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A Serendipitous Accident with the Bow... (but nothing to do with patterns! ;^)

Posted by fiddlepogo on Monday, November 23, 2009

A couple of days ago, I was playing, and as sometimes happens, I wasn't paying too close attention to where the end of the bow was, and I bumped something with it.  Usually this brings the tune to a screeching (literally!) halt.  This time however, it didn't get bumped very hard, and I kind of regrabbed the bow in mid-stroke... but it wasn't my normal position.  As I continued to play, I quickly realized "This is BETTER!!!".   So I looked carefully at the "new" grip (still TUF based) to see what was different.   Basically instead of the thumbnail being over the frog when seen from the underside, the cuticle area is centered over the frog.  I hadn't tried that because I didn't think it would offer as much thumb flex, but the thumb still flexes, and somehow I have more control over the bow.  The bow I'm using has good tone and is stiff enough to be very controllable for string changes, but I had had a sense that it was a tad too heavy for my grip's ability to control it when I REALLY tried to get some loose wrist action.  Now I seem to be able to get a looser, more effortless wrist action AND better control.  Last night I tried it again while practicing, and I could repeat the grip, and again, it sounded BETTER!!!

Then, while I was experimenting further with it last night, I noticed the Kun shoulder rest sticking out of a box, and thought I'd experiment with it again.  For some reason, I was enjoying the tonal change this time (normally I don't) and it seemed to fit well with the improved TUF grip.

But, when I went back to no shoulder rest, I liked that too!!!

So I don't know if I'll switch permanently... so far I just can't seem to find a compelling reason to do so.... even though I do experiment with a shoulder rest about once a year.  We'll see if this is any different.


Now, if this flu would just go away!!!! :-(

4 comments on “A Serendipitous Accident with the Bow... (but nothing to do with patterns! ;^)”

John Gent Says:
Monday, November 23, 2009 @1:02:48 PM

Well, doesn't everyone know that when you have a flu and the moon is about 1/2 that the 'thumb over' TUF works better? Or is it just me? :o)

- John

Swing Says:
Monday, November 23, 2009 @1:13:31 PM

I believ it is called a eureka moment

Play Happy

ChickenMan Says:
Monday, November 23, 2009 @8:20:27 PM

Is the tonal change of the shoulder rest just a result of the fiddle being in a different position in proximity of the ear?
I am also experimenting with the TUF grip and I find that my thumb also sits with the cuticle on the frog as opposed to the nail area. I still slip back to the more classical type of grip (but mostly thumb and first two fingers on the stick) when I'm playing something more subtle than a dance tune.

fiddlepogo Says:
Monday, November 23, 2009 @11:56:49 PM

I don't it's a proximity thing.
I think it's that the rubber feet dampen certain frequencies, and the bottom plate not being muffled by the shoulder brings out other frequencies.

The bow grip is also producing a tonal change, because now long strokes are more effortless than before. The total effect is a more violinny tone on slow stuff, pardoxically without looking any more violinny than before- exceot the shoulder rest. I use to find TUF better for dance tunes than slow stuff, but now it seems to work for everything.

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