good bow "skips"; can this be fixed?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by myrick, May 17, 2002.

  1. On a Michael Dolling, hex pernambuco, German, quite a fine bow, I have recently noticed a tendency to "skip" at a point around 1/6th from tip. Unless I've got a fairly high bow-speed/bow pressure stroke going, the bow partially loses a steady grip for an brief instant, always at the same spot. (don't know how else to describe it, I think you'll all know what I mean). In my experience on an older, cheaper bow I had same problem at different spot; I'm sure it was in the stick then because no changes of hair or rosin had any impact.

    Recently in my practicing I'm working extra hard on bowing, including forcing myself to learn to do be able to complete almost all strokes and attacks near the tip if need be, and to use the entire bow more uniformly. Never noticed this skipping problem before, so I don't know if it has recently developed, or if I just never noticed it cause I had the habit of relying too much on lower 2/3 of the bow.

    This bow has white hair about 1 yr old. During more than half than half of this time this bow was not played. I am using the fairly hard grade of Kolstein, forgot what the grade is called. Suspect I could minimise this problem by switching to stickier rosin, but for now am trying to improve the sensitivity of my right hand by working with a powdery rosin, applied sparingly. anyway, I don't think my current problem is hair/rosin. But if in fact it is the stick, I'm wondering what can be done, if anything.

    Any thoughts from any of you more experienced/knowledgeable than I ?
  2. I wish I could remember where I heard or read this, but I recall something about what you're experiencing may be caused by an inconsistency in the wood grain of the stick. It always happening at the same spot would indicate it's a problem with the stick. And obviously, if it is in fact a problem with the grain, there's not much to do about it.

    I may have read this in an old Bass World, I recall Gary Karr having once written something about bows and another article from Sam Kolstein (both articles were published sometime in the last five or six years).
  3. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    It could be just time for a rehair job. Or a good hair cleaning session. Some kind of oil (like human finger grease) could have crept it's way on to he hair. Some one here had a procedure for cleaning bow hair don't remember who.

  4. Joe - at first I was pretty sure the problem wasn't just on the hair, cause it came up suddenly and rosin didn't seem to help. But now its growing less prominent, and I'm pretty sure its not because I've learned to "play around the problem". So foreign substance on the hair is starting to seem like a possibility - there is a three-year-old around the house who has been known to slip into daddie's practice room unsupervised once in a while. :(

    Guess I'll try cleaning the hair.

    DavidK - yes, that's exactly the situation I have on a cheaper bow I have, but no longer play much. Even after re-hairing, same weird skip in the same place. It's gotta be something in the springiness of the stick, and a grain irregularity is a good guess, though I can't see anything. Wondering if such things can come and go, or if they are always there "from birth".