The prevailing topic of conversation recently, at least in fiddling circles, is about bows. There was a luthier & bowmaker at Maine Fiddle Camp, Nate Slobodkin. He talked about how bows are made, how to select a bow, and even disassembled his bow to demonstrate how it was put together. Monday night at Fiddle-icious we had a master bowmaker, George Rubino, talk to us about how he was trained, the different bows available, and how they are assembled. He will be coming back to continue the discussion, and share tips on maintenance.
Richard and I have five bows between the two of us. I have a really inexpensive plastic bow that I got with my first fiddle; a fairly nice commercial grade bow that has been repaired; and another fairly nice commercial grade bow. Richard has a carbon fiber bow that he likes a lot, and also a nice pernambuco bow that he likes well enough but hasn't totally connected with. So, I asked to try it out... so much nicer than what I've been playing! We keep the other bows handy in case of emergency... and there have been occasions when someone got to a jam without a bow of their own... but I really enjoyed playing this evening with the pernambuco bow. It's light, smooth, responsive. We both tried a lot of bows before selecting the ones we have, and there really is no end to the amount of money you could spend on a bow. Literally, you could try a thousand bows before you find the 'perfect' one.
1000 Bows can be found in the Lighthouse Collection.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Posted by Fiddler at 6/20/2006 09:14:00 PM