My violin teacher keeps telling me to play with a straight bow. But nothing on the violin is a straight line. I never know if it is straight or crooked until my violin teacher tells me. How can I play with a straight bow?
This is a good question. In many ways the violin is a bit of an optical illusion. Everywhere there are curves and round edges, no right angles or straight lines are visible anywhere, and yet we have to keep our bow “straight” as you mentioned. Instead of describing your bow as going straight, I would suggest describing it as having your bow parallel to the bridge. A good way to check if your bow is parallel is to look in a mirror while you play. Then, stop your bow right where it is on the string and look at its relation to the bridge. It will actually not look straight, but at an angle to the bridge when you look right at your bow. Trust the mirror. You will notice that the angle will look different when you are in different parts of the bow. Keep working with the mirror, and you will begin to memorize not just what it looks like (when looking at the bow as it is angled against the bridge), but also what it feels like to have your bow parallel to the bridge. Good luck!