The Strum Bowing Method: How to Groove on Strings

A New Pedagogy for The Total Violinist

You already know how to play the violin. You play confidently in the orchestra and in your quartet. So why is it that playing jazz, blues, rock, pop or Latin feels so uncertain and sounds so stilted, so inauthentic? The likely answer is your bowing; simply put, the conservatory method that is so effective for performing our beloved and melodic classics was never designed for the rhythmic demands of non-classical music. Fortunately, we now have Tracy Silverman’s , a The Strum Bowing Method clear and comprehensive approach for string players to easily learn how to play and teach the grooves in contemporary popular music.

This groundbreaking and bold new work by Tracy Silverman has been quickly and enthusiastically embraced by today’s leading contemporary string artists and educators, such as Darol Anger, Rachel Barton Pine, Christian Howes, Bob Phillips, Daniel Roumain, Mark Wood, David Wallace and Mimi Rabson, among many others.

Like all pedagogy, the foundation of The Strum Bowing Method is based on real-world experience. Strum, or “chop”, bowing is not new, yet is has been used by non-classical players for decades. Tracy Silverman’s years at Juilliard did not prepare him for playing non-classical styles, so he had to develop his own techniques. Fortunately, others helped him along the way. After 30 years of honing these techniques and conducting his clinics, Tracy decided it was time to dedicate himself to clarify the pedagogy of Strum Bowing with a book for all players and teachers.

Employing “A Simple, Unified Approach”, the book is divided into two major sections: The Strum, which is horizontal bowing mastery, and The Chop, a rhythmic vertical approach with the bow. Each section relies on the basic element of “The Groovon”, the rhythmic least common denominator of Strum Bowing. This element is the basis of developing the required rhythm. Chapters on vocalizing, physicalizing, improvising, and ghosting build on the foundation in an organized, understandable and fun way.

The companion volume, 22 Groove Studies for Strings, is a teacher’s score, supplementing the method book with complete original tunes, for violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello and bass.

Watch demonstration videos for The Strum Bowing Method, and stay up to date on the latest additions at

Instead of being dedicated to one instrument, young musicians, or professionals, is a lifestyle resource for all music makers, regardless of age, instrument, or ability. We focus on providing educational articles teaching people how to play an instrument, but we also favor travel pieces, music related health articles, interesting news stories, and plenty more.

Related posts

Leave a Reply