Adjusting to a super-light (48 gram) carbon bow
I've just acquired an Arcus S-series carbon bow and I'd love to hear from other Arcus users about what adjustments they make in order to handle this incredibly light (48-gram) stick.
The light weight makes it easier to maintain control through fast passagework & string crossings. But it is more challenging to get the bow off the string in mixed slur-staccato passages.
Basically I think this bow has the potential to be a game changer for Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn and certainly solo Bach, but it requires a different technique in some ways similar to a baroque bow.
I'm finding I need a softer grip, more of a fingertip type grip, less of the Franco-Belgian lever action -- need as much finger flexibility as I can get. I'm also moving my hand up 1/2 to 3/4 inch inch on the stick similar to the way many people hold a baroque bow.
I'm tremendously impressed with the bow's capabilities -- the speed and responsiveness are off the charts, and, unlike a lightweight pernambuco bow, you don't sacrifice any strength.
But I think it requires a different technique and I'd love to hear what other Arcus users have found out. Thanks in advance.
It does require some time to adjust to it - I've had an ARCUS Concerto violin bow since they first came out. I got the cello and viola ARCUS bows a little later.
I play full-time on an Arcus S8 violin bow (round) these days, and previously owned a Concerto and Cadenza from their previous lineup. I had a detour of many years to an excellent roster of vintage French bows (and one exceptional Hill), and those were very nice! However the Arcus is now my bow of choice. It pairs well with my violin, and I've adapted to the bow's properties so it isn't lacking for any tone production or strokes. I certainly don't want to go through the rigmarole of acquiring CITES paperwork for my bow to travel with me ever again (it is a pile of pain)!
Thank you, Andrew and Gene, these are really good ideas and they fit with my experience so far.
I have a 48g Sonata Arcus Bow.
I've been playing violin with Arcus bows for a few years now. I have three of them, which is arguably two more than I really need. But they're all different models, an S, an M, and an A, and they all have their own subtle characteristics. My current favorite is my A series, which is the same weight as an S, but a bit softer like an M.
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