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I'm starting to work on a (unknown) polka, which has a few places in it where I have to "knock" my violin with the bow stick. 
Question is, what is the correct place to knock on? I don't want to beat the varnish off of my violin :)

BTW, what's the correct term for that knock, or is there one?

4 Responses
Posted: March 9, 2012
Last Comment: March 12, 2012

Beth Blackerby
Posted: March 12, 2012
I think rapping the back would get the best knocking sound. And as long as you don't knock it too hard (can't image you would), I don't think there is any harm done to the instrument.

Posted: March 12, 2012
Hi Ray!

Yeah, I've read your post, thanks. I responded something, or I thought I did, but I seem to have failed because it's not there :)

Beth, yes, instructions are to knock the wood and yes knuckle was mentioned as alternative. I think I'll try the knuckle approach, even though it seemed harder to get solid knock that way :)

I tried to google around about this but no luck, so I guess it's not very common technique :)

Beth Blackerby
Posted: March 9, 2012
Are you talking about col legno? This is a technique where you hit the bow on the strings creating a percussive sound. That's pretty safe. Or are you really supposed to hit the wood? Hmmm, I don't know, but what about substituting a knuckle, and just thump the back of the violin perhaps…? 

Posted: March 9, 2012

Hi Tomi,

Not sure of the answer to this question, but awhile back I answered your question(s) about violin making.  It's page or two back now. :)