Fiddling with flat hair, or on the side?

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    • #6523

      Patrick Clark writes a terse statement several times in which he advises people to fiddle on the flat hair of the bow. Frankie Gavin is asked a question in his workshop video on You Tube about fiddling on the side of the bow hair, and he says he doesn’t know about that. Or words to that effect.

      In other (violin) texts writers instruct the reader to ensure they play “this” exercise with the side of the bow.

      What is it about, bowing on the flat or on the side? Both ways get a full tone, to my ears, each a bit different, but still pleasant.

      Do you strategically use the flat hair and side of hair for specific outcomes in your fiddling?

      • This topic was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by graeme.
    • #6525
      Casey Willis

      Great topic, Graeme. I generally tilt the bow a bit back towards me so the hair angle parallels the angle of the strings (and allows me to play mainly on the flat part of the hair). I do this for two reasons: (1) I seem to get better, clearer tone and (2) the bow does not slide down the instrument away from the sweet spot.

      I can’t think of any type of lick or exercise in which I intentionally play on the side of the bow hair. Unless you are specifically going for kind of a whispy tone, I would recommend sticking with the flat part of the hair and angling the bow slightly back towards yourself.

      But that’s just me. Any other fiddlers out there who can speak to how playing on the side of the hair helps them acheive a lick or a specific sound???

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