Flying Bow

Flying Bow

This is really embarrassing, but lately my bow randomly flies out of my hand.. It just lets go, unexpectedly. Anybody else ever experience this? I’m scared I’m coming down with some weird neurological disease, maybe The Dropsies, or something! Seriously!

Re: Flying Bow

There is a guitar player I know who started dropping his pick some years ago. He says it was really weird the pick would just drop for no reason and eventually got to the point where he could it hold it at all. He has since resorted to a thumb pick. It may be worth your while to have it checked out.

Re: Flying Bow

Hope that is understood as a bit of levity.

I’d definitely get that checked out - any tingling in extremities, etc? You definitely want to head off the possibility of having a stroke beforehand, they’re nothing to fool around with.

Re: Flying Bow

has it been happening regularly for long? wouldn’t hurt to get it checked out, but on the other hand, maybe you have just achieved a new and wonderfully relaxed level of playing. Buddy MacMaster told a story once of dropping a bow in the middle of a dance set and grabbing it up by the wrong end and finishing the set playing holding the tip. guess as a regular thing it might not be ideal…so hope you have good luck dealing with it.

Re: Flying Bow

It’s happened a few times over the past several months, more lately. No tingling, but sometimes my thumb joint feels like I jammed it - you know the way basketball players do sometimes. I do know this, my violin teacher would be appalled over my bow hold - yes, relaxed would be the word. Or it could be the CF bow - I think it’s a little more slippery than wood.

I got the staples bit, but didn’t quite get the useless quotes link :-|

I would be somewhat reassured if at least one other person said, oh yeah, that happens to me sometimes 🙂

Re: Flying Bow

Can this topic be merged with the "pipes as weapons of war" one? 🙂


"I would be somewhat reassured if at least one other person said, oh yeah, that happens to me sometimes"

Can’t help you there… anyone got a fiddle I could borrow? 🙂

Re: Flying Bow

Okay, there’s my one person - Buddy McMaster. I feel better already.

Now all I need to do is work on my mid-air grab.

Re: Flying Bow

I have on occasion dropped my bow. but those were times when I knew what happened, bumping my elbow or such. If it’s just random times with no apparent cause get it checked out, there are some physical therapist who specialize in musician’s injuries that may be a good way to start.

Re: Flying Bow

I drop my bow with limited regularity (about once every 6-12 months). This is "undesireable", but not really a terrible thing, provided it doesn’t happen more often.

If you find yourself dropping your bow more than once every few weeks, then it’s probably something worth addressing.

In general, you might be well-served by holding the bow a little deeper in the fingers of your right hand (eg: more like this:
http://www.elemstrings.org/images/Bowhold.gif
than this:
http://www.singingwood.com/violin-bow-hold/VolinBowHoldImages/BowHold10.jpg)

actually, the former site has a bunch of handy little exercises to do with your bow, that will help you in general: http://www.elemstrings.org/instruction/bowhold.html.

and being more agile with your bow will help you not drop it in the future.

Re: Flying Bow

It happened to me quite a few times during my first 2 years of
playing. I had a cheap CF bow at the time, but I think it was my
general lack of fiddle skills more than that. I haven’t dropped the
bow in a couple of years, maybe because I’m playing a $1000
pernambuco one now and I really, really don’t want to wreck it!

Re: Flying Bow

i have run into at least three other people in workshops who laughed about it happening sometimes, it’s the frequency that makes it serious i think. i have done it maybe six times in twelve years, and not been to concerned. it happened with the p. bow and with the cf bow indiscriminately, and in any case i always assume that for me, it’s operator error… can you search around and find some advice? hard to know whom to trust, kind of…maybe a couple of different people, like a good physical therapist, or a "sports" dr, a regular primary care doctor, and maybe violin or fiddle experts (would those last two categories differ in their takes on it, i wonder?) i would like to hear how you make out with it.

Re: Flying Bow

I think the clue is in the fact that you are using a CF bow - they’re relatively cheap and almost indestructible.

Get yourself a very expensive and fragile antique snakewood bow. You’ll make damn sure you never drop it.

Re: Flying Bow

Thanks for the replies. I don’t think it’s anything serious, hoping not - will keep an eye on it, pay a little more attention to my bow hold. It might be age-related. I’m 60 and I may be losing some strength in my hands. Can’t open a damn thing anymore - what are they making gum wrappers out of these days, anyway??

Good point Re getting an expensive bow 🙂

Re: Flying Bow

I have had this happen. Everybody laughs.
I just try to play through it —
until it happens again. Not lately though.

Re: Flying Bow

Not had a flying bow, but recently was asked to play a couple of tunes for a folk night, (for the first time) and in my opening few notes realised I had forgot to tighten up the bow, so struggled on regardless hoping nobody would notice