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Candace Del Valle
Hello!  I just bought a new violin and bow today. :)I found a no-name violin from China that is gorgeous and has a really unique and sweet sound. I took your advice from the webcast about low-end bows and got a carbon fiber bow (Arco Nouveau Axis) which has great manageability and decent response. I loved the information about bows by the way, it was very helpful and just what I needed. :) 

I am just wondering if it is normal to hear a sound from the bow when it is new or am I just not used to the sound of a full-haired bow? (I had been using a bow with only 2/3 the hair left.)  Or perhaps I have too little or too much rosin? It is hard to describe the sound, it is almost like a a vibrating zzz sound. Is this normal? Thanks! 
Candace Del Valle
4 Responses
Posted: October 26, 2011
Last Comment: October 28, 2011

Candace Del Valle
Posted: October 28, 2011
Thanks everyone! I Think it was a combination of new strings and bow hair... the sound is slowly dissipating. (I do have Dominant strings, Beth) I've been playing as much as possible lately and enjoying the "breaking in" of a new instrument. Thanks Beth for your helpful tips, I have improved so much just by fixing my posture and hand positions. Now I am working on RELAXING the hands, which is so much easier said than done!

Posted: October 27, 2011
Hi Candace - it's funny you mention this sound as I notice the same thing with my carbon fibre bow; it's like a soft 'hissing' sound as I draw it across the strings.  The bow is one of the cheaper CF bows: a Col Legno Standard - which I really like, but the sound is a little off-putting.  I don't notice it with my permanbuco bows (which are much older, if that has anything to do with it...)  When I've got time, I'd like to go into a shop where I can try some of the more expensive CF bows and see whether the sound is still there.  Rosin (Melos Light) is the same across all bows, so it can't be that, but could be the hair which I haven't needed to replace yet.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: October 26, 2011
Hi Candace,
Here are a few things that you might check. Your idea about too much rosin is a possibility. Make sure a cloud of rosin isn't flying off your bow. Also, I think certain types of (cheap) rosin might be more likely to cause this. What kind of strings are you using? Again, cheap strings are more likely to produce this sound, but many strings have a bit of harshness to them when new. I think Dominants, as popular as they are, have this quality until they break in. Same for a new bow or freshly rehaired bow, especially if a coarse, lower quality hair is used. So give the strings, hair and even the instrument a little time to break in. Ray's idea about your ear being so close to the strings and bow is right on. Ask a friend or family member to stand right next to you so they can hear the sound as you describe. Then have them step back across the room and ask if they still hear it. In your follow-up, you say it's not a loud buzzing. But I'll just mention that if your hair isn't tight enough, the stick can buzz on the strings. Finally, sometimes it's just the nature of the violin or the bow. Judging by your description, you seem happy with the overall quality of the instrument. But if you have second bow, or can borrow one, it wouldn't hurt just to compare the two. Otherwise, I'd say just give it a little time and see if the noise diminishes.

Candace Del Valle
Posted: October 26, 2011
I should mention it is a soft sound, not like a loud buzzing.