a fiddle issue: bowhairs

a fiddle issue: bowhairs

i was just reacquainting myself with ‘miss monaghan’ over the dregs of my morning coffee and wondering how it is that some very fine players seem to destroy their bowhairs, while i can go for months without breaking a single one. am i just not trying hard enough? i mean, i haven’t rehaired my bows for over three years (and i think they need it), but they just keep on going. if you recall doug kershaw, he was a master of the busted hairs. what’s the secret?

Re: a fiddle issue: bowhairs

There isn’t really a "secret". Perhaps a bad batch of hair, a botched rehair, over-tightening the bow, under-tightening the bow, dirty strings…

Also, just because you haven’t broken any doesn’t mean you don’t need to rehair it, the bow hair can get pretty dirty.

Re: a fiddle issue: bowhairs

Our, even Lifting the bow off the string’s to do fancy thing’s..
and if your bow hair is to loose you nip it between the stick of the bow and the string’s on the way down…
Breaking Hair’s across the middle of the hair’s and lot’s of them..
When I was younger other Irish musician use to call me Amazing Jim, I though it was for how well I was coming on at the fiddle… Then this girl here,see link, was straight.. And told me the truth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD1eqDIQvz8


It really was about just how many bow’s I could through in a month… lol. Also, Fiddle maker Jim McKillop then in Antrim,
told me I was his second best customer, after Cathel Hayden
: ) And her’s why -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx8lRx7BTTA


So ‘tinamatt ” just do as your Doing ” And the best of Luck -
jim,,,

Bowhairs mixture

I have been told recently by another Irish style fiddle player that a mixture of hairs for Violin and Cello can improve the resistance and attack in sound for players that use more rhythmic bow strokes. This was a mix of white and black hairs, in the bow i’ve seen, and had a very biting sound good for triplets it seemed.
I latter discussed this with Eoghan Neff notorious fiddle player, by his characteristic contrasting style of smoothness and aggressiveness; he told me that he needs a rehair every month, and I told him about this mixture, and asked his opinion, he said that for him no extra attack was needed but instead the subtlety of a clear sound. But he did not have the chance to try it tough.

Re: a fiddle issue: bowhairs

As jim says, too much pressure between the stick and the string is a likely cause. Too much rosin is also possible I think.

Re: a fiddle issue: bowhairs

so, guess i’ll just keep on at it, as jim says. i don’t really WANT to break more hairs, just curious why it happens so quickly with some very good players. so the mystery is likely solved,and maybe i’ll experiment with more aggressive attack, just for grins. who knows, maybe it’ll improve my sound! but then, jim, you’d be the expert in this case — was your sound ‘better’ when you were fraying your bow? different? thanks to all, and happy new year.

Re: a fiddle issue: bowhairs

‘tinamatt
< was your sound ‘better’ when you were fraying your bow? >

More Raspy good for those hard triplet type rip’s at it, like Frankie Gavin was doing at that time. I even was into that : - Example,
Me and friends at Edinburgh folk festival-1991…
Second tune same as that Cathel Hayden one Charlie Lennon’s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5dmrcB8baE


My advice now,,, is Slower, Straighter, and Nicer, Is Better !
Example : -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4wt2JQqpc8&feature=BFa&list=PL418B6E656D60C439&lf=mh_lolz


Hope this help’s - jim,,,

Re: a fiddle issue: bowhairs

yep, i get it. both good in their own ways, but i’d play the lennon sound if i could. something to work toward. thanks.
matt

Re: a fiddle issue: bowhairs

‘tinamatt..

You made the right Choice : )

jim,,,

Re: a fiddle issue: bowhairs

High tension will do it too - the carbon fibre bows can really
stress the hairs without you realising it.

Re: a fiddle issue: bowhairs

I have also wondered about this. My fiddle teacher and I rehair our bows with the same fellow, use the same brand of strings, and play the same tunes at dances. On a rippin’ reel set he breaks hairs by the fistful, yet I never do.