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Bowing with the Wood...
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Crazymotive
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February 16, 2012 - 11:37 pm
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A while back a friend of mine who plays flute in an orchestra was telling me that there is a particular piece of music he's heard that has a part where the violin section actually plays the strings using the wood of the bow rather than the hairs. I guess what this would entail is literally turning the bow upside down and stroking with the wood. he said the idea was to produce a sort of light airy ethereal sound.

Anyway I tried playing like that and I can understand what he meant. I can see where an entire violin section playing that way would create a rather strange and almost mysterious sound.

Now comes the hard part. Has anyone ever heard this piece or can anyone name it. So far I am drawing a total blank.

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suresh
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February 17, 2012 - 2:56 am
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May be you are referring to col legno.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Col_legno 

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Oliver
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February 17, 2012 - 9:40 am
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Now I'm not sure where to put my rosin?  dunnodunnodunno

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Mad_Wed
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Oliver said

Now I'm not sure where to put my rosin?  dunnodunnodunno

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I'd leave it on the strings.... in case of emergency....duncecap

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Fiddlerman
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February 17, 2012 - 11:22 am
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Yes this is right, we use col legno every once in a while when the parts call for it. However, we don't turn the bow upside down. Just turn it so much that it is laying mostly on the stick and a little on the hair. Also, it is used more often for hitting the notes than playing long notes.

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Crazymotive
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February 17, 2012 - 2:21 pm
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May be you are referring to col legno.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Col_legno 

This is exactly what I was thinking of. Very interesting. And I'm pretty sure that one of the pieces mentioned in the article is what my friend was thinking of

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Gordon Shumway
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October 5, 2018 - 11:50 am
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Fiddlerman said
Yes this is right, we use col legno every once in a while when the parts call for it. However, we don't turn the bow upside down. Just turn it so much that it is laying mostly on the stick and a little on the hair. Also, it is used more often for hitting the notes than playing long notes.  

Bump. I was wondering how people with good bows dealt with col legno, so I Googled it. It seems some use a cheap wooden bow, some use a CF bow, some use a pencil, some do half hair and half wood, and one uses a chopstick! Some deny that col legno does the wood any harm and it's a myth that it does. I think I'd want to take a cheap wooden bow just in case, unless you think it really is harmless.

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
October 5, 2018 - 1:13 pm
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🙂 Awesome @Gordon Shumway - and *I* thought I had read darned near every post on the forum !!!!!   Great stuff !    Seriously - there are SO many threads here that often the same topic is referred to again (in "ignorance" of the existence of a related, if not specific, earlier thread )

I love seeing these old threads resurrected !  Thank you ! clap

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AndrewH
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October 5, 2018 - 6:10 pm
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Andrew Fryer said

Fiddlerman said
Yes this is right, we use col legno every once in a while when the parts call for it. However, we don't turn the bow upside down. Just turn it so much that it is laying mostly on the stick and a little on the hair. Also, it is used more often for hitting the notes than playing long notes.  

Bump. I was wondering how people with good bows dealt with col legno, so I Googled it. It seems some use a cheap wooden bow, some use a CF bow, some use a pencil, some do half hair and half wood, and one uses a chopstick! Some deny that col legno does the wood any harm and it's a myth that it does. I think I'd want to take a cheap wooden bow just in case, unless you think it really is harmless.  

I use my primary bow for col legno, but make sure to wipe it as soon as possible afterward. I don't think the strings are hard enough to damage the varnish on the bow; the important thing is to avoid leaving rosin on the stick.

Then again, my bow is a mid-level hybrid bow, not an expensive wood bow.

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Gordon Shumway
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October 6, 2018 - 10:15 am
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BillyG said
🙂 Awesome @Gordon Shumway - and *I* thought I had read darned near every post on the forum !!!!!   Great stuff !    Seriously - there are SO many threads here that often the same topic is referred to again (in "ignorance" of the existence of a related, if not specific, earlier thread )

I love seeing these old threads resurrected !  Thank you ! clap  

On a different forum I got a reprimand for reopening a two-week-old old thread instead of starting a new one on exactly the same subject! coffee

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

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tiffanyroseviolin
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October 8, 2018 - 4:15 am
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I don't know about this, but i feel this is one of the amazing way to producing string sounds. 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 8, 2018 - 12:30 pm
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AndrewH said

I use my primary bow for col legno, but make sure to wipe it as soon as possible afterward. I don't think the strings are hard enough to damage the varnish on the bow; the important thing is to avoid leaving rosin on the stick.
Then again, my bow is a mid-level hybrid bow, not an expensive wood bow.  

So do I. It would be too much of a drag to bring a second bow for something like this. Also, I don't pound the strings, rather tap softly with the side of the stick. Unfortunately, my bows are expensive, but I never noticed any damage from playing col legno.

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

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