3/4 size bows

3/4 size bows

I was recently doing some experiments with a musical saw (it didn’t work) and got out a bow that I had forgotten about. I picked it up and it seemed really weird, and then I remembered that that was the 3/4 size bow I picked up from the local music store to try to play with. My hope was to be able to bounce and string-cross better with it, but it never really worked. Mostly, I just ran the tip off the strings and got it stuck underneath. I know one other person who has tried this, but she also failed. So, has anyone here tried to use a shorter bow? (Incredibows don’t count)

Re: 3/4 size bows

Actually, my arms are so short that I can’t draw a 4/4 bow to the tip (I’m 4’11”). But I use a normal bow because the balance and weight are right and good ones are only available in the standard size.

I’d never use a 3/4 bow. It’s better to have too much bow than too little, and you really need the weight of a 4/4 bow to play well I think…if you truly want a shorter bow with the right weight you’d need a stout stick.

Try a cello bow 🙂 (just kidding, that’s a bad idea)

Re: 3/4 size bows

I use a baroque style bow, as do several other people I know. It requires a different technique - more downward pressure, less length - I’m trying to summarise something that would take several pages to describe. Also the baroque bow is a different shape - the hair is nearer the stick at the head end than the frog end. I don’t think using modern technique on a short modern bow will work, but with the right technique, and in the right hands (not necessarily mine!), the shorter bow gives incredible lift and rhythm, and for some regional styles of playing from the U.K., the older technique and bow are more appropriate. For others, they arn’t.

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Re: 3/4 size bows

Ben314, a short viola bow might work - its weight would be closer to that of a 4/4 violin bow and it would have good stiffness. Similarly, a short cello bow may not be quite as daft as it sounds. Experiment.
Most reputable violin dealers loan out bows to prospective buyers for them to try out first (it can take days to decide on a bow), so why not put your problem to such a dealer and see what advice he gives.