Old school rubber grip for French bow
Okay, I'm showing my age...
When I was a student at IU in the mid-1980s (ack!) a lot of the French bow players used a nifty accessory—a black rubber sheath that wrapped around the stick and had a molded dish or cup to rest the thumb where the frog meets the stick.
Have tried to find them online, but they are either well-hidden or out of production. No idea who made them or what they were called. Anybody remember them/seen them around?
Luthier Wayne Holmes sent me a thumb saver gizmo he made using rubber bands and thumb cots (like these: http://www.amazon.com/Swingline-Rubb...f=pd_sim_hpc_4 ). He's very enthusiastic about sending samples, if you want to try it. I don't think he's on TB, but you can Google his shop for contact info.
If anyone has info on the old-school grips I mentioned, please let me know. Thanks!
You can just use latex or silicone tubing. Ive purchased some pre cut segments from lemur music in the past.
The tube is about 17.5-18mm outer diameter and 2.5mm thick.
A well stocked plumbing supplier, or medical supplier should have it. However no guarantees on whether you have to buy a full roll of tubing or not...
Looks like theres a selection of stuff on ebay too in varying lengths. You may have to see if you have some friends who would like a cut of a roll. I use about 4cm every few months.
The diameter I mentioned above would be the biggest diameter you want. It will lose its tautness over a few months, and the thumb grip may feel a little squishy. You may prefer the feel of a smaller diameter, like 16mm.
I have found silicone isn't as resiliant, my skin wore physically through the tubing, whereas with latex there is more of a chemical reaction that degrades the material.
If anyone has info on the old-school grips I mentioned, please let me know. Thanks![/quote]
Years ago, in NYC, I remember a (newly arrived to the USA) Russian bassist (Igor Beruk ?) who showed me his bow which had a carved, concaved indentation for the thumb. It wasn't an attachment but an integral part of the frog. I recall it was quite comfortable. He said they were quite popular in Moscow or wherever he had been going to school.
Thanks for the replies. I used surgical tube back in the day, too. Just curious if anyone was making the old purpose-designed grip I remembered.
Any pics of the thumb saver thing?
i was just thinking the other day that i need a new piece of tube- the rubber that came on my bow years ago is getting disgusting. i might just take it off but i really feel more comfortable with a grip than without.
they look kind of yellowish in the picture, but a friend just ordered them and they're in fact clear. they do fit over the tongue of the frog as well.
bah. for a small piece of rubber..
for now im trying to play my bow without a grip - and i'm confused how everybody else does it. i really don't like the feeling of just wood, but thats probably because i've only played with a grip for years now.
Also, for what it's worth, I used to use a grip on my bow. Then my teacher let me use his Fetique French bow for my recital, which didn't have the rubber grip. The bow played so well though that I just dealt and then got used to it.. haven't looked back (heh.. embrace the eventual thumb callous).
the piece i was using was less than 1" long, i just like to cover where the thumb rests on the frog. if this is good stuff it should last me a while. i'll report back if its good or if i somehow have an issue with it.
i got my piece last night. dimensions (in "latex tubing speak") are:
1/2" ID x 1/16" wall 5/8" OD
ordered 1 foot, got about 16". i cut off a 1" piece and slipped it onto my bow. its the perfect size, and feels great.
problem solved, and now i've got enough to last about 14 years if i change it once a year....
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