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Bow hair
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 

June 10, 2022 - 10:29 am
Member Since: October 11, 2021
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ELCBK said
@RDP -

I had problems with my hand migrating up the stick with my 1st regular Fiddlerman CF violin bow - was me who actually experimented with added a fishing weight to my early bow - Anyone Ever Tweak Their Bow's Balance Thread

It helped for a while, but then Fiddlershop came out with an 'improved version', which was much better - and also a FM CF Snakewood Frog option that I REALLY liked.  Snakewood is a slightly heavier wood than ebony - for whatever the reason, it's a very nice inexpensive bow.  I stuck with that bow AND the FM CF Weave Violin bow up until just recently - now trying new Viola bows. 


Fiddlershop has their FM Performance Series CF bow, a FM Hybrid bow and a much lighter FM CF Pro Violin bow that could be worth trying - but don't think it will help if you are still having trouble with tremors in your hand.  

You can always try taping the fishing weight.

If the choice comes down to between an inexpensive CF bow and an inexpensive Wood bow - IMHO you'll get more for your $ with a CF bow.

Btw, I checked into Black bow hair, thinking it might help with quicker response/less effort on my C & G strings - don't think you want it for your Classical playing tone.  Maybe if you were in to more Pop, Rock or hard Old Time fiddling.  

...and Larsen, as well as most other String mfr's, DO NOT RECOMMEND USING ALCOHOL ON SYNTHETIC CORE STRINGS!  You should only have to wipe your strings down with a microfiber cloth - it's okay to have a little rosin on your strings - just not all over your instrument, or flying through the air off your bow hair.  Quit applying so much rosin & maybe only twice a week - if you are practicing a lot.

Larsen actually makes a special string cleaner "Larsen Royal Oak" - can find at amazon.  I don't think Fiddlershop carries it or any string cleaner (just instrument cleaner/polish) - but I could be wrong. 

Royal Oak string cleaner is the premier string cleaner available. Alcohol free, this string cleaner will not damage your strings or your instrument.

- Emily


Overall, I believe that I got rid of the Wolf tone yesterday.  I played for over an hour without it coming back after I changed my tuning frequency from 440 to 445.  I originally thought to go lower, and I tried it at various settings, but there wasn't any change. On a whim I went higher after reading about how some people (like soloists) tune higher.  At 443, the note was still there but I suddenly got this huge voice out of the violin.  And I do mean HUGE!, as in surprisingly loud and ringing and I almost dropped my violin in shock.  I kept going up and at 445 the wolf was gone.

Which makes sense since changing to higher tension strings is one of the recommendations to help with wolf tones.  It was one of those head knocker moments.  Doh!


Coda Bow advertises some of their bows as being able to bring tone and volume out of violins that are "reluctant" to speak loudly.  A lot of the reviews seem to agree with their advertisements in this regard.  I don't know if this is a common feature of CF or just good bow quality.

Originally I thought to go with a wood bow.  I borrowed one and liked it more than my Fiddlerman bow but that might be because of the balance it has.  However, at this point I'm leaning toward CF instead of wood for the durability.


Last point:  Of course Larsen and the other string makers recommend their own brands of string cleaner.  If I was a string maker I would do the same thing.


June 10, 2022 - 10:35 am
Member Since: October 11, 2021
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Gordon Shumway said
I wish you well with the doctor, RDP.

Have they confirmed that you have a medical condition? We had a violinist in our orchestra before COVID who had Parkinson's, and violin-playing acted as therapy for her. Something in contact with the skin can help tremors - she had lightweight plastic braces on her wrists, and there's a bassist on youtube with focal dystonia who plays with a half glove on his left hand for the help from the pressure on the back of his hand.

Or is it performance anxiety? As a teenager I played piano in many local competitions before many audiences, and I hated it, but the most nervous I ever got was in front of a tape recorder. There's not just literal performance - playing to yourself may also generate anxiety.

I read somewhere that new violins take 10 or more years to play in. Could @Fiddlerman comment? What are the symptoms of the un-played-in-ness?

The violin is a difficult instrument.

Personal (as opposed to equipment) factors in tone production are 1) quality of bow movement, 2) speed of bow movement, 3) amount of bow pressure, 4) position of bow on string 5) volume of noise, 6) the place where the string is stopped. Each of these 6 factors affects the other five. Your ears determine how to balance the six. Your hands learn to respond to the messages from the ears. Initially they do it slowly. After some years they do it unconsciously and rapidly (as well as other things like intonation). Controlling both the left hand and the right hand without one swamping the other is also something that takes time to learn. Literally - as you are learning something that taxes the left hand, the brain will lose control of the right hand!

It's a long journey. Black horse hair isn't the answer.


At this point they've confirmed what we already knew - I had a stroke about 20-25 years ago that went undetected and untreated.

Gordon Shumway
London, England

June 15, 2022 - 5:59 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
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RDP said

  I had a stroke about 20-25 years ago that went undetected and untreated.

And learning the violin now is perhaps excellent occupational therapy.


Fort Lauderdale
June 16, 2022 - 11:42 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16250
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Gordon Shumway said 
........I read somewhere that new violins take 10 or more years to play in. Could @Fiddlerman comment? What are the symptoms of the un-played-in-ness?......  

In all truthfulness, no. We have plenty on instruments that are unbelievable from the first time we set them up.

However, most violins continue to improve over a long period of time but it's very subtle.
The biggest changes happen in the beginning.

Professionally, I bought my Jan Larsson 35 years ago from the maker himself. It was such a fine instrument that it beat the other concertmasters Guarneri on a blind sound test on stage with a lot of my colleagues. It continued to improve for a few months and I'm not sure when it reached its peak, but you need to have the sound-post looked at every once in a while for small minute adjustments in sound. It's not like it's an obligation, more of a way to tweak the sound. The top tends to rise over time on the treble side and posts tend to be too loose or short if they've never been changed.

Who is to know what the best Strad sounded like when it was new hundreds of years ago. The strings were gut, the base-bars were thin, there was less pressure on the top, and the wood was fresh.

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


June 16, 2022 - 3:25 pm
Member Since: October 11, 2021
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Gordon Shumway said

RDP said

  I had a stroke about 20-25 years ago that went undetected and untreated.

And learning the violin now is perhaps excellent occupational therapy.


The damage was done and is now permanent.  It is not, however, the cause of my tremors since I had them before the stroke occurred.

And, like most specialized health care these days, getting in to see the specialist takes bloody forever.  Even for post-testing consultation.



I guess what that means is that I really do need to have a luthier check my Artist.  Especially after yesterday's practice session where it wouldn't stay in tune.  I had to keep retuning and eventually the adjusters maxed out.  By the time I was done I'd loosened the fine adjusters all the way and tightened the pegs 3/4 of a turn before going back to using the fine adjusters again.


I have to go down to Los Angeles sometime in the next 4 weeks or so.  Maybe I can make an appointment with a luthier down that way.

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