Adding weight to bow tip. Yes or no?
I have an amazing Grimm bow that I paid a pretty penny for at a luthiers shop. I adore the sound it produces. But...it’s too light for me. I’ve been having issues playing quiet, slow passages and it just bounces all over the place. I finally weighed it this evening: 52g. Any suggestions on getting it a tad heavier? The balance point is around 10.5 inches. I really don’t want to purchase another bow! I’ve tried changing up my technique to accommodate the lightness but it’s not working.
I’ve read about adding silver to the tip but any suggestions are welcome!
A Grimm bow is an old German trade bow, I think. I wouldn't expect it to be a non-standard weight.
I’m definitely going to take it in. I gotta have some more weight!
Why are not the adjustment(s) in right
Mass can be added to either end of the bow by adding high-density metal weights inside either the tip or frog (lead or even higher SG). Also a higher-density wire wrap on the stick near the frog will add more weight. You want to be sure to either keep the balance point where it is or adjust the tip and frog weights to move it to where you want it do be. (Ifshin inserted 1+gram weights into the tips of 2 of my ARCUS Concerto bows to move the balance point to a more conventional location. I feel this improved the bows' performance for me without changing the sonic characteristics.)
Andrew! Just the answers I was needing, thank you!!!
If the balance point is at 10.5 inches then you can add weight at the frog end, i.e heavier lapping to bring the balance closer to 9.5 inches.
"I’ve been having issues playing quiet, slow passages and it just bounces all over the place..."
Do check the accuracy of your scale. 52g would be very unusual for a full size violin bow. Even if it is 52G, adding 8-10 grams to get it to "standard" weight would probably ruin the bow.
The thing about an Arcus, especially the higher-end Arcus bows, is that they are really designed to have that light weight feel good and well-controlled in your hand. An Arcus S8 or S9, for instance, doesn't feel like it's flying off the string due to the weight. The bow settles into the string well, and off-the-string strokes are readily controlled. You have a little bit of an adaptation period, but it's really not significantly different from the adaptation period of other bows.
Hi Scott! I’ve been playing 35 years so I’ve been around for quite some time and play professionally in various groups.
Any metal added to the bow will impact the quality of sound produced. Bouncing bow has more to do with overall bow design, balance, curvature and thickness that the actual mass. If you can afford another bow, do not waste your time in developing compensatory bad habits.
This is a problem to discuss with a top-notch bow-maker/restorer. If it's not something relatively simple, like the bow originally having come with heavier silver lapping, my guess is that the best solution is to get another bow.
Unless previous restorations changed the original weight of the bow, adding that much weight will move too far from what the original maker intended. An ethical restorer might prudently refuse to do such work. If you are in the mid-Atlantic area I recommend Josh Henry. He is located a little west of Harper's Ferry.
Just to add: I have a good German trade bow in my case, and it had a very heavy metal winding. I had it taken off, and while it was lighter, it never really sounded the same. Weight does seem to produce a more focused sound in many instruments.
If it's a Grimm bow, surely you'd expect it to be fairy weight?
Does the name on the brand happen to say "Grimm, R."?
Is there a video demonstrating variations due to bow weight?
Fairy weight! Hahahaha :)
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