Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Technical Parts of Violin Bows

The violin bow partners with the violin to create sound.

Without the violin bow, the violinist would be limited to plucking and strumming strings. Violin bows consist of several technical parts that each serve a different purpose for performance and reliability. There are only a few parts to the violin bow, but any string player should be able to discuss each part. When learning to use, repairing and performing maintenance on the bow, it will greatly help you to be aware of all of its parts.

Hair


The hair of the violin bow attaches between the tip of the stick and the frog. Violin bows use horsehair. The tension of the hairs between the tip and frog is essential, as it helps to determine the intonation and sound quality of the instrument. The hairs band together and form a ribbon of hair that helps vibrate the strings.

Stick


The stick is the main wooden part of the bow. This part gives the violin bow its curved shape. The original violin bow curved outward, which made it possible to play chords on the violin. However, in modern violin bows, the bow turns inward toward the strings. This makes it impossible to play all four strings simultaneously, but increases the efficiency and speed of the instrument. The tip of the bow is on the opposite end from the frog.

Pad


The pad, also sometimes called the bow grip, is usually made of a soft rubber. Set your fingers on the pad to hold the violin bow. You should be able to balance the violin bow between your thumb and index finger by themselves. Then, the other fingers on the right hand curl over the bow. The pad is located near the bottom of the violin on the stick about 1/2 inch beyond the place where the hairs attach to the frog.

Frog


The frog serves to hold the hairs in place. The frog is located at the end of the bow and the hair extends through the inside of the frog to the screw. The frog ensures that the hairs lay flat and do not bunch or bind when the hairs are loose. On the frog, there is also a small circular piece of metal called the eyelet. The hairs wrap around the eyelet.

Screw


The screw is one of the most important parts of the bow. By tightening or loosening the screw, you can increase or decrease the tension of the strings. The screw attaches to the stick on the opposite side from the tip. A loose screw will make it very difficult to create an effective sound on the violin. The screw also helps to maintain the distribution of weight between the tip of the bow, the pad and the frog.