Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Frog replacement


Altgeiger

Recommended Posts

I have a not particularly valuable bow with a frog that is not original. I like how the bow plays very much, but the frog is narrow; it's hard for me to make good contact with my two middle fingers against the side of the frog without wrapping them a little too far around. My question: if I have a luthier replace the frog with one of similar weight and height but more normal width, will that change the playing characteristics of the bow apart from the grip issue? Are there other characteristics I should consider? Is it just a bad idea, and I should get used to this weird frog?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything changes everything.  Wow! that was incredibly useful :-).  I don't see anything wrong with seeing a bow person about a replacement frog.  They may even have a drawer full of extra frogs that might fit or not.  It's worth a try and it won't affect the value of the bow at all.  There are certainly people who own very valuable bows that have ivory or tortoise shell frogs that have plainer frogs fitted for travel that keep the original ones in a safe deposit box or such.

DLB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I assume you either live in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, at least your name suggests that. 
I actually had one bow where I replaced the frog, the old one did not fit well. It improved playability massively for me, it just responded so much better and bounces in the lower half of the bow were better as well, which makes sense I guess. 

However, usually that is not a cheap endeavor. Grünke wanted 700 EUR for a new frog. I also have a Pfretzschner Wilhemij where I wanted to replace the frog, as it has one with the rounded part at the thumb, which I kind of dislike during playing. As I wanted to have the stamp again I asked the current Pfretzschner for a quote. He told me he takes a third of the bow value, valuing the bow at about 8000 EUR. 

So a luthier, that has some old and kind of fitting ones in the drawer might be the way to go. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it can be quite a good way to play, giving you greater stability, control and feel for the angle of the bow on the string. I play that way , and I've been teaching generations of players to play that way for the last 45 years. BTW, generations of Russian violinists played that way, so while there's no one way to hold a bow, there's nothing weird about touching the side of the frog with your middle and eventually ring fingers.

What I can't stand is the way most of my French colleagues hold the bow way up the stick, not even coming close to touching the frog!Oh well, to each their own...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, David Burgess said:

Are there players who hold their bow at the tip end too?

That's a classic exercise, to hold the bow backwards from the tip end to strengthen your pinky and develop better control at the frog. Of course, there's the famous "Pop goes the Weasel" exercise...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Michael Appleman said:

I play that way , and I've been teaching generations of players to play that way for the last 45 years. BTW, generations of Russian violinists played that way,

In that case, I wonder why there aren't more frogs showing that sort of wear?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

In that case, I wonder why there aren't more frogs showing that sort of wear?

Ebony is hard, but I do wear through the mother pearl eyes regularly, and I think if you go through a pile of bows at auction, you'll find the "audience" side pearl eyes generally more worn than the "player" side. That's why I like my Lupot without any pearl eyes...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, mathieu valde said:

Well, it will be nice to have some pics with different bow holding versions (Russians, Beigian, any other?) Can somebody make ? 

I'd say they cover the basics quite well.

The really important ones are Russian and Franco-Belgian.

If you want to be informed the Italian and Galamian should be on your list as well, the other, IMHO, are more or less noise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having experimented with various bow grips over the years — including the German grip, which has far fewer devotees than the Russian today — I've settled on something between the Belgian and Russian bow grips.  At almost 50, I would spend a fair amount of money not to rework my bow technique again; I've put enough work into it, and I'd like to spend my remaining time developing a more varied and graceful staccato and a more beautiful legato.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was tought this as a child:

PXL_20240418_191458506.thumb.jpg.f641f35e37de28854af544c55c893d74.jpg

Now I put middle and ring finger a bit more towards the end curl my thumb instead. It gives me much better control and strength on the pinky, but it made me rather sensible to the shape of the frog and thickness of the thumb leather. 

PXL_20240418_191552356.thumb.jpg.0fdcceafb2b9cced0d34f34e53f41d20.jpg

At university (I am actually a conservatory dropout, as my back then girl friend now wife became pregnant I switched to sciences for monetary reasons) we were forced to change bow holds to different styles and try them, and I ended up with this rather weird mix as a result.

Holding the bow at the tip was something I had to do as a child as well, to train pinky control. I was always scared it could snap with all the weight on it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...