detache cello passage from Frescobaldi Toccata

Next try the other hand gesture exercise:

Point Your Finger! - Gesture for Martele bow stroke, Ex2 from The Joy of Cello Playing book series, Master Lesson 2, by Harry Wimmer.
Copyright©1986 by Harry Wimmer

Apply the same energy you used in the above finger-pointing gesture to this repertoire exerpt from.the Brahms "Double" Concerto( measure 2l8):
Martele  cello  passage from Brahms Double Concerto

You will now be able to play this Martelé passage with much greater intensity.

HW: Class, I want you, when you return home, to think of other examples of hand gestures triggering and energizing your bow strokes.

The Joy of Cello Playing, Master Lesson 2, contains many more scenarios that let you practice the connection between hand gestures and a much more expressive and colorful bow technique.

Order Master Lesson 2 online from:


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