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bow info

alison 16 May 02 - 02:17 AM
Callie 16 May 02 - 02:24 AM
GUEST,selby 16 May 02 - 03:13 AM
wysiwyg 16 May 02 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Isaac McKittery 16 May 02 - 08:32 AM
Letty 16 May 02 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Al 16 May 02 - 01:13 PM
pict 16 May 02 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,Hardiman the Fiddler 16 May 02 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Hardiman the Fiddler 16 May 02 - 06:57 PM
alison 16 May 02 - 10:20 PM
Marion 17 May 02 - 12:21 PM
alison 18 May 02 - 03:24 AM
Sam Pirt 18 May 02 - 05:15 PM
Ned Ludd 19 May 02 - 07:03 AM
NicoleC 19 May 02 - 12:03 PM
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Subject: bow info
From: alison
Date: 16 May 02 - 02:17 AM

I have had a fiddle belonging to my great great grandfather hanging on my wall for some years...... I have recently got it restrung etc.... and now fancy playing it.... but I need a decent bow.....

a friend of mine lent me one... but it is "crap" (his words ... but I tend to agree)..... no tension in it at all..... and it feels like I have to hold it very tightly... aren't they supposed to be weighted so they balance or something?.......

what should I look for in buying a bow? how much is OK for a beginner... I want something that will give a good sound and possibly carry me on through if I want.......

any advice..... I'm sure this has been covered before but search wasn't working from this end....


thanks

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: Callie
Date: 16 May 02 - 02:24 AM

Hi Alison

I can't help you directly, but want to let you know that I have just taken up the cello (and am progressing very slowly). If you want a jamming pal, we can both sound terrible together!

Callie


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: GUEST,selby
Date: 16 May 02 - 03:13 AM

As far as I am aware bows are an individual thing, set your price range upper and lower, go to a fiddle shop and try them. My son did this and found a great variation but ended up with the bow he felt comfatable with out of the cheapest range suprisingly Keith


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 May 02 - 08:24 AM

I'll ask Hardi to post when he gets a chance.

~S~


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: GUEST,Isaac McKittery
Date: 16 May 02 - 08:32 AM

alison,

Is it bow, at all? I bow before you, hen!

Wudn't you just bloody know it? Thon oul' tub I got on at Larne sprang a leak in the middle of the say and the arms is near pulled outta me swimmin' this past forty days. Mind you, it's not a bad way till pass the time on a nice day! But a bloody big iceberg passed me the awr day with upwards of a hundred big fat bodhran players on it. I don't know what the hell that was all about!

I'll see you whenever.

Isaac "Mark Spitz" McKittery


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: Letty
Date: 16 May 02 - 09:34 AM

Best thing to do I think is just to visit a shop (violin builder) with a broad selection of bows and try, try, try! Be sure to bring your own violin, I found that bows feel different on different fiddles (or rather the strings, probably). When I couldn't decide which bow to take, the builder allowed me to take home a couple. I found that after playing a little bit longer than you would inside the shop, the heavier bow (which I preferred at first sight) became to heavy, so I opted for the lighter one.
Good luck!

Letty


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 16 May 02 - 01:13 PM

The bow is half the instrument. It has a great deal to do with the tone and playability. Different bows match different fiddles. Figure on spending at least $1000. for a good bow from a shop or maker. There is an excellent bow maker in Northbridge, Massachusetts. His name is Tom Mansfield (Northbridge Violin Shop). I have one of his bows and I am very happy with it. Al


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: pict
Date: 16 May 02 - 06:40 PM

I recently had 6 bows back home to try(which is the best way to really get an idea of how good/bad they are) ranging from about $250-$1000 I chose one at about $450(a Seifert)the cheaper ones didn't feel very good and the more expensive ones only offered a very small improvement in feel over the $450 one and I think that the more expensive you go the more minimal the improvement and I think that improvement in feel versus price would only have been worth it if I had been a better fiddler.

If you go 2nd hand you can turn up a good bow but you should first try some really expensive and some really cheap new bows to get an idea of the differences in feel and what to look for when buying a bow imo.I was very surprised at how different the feel was between different bows.I would suggest in any case that you go for a Pernambuco wood bow as this is the preferred wood for bows and buy as high quality as you can afford even though it seems extravagant to shell out $500 dollars for a curved stick with a bit of horsehair,the difference in feel between a reasonable bow to a cheap poor quality bow is considerable even when they look very similar and it makes all the difference when it comes to playing.


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: GUEST,Hardiman the Fiddler
Date: 16 May 02 - 06:48 PM

Hi, y'all!

Alison, welcome to the wonderful and sometimes frustrating world of fiddling.

I think your search of the forum would turn up lots of suggestions about the ways to set up your fiddle--- including the choice of shoulder rests, and strings and other important info. I don't recall anything about bows though.

You can get decent bows for less than a $100 US and if I were you I would look for the following:
1)wood rather than fiberglass, the tone is more pleasant
2)horsehair rather than synthetic, because the tone is more pleasant
3}with some tension on the bow, sight down the stick to see if there is too much warp--- which could make the bow difficult to use.

About bow weight---it is a matter of preference. I have one heavier and one lighter, and I use them depending on the mood I'm in. You can adjust the bow weight by visiting your local fly-fishing supply store where you can buy some weighted floss for tying flies (it makes them sink) and you can wrap that around the stick to adjust the weight of the bow.

Finally, there is a right way and a wrong way to hold the bow, and I would suggest that you have someone show you how so that you don't get into a bad, bad habit that is difficult to unlearn later. And since you are starting out, maybe they could show you how to tape the neck to make it easier to learn the fingering.

Get a better set of strings and don't bow too close to the bridge unless you like the sound of bats having sex! :)

I'm sure that there is always a better bow out there. If you take care of it the bow doesn't wear out--- you can generally find someone who can rehair them.

Happy fiddling!

Hardi


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: GUEST,Hardiman the Fiddler
Date: 16 May 02 - 06:57 PM

Hi again!

I forgot to mention one thing in my last post that might be important for someone starting out. It has to do with the comment about balance. It is not so much about balance of the bow over the strings as it is about learning control of the bow with the right hand. That's why learing how to hold the bow properly is so important.

Cheers!

Hardi


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: alison
Date: 16 May 02 - 10:20 PM

thanks for all the advice and info........ looks like I'm going to have to go shopping.....

Callie... if we can find another beginner fiddler and a viola player... wecould start a really bad string quartet!!!

Issac..... shure its grate tew see yew agayun..... I wis wunnerin' where yew'd gone..... yer lukin' quarin hunky......


slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: Marion
Date: 17 May 02 - 12:21 PM

Here's another thread to check out:

Choosing bow for fiddle

Good luck, Marion


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: alison
Date: 18 May 02 - 03:24 AM

thanks again for the help

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: Sam Pirt
Date: 18 May 02 - 05:15 PM

I don't know a lot about bows but I do know EXCELLENT fiddlers who prefer the cheap bows to the expensive, so price appears to be not everything.

Cheers, Sam


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 19 May 02 - 07:03 AM

I fully agree with Sam cheap bows can be o.k. and vice versa. When you are starting you don't know what is best so don't spend a fortune until you do. The main thing is straight, good tension and reasonable finish (if it looks rough it probably is.) plus a feel that you like. I use two bows. one cost £150 and the other cost £35.


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Subject: RE: bow info
From: NicoleC
Date: 19 May 02 - 12:03 PM

Alison,

I don't have a shop in town -- or anywhere nearby -- that has a selection of bows to try in my price range. But Shar Music will ship you several and let you audition them at home. I strongly recommend having someone who does play help you pick one out. Your bow may not be that bad, or it might need new hair or a new tension screw.

But, if it is warped or bad, I recommend the $19 fiberglass special until you learn how to play a bit. No point in spending $300-$3000 on a new bow until you are really sure that you're going to stick with this fabulous frustrating instrument :) Honesty, my fiberglass bow doesn't sound the best in the world (and neither does my fiddle), but it doesn't have any of the problems you mentioned. It does have balance issues, but at the bare beginnning levels it wasn't a problem. Now that I'm starting to do fancier stuff, the bow is starting to bug me.

That's my thread the clickie went to up there, and I'm still deciding on a new bow :) I've decided I will probably go with a graphite or a composite bow. I'm not sold on pernambuco as much other than a violinist affectation. And if I wouldn't eat an endangered species, I can't justify buying a bow from an endangered species where the vast majority of the wood is poached. But that's just me. Unfortunately, bow makers aren't very experimental -- I am sure there are other woods (besides Brazilwood) that would be fantastic.

Happy hunting, Nicole


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