1. Internalize the beat
When you’re listening to music, tap along with the beat. I know it sounds basic, but it’s just too easy to let the music play in the background. Try to engage by listening and participating from an actively rhythmic perspective. Tap the beat and feel the rhythm. Then when you pick up your instrument, your frame of mind is already set.
2. Warm-up with one rhythmic note
When you first pick up your instrument, work your rhythm. Play along with a back-up track or metronome on just one note. Practice connecting that note to the beat by playing quarter notes for a minute or two and then eighth notes. Tap your toe, internalize the beat while you are playing. Do this for two minutes to focus your mind on the rhythmic consistency of your bow.
3. Record yourself and listen back
Record yourself playing the one note and listen back. Are you as coordinated with the rhythm as you thought? It’s amazing how much more you can hear and process when you’re not playing. Listening after the fact can help you discover your tendencies. Do you rush? Do you drag? Is it just inconsistent? Once you’ve discovered an issue, it becomes much simpler to improve it. Then, try again!