Bent bow - effect on playing?

February 4, 2013 at 03:55 PM · Obviously bows should be straight - but even if they are bent the hairs are obviously straight between teh tip and heel. Thus, are there anypredictable outcomes of having a bent bow.

I ask becaues it seems hard to maintain a straight bow line - I'm pretty sure its the bow because my old german one (heavy perambuco and perfectly straight) seems to pull much better.

Replies (5)

February 4, 2013 at 05:18 PM · Is the bend mostly apparent when the hair is tightened? Or, does it look relatively straight when the hair is completely loose? Is it simply a bad rehair job where the hair being too short on one side forces the stick to bend laterally on tightening.

February 4, 2013 at 05:45 PM · Have you talked to a bowmaker about having it recambered? Then there would be no curve. :)

February 4, 2013 at 08:44 PM · Its a bruised old bow - Bauch workshop about 1945. It has a repaired (spliced) head and the bend was much worse before I got it fixed - its not a bad hair job (though it went through one of those too,looked like an archery bow, no kidding). Whats left I don't think is fixable.

But what happens if a bow taut but bent?

Actually it may be moot. I'm in philadephia and went to the main violin shop here - Frederick W. Oster Fine Violins- to look at bows. They were most accomodating and let me twiddle around for hours comparing the cheap end - even let me try an $18K french bow (writing was too small for me to identify who's, cept something'Paris'). My oh my, interesting how much of playing is determined by the quality of the bow!

Anyhow, I bought a Tubbs for 900. No, not that Tubbs, a german Tubbs copy - which was very nice in the hand with a good (but not the greatest tone, can't have it all). Also left behind some nice german bows in the 1-1.5 K range.

So bendy-bow will be relegated to backup and best bow (my old german one with the nicest tone but irritating action) will be reserved for largo performances!

Now, how to get 18K together...

February 5, 2013 at 01:19 PM · A very recent bow purchase has been pulling a little to the right in the way you describe. I notice that bowings where I lift and replace the bow seem to bounce oddly, and that a stroke intended for a full tone degrades around the middle of the bow. I've had the bow worked on once for this already. I like it otherwise, but I have thoughts of trading it back.

February 5, 2013 at 06:17 PM · Sounds familiar - it could be a poor rehairing: if the hairs are not perfectly paralell you get torsion when you tighten. Is the bow straight when the hairs are both loose and taught?

Meanwhile the new bow is awesome, the most lively one I've had and also the lightest. I'm going to have to improve my technique to control it tho...

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