Fabulous answer. And I'm also just happily bouncing around with bows and picks myself. oh well. back to just doing things for FUN and finding out it's all just more fun then ever. I've made A LOT of bows and that was one reason I asked. I have found that less bow hair is best in getting a good tone from them works. ONE DAY I'm going to meet you in person and we'll know each other by then, eh? thank you again for this site as I've learned sooooooooooooooo much. aloha, irene
Hi @Irene ! Of the bows pictured, only the ONE that is a typical violin type bow is actually adjustable. The others are all cruder arched bows, so the tension is always taught due to the bent wood, like an archery bow. Primitive bows like that seem to work well on early instruments like psalteries, rebecs, langspils, etc. And of course they tend to be cheap.. and are especially easy to make, too.
The bows in the picture are all strung with real horsehair except for the long one in the middle- it is synthetic hair which feels fine as well. I like the way the black horsehair 'looks' best. The bow in the pic that's right next to the langspil is the one that was made for it by the luthier. I requested the bow to be 2" longer than his normal ones and strung with an entire hank of hair, and the wood finished with the same antiqued white paint finish as the langspil.
Just like with picks, I find my preference seems to change from one day to the next. I can't seem able to settle on a favorite bow or pick anymore. They all have slightly different feels, weights, bounce habits, and tone. Like children, it's impossible to choose a favorite. So I just keep swapping them around happily. :)
When I was looking at the langspil being played on youtube, yeah, I came across YOU. I love the minor tunings too. yep, mid winter...fits today as our car doors are frozen shut. Out of firewood and yet, blessings we have liquid propane heat for a few days until some good wood gets delivered. I love your variety of bows. What one do you like to play the most? what one is adjustable? Happy winter. aloha, irene
Hello Strumelia, Kenneth Bloom is the master of the bowed dulcimer to me, but i am only using the bow from time to time on my ordinary homemade Dulcimer, because i like the sound. The first 1/4 Bow from china arrived here broken, but with a little wood glue i could fix it and now it its just working fine.
Thank you @Jergen !
I'm curious- what kind of dulcimer do you use this 1/4 violin bow on- is it a regular hourglass dulcimer put on a table or in your lap? or a box dulcimer on table? or a bowed dulcimer played cello-style like the ones Ken Bloom makes?
Thanks for sharing your pictures about the Langspil, a very rare instrument these days.On the Dulcimer I prefer an 1/4 violin bow, because its cheap and gives the best sound in my opinion.
Take a bow, Strumelia! :)