Bow Grip Discovery

I have mentioned recently that I have become very frustrated with bowing straight. If I am just playing open strings, I can bow straight, probably because I don’t have to use any brain power remembering notes and fingering. However, once I do start to play a tune, I have a tendency to start off bowing straight, but soon I am bowing crooked and sometimes I even ride up over the bridge. No matter what I have tried, this problem persists much to my dismay.

Enter my new Holstein Pernambuco bow!

I received my new bow late yesterday. This morning I rosined it up and tried it out. The first thing I noticed was my grip didn’t feel as secure, but that is because I don’t have a Stringvision Bowgrip on it like I do on my carbon fiber bow.

Stringvision Bowgrip

The next thing I noticed was, to my surprise, I was bowing much straighter! How could I tell? I wasn’t getting those thin, almost-hiss-like sounds I get when I start drifting up towards the bridge. So, I switched to my carbon fiber bow and my bowing immediately degraded once again. (Light bulb goes on!) I took my Stringvision Bowgrip off of my carbon fiber bow and started playing again. Aha! my bowing and sound improved!

Could it be? Is my Stringvision Bowgrip contributing to my bad sounds? The only thing I can think it might be is that the soft, silicone-like texture is allowing my hand too good a grip and I am gripping the bow too tightly. Without the Stringvision Bowgrip, my grip on my bow is more tentative since my fingers are not sinking into a silicone grip; it is “lighter” without the bowgrip since I almost can’t grip the bow too firmly.

I’ll have to keep experimenting to test this new theory. Even if my Stringvision Bowgrip is a culprit in my crooked bowing, I’m sure it’s not the only culprit, however without the bowgrip, my bowing immediately improved; not perfect, but a very noticeable difference. I did, however, notice the base of my thumb began to hurt after a few minutes, something I don’t experience with the bowgrip, but I will trade that off and work on my arthritis if it means straighter, cleaner bowing.

I am not criticizing the Stringvision Bowgrip. I am sure it has worked wonders for many players, and still might for me. Maybe with this insight I can find a happy medium. Now that I know I tend to grip too tightly with the bowgrip, but get arthritis pain faster without it, I can keep the bowgrip on one of my bows and work towards letting it help me with my arthritis while learning (and realizing) that I have to adapt and apply a lighter hold when using it.

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