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What should i get first?
Deciding to get a bow or strings and better shoulder rest.
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MikeV
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October 9, 2012 - 7:14 pm
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I got some cash burning a hole in my pocket. amuse
I was wondering if I should get FM's cf bow first or if I should get a better shoulder rest and zyex strings instead to help improve my playing and sound. Unfortunately I can't afford all three right now. Any thoughts, suggestions appreciated. laugh
( I have a cecilio cvn300. The 2 bows it came with are not that great. They are losing hairs now.)

"The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work." - Mark Twain

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Picklefish
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October 9, 2012 - 7:21 pm
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Thats hard. Get the bow.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Fiddlestix
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October 9, 2012 - 8:36 pm
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Mike, If I had to make the choice of the three, I would opt for the new Zyex string's. You'll enjoy playing more if your violin produces a nicer sound. As far as making you a better player, only time and practice can do that for you.

Unless your bow's are losing hair a enormous rate, I would continue using them until such time I could afford the new CF bow. Try not to keep your bow's in their case, there's too much can happen to them in there,, IE: bow bug's, i'm serious about that. Actually bow bug's from what my luthier told me were like carpet mite's, you can't see them but, they are there. I have lost the hair a few time's by putting them in the case's.

I seriously think your violin will sound much nicer with new string's, Zyex.

But, that's just my opinion.

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cdennyb
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October 9, 2012 - 9:22 pm
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I'd get the bow.

Half the sound you make comes from the bow anyway and the strings aren't worn out yet right (?) so the bow would de the biggest investment and make the most difference.

Plenty of time to upgrade strings in a couple of months when you will most notice the difference in the playing and sound you make.

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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MikeV
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October 9, 2012 - 9:22 pm
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I was leaning toward the bow too, Picklefish.

Fiddlestix : I appreciate your input. I have heard so many good things about zyex strings. I would love to hear the improvement in sound. The original cheap steel strings are hard to listen to for a long time. I didn't mean to imply that these would make me play better. I meant to say that would they allow me to be able to learn to improve my playing easier? ( the right "tool" for the right job, sort of thing). The bows are not losing hairs that fast. Couple here and there after playing. I do keep them out of the case most of the time. The tension is not that great either. I have heard of bow bugs too. Thanks. hats_off

Well.... before I decide, I would like to see if I get any more advice.

So far, thanks guys! smile

"The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work." - Mark Twain

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MikeV
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October 9, 2012 - 9:31 pm
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I was writing the last post when you posted yours Dennis. That was what I was thinking. I think my A string is going. But should last another month or two.beg I was trying to decide what would be the more important improvement to make sooner than later. Thanks!

"The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work." - Mark Twain

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screeeech
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October 9, 2012 - 10:01 pm
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The answer depends do you have pain when playing or right after? If so i suggest the shoulder rest.

 

If not the strings will make the most difference with your sound. I have a junk bow and a CF bow the difference at my beginning skill level is minimal in the sound.

I really prefer the feel but for the sound go strings!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 9, 2012 - 10:11 pm
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Have you tested any shoulder rests?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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MikeV
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October 9, 2012 - 10:26 pm
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I have not tested any shoulder rests Pierre. The one I use I made out of a dense foam sponge.It is about 3 1/2 in thick. It is not painful during or after playing. I can't seem to relax my left hand as much as I would like. I can support the violin with minimal pressure. It doesn't slip.dunno

"The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work." - Mark Twain

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pky
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I would suggest a bow first then strings.  However, if your strings was the original one that come with the violin, then I would say strings first. (I do notice that the strings that came with my daughter's violin last shorter than those extra strings that came with the violin -- the first set lasted about four months, and the second set lasted for about eight months. )

I think the bow cost more than the strings on fiddlershop.com.

for shoulder rest, you could try a pad like the FM's pad. My daughter just use a regular sponge with elastic band which is cheap and if it works for you then you save money for other accessories.

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cdennyb
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October 10, 2012 - 12:35 am
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So, financially speaking here, I assume you have enough cash to do either:

A- strings and a rest

B- a bow alone

C- Save your money and just buy a whole new outfit in 6 months! LOL

 

no really, if you have enough to buy the bow, meaning like $70 or so...then you have enough to get good strings AND a rest of your choice... just a thought.dunno

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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MikeV
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October 10, 2012 - 2:46 am
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exactly Dennis. birthday_balloon

I do appreciate everyone's suggestions. Thanks.

"The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work." - Mark Twain

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Fiddlerman
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October 10, 2012 - 11:23 am
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I somehow worry about suggesting a shoulder rest without knowing what build you have. Also, the chin-rest should be chosen first, IMO.
I had for a while a system where we shipped chin-rests around to different members but that was costly for us in the end. Shipping costs are way too much to cover the small margins on our chin-rests.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Fiddlestix
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October 10, 2012 - 3:49 pm
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Are you clear yet on what you want to buy first ?... So many idea's, I'd just go buy a pair of roller skate's, save all the cofusion.

After reading what was your dilemma, I tested 3 different bow's on both my violin's. One vioin has Zyex the other has helicore, which I just put on last week, I took off the Zyex string's on my Chinese violin and put the helicore's on. The only difference I heard in sound was the difference in string's and the quality of the violin, the bow's made no difference in sound on either violin.

I would venture to say that the string's on your CVN-300 are original and probably $ 10.00 at best. You might as well use bailing wire.

A nice sound will encourage you more to play. I think. As far as a shoulder rest goes, many player's don't use one (including FM) just a pad held with rubber band's, that's what I use.

But you are the deciding factor in this mess of suggestion's.  confused

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cdennyb
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October 10, 2012 - 5:39 pm
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That is so interesting... I also didn't notice THAT much difference between the cheap Chinese bow and the CF bow when used on the Chinese violin but when I played them on the 90 yr old German one, (also has Zyex on it) I noticed a BIG difference, mostly in the action of the hair against the strings more than the sound, but there was a definate sound difference, more smooth and clear if that makes any sense.

The wooden Pernambuco (90+ yr old bow) with new hair also made a BIG difference as well, coming in a very close second to the CF bow when played on the German violin. Same result on the Chinese one though.

The CF, Pernambuco and Chinese bows all sound and have the same results on the Kohr violin as they do on the German one. So... my unscientific analysis would tend to indicate that if the quality is higher of the instrument to make a "better" sound (whatever that is) then the bow does in fact make a difference in the sound produced, some more pronounced results than others.thumbs-up

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Oliver
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October 10, 2012 - 7:04 pm
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Sure, the better instruments offer a wider range of good sounds so there is more opportunity for a bow to exhibit whatever magic it has.  No bow can modify/improve sound that is not there in the first place.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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DanielB
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I have 3 bows I play (or have played) with, none of them great.  The "free" one that came with my Mendini was the worst for hair.  Not pretty hair, and not combed out well when it was made, so it did actually tend to have a "scratchier" sound.  But not all that different really.

One bow that I re-haired for someone else with synthetic "Hervex" was also a bit different.  It took rosin ok and all, but it did sound a little different.  If I had to make a guess, I'd say it did a little more fundamental and a little less harmonics in the sound.  In other words, the opposite of "scratchier".

So I think the hair can make at least some difference.  But I think the type/brand of rosin makes at least as much difference.  My two main bows are a A. Breton and a Shar, both inexpensive student models, nothing special.  But the hair is clean and nice and straight.  I like how they both play, but they are different, and I'll use one for some things and the other for other things.

Where I think the big difference is the bows themselves would be in how they play.  The balance and stiffness weight are different on each of them, and that makes them different in how easy it is to get certain sounds or how different transitions between notes will feel.  You might want one for a certain style of music and the other for another style.  But I'm not sure as there is a "best" in things like that, it comes down to what you like and what works for you (and what you happen to have at the moment).

Of course, I've only played on cheap or "free" bows.  I might get to play with some really nice bow someday and decide that it is just "magic". 

When I had been playing a couple of weeks or so, I went into a music shop and tried an inexpensive student bow.  It was great, felt comfortable and lighter and I was very happy with that.  But after I'd played for a month or two more, the old bow that had come free with my electric wasn't so bad.  My bow hand had muscled up and gotten a bit of control.  So sometimes I would still use the old "free" bow when I wanted a bow that was a bit stiffer and more top-heavy, since for some things, it just handles a little nicer.

I'd say it can be worth at least trying another bow if the one you have feels heavier or clumsier, or you just want to see if there's something you like better.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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MikeV
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October 10, 2012 - 7:34 pm
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FM: I have an average build. It looks like I have about 2 1/2 - 3 in space from jaw to collarbone, if that helps. Before deciding on chin or shoulder rest changes, I think I will check out the music store near by. They supply school kids with various instruments. They might have a large enough selection of rests to try.
They are quite pricey though. I would stick with fiddlershop for any purchases. wink
Fiddlestix:
I can't rollerskate that well so I'm stuck with the violin amuse
thanks for your "research" fiddlestix. Your results are helpful.

Dennis: my bows are pernambuco but it seems to me that other bows (higher quality?) look like they have more hair on them. At a beginner level maybe it isn't crucial to have a really nice bow right away. dunno
Are zyex strings the best for better sound on a Chinese violin? The original strings do sound crappy now.

Are zyex the best choice for

"The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work." - Mark Twain

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MikeV
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October 10, 2012 - 8:31 pm
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Daniel, I didn't see your post right after my last one. I agree with your assessment of the "free" bow. Mine have poorly combed hair too. I thought that was partly responsible for the occasional scratchy sounds (mostly on a and e strings) not just me. I'm glad that someone else thinks that poor bow hair can cause scratchiness too.cheers

Oliver: you are right.

Thanks for your advice and experiences, guys.

"The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work." - Mark Twain

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cdennyb
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October 10, 2012 - 8:43 pm
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MikeV said
...>>>

Dennis: my bows are pernambuco but it seems to me that other bows (higher quality?) look like they have more hair on them. At a beginner level maybe it isn't crucial to have a really nice bow right away. dunno
Are zyex strings the best for better sound on a Chinese violin? The original strings do sound crappy now.

Mike, I seriously doubt the bows you have are made from Pernambuco wood...more likely snakewood or other hardwood that the Chinese use now-a-days. The Pernambuco bows cost upwards of several hundred if not thousands $$.

I used Zyex on my Chinese violin and didn't like the sound or tone, so ...I instead went to the steel core Preludes and they really sound awesome. My older German violin got the ZYex mainly because the violin was designed and built for a gut or synthetic core type string, since steel core strings hadn't been invented yet.

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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