December 26, 2006 at 2:50 PMI received some Christmas money and am, of course, going to spend it on getting an acceptable bow to play the viola with, and viola (possibly violin instead...) lessons for this semester.
There are several choices I could make for the bow. I could get my real viola bow rehaired. I don't know anything about this bow. It is clumbsy for me, heavy, and awkward. It doesn't get into the strings well (which might be remedied by a re-hairing), and has a harsh-ish sound to it.
When I tried my crappy bow, not touched since 1997, missing 2/3 of it's hair, the viola had such a smoother, more subtle, gentler, rounder sound. And I had more fascility and control and flexability in my bow. Huh. So I do know that this violin bow is not great. But it somehow works for me on the viola.
The other thing to throw around is getting a new viola bow. I'd not be able to afford a bow above student range, and I feel that since I play professionally and at a post-masters level (is there such a thing?), a student bow would not be adequate, either, and then I'd just have two viola bows I am not happy with.
I'm leaning towards getting the violin bow rehaired and giving that a try.
Any advice? Do people DO that? Use a violin bow on the viola? Is it because I'm small, my viola is short, but heavy and wide, and I'm used to a violin bow because I was first a violinist? Or is it truly a sound preference and issue of personal desire for certain weights, balances, and feel?
I don't know what each bow weighs, but the viola bow is very thick, with not much gradation at the tip. My expensive violin bow is very thin, with most of the weight in the frog-half. The violin bow I'm thinking of getting haired adn using on the viola is a big thicker than my expensive violin bow, but it seems very light. Perhaps that is why I cna control it well, using my body for the weight when I need it, without a heavy bow to work around? My expensive violin bow doesn't work well on the viola, on the other hand...
Or is it something completely weird, like a bow with very little hair is something new and that I mistake with sound and agility?
I've only got a few hundred dollars to spend on the bow, if I'd like any work done to the viola as well (some shaving of the neck).
One last thing is that I read that a viola bow should be about the length of your viola. My viola is short, and I know a viola bow is longer than a violin bow. I don't use the last inch or maybe more of the viola bow anyway, because it would require inhumane twists of the bow wrist and go-go-gadget-arms to get far enough away to use it...
This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.