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40

It actually has to do with the physics of sound production for the bowed string instruments. The sound is produced on the viol family of instruments by the string "slipping across" the bow. That is, the bow catches (by friction) the string, displaces it a certain distance, until the restorative force from the tension in the string overcomes the friction ...


28

Beside Willie Wong's nice answer, a double-bass player needs more pressure on the bow than a violin player. The longer the distance between your hand and the tip of the bow, the greater the force your wrist would need to apply. In other words, playing the double-bass with a bow as long as a violin's may require too much wrist strength for playing with the ...


7

A few years ago I asked this exact question to the archetier who made my bow. According to him, bow weight and flexibility are the things to have in mind when having a bow built. These are the things that make a difference in a bow. Now about it being round or octagonal, it was a purely aesthetic decision. The bow can be heavier or lighter, jumpy or ...


7

For a given instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass is more complicated), the tuning of a fractional size instrument (1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 are commonly seen, 7/8 used to be frequently called "lady's cello") is always the same as the full size instrument. viola is a bit complicated because professionals have different sizes (15', 16', sometimes 17' for ...


6

The screw plays several roles: The hair can (and should) be loosened when not playing so that the bow is not constantly subjected to hair tension. It's the same reason some people recommend loosening guitar strings when storing a guitar for a longer period of time, except a guitar neck has the advantage of a stiff metal rod inside it, which the violin bow ...


6

When you draw a bow across the strings, you are imparting energy into the combined physical system of the violin and the bow. What you want is for as much of that energy as possible to be transmitted to the strings, which transmit it to the bridge, which transmit it into the violin and then out to the air. Like anything else, a bow isn't 100% efficient; ...


5

I am not positive about this, but I think cutting the bow as an octagonal might make the bow a little bit stiffer. So bow makers might do it if they feel that particular cut of wood could benefit from a little more stiffness. However, as I said, I am not sure about this. As far as which to select, I think there is no reason to chose one or the other. The ...


5

The term martelé refers to "hammered", meaning this that the section is to be played aggressively spiccato. The term détaché refers to "separated", as in clear and articulated notes, not necessarily marked in any way.


5

Usually the three-quarter or other smaller than standard violins are for younger, smaller children. A full sized violin would be way too much for a three or four year old to handle. The bow is appropriately smaller, as well. The spoken lengths of the strings are obviously in proportion, and a child will have to re-adapt when it grows big enough for the next ...


5

3/4 means three quarters size as opposed to full size. The tuning can be the same, but the scale length is different, which means string length and tension (and thickness) are different. So while you use the same techniques, the finger positioning will vary. The reason for these different size instruments is the difference in tonal quality. The resonant ...


5

I would like to point out 2 very inspiring people to me. First is Adrian Anantawan: Second is Casey Driessen: ...


5

The reports I've heard are: The grooves in the base of the e-bow do not align with bass strings, thus it is more difficult (though not impossible) to get a steady, consistent placement of the bow at the right location over the string. Due to their thickness, it is more difficult for the ebow to activate the strings; thus you are more likely to need to ...


5

Yes, you can use a bass bow. Not sure why Tim above said that a cello bow is longer than a violin one - it's the other way round, which is why a cello bow is better than a violin bow for saw playing. Not sure why the person in the 1st answer thinks long notes would be difficult with a shorter bow - most sawists don't bow continuously like violinists - you ...


4

I did some research on this and found some very strong indicators that the string is indeed pressed against the fingerboard. The most convincing point is offered in this book on composing for japanese instruments. The chapter on the Kokyu starts at p.112 and likens many techniqual aspects of playing to the Shamisen, where the strings do indeed touch the ...


4

Standard appears to be a violin bow, but a longer cello or string bass bow would do. Personally, I'd keep my bass bow for that instrument, and have a dedicated saw bow. Not sure how much wear and tear on the hair it produces, but having a second bow to your string has always been thought of as something good...


4

I've done the following on many bows. Never damaged any bow. Water mixed with some detergent, in a mug or bowl. Unscrew and remove the nut. bring the nut near tip. Ask someone to hold the bow stick in one hand and the nut in other hand, so the bow hair hangs like a U. Tricky part: Dip parts of bow hair in the soap-water. Rub the wet bow hair along its ...


4

It's definitely not the water that damaged the bow hairs. If it was the water, it probably just wasn't thorough enough, and ended up just making the hair sticky instead. You can wash it in soap water, or better yet, horse hair shampoo. Bow hair is horse hair, after all. Just be sure to wash off the soap/shampoo really really well, or the rosin won't stick. ...


4

Essentially, the hair is held in place at both ends of the bow by wooden wedges. To change the hair, you need to gently remove the old wedges and cut new ones, then push the hair back into place under the new wedge. No glue is used at all. The length of the hair doesn't need to be super accurate because the bow is obviously adjusted with the tightening ...


4

Détaché - Simply meaning detached, it implies that each note is played in a separate bow stroke (as oppose to Legato where groups of notes should be smoothly played in the same stroke of the bow.) The bowing should still be smooth without emphasis on the separation - this emphasis would imply a Détaché-lancé bow stroke. Martelé - Hammered. Simply speaking, ...


3

'Martele' could be described as a long staccato. Staccato is a short stroke executed with very short bow length, biting the string at the beginning of the note, releasing the pressure and moving energetic but very short and biting again for the next note. Martele is executed in a similar way, only the energetic movement involves much longer bow and more ...


2

Short answer is yes. I've heard the saw played with bows of all sizes, and in one concert, with a wooden dowel (just add rosin). In my experience, a saw takes more physical pressure than a violin if you want a good tone. The shorter length of the bass and cello bows is an advantage for this, because the further you get from where you are gripping the bow, ...


2

1/4, 2/4... 4/4 are instrument proportion measurements. A child will often play in a 1,2 or 3 quarters of original size (4/4). Normally a professional instrument is a 4/4 size. The term 4/4 is most used in Schools/Student context. What changes between them is the string length, and with that the space between fingers to tune properly. The proportion between ...


2

In the bass world, size matters. :) Very few players use a full size bass (it's huge), except some orchestral players. The standard size is ⅞, and ¾ size basses are popular, too.


2

According to this guy, this type of fast Spiccato should actually be called Sautille: He gives a good demonstration of how to go about it in that video. Perhaps you should also watch ...


2

They shouldn't sound any different. They're gripped differently, which causes there to be certain tendencies, but the goal is for them to sound the same. Any skilled player should be able to play both and make them sound indistinguishable.


2

This is how I do it, product of inputs from my colleagues, teachers and my own experiences: pre-note: if the bow hair does not hold the roisin, you have either very old bow hair, or have dirty bow hair. There are products to clean it, some say plain water is the best. I use hand soap (the solid one, less chemicals the best). #1 - put tension in the bow ...


2

For an actually newly haired bow (unlikely in your case), it may help "sanding" the rosin a bit with a knife. Actual sandpaper might get a bit messy but is also possible. At any rate: you'll not be doing yourself a favor by using old rosin: after a few years it dries out and gets more dusty than sticky in its qualities, leading to a scratchy tone quality. ...


1

I had the same question for my bow on my double bass. I guess the simplest answer is to try it out. Put a little rosin on your bow and play. If the bow hair does not 'stick' on the strings, it needs more; otherwise it is good to play. Put some more rosin and repeat step (1). Just be careful not to put too much rosin on the bow. If you put too much, ...


1

It can certainly be adjusted for different playing styles and conditions as mentioned already, and this is definitely something to bear in mind. However, the primary reason is really to preserve the condition of the bow when not in use, and is why you should always loosen your bow off when you're not using it. Constantly subjecting the wooden rod of the bow ...


1

It ain't necessarily so... I have two bass bows, the shorter of which is about the same length as my cello bow...



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