First, for reference - German bow player here. For some time now I have devoted significant practice time to improving my skill with the bow, as a long term goal of mine is to develop a high degree of competence with a wide range of orchestral bow strokes. Recently I have turned my focus to off-the-string bowing and have been slowly working through Book 2 of Gaelan McCormick's Mastering the Bow. It has been a fun, challenging, and at times, frustrating journey. Some observations I have made so far: Practicing spiccato has drastically improved my left-right hand coordination, and my on-the-string strokes such as detache, martele and legato slurs have improved noticeably in their clarity and consistency. Anyone who plays with the bow, whether or not they want to be able to use these sounds in performance, should practice some spiccato strokes! It's about the only piece of advice I feel comfortable giving right now on the topic. Spiccato is difficult! Like, sometimes-I-want-to-hurl-my-bow-across-my-lawn-like-a-javelin difficult (don't worry, I haven't done that... yet) Developing a basic map of solid, simple spiccato at different tempos seems to be a combination of the following factors: A balance between bow "carry" and letting the natural bounce of the stick do the work Figuring out the ideal places (i.e., distance from the frog) where the bow naturally wants to bounce at certain tempos Awareness of how arm tension and hand grip will kill the bounce, especially when pushing my boundaries In certain instances, i.e. on the E string, actually adding arm weight to increase the force of the bounce My current goal right now is increasing the speed of my spiccato stroke. Right now the best I am at is ~92 BPM, with a goal of ~100 BPM on the current etude I am doing. What seems to be working to increase my speed with consistency is: Relaxing Focusing on smaller bounces, getting the bow back to the string more quickly Moving the bow from the balance point toward the middle The trade off here, of course, is dynamics, as my strokes are getting quieter. I worry that moving toward the middle is moving toward what McCormick describes as sautille, and that I may need to figure out how to increase my speed with bouncing the bow at the balance point. (Although, side note, I have a feeling that I will learn that terms such as spicatto, sautille, hammer stroke, etc. have some overlap and become contextually dependent as my awareness and skill increases.) The plan is to just concentrate on increasing speed, then work on stretching my dynamic range as a next step. Those with more experience - any advice? Am I moving in the right direction? Or running myself into a dead end progress wise with any of this? This is all fairly new to me and I am wary of the dreaded trap of "unconscious incompetence", or not knowing what I don't know. All advice is appreciated!