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Weight of fiddle bow?

Scoville 21 Mar 07 - 03:24 PM
katlaughing 21 Mar 07 - 03:32 PM
s&r 21 Mar 07 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Bardan 21 Mar 07 - 08:47 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 22 Mar 07 - 01:04 AM
s&r 22 Mar 07 - 03:55 AM
Larkin 22 Mar 07 - 07:57 AM
Scoville 22 Mar 07 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Richard 22 Mar 07 - 10:07 AM
Stewart 22 Mar 07 - 01:34 PM
Mark Ross 22 Mar 07 - 03:14 PM
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Subject: Weight of fiddle bow?
From: Scoville
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 03:24 PM

(I did check the forum for this already and did not find a thread that seemed to fit. I apologize if it's already been asked.)

I've been learning fiddle off and on for a couple of years and I wanted to ask some of the more experienced fiddlers about weights of fiddle bows. (Yes, I know I need to practice. I practice as much as I can, which is still not enough, but until somebody invents the 26-hour day, that's the way it goes.)

The bow I have is a Coda Aspire graphite bow, which I got because it seemed to have the best balance between being affordable ($238) versus not being derided too badly for a student bow. I assume that one would ideally test-drive bows before buying but I didn't know enough about playing for that to have done me any good. The wooden bows that came with my fiddle were not in salvageable condition so I don't have anything with which to compare the Aspire.

Now that I've played with it awhile, I'm starting to think it might be a bit heavy. However, as I said, I'm still new at this so it's entirely possible that I don't know what I'm doing/talking about. Has anyone else tried these? What do they think? (Do they just call it that because you Aspire to get a better one ASAP?)


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Subject: RE: Weight of fiddle bow?
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 03:32 PM

You might find some good info on this thread or, on this one.

A good bow is worth its weight in gold, imo.:-)


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Subject: RE: Weight of fiddle bow?
From: s&r
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 04:15 PM

A good fiddle shop will put different lapping on to reduce or increase the weight. This will also affect the point of balance. It's hard to make temporary adjustments to reduce the weight, but you can modify the balance to try it with a bit of soft wire or even blutack near to the frog. Sometimes a bit of weight at the frog can give the feel of a lighter bow


Stu


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Subject: RE: Weight of fiddle bow?
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 08:47 PM

I've a vague feeling that graphite bows would tend to be lighter than wooden ones if anything. No idea where it came from though, and I'm hardly an expert. I'd say find a decent shop and experiment a bit. It depends so much on style, what your arms and stuff are like, just what feels comfortable. People who are really serious shell out absolutely masses of money for bows by particular makers, but then people buy stradivari as well. Most of us aren't made of money.


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Subject: RE: Weight of fiddle bow?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 01:04 AM

From a message on the cb-music mailing list, the "average" weight appears to be 76 gms.


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Subject: RE: Weight of fiddle bow?
From: s&r
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 03:55 AM

60 grams is more typical for a fiddle bow George; 70 grams is typical of a viola bow.

Stu


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Subject: RE: Weight of fiddle bow?
From: Larkin
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 07:57 AM

I agree Stu 60 grams is a good weight. Be assured though , no matter what the weight, if ones technique is suspect changing the weight of the bow won't make a lot of difference.


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Subject: RE: Weight of fiddle bow?
From: Scoville
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 09:58 AM

I thought graphite would be lighter, too, but I no longer have the old wooden bows for comparison (one was crap, the other was OK quality but very badly warped). I suppose I could weigh the one I have--thanks for the gm estimates, by the way--and I'll see if I can track down my old fiddle buddy here and bend his ear.

Or maybe I need to start lifting weights ;-).

Well, like I said--technique issues are a distinct possibility, although I don't really feel like I'm struggling with it and it doesn't feel off-balance at all.


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Subject: RE: Weight of fiddle bow?
From: GUEST,Richard
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 10:07 AM

My local violin shop tried to sell me a graphite bow, when I took my favourite wooden one to be re-haired. The assistant was rather snooty and dismissive, but agreed to do the job! He was enthusiastic about graphite bows, but the one I tried did seem to be on the heavy side. I didn't have my fiddle with me, so couldn't try it out properly, but it didn't seem to transmit the feeling of the strings in the same way as my old one. Mind you, I have a (cheap) wooden bow with the same problem.
Richard


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Subject: RE: Weight of fiddle bow?
From: Stewart
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 01:34 PM

My graphite Coda Bow - Conservatory weighs in at 60.9 g. It's not so much the weight, but how it is distributed, the balance, and how it feels. Also, the type of music you play. Hard driving bluegrass music might require a heavier bow, while for fast Irish jigs and reels you might want a lighter more responsive bow. It's a very subjective thing, and the only thing is to try out many different bows. And matching the bow with the fiddle is also a factor - certain fiddles respond differently with different bows. Personally, I like my Coda Bow. I like the balance and feel of it, and also the way my fiddle responds (tone). I think it's a good value for the price. I tried the more expensive Classic model, and couldn't tell the difference between it and the Conservatory.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Weight of fiddle bow?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 03:14 PM

I just bought a Asian made bow from the local luthier(actually I traded for it). It sells for $80. He let me try a bunch of them and the one I picked, well, he weighed it afterwards and it registered 66 gms. I had told him I like a heavy bow!

Mark Ross


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