Fit as a Fiddle

Fitbit with Bow

Fitbit with Bow

I have a new Fitbit device – a little bracelet that records all of my movement activity.  It’s really a souped-up pedometer that connects to an online database that logs my activities via my computer or other wireless devices.  It tracks physical activity and also provides interesting sleep tracking data.  It’s marketed as a fitness management system – online tools allow users to track calorie consumption and water intake, in addition to other metrics that support fitness goals.  For my part, I’m interested in seeing what data it provides on my exercise regimen, but I decided to play along and just wear it 24/7 as they intend and see what happens.

The acquisition of the Fitbit is making Musical Me because I was interested in how it seems to track my violin playing.  In setting up the device, the tutorials told me that drumming, for example, had been tested, and does not significantly trigger the device.  But you drum sitting down, I realized as I looked at the period during which I was practicing last night.  Of course you can play the violin sitting down too, but I do not.

In fact, it turns out I move a whole lot while practicing.  The device registered about 20 minutes of the hour or so I practiced as intense physical activity.  I don’t think a “step” has to be very pronounced in order to count as a step!  I wear the bracelet on my right hand (I’m left handed and the instructions say for best results use the non-dominant hand) but that happens to be my bowing hand.  I wouldn’t want it on the left hand – my fingering wrist, but I have some interest in knowing if its being on the bow arm makes a difference.

If it seems interesting I’ll write more as I get more data.

Thanks for reading.



  1. Hello! I found this too with my fit bit. I wear it on my right hand and it registered 2000 steps during my 2hr odd rehearsal!? Great blog thanks! just discovered by googling fitbit violin bowing.

    1. Thanks Rachel – very happy to hear from a fellow violinist and fitness enthusiast!

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