Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

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Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

Postby Matthew Orifice » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:29 pm

i've been prototyping a new instrument that is in effect either a modernized viola da gamba, or a funky shaped arpeggione and i am at the point where it's strung up and actually has some hopes of sounding good ( i will be building a second with better wood and finish next year). it's a 28.5" scale 6 string tuned c-c with guitar intervals ( alolows me to use standard flatwound guitar strings).

I'm currently working with a violin bow, but i was wondering if i am likely to have more success with a cello bow and figured i'd throw it out there and see what y'all think.
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Arpeggione.jpg
Matthew Orifice
 
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Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:50 am

The 'cello bow is slightly shorter and thicker than a violin bow and might drive thick flatwound strings better. A 1/2 size 'cello bow is even shorter and might be more comfortable for the playing position you are showing. Have you considered installing a long end pin and playing in a more 'cello fashion?
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Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

Postby David King » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:12 pm

This reminds me a little of the Togaman GuitarViols made by Jonathan Wilson.
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Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

Postby Matthew Orifice » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:13 pm

i would be lying if i said i didn't get some of the ideas from his instruments, but it's a build i've been working towards for a very long time, it's actually far more viol than guitar (bass bar, sound post) with a touch of banjo thrown in. (the end pin actually goes all the way through the body into the neck)
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Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

Postby Matthew Orifice » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:16 pm

I eventually did go to the 1/2 size cello bow, and playing position has migrated to about 2/3 of the way to a cello position, i'm going to turn a friction fit extension for the end pin to allow it to hit the floor, but i have some other versions on deck... specifically a minimalist version in bass ( think bowable bass VI but no real body to speak of).
Matthew Orifice
 
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Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

Postby Matthew Orifice » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:48 am

So i turned a longer peg, went to a more upright playing style, and moved the soundpost a hair further from the treble foot of the bridge and toward the bass side of the instrument with a HUGE reslut.
the new Peg (about 20" of black locust) helps me anchor the instrument for a much easier vibrato, and the sound post move gave the sound a lot of more resonance... enough so that switching from a violin bow to the cello bow just changed the overall color of the tone.
Matthew Orifice
 
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Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:06 am

"enough so that switching from a violin bow to the cello bow just changed the overall color of the tone."
Matthew Orifice

Cool! hopefully for the better?
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Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

Postby Matthew Orifice » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:04 am

more a side movement, the cello bow gives a faster attack and louder sound, a bit more throaty if that's a good word for it ? the violin bow has better dynamics, and sounds a bit more from the upper mids. i'm glad i have both.
now to build one out of legitimate tone woods ( i have some lovely Sapele and spruce).
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Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

Postby Christopher Harms » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:48 pm

I'm considering building an actual treble Gamba after I've "cut my teeth" on the kalimba I'm working on and a couple of other instruments. I do know I want to be able to play it standing up, so I'll be looking to use a magnetic socket in the endpin. That way I can have a spike longer than the instrument itself that I can easily remove. I initially thought about the removable spike thing for another instrument I want to build that doesn't have a finalized name yet.
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Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

Postby Matthew Orifice » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:35 pm

that's an amazing idea, this is a bread board instrument and has provided a lot of good info for me, i will suggest trying to figure out away to make the pin adjustable, i may be returning the peg to have it sit just right as i learn more about the instrument
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Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

Postby Nic Hambas » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:10 pm

Any chance we can hear you play this instrument?
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