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Author Topic: Bow upgrades  (Read 837 times)

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Offline BigDaddy

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Bow upgrades
« on: Sep 27, 2018, 01:47:31 AM »
I'm thinking about investing in a better bow for my Eastman 305, probably early next year. It came with a low cost pernambuco. What's the usual criteria? Match to the level of the instrument (intermediate) or go with higher quality?

Offline Joe Gerardi

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Re: Bow upgrades
« Reply #1 on: Sep 27, 2018, 02:25:43 AM »
Buy the best you can afford, don't care about matching it to the cost of the instrument, just make sure it draws a great tone from the fiddle. You'll probably buy a better violin in the future, and the bow will still work.

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

Offline Nick2

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Re: Bow upgrades
« Reply #2 on: Sep 29, 2018, 10:04:25 PM »
Try a few out on your fiddle before you buy.  My experience of buying bows is that they are very individual.
Some like the heavier and some lighter weight bows, but once that's established, try plenty out over a price range between what you have now and what you think you might be able to afford.  No two bows are identical , even from the same maker and same nominal model.

Also, if possible try your shortlisted ones at home if you can, or in a room where you can play the hardest stuff you play without worrying about people hearing you.
It's when you are playing things that are right on your limit of speed, position etc, that you will notice the differences from the better bows. They'll be just that bit easier to play and more controllable than the lower quality ones, whereas on easy stuff you won't notice the difference so much. So try them out with pieces that push you to the limits of your technique. That can be a  bit embarrassing in the middle of a shop!

There will come a point as you go up through the price range where you find there appears to be not much improvement in tone or playability.
The really pricey bows are probably better - but you won't notice, till you start playing really  tricky stuff eg high up the neck at high speed with advanced bowing techniques etc. 

So then if you think there's a reasonable chance you'll improve your technique and discover the extra play-ability, the as Joe said just go for the best you can afford.
Now ear this!

Offline BigDaddy

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Re: Bow upgrades
« Reply #3 on: Sep 30, 2018, 02:01:25 AM »
Thanks for all the good advice. It looks like I will have to travel a couple of hours to find a shop with a decent selection of bows for comparison. The only local shop that has a variety of quality bows caters to cellos!

Offline Joe Gerardi

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Re: Bow upgrades
« Reply #4 on: Sep 30, 2018, 06:20:02 AM »
Take a really good player with you.

A story: I have a Caressa and Franšais bow c. 1910. It does everything I could want it to do. That said, my teacher pointed out a (circa) 2.5 inch section on the bow that doesn't respond like the rest. The weight gets a little hinky in that section. At the same time, he has said it's the best bow for Spicatto and Sautille he's ever played.

Point is, I wouldn't know that- then. Now, I pointed it out to him, and he confirmed, meaning my control is to the point that I want to bow to do what I want, when I want. In ten years, I might feel that section becomes  a deal breaker for me, and I need something else, but I never knew about it when I got it because I'm wasn't good enough. He is, and was able to see things in it I could not, and you might not.

So bring a really good player with you- don't depend on him/her for weight, feel,  or responsiveness, because those are personal: but depend on him/her to be able to tell you every little nuance the bow might have.

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

 




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