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Arcus Carbon Fiber Bows Owner's Manual...

 


 

Here is an excerpt from the Arcus Owners Manual with some info on how to adjust to your new bow...

The Arcus bows are a completely new design. They follow traditional concepts where it makes sense, but primarily they are made to fulfil the demands of today’s musicians: a wide repertoire of music from four centuries, gigantic halls, large orchestras, modern strings and generally very high expectations and demands. The following suggestions are intended to make your mastery of the Arcus bow as effortless and swift as possible.

Play the Arcus bows exclusively for several days
Over many years of playing an instrument, all of the movements required to handle a specific bow precisely become subconsciousness. Anything new takes time to adjust to. In particular the much higher spring rate of the Arcus bows, which requires a small new “program”. This is similar for example to making the switch from the viola to the violin. In direct comparison with the usual wooden or composite bows, Arcus bow are much quicker and more direct in feel.


As long as an Arcus bow feels “too light”, the learning process is not complete. During this period we strongly recommend that you don’t play with your regular bow, not even for a short time. If you do, then your old “program” will instantly take control again and the learning process will be fundamentally corrupted. The trial and learning period should run for several days in a row, so
that the new information can be processed over night. Once you have gained total control over the Arcus bows you can very easily switch between different bows. Now is the time for a proper comparison of sound and play, as you can already use a lot of the potential of the Arcus bows.
However most musicians still report their continued discoveries of new possibilities in bowings and the modulation of sounds.


Bassists usually need more time, often up to two weeks, violists about one week, violinists
3-5 days.

Cellists quite often have full control after only 1-2 days.

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A Few Tips For Players of the Arcus Bow...

 

Off-string-bowings: Don’t try to get off the string, but into it. The biggest difference to traditional bows is the formidable bounce of the Arcus bows. This results mainly from the elasticity of their sticks, which is nearly double that of other bows. This means off-string-bowings are most easily
executed by simply pushing lightly into the string.
Don’t let the bow rise too high, but use a more horizontal movement. The result is a sound that is round and full, with very little side noise. By holding the bow upright, it will bounce back strongly, by tilting it the bow will land much more softly.
Use the full hair - all the way down to the heel. Wood bows require tilting the bow, especially down at the heel, to reduce the side noises the bow makes. As the Arcus bows create very little noise, you can
use the full ribbon of hair. This will result in a strong, rich and colorful sound. By tilting the bow, the sound will become light and more distant. Do experiment with this in combination with variations in the bow pressure, speed and contact point to find entirely new shades in the sound of your instruments.


Relax the bow hold - Wood bows have their strongest resonance at about 15-20 Hertz. This vibration is the cause for its wobbling, which must be suppressed/dampened by the bow hand. Due to its lower mass and higher rigidity the Arcus bows vibrate at about 50-60 Hertz, a resonance that has only musical qualities.

 

 

 

For the best sound use the most relaxed and loose bow hold that you can. Let the stick vibrate freely so that it almost drops out of your hand. Experiment!


An Arcus bow makes completely new bowings possible.

 

  • Try a forte sforzando from the tip...
  • Extremely slow bowing for a dense and intense sound...
  • Cross over 3 strings for more simple and safer fingering patterns...