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MJL

Violin bow balance/weight

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Hello! 

I am trying to figure out if using a different bow would make a difference in playing the violin. I have used the same bow for 10+ years, and I have always had issues with the bow bouncing on long notes (and worse with vibrato). I have tried to fix my bowing technique, but it has always persisted. A few days ago, I rented an electric violin which came with a bow. When I was playing it, I realized that the bow did not bounce as much. Now I am trying to figure out why, and buy a violin bow that will make playing easier for me. 

Violin bow 1 (the shaky one) is heavier, with the balance point closer to the frog.

Violin bow 2 is lighter, with the balance point closer to the tip. 

Bow 2's balance point is further from the frog, which means the tip is heavier. But when I actually hold the bow, it feels like bow 1 is heavier at the tip than bow 2 maybe due to the difference in weight.  So now I am confused. If anyone can help me out and explain what difference a different weight or balance of a bow can make, it would be a great help! 

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You could probably figure some of it out for yourself by experiment.  Try taping small weights to different places on your current bow then playing with the bow.  For weights you could use coins or small blocks of wood.  If you weigh the weights, you could find out, for example, exactly how your bow would work if it were two grams heavier at the frog end.  And if this made your bow work a lot better, you could have a new grip put on that was two grams heavier.

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If you can get to a shop and try out a bunch of bows it will give you the best results IMHO.  That has been my limited experience.  For some reason the better bows that don't bounce for me seem to be the higher priced ones!  :)  I'm sure there are a lot of variables here, much more than balance point and weight.  Even the amount of hair on the bow can change the action.

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