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I was given an old family violin a few years back. Estimated from a violin shop to be pre WW2 German violin. They tried to trade me for a violin in their shop that was like $500 but there was no way I would do that. Anyways, it has the original bow with it and I had it rehaired a few years ago and am just now really getting into learning how to play. I am trying to figure out if a new bow would help me get smoother bowing as the one that I currently have the balance just doesn’t seem to fit me well. Does the bow make a big difference in your playing ability? Is this something that buying the fiddler man carbon fiber bow would be a good bow to start with and go from there? Thanks
First, welcome to the forum!
A bow that suits you will,help, but a bow will not magically make you a good player. From what you have said, I almost think you probably could use a new bow, but if it was rehaired and they did not mention any issues with it, it could be just fine. I would think they would have mentioned issues to you, if for no other reason than to sell you a new one.
Fiddlershop has excellent bows and you cannot beat their customer service. They truly love the bowed string instruments. Fiddlerman is a very experience violinist.
I truly love the braided carbon fiber bows, or carbon weave. They are a little stiffer than the normal carbon fiber bows. They may be just a tad heavier. For me, I can control them better, I like the feel, and I like the sound produced. I have the braided or woven Fiddlerman viola and violin bow. I have the carbon weave bow for my cello, also, but it is not a Fiddlerman because they do not, or did not at the time I purchased it, make a braided for cello. There is something bout the braiding or weaving that gives the carbon fiber bows more comfort and control-ability me.
I hope this helps.
Again, welcome to the forum.
Cello and Viola Time!
welcome to the forum.. all i can say is i really like the 2 carbon fiber bows i have and use them instead of the wood bows that are in the same price range. I think what your thinking would be a good choice for now. and I think i would have held onto that pre war violin as well no matter what shape it was in since it was from family. got any pictures of it?
Glad you could join us!
How long have you been actually playing with this bow?
If not long, smoother bowing could possibly be improved with work on bow grip and more independent arm control.
Smoother sound could possibly be improved with a different rosin or adjusting the tension of the bow hair.
I have been playing for about a month now. I have a lot of prior music experience on guitar and piano. Seem to be picking it up decent I think. I will also mention that the violin shop told me that the violin is a 3/4 size. Will that be a hinderance for me in the long term? (I am 5’11”) I know there is quite the learning curve to learning violin but just want to make sure I am not making it harder on myself by having the wrong setup. One other side note is I’ve noticed some slight cracks along the seams in a few places on the violin, I know this isn’t good for the sound of the violin but any tips would be appreciated. I also attached some photos for those who like to see them. Included the bow in one of the pictures. Also thinking of getting some WE Hill polish for my violin as I think it could need it lol.
I think you would probably be much more comfortable (and get fuller sound) playing a full size 4/4 violin.
I'm 5'8", well... shrunk a little (getting older now - lol). I play a full sized Glasser AEX - Acoustic/Electric, Carbon Composite, 5-string violin.
My bows are Fiddlerman CF and Fiddlerman CF Weave (I would recommend the 1st).
I grew up with a family violin in the house. It was old (4/4 and really too big for me as a kid) and I thought it might really be something. Took it to the violin teacher/orchestra leader of my school in 4th grade - told me it was nothing special and later my father sold it (thinking I'd never play it again after I tried it). Wish he was alive to see me now. (lol)
If the history or your violin is important to you, maybe fix it up for your kids or grandkids. Down the road, you might decide to make a hobby of fixing it up yourself!
Otherwise, maybe hang it on the wall with a framed history - for all to see.
Since you've had the bow rehaired, you could ask the person who rehaired it what they think of it. Tighten it (it's pretty tight in the photo - possibly overtight - I hope you slacken it after each use!) and check for any sideways skew. If there is none, then I would attribute all difficulties to your inexperience rather than to the bow.
However, the 3/4 size of the violin may be a problem.
@jlester95 , Your violin strings are too deep cut into the bridge. I think this will affect sound and resonance and not in a good way. I would re-cut bridge (in shop, one would need some templates for 3/4 violin and measurements to do it proper way).
Also, you mention cracks along the seams - those needs to be fixed/glued back too. Maybe the same time they would cut you a new bridge. Top plate experienced great pressure from strings through the bridge and if not proper glued to the ribs might cause not only a buzzing sound but some further structural damage.
Playability and such, as you know for 3/4 of a neck finger positions will be more squeezed. No biggy if your fingers are thin. And also I think your bow is too tight.
just my 2 cents...
my bow if I loosen it two full twists then the pin falls loose at the bottom. I probably will be buying a new one shortly. Sounds like I would need to put some $$$ into this violin to get it up to par... thinking of just keeping this one as a heirloom and buying one of the fiddlerman beginner violins in a 4/4 size. The A and E string resonates fine on this violin but the lower strings sounds like you are playing a cardboard box. Thoughts?
You are just beginning what should be an exciting adventure learning the violin.
I believe, for what it would cost you to fix up this inadequately-sized fiddle to even think about playing it without total frustration, I'd "cut bait and run" to the Fiddlershop!
They'll get you set up so you can start learning and enjoy it, with no other concerns except to focus on yourself!
Let them recommend something to start with in your price range, or research the demonstration videos Fiddlershop has for their products.
I'm sorry for being blunt, but I personally hate banging my head against a wall. (lol)
I agree with the comments above about getting a good violin to start with. I started with my grandfathers violin which is now over 110 years old. I paid a luthier about $100 to repair and properly file the bridge, shave down the nut, and I replaced the strings. When complete, I still had an old, poor sounding violin and I got frustrated. I bought the Fiddlerman Master and what a difference! Plays much easier, sounds great, and now I enjoy playing. I get the old one out to play once in a while, but there's no comparison to the sound quality and playability of the Master. Start with a good quality violin and enjoy the journey. Hope this message helps you.
Heirlooms are always tricky.
It, you can suspect from the $500 trade-in, has some value, so you can pay for restoration work on it and sell it and buy a full-sized violin.
Or you can bequeath it as it is, or restored.
If you have work done, sell it, buy a 4/4, you can bequeath that instead. It will be the same financially, but not sentimentally.
If you bequeath it, one of your grandkids may then sell it to go on vacation - a lot do. They won't necessarily share your sentimentality.