Reply To: Fiddle Bows
An update on my bow adventures.
I’ve been playing the freebie, wood bow that came with the GEWA fiddle that I bought from the Bludegrass Shack. I removed the pad and windings from the bow and slid some “shrink wrap” on it and really like that configuration. I removed the pad from my two, Kmise, $35.00 carbon fiber bows and did the shrink wrap thing. I’ve not done anything to the Coda NX bow. It still has the “fat pad” on it. All three modified, low cost bows are working quite well.
When I practice, I set my bows out and play each one on two different fiddles. It’s fun to see how each bow works with the two different fiddles. One fiddle has Helicore medium’s on it, the other, Prim mediums. The two Kmise bows and GEWA “unknown maker” bow’s get the most use. I’d love to remove the pad from the Coda NX but I just can’t bring myself to mutilate that beautiful, high dollar bow. There is so much difference playing the three, low cost bows with no pads, just heat shrink and the Coda NX. I think the Coda would benefit from a “mod” but I’m not going to do that.
What I’ve found out. I’m just as happy to play the low cost bows. I’d bet that I’d like the Coda bow if I gave it the same treatment but, I just can’t do it. So, the Coda spends most of it’s time hanging on the wall. For old time fiddle playing, I don’t think you can beat the Kmise bows or the GEWA wood bow. I’ve been playing for two years and the lower cost bows just seem to work the best for me. Of course, I’m 74 years old and wear (really good, finally) hearing aids. I thought that, if I bought a higher priced bow, my fiddle playing would improve a bit. In my case, that didn’t seem to happen and I don’t have a problem with that.
I found that, tightening the bow hair the right amount, using the right amount of rosin (I’m using “Magic” rosin) and the grip that works best for me on the bow enables me to play good enough to suit. My wife says my fiddle playing is catching up to my banjo playing and she now enjoys it just about as much. I agree.
So, instead of chasing a better fiddle or bow, I’ve found that I just need to spend time doing what I’ve been doing.