Steven Staryk’s Collection of Fundamental Bowing Exercises and Calisthenics, available on this site in both English and French, were written as a companion to his Left Hand Exercises. In the Collection, Mr. Staryk’s original directions are in boldface, the commentary below being gathered from his classes and private lesson notes. All music examples have been added by the editor.
Mr. Staryk would make aware the futility of words describing bow motion, balance and direction. These exercises require a visual element to which he will attend to at another time.
Exercises 1 through 6 deal with preparation, finger placement and balance. Numbers 7 through 20 are largely the development of the “finger action” necessary for the bow change at the frog as well as for accents and advanced strokes. These techniques are combined and expanded in the remaining exercises.
There is a practicality and utilitarian value in even the most discomforting demands: the “scratch” exercise (No. 21) can be demonstrated at a school concert as well as a new music festival.
Each study contributes to the mastery of another: the disciplines interact and many are dependent with each other.
This collection comprises a thorough and rational contribution to the “right hand culture.”