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Author Topic: Re:That first violin  (Read 2854 times)

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Offline alwyswinn

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Re:That first violin
« on: Oct 06, 2003, 08:02:10 AM »

As to the issue of the bow, I was thinking that pro's use a wider variety of techniques than beginners, so a different bow may be better for a pro than would be better for a beginner.  This is no different from saying that I don't belong on Herman Maier's skis, which are too stiff for me, and certainly too stiff for beginners.

Now hold on that bow is a bit more important than you are giving it credit for.   Would you ever let someone ski on a pair skis that were crooked and poorly made with inferior materials?  A bad bow is just that bad its no different than using crooked skis with cheap bindings.  Also using a junk bow can teach bad habits and make bowing difficult and awkward a bow should be balanced straight and not too heavy or too light.  in your terms the bow is like the skis perhaps and the violin like the boots good one and bad the other gets you the same results as both being bad which I believe is poor performance and possible injury, (That may be a bit extreme but you get the point) both of these are detrimental to the learning process.

Offline alwyswinn

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Re:That first violin
« Reply #1 on: Oct 06, 2003, 08:06:04 AM »
oh and i neglected to mention that a bow for the violin only gets easier to play as you move up in quality.  Stiff isn't exactly a word I have heard people use to describe a bow of professional grade they usually use words like responsive good feedback nice bounce not too much or too little or well balanced.  

Offline Bob

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Re:That first violin
« Reply #2 on: Oct 06, 2003, 09:04:11 AM »
My feeling on bows is that it is possible (if one has large amounts of cash available) to spend too much and get a bow that's too good for a learner. Really good bows almost play themselves - the player has to learn to control the movements of the bow. Cheap bows, in comparison, are unresponsive - they feel soggy or leadlike. The worst, except for the real wooden nasties, are fibre-glass.

The analogy I usually use is that of a Formula 1 racer - I drive a Renault 19 and putting myself behind the wheel of the former will result in a crash within 10 seconds or less. So with fine bows.

The trick is to find a bow that stretches, but too much, the capabilities and technique of the player - not so awesome that one can't control it, nor so leadlike that you have to fight it all the way to get any response. I have to say I've yet to find a wooden bow below 500 that doesn't feel like a bag of flour. With carbon fibre, on the other hand, there are some rather good bows suitable for learners at well below the 500 figure - and a good upgrade for a student outfit is to replace the usally dreadful bow.

Much the same comments apply to instruments - the cheaper the instrument the harder you have to work.

Offline giannaviolins

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Re:That first violin
« Reply #3 on: Oct 06, 2003, 01:16:32 PM »
Correct about the bow.  A very lively and nicely balanced stick often proves difficult for a rank beginner to control.

Offline SuperDad

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Re:That first violin
« Reply #4 on: Oct 06, 2003, 01:28:16 PM »
Correct about the bow.  A very lively and nicely balanced stick often proves difficult for a rank beginner to control.
Which brings the next logical question- exactly which bows would be optimum for beginners, and which would be good for intermediates as they progress?  I believe the experts do not have a shortage of advice or they would not be experts.  The great mass of the rest of us is where the information is most valuable.

Offline Bob

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Re:That first violin
« Reply #5 on: Oct 06, 2003, 01:32:43 PM »
I believe the experts do not have a shortage of advice or they would not be experts.  The great mass of the rest of us is where the information is most valuable.

Dead right! Get five of the afore-mentioned experts into a room and you'll get at least seven different opinions!

Offline Bob

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Re:That first violin
« Reply #6 on: Oct 06, 2003, 01:42:38 PM »
Which brings the next logical question- exactly which bows would be optimum for beginners, and which would be good for intermediates as they progress?  I believe the experts do not have a shortage of advice or they would not be experts.  The great mass of the rest of us is where the information is most valuable.

You could take an analytical approach to this (as I believe Steve Perry does) which could bear some fruit - or the old way of going on price. This was the idea that a bow should cost about 1/3 of the value of the violin itself - personally I prefer the idea of 1/2. The idea is to get a bow that is lively enough to challenge the player but not so much that he/she can't control it.

Offline Dunvegan

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Re:That first violin
« Reply #7 on: Oct 06, 2003, 05:15:40 PM »
I would definately second the opinion of whomever suggested you go see George Behary......he plays violin himself and will not steer you wrong!!!!! ....if you don't live slose by or for whatever reason want to go somewhere else try sharmusic.com
Dunvegan -of the clan McLeod

Offline Elida trading

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Re:That first violin
« Reply #8 on: Oct 06, 2003, 05:59:58 PM »
About bows: I confess I don't think I've ever played using a really good bow.  I wouldn't want to, to be honest.  I seem to be incapable of using a violin bow for more than ten minutes without warping it.  I guess that could have something to do with being a viola player!

On the other hand I did get to diploma level (OK OK I failed it but that was on intonation not on bowing!) using a brazilwood bow which back in the early 80s cost something like 40 from a shop that at the time was selling Chinese outfits for 70 (which was quite some markup in those days!).  Perhaps it is something to do with never having had a problem with spicatto at all.  I now use Glasser carbonfibre and find those better than any wood bow I have yet tried (though as I said, I have never tried a really good wood bow).   I like the fact that they don't feel as if they are about to warp: that's a big thing for me!

 Perhaps one day I'll try an Arcus or a Coda classic and see what happens .....

Liz

Offline spelare

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Re:That first violin
« Reply #9 on: Oct 06, 2003, 06:06:35 PM »
Which brings the next logical question- exactly which bows would be optimum for beginners, and which would be good for intermediates as they progress?  I believe the experts do not have a shortage of advice ...

I'm no expert, but that never stopped me from giving advice  ;D.

My kids are using the Glasser *composite* bows (1/2 and 3/4).  These seem to be a good value at about 1/2 the price of entry carbon-fibre bows, and from all I've read, they perform as well.  My daughter made the local youth symphony tryouts playing La Folia (Suzuki book 6) with the bow, so I don't think it's a huge impediment - her teacher hasn't said anything, anyway.  (They are ugly, and have cheesy wraps, so don't expect the finest.)

Under $500, finding a bad wooden bow is easier than finding a good one.  Entry CF bows are a better bet.  Some folks would move that amount upwards quite a bit, but I think you can get a decent wooden bow if you look around for under $1000.  However, you have to look around.  CF is still pretty hard to beat in that price range, though.  Coda is a good name.  As with everything else, Chinese imports are driving the price down. Andrew Victor's CF bow review has been linked here before.  It's starting to be a bit dated, but a great place to start.

If you're talking bows for children, just don't even think about wood.  If it's cheap enough that breakage isn't a concern, it's junk.

Offline Bob

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Re:That first violin
« Reply #10 on: Oct 06, 2003, 06:41:35 PM »
My kids are using the Glasser *composite* bows (1/2 and 3/4).  These seem to be a good value at about 1/2 the price of entry carbon-fibre bows, and from all I've read, they perform as well.  My daughter made the local youth symphony tryouts playing La Folia (Suzuki book 6) with the bow, so I don't think it's a huge impediment - her teacher hasn't said anything, anyway.  (They are ugly, and have cheesy wraps, so don't expect the finest.)


On student (ie low priced) CF bows there isn't much around - but composites are another matter. I've tried the Glasser CF bow, was singularly unimpressed and found it well-overpriced in the UK - although I suspect the cheaper composite may be better value.

What does impress me however (at least for the price) are the CF composite bows that the Soundpost (distributors of Prima et al in the UK) sell for 75.  I gather (and this is slightly more than rumour) that these are made for Eastman under another name so careful examination of their catalogue may reveal what they call it in the US.

Also.... Eastman are in negociation with a UK distributor to import their Cadenza CF bows. These seem to be getting very good reports in the US and are priced quite reasonably - although what price they'll be in the UK is anybody's guess. I hear that they give Coda a good run for the money... which can't be bad.

Offline SuperDad

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Re:Re:That first violin
« Reply #11 on: Oct 07, 2003, 05:37:19 PM »
This is another newbie question.  Has anyone experimented with trying bows intended for different length violins, as in using a 3/4's bow with a 4/4's violin or vice versa?

Offline dalebygod

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Re:Re:That first violin
« Reply #12 on: Oct 07, 2003, 06:34:29 PM »
i havent but vassar uses a bit longer bow . two inches longer i believe, but don't hold me to it.
got a minute? check this out!
www.fiddlehell.com

 




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