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Not off to a good start.............
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djroger
Milan, Illinois
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February 13, 2016 - 6:19 pm
Member Since: January 18, 2016
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bridge-1.jpgImage Enlarger Last month I posted in the "Introduce Yourself" section about my desire to get back to playing fiddle after a 21 year absence due to an accident that busted up my wrist, hand, and collarbone.

Just back from a long vacation where I was exposed to a pretty good fiddle player almost every night for that added "inspiration". 

Well, dug out the fiddle today and the first thing I found was all but about a 1/4" of hair was left on the bow with most being broken.  A pair of scissors trimmed away the broken hairs and I started to tune the strings. It didn't take long to realize something wasn't "right"............  The bridge is bowed pretty bad and there is no straightening it out.  I loosened all the strings and tried to pull it back some, but the bow in it has set.  Probably from sitting idle for 20 years.

Off to the local music store to buy a bridge, get the bow rehaired, and a also buy a new bow.  Things go downhill fast from here.  And, some severe "sticker-shock".

To rehair my existing bow:  $125

New, "student level" bow:  $195

They would not sell me a bridge, telling me that only the repair shop can install one.  Cost fitted and setup:  $150

I was also looking for a new case, since my fiddle and case are over 100 years old.  The case is getting pretty ragged.  But at $179 for a soft-side, I'll pass.

Looks like Fiddlershop is going to be getting an order from me today!

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damfino
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February 13, 2016 - 6:45 pm
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Wow, that's all quite a bit! Around here it's generally $50-$60 to rehair a bow (haven't been playing long enough to need to, but I asked my teacher what it costs around here).

Im surprised they wouldn't sell you a bridge, I wonder if that's normal with local shops? (I've never needed to buy one yet). 

Sounds like Fiddlershop will be the right place for you to get what you need.

Sorry that it isn't going smoothly for you, and hope that will change soon! 

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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mischa91
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February 13, 2016 - 9:16 pm
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You're right, those prices are high.  My shop trimmed & fitted a new bridge to mine for just under $40.  Fiddlershop will sort you out! 

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micra
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February 14, 2016 - 5:03 am
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For the sake of reference for others who might be looking for similar work to be done, I paid for the following additional work when I recently had Planetary Perfection pegs and new strings installed from a highly regarded shop in NC:

fit and carve violin bridge blank included $225.00

fit and carve violin soundpost, includes adjustment and one follow up adjustment $165.05

I will say that the difference in the balance, projection, and the sound of the instrument overall from before this work was quite significant.  The set-up makes a huge difference, that's for sure.  I paid a lot I guess for all this work, but I have not regretted it, for me it was worth it as I do not expect to upgrade to another violin- I really love this one.  I suspect there is a wide range of prices associated with luthier work, and probably a correspondingly wide range of talent for the work, as well.

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djroger
Milan, Illinois
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February 14, 2016 - 9:46 am
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I ordered a case, bridge, Fiddlerman shoulder rest, and a carbon-fiber bow last night from Fiddlershop.

I've fitted bridges before, but it has been a l o n g  time ago.  In the meantime, I may try steam-ironing the bridge I have to see if I can straighten it out since it is a higher-end Aubert.  Nothing to lose.........

I'm going to check with some other local music shops about getting my old bows rehaired for a cost.  I've never done this myself and not sure I want to try it!  The shop I checked with Saturday is the largest in the area and was the only one open on the Weekend, so I had nothing to compare it to.

I'm going to try out the Fiddlerman shoulder rest to see how it feels.  I used to use a small foam pad, but since the collarbone break, I can't pull my shoulder up much and it is very hard to support it without neck cramping.

Just playing around with it yesterday amazed me at how much I've forgotten over 21 years of not playing!  I used to know about 25 tunes I could play from memory (I don't have the "gift" of playing by ear) and the only one I could remotely recall was Rocky Top.  Initial performance was pretty bad and the wife let me know right away............She thought I was torturing an animal.  I may need to invest in one of the cheap electrics to practice.  Even though we have a big house and I can close doors at the other end, the sound seemed to carry pretty good.  Anyway, I blamed the bow!  fainting-1344

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Fidelestre
Texas
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February 14, 2016 - 10:27 am
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djroger ,

Sorry about your bridge and bow, but at least it sounds as if your fiddle itself made it through this time in relatively good shape, so that is good news. My violin sadly got warped beyond repairability after sitting with the strings at tension for some 20 years.

As you play more, you'll probably find parts of the pieces you knew before coming back to your memory. Or if not, it probably won't take long to re-learn them!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 16, 2016 - 10:18 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Take off that bridge. Let is sit in a cup of boiling water for about 10 minutes and it will probably go back to it's original shape. When you remove it from the water, if it's not straightened, press it with two objects and a clamp till it dries.

That bridge seems a bit thick and possibly a bit high off the fingerboard, but that's hard to tell from the picture.
You may try linseed oil or wood-hardener to strengthen the bridge for the future. The linseed oil would help by keeping moisture from penetrating the bridge. The wood-hardener would help if the wood is week and soft to begin with.

We can re-hair your bow for $50 plus shipping which is about $3.50 each way.
We use very expensive hair. The absolute best you can get your hands on.
This, providing that your bow is not one of those one time bows that are not made for re-hairing.

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

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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February 20, 2016 - 10:02 pm
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djroger said
 

Well, dug out the fiddle today and the first thing I found was all but about a 1/4" of hair was left on the bow with most being broken.  A pair of scissors trimmed away the broken hairs and I started to tune the strings. 

Off to the local music store to buy a bridge, get the bow rehaired, and a also buy a new bow.  Things go downhill fast from here.  And, some severe "sticker-shock".

To rehair my existing bow:  $125

New, "student level" bow:  $195

They would not sell me a bridge, telling me that only the repair shop can install one.  Cost fitted and setup:  $150

Looks like Fiddlershop is going to be getting an order from me today!

Off to the local music store is a common mistake some folks make when they are beginning or haven't played for years. I myself made the same mistake about 30 years ago when I took my 100 year old bow in to have it re-haired at a local music shop, I was charged $90.00 for the re-hair, (I didn't know any better at the time).

A few years later, I opened the case and low and behold all the hair was broken and loose. I didn't know about "bow bugs" / "carpet mites" at the time. Leaving a bow in a closed case for a length of time and the bugs get it. The best thing is to leave the bow out in the light, bow bugs hate daylight.

Back to the story,, today, Saturday, I visited my luthier shop, which I've done now for the past 2 1/2 years almost every Saturday. While I was there, I watched him re-hair a cello bow. It took him about 25 minutes. I asked what he charged for the cello re-hair, he said $50.00, I said, the same as a violin or viola bow, yep, he said.

A few weeks ago, I was changing the tailpiece on one of my violins and the sound post fell. Now usually I would reset it myself, I've done it many times on other violins, but on this particular violin I don't mess with the sound post, not even to move it. It's a promise I made to "Mark", my luthier. He was going to reset the post but had a hard time getting it out because it was big and he had a hard time getting it through the "f" hole. He cut a new sound post, installed it and adjusted it for me. I asked what I owed him and his reply was, "don't worry about it". I handed him $20.00 and he said again not to worry about it. I said, "Mark", you gotta charge me something, so he said "Ok, give me $10.00. He kept the $20 I gave him and he said, you got $10.00 credit, LOL, he's quite the guy.

In fact, for the last year, I've been talking about "Fiddlerman" and Mark ordered a couple "Fiddlerman" brand violins. Today he showed me bow's he ordered from "Fiddlershop" plus several sets of "Fiddlerman" strings on order he's going to try out.

So I think the prices they wanted were extremely high. You won't go wrong with, "Fiddlershop".

Good luck.

 

Ken. 

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Kim D
Florida
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February 21, 2016 - 6:29 pm
Member Since: September 9, 2015
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IMHO, you will not go wrong with Fiddlershop. I've been very pleased with their products, service and forum!  Pierre (Fiddlerman) is extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

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djroger
Milan, Illinois
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February 21, 2016 - 6:44 pm
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Didn't know about "bow bugs".............  That might explain why 75% of the bow hair was broken off at the frog end.  I ordered a new carbon fiber bow from Fiddlershop and it should be here Monday or Tuesday.

I did already receive the shoulder rest and bridge I had also ordered.  I put the bridge on Friday and tuned it up.  Had the whole house to myself for a few hours, so not need to worry about irritating the wife (NEVER a good thing), so experimented with the new shoulder rest as compared to my old foam pad, and just trying to hold it correctly.  Going to take some work to get it right.  My neck doesn't bend much to the left since the accident.

I played several scales and attempted a tune or two, but hard to play with only a 1/4" of bow hair, and the more I played, the more hairs broke.  I also found it impossible to do any double stops.  The new bridge has a little more arc to it than my old one.  I'm going to try the boiling water suggestion from Fiddleman and see what happens.  Nothing to lose!

I managed to score a used Cecilio black electric outfit on ebay today for $55 at auction.  "Silent" practice in this house will keep the wife less irritated with me!

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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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February 21, 2016 - 9:25 pm
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Info thread I started about the Bow Bugs.

http://fiddlerman.com/forum/br.....red-alive/

 

Info I posted on how to make your own bridge contained in the first post and how to get the curve of the feet properly done.

http://fiddlerman.com/forum/th.....ridge-pdf/

http://fiddlerman.com/forum/fi.....-to-do-it/

 

How I re-hair a bow in need.

http://fiddlerman.com/forum/fi.....ject-done/

"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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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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February 22, 2016 - 1:06 pm
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fiddlestix I like your story.  You are lucky to have that great friend and luthier.  I love how he helps you out. How are you liking the new violin.  Been thinking about you.

@djroger I am glad you have a new bow coming.

I love your persistence and tenacity... You will be a good violinist because that is part of what it takes.  I say off to a very good start!!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 23, 2016 - 4:08 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Thank you guys for the kind words.
And Ken, just to be clear, "Holstein Violins", as a distributor, is supplying dealers with Holstein instruments and bows. I don't want Mark to think that Fiddlershop is competing. 🙂
If any of you have local dealers that want to carry Holstein products for your trial, all they need to do is contact our inside sales rep. Any legitimate registered dealer is eligible.
We of course offer Holstein violins at Fiddlershop as well and you always have a 30 day return right.
http://holsteinviolins.com/about/

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

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djroger
Milan, Illinois
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February 23, 2016 - 5:56 pm
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Received the new carbon fiber bow yesterday.  Sweet!  Nice having a bow with full hair!  (I wish I still had "full hair".........Most of it is no-longer-there).

 

I ran through several scales and attempted Rocky-Top.  Mmmm  I've got some serious work to do.  VERY rusty.

Trying to work around some of these injuries from long ago is a real challenge.  The new shoulder rest, with the increased height makes holding it 'somewhat' better than my original foam pad.  Still need to work on it.  The left collarbone injury makes it difficult to get comfortable hold.

One of the other concerns I had was my right wrist since I only have about 60% of normal motion.  This does not seem to affect my bowing like I thought it might.  Of course, I haven't tried Fire on The Mountain yet either.......

Fiddlerman's suggestion of stretches on my left hand has been working wonders.  It's been three weeks since I started these exercises and can now spread my pinky out away from my ring finger almost an inch.  Before I started this, it was like it was attached to my ring finger.

Another thing I need to overcome is the "collapse" of my left wrist, bending back when fingering the strings.  I caught myself several times yesterday putting the 'death-grip' on the neck with my thumb and my wrist was laid all the way back.

I think I just need to slow down and not try to get everything back at once.........  One of my "mistakes" was showing my Grandson a video of me playing in 1993 at a fiddle contest ( I was the MC, not a contestant) with one of the local Bluegrass bands.  We were demonstrating Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  But at about 150 bpm with shuffles, slides and double-stops.  Now he wants to do that, too and wanted Grandpa to play it for him on his violin.............  I made the lame excuse that I couldn't do it on 3/4 size, but promised him we would work on it "later".

Got some practicing to do!

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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February 23, 2016 - 9:27 pm
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Fiddlerman said
Thank you guys for the kind words.
And Ken, just to be clear, "Holstein Violins", as a distributor, is supplying dealers with Holstein instruments and bows. I don't want Mark to think that Fiddlershop is competing. 🙂
If any of you have local dealers that want to carry Holstein products for your trial, all they need to do is contact our inside sales rep. Any legitimate registered dealer is eligible.
We of course offer Holstein violins at Fiddlershop as well and you always have a 30 day return right.
http://holsteinviolins.com/about/

Oh, Pierre, Mark doesn't think that at all. He and I talk about you and your products every time I go in his shop.

I believe he mentioned Saturday that he's known your sales rep for quite a spell, not exactly sure on that though, I'll find out this coming Saturday, unless we get buried in snow..... Grrrrrrr. I hate the stuff.

 

Ken.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 24, 2016 - 12:50 pm
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Yes, he knows Greg quite well. 🙂

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

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djroger
Milan, Illinois
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March 14, 2016 - 7:39 pm
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Status update.  After roughly a month since picking the fiddle back up after the long absence, I am making some progress.  I wish I had time to practice everyday, but work and life in general gets in the way.  Things are coming back from memories tucked far away and I can actually play through some of the simpler tunes I used to play.  Still can't get the fourth finger to operate independent of the third, though.

Almost had a panic attack last Friday night.  The wife and I went to an old-time Welsh style folk dance.  It s happened that the fiddle player in the band recognized me from long ago and shouted "We have another fiddle player!"  No spare fiddles around, though........... whew!  I don't think I'm anywhere near ready for a public performance yet!

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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March 14, 2016 - 8:14 pm
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Glad to hear that you are making progress! 🙂 

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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March 14, 2016 - 9:56 pm
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@djroger glad to hear you are making a come back!  Yahoo!!!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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AnnyJ
Ga
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Nice to hear things are coming back to you!

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

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