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I did not plan to buy another bow today!

Posted by azfiddle on Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Long story of the day.....

I took my fiddle in to my luthier friend today for it's annual check-up. When I walked in, buying another bow was the furthest thing from my mind. Not even on the back burner!  But sometimes events take  unexpected turns....

I had forgotten about a recent conversation with a mutual friend of the luthier about my current bow.  It is a great bow, well-worth what I paid for it.  Made by a talented maker, nice craftsmanship. But even when I bought it (over 10 years ago),  I had some concerns that it might not be quite lively enough for reels, and I went back and forth for 2 weeks between it and another bow that was livelier but didn't bring out as much full, sweet tone.    But I really can't afford to purchase another bow in the same price range, so I wasn't actively looking- just talking.

When he completed the routine check-up, the luthier pointed out the bow in a case on the table and mentioned that our friend had told him I was looking for an  inexpensive but lively bow.   OH! I remember that conversation now.

It's a Brazilian pernambuco bow with nickel fittings (my other bow has silver). As seems to be the case with other instruments he's helped me acquire, there is a complex backstory about where it came from, how he ended up with it and why it's available at such a great price.  He mentions that highly respected classical player/teacher we both know tried it and pronounced  it " the best cheap bows" he had every played".   Of course, cheap is relative... ($360).

 "Take some time, take it home, and think about it.  We can make arrangements for you to make payments..."   And oh yeah, a good sales pitch-  especially when there's actually no comission to be made -  " by the way, that teacher has a student who might interested in it...." 

Yes, it does seem to be crisper and more responsive for bow trebles & quick string-crossings. Maybe it's pulling a little more volume out of my fiddle.  It wouldn't hurt to have a decent second bow....i've played bows that do all that better- but it seems to have some characteristics my other bow lacks...  Okay-  I'm sold.

  It was a major redirection in my thinking, but after test-driving some more at home, it looks like I've got one less empty spot for a bow in my case.





10 comments on “I did not plan to buy another bow today!”

mudbug Says:
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @1:55:49 AM

Good gear is like love.....................when you least expect it!

Arkansas Traveler Says:
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @2:28:39 AM

These things happen...
At the most unexpected times...
'appy fiddlin'

Swing Says:
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @6:34:49 AM

I am always on the lookout for a new (to me) bow. I feel that they are harder to come by than a good fiddle. Good for you for finding another one.

Play Happy

azfiddle Says:
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 @7:55:31 AM

I have been pretty fortunate in having this luthier friend. He has been very generous in going out of his way to locate instruments and bows for me over the years. Even now that he is officially retired, he still has a lot of connections. It's not like going in to a shop and trying a selection of instruments or bows-- it's more like- "I'm have this bow that someone ordered this and decided not to keep, and I thought of you"

bj Says:
Thursday, June 11, 2009 @7:09:53 PM

A good fiddle is golden, but the right bow is a Red Diamond . . .

dan mcfall Says:
Thursday, September 10, 2009 @11:50:47 AM

this may sound stupid but ive just begun playing and want to know if when not playing it is advisable to slacken the bow ive got a wooden bow that canme with an old fiddle that ive had adn i ve beern loostening it after play???? all the best dan

azfiddle Says:
Thursday, September 10, 2009 @11:54:41 AM

Definitely loosen it. When the bow is was last re-haired, the hair was adjusted to a particular tension. You need to keep it loose between playing sessions so the hair does not become overstretched. Sharon

wormbower Says:
Saturday, November 28, 2009 @11:32:12 AM

HA! Hi Sharon. I just stumbled on this blog entry, and think I have the EXACT SAME story, I suspect about the EXACT SAME mutual luthier friend, who sold me one of those EXACT SAME bows (H. Cirilo?). I'm loving my bow, too, and it was a big upgrade from what I had been using. Scott is priceless, isn't he? Paul

azfiddle Says:
Saturday, November 28, 2009 @12:25:30 PM

Absolutely. He has organized/midwifed all of my current fiddle purchases

wormbower Says:
Saturday, November 28, 2009 @6:34:41 PM

Mine too! Midwifed is the perfect term for it. Paul

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