Questions tagged [bow]

a shaped stick with horsehair or other material stretched between its ends, which is used to stroke the string and create sound

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5
votes
1answer
48 views

Microdynamics of bow rosin and strings

Discussion in comments here questions whether the rosin on bow hairs changes physical characteristics in the course of stimulating vibration in a string. Consensus seems to be that: the physical ...
4
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3answers
5k views

Difference between a baroque violin bow and a normal violin bow

I just came across a baroque violin bow while browsing for strings, which looks like this: Is there any real difference between this and a normal violin bow, or is it just cosmetic? After a quick ...
23
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4answers
16k views

What should I consider when I see a loose hair in a violin bow?

This drawing should do: These are the hairs of a brand new bow. Straight, clean, etc. I noticed this: As you can see, it seems like a certain hair is a bit loose. Is this bad? (I.e., does it ...
6
votes
1answer
158 views

Why are string bows so hairy?

All violin bows I have seen are designed to hold a width of at least 1cm of hair. However, in my string training, I was always taught to rotate the bow so that only the outer-most hairs contact the ...
22
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2answers
2k views

Why are modern string bows concave instead of convex?

Every bow that I have seen used to play an orchestral stringed instrument, regardless of the style of music being played, has the same concave design. By concave I mean that there is a slight curve ...
2
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3answers
225 views

Optimal storage conditions for a violin

What are the optimal conditions to store my violin in? A person in my orchestra recently suffered damage to her violin due to the strings tightening and breaking the bridge and I want to ensure I can ...
15
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4answers
12k views

How to remove all traces of rosin from a bow?

I saw once the case of a beginner violinist who turned out to be allergic to a specific type of rosin that came with his student violin outfit. Another hypoallergenic rosin was purchased and they used ...
9
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1answer
135 views

How was the bow invented?

The way of making sound on the strings of a bowed string instrument by rubbing them with a bow made from horsehair appears to me as something so particular that it must have been very hard and ...
5
votes
2answers
552 views

Which way do I tilt the bow hair?

I've been playing the viola for quite a few years. Recently I got a 16.5" viola and noticed that it was harder not to get a scratchy tone, especially on the A string. I noticed that tilting the bow ...
17
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5answers
19k views

What is the difference between 'martelé and 'détaché' bowing?

As the title asks, I wish it could be clear to me. Can someone give me a good characterization? Do you produce them differently on a cello than on a violin or viola?
4
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1answer
265 views

Is it time to replace my violin bow?

I am an advanced (post grade-8) violin student and I have had my bow for about 3 years. I've been playing intense pieces and although I have lost some hair, the density of the bow is still really good....
2
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3answers
167 views

String Instrument Bowings

In this picture I have provided: Does the one down bow mean all the notes are down bows? Or, all the notes are down up down up...bows starting on down?
2
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3answers
390 views

What is the standard way to keep the humidity level within the violin case high?

Is the lack of humidity the reason why a Carbon Fiber bow might get less stretched?
0
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1answer
56 views

Violo Bridge Adjustments

Is there any standard width height or breadth for violin bridges. I think I over sanded my bridge but it was pretty cheap it came with a 200 dollar violin. Can I sand the bridge myself carefully? Can ...
18
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3answers
6k views

Should I loosen the tension on the bow for a break?

According to Violin for Dummies, we should loosen the horsehair before put violin back in the case. However, I always give myself about an hour break after I play violin for 1 to 2 hours. Should I ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Placing the thumb in the spider exercise for bow

I just started playing the violin a few days ago. I looked at a few videos here an there before and after my first violin lesson, and of course, the spider exercises came up a few times (including ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Rebend Violin bow

According to this answer, one can 'reheat and rebend' a violin bow. I have an old bow (poor-quality, it is weighted badly and needs rehairing) that is very slack and I'm guessing needs rebending. I ...
5
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2answers
903 views

Tips for bowing in the Spiccato-esque part of Tchaikovsky's Pezzo Capriccioso on the cello?

See this video, about three minutes in, for details: I'm having difficulty achieving the 'spiccato' sound at sufficient speed, and am looking for tips on the bowing ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

Is it possible to “unbend” a warped bow of a string instrument?

When a bow of a string instrument warps due to misuse, neglect, or some other reason, can one forcefully "unbend" the bow to fix it. If not, what are other ways un-warp the bow other than bringing it ...
8
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2answers
347 views

How do I keep my E string from “squeaking”?

Start out by saying that I play the violin. It's a known phenomenon (at least to me :) ) that sometimes, when you are playing on the A and D strings and suddenly switch to an open E, the E string "...
4
votes
3answers
340 views

Bowed single string instrument with lever?

Ok, so, imagine you had a one-stringed violin, except that rather than press your fingers on the string, you used a lever, kinda like a whammy bar. Does anybody know of such an instrument? Otherwise,...
3
votes
2answers
378 views

How do you hold a bow without getting finger cramps?

Whenever I play the cello, my hand tends to get sore the longer I hold my bow. I try to bend my thumb, but whenever I do, the bow slips.
3
votes
3answers
866 views

What are the possible reasons of violin bow jumping?

I am a beginner that is learning to play the violin. Sometimes my bow is "jumping" out of my control. This seems to depend on my right hand, as it does it only sometimes, not every time I play. What ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the most effective way to clean the rosin off the strings?

When I use my bow to play double bass, there is always rosin stuck on the strings afterwards. If I leave that on the string for some time, it gets really hard to clean and the bow sticks to the ...
6
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4answers
2k views

How to improve jerky bowing on the violin

Well, I've been playing the violin for more than six years and, of course, I enjoy it immensely. I fancy myself rather good at it, but today I had the idea to record myself playing. I'm super glad I ...
1
vote
1answer
416 views

How to apply the right amount of rosin to a bow?

I was wondering if I was applying a bit too much rosin to my violin bow. I noticed that my violin strings are turning white, with white powder specks on the fingerboard and around the F holes. So I ...
6
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5answers
2k views

How do you play two consecutive up bows?

I am currently learning Hunters' Chorus, and was a little confused about something by the marked note: As you can see, the note is supposed to be played as an up-bow, but when you are playing this ...
1
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1answer
61 views

Plastic ring on bow?

Does anyone know why the plastic ring in the photo below would be put on the bow for an instrument? I thought maybe it would be to help shuck off broken strings, or somehow vary the tension, but ...
11
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2answers
1k views

What is different in double bass bows with black hair?

Looking at various double bass bows, I noticed that some of them have black hair, like for instance: I'm not sure if this happens to bows from other instruments as well, but is there any difference ...
4
votes
1answer
573 views

Violin - Scratch Notes as Technique

A friend told me about an "advanced" violin technique involving pressing down with the bow very hard (but not too hard) on a note, producing a kind of scratch note; When done right, however, this ...
10
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3answers
2k views

How should I store my bow if I'm not using it for long periods of time?

I have a bow that I don't use over long periods of time (over 6 months, at times). I generally release its tension, and just leave it out in the open. I recently wondered if this is enough, or if I ...
6
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1answer
589 views

What is a finger bow?

Today, a fellow double bassist, sent me this 'finger bow' : What is the purpose of such a thing?
6
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6answers
3k views

Why does bowed string instrument size matter?

In the string family, you can buy instruments that are described in fractional sizes, like 3/4 violin. Is the tuning always the same, no matter the size of the instrument? Why is the instrument size ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

The Kokyuu! (Holding down strings on bowed instruments)

I'm trying to learn a Japanese instrument called the Kokyuu (here, on the right), but I'm not sure if I should press the strings all the way against the neck, I was wondering if someone could help me ...
6
votes
1answer
806 views

What's the difference between the french and the german double bass bow?

There are two kind of bows for double bass: (French on top, German bottom) The related wiki article mentions some technique differences, but doesn't specify if the outcome is different or not. Is ...
10
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3answers
852 views

How to rosin a bow?

I very recently received a violin and am excited to start playing; however, my bow does not make sound. I googled it already but found very spotty instructions for how to rosin your bow for the first ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Does a guitar ebow work on bass?

I am interested in buying an electronic bow, but the one I found is for guitar. Would this ebow work for my bass? The description of the product says: E-Bow Plus - handheld electronic bow for ...
6
votes
3answers
946 views

Can I play Musical Saw with a Double Bass bow?

I am going to buy a musical saw soon, and I was wondering if I could use my double bass bow to play it. Q: Can I use my double bass bow to play the musical saw or do I have to get a new bow?
5
votes
1answer
230 views

Bow hold and broken thumb? Suggestions?

So it feels like I'm fighting the bow due to the angle of my thumb, it's not impossible but I could use a few pointers or suggestions. The standard bow hold is mildly ineffective for me.
9
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2answers
1k views

What purpose does adjusting the violin bow tension serve?

A violin bow has a screw that allows you to adjust the hairs' tension. Like a tuning peg so to speak. When I just got mine, I didn't pay attention to it. I worked with the tuning pegs because I knew ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

How does one change bow hair?

What are the steps to follow to unmount the hair from a bow and install a new set ? What kind of tools and products do you need beside a new set of bow hair ? How do you measure/adjust the length ...
11
votes
1answer
396 views

Are there reasons to choose between a round-section or an octogonal-section bow?

The initial part of a violin, viola, or cello bow in modern models is always octogonal, but the rest of the stick can be either of round section or octogonal-faceted. Is it simply a different ...
38
votes
2answers
13k views

Why are violin bows longer than viola bows, than cello bows, than double-bass bows ?

What is the logic behind this ? As the larger instruments have larger gaps between the strings, I would have expected a larger bow to accomodate more easily continuous bowing while changing strings.
8
votes
1answer
496 views

Why is (stiffness/speed of sound-travel of the wood) important for a bow?

High-end violin bows have been made for centuries out of permanbouc (a now rare and endangered brasilian wood) or equivalent woods and now synthetic material. Permambouc wood is praised for is ...