Even Mozart’s dad made him practice long tones!
Whether you call it a long tone, son filé, a one-minute bow or just a royal pain, this exercise has been around for centuries. Leopold Mozart, the most famous violin teacher of his time, insisted on the importance of developing a beautiful sound through practicing extremely long bows lasting a minute or more. And who was Leopold’s most famous pupil? Only the composer of some of our most challenging repertoire!
So why would you try to play Mozart’s music without practicing the way he did?
The beginning of his 5th violin concerto in A, for example, is the easiest thing in the world once you’re able to sustain a bow for an entire minute. Suddenly you realize that you have the power to shape the phrase however you desire.
Worth the climb
So start wherever you are, but start climbing today! Watch my video to see how to work your way up gradually to a smooth bow that lasts 60 seconds or more. It doesn’t matter if you can’t even hold a bow for ten seconds yet. With just a few minutes a day working on the one-minute bow, you’ll gain powers you never knew you had.
Watch the video, try it for yourself, then let me know in the comments how it works for you!