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Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:29 pm
by Matthew Orifice
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.

Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:50 am
by Clay Schaeffer
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?

Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:12 pm
by David King
This reminds me a little of the Togaman GuitarViols made by Jonathan Wilson.

Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:13 pm
by Matthew Orifice
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)

Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:16 pm
by Matthew Orifice
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).

Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:48 am
by Matthew Orifice
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.

Re: Bowed suggestions for a Viola Da Gamba-ish

PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:44 pm
by Jim McConkey
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