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I will describe our experience so you can decide for yourself if this a road you want to head down.
My son is an intermediate level player who has played for 6 years. He never had his bow technique properly worked on by his teachers, and now he has a great left hand, but problems with the sound he produces because he tends to saw his bow all over the place. If you have the same problem, then you will understand exactly what I mean. He also turns his bow inwards and outwards as he saws his bow over the fingerboard.
We had to try to use this as a last resort - he loves to play and gets into the music and is having a ton of trouble correcting his bow hand with his new teacher. I decided to purchase this unit to try to help him as he is getting very frustrated.
The bow right can indeed scratch the finish of your violin. It is a hard plastic that can rub the varnish. We don't particularly care right now because he is in a smaller violin that he will grow out of, but this is really of concern. It has a relatively narrow gate that allows the bow to travel in. This causes him trouble because he gets super concerned about scratching the finish of the bow. The hairs on his bow also can get caught in the plastic holders where the metal gates attach, and he has ripped some of his hairs. He got really freaked out about this because he is careful with his violin. I had to tell him not to worry about that - I would rather buy him a new bow and not be worried about a little marring of the finish of the varnish and get him to learn proper bow position, than have a perfect looking violin and a bad bow hand.
This all is great if it really took care of all the issues associated with bow placement. Unfortunately, it doesn't. What it does do is force the player to restrict bow movement in a specific area on the strings, keeping the bow perpendicular to the strings. That is good - actually that it does great, and is where the value of this tool excels.
The problem is that bow position is related to any number of other issues. Including position of the violin on the shoulder - in my son's case, it turned out that he lifts the violin high on his shoulder, making his short arm too short to fully extend his bow unless he repositions his violin in front of him more. We wouldn't have really realized that this was a problem until we used the bow right because he simply could not play with the bow right. He was knocking the sides of the bow so badly into the gates that it was a huge problem, and frustrated him beyond belief. So...he is now working on all kinds of other positioning changes to optimize his playing so that his bow technique can finally be corrected. He is using the bow right, and I am hoping that this all works out in the end. It also does not help with a player who turns the bow inwards and outwards as they play when they are not intending to do so.
Bottom line - you should understand that there are many causes of bowing position problems, and this tool is useful to try to figure out ways to improve technique that will ultimately allow one to stay properly within the gate. It probably is not a one stop shop that will solve all your problems - it will however not allow you to play with your bow sawing all over the place, so the urgency to work on one's positioning will be absolute - you will HAVE to fix your positioning to use it. And the bow right does not teach you positioning - you have to have a teacher help you with that or you have to be resourceful enough to figure it out on your own.
Hope this helps you figure out if this might be helpful to you! Best of luck!
I hate to leave a negative review, I really do. The product was not faulty or broken. However...as a violin teacher, I do have to say, this will not be your ultimate solution for bowing straight. If someone is VERY focused, they can use it to learn what muscles will be needed to make a straight bow. My problem is not that it does the work for you on automatic. My problem is that you can use the Bow Right and still not be bow straight. Yes, really. It honestly didn't solve the problem. All students I had try it all still had a sawing motion even with the bow right on, albeit a smaller one. There is still room within the frame to be crooked, which I get, because otherwise your bow would catch on it. Upshot: Educational on first use, but won't fix the core problem. You'll still have to resort to a mirror or video, even if you do use it with the product on.
I purchased the violin Bow-Right and received it just fine. I am adult just beginning to learn to play a violin. I wanted this guide to help me to keep my bow in the right position while bowing during practice. However, I was unable to attach the metal guides by using the elastic band as recommended. It was too hard to stretch and I could not get it to stay attached to the plastic fittings! Also, I was concerned that the plastic might rub against the violin and scratch it. I solved the problem by taking a two small pieces of foam that have a peel off sticky tape on one side. I attached the sticky side to the plastic fitting on each inner side of the plastic fitting. Now not only is it easier to put on and off my violin (no elastic cord needed) but also the metal guides now stay in place and do not slide around as I play! I wanted to pass this information on to those of you who are struggling with the elastic cord and having problems with the guide moving out of position as you play. Try the foam. It works beautifully!
If your adult and decide to pick up the violin, I would say this is probably a good way to get a jumpstart on knowing how to properly control your bow.
As the number of reviewers have said, this item can scratch your violin and bow, The former due to the fact that it is under tension when you put it on the violin so you need to put it on with care and more than likely not put it on a violin that is of a very good quality (IE this is a student guide, hence it should only be put on a student violin!) The latter if you were moving too fast with the bow (slow and study is the name of the game to avoid damaging your bow).
The biggest thing you need to keep in mind when using this product is that it's meant to keep you at the ideal location between the fingerboard and the bridge as well as the ideal way to hold the bowl with very little forward and back play , once again this necessitates that you play slow when you have this product on to avoid damaging the bowl but also to give you a good feeling for how to properly hold the bow.
When I showed and played with this to my violin teacher, she said that she definitely saw improvement in my bow arm but said to think of it as a pair of training wheels, that it's only meant to be used for a short amount of time otherwise I could become dependent on it. She recommended alternating either every other day or halfway through a practice with using it. Good advice.
I am a high school student violin player If you bow straight but you slide this can help If you don't how straight and you slide, this will really help. Before buying this product you should make sure you have your positioning down. Violin is upright, should elevated, proper arm placement for each string, correct handling of the bow, etc. this won't correct your bow handling, this will help.
What will fix your bowing issues is simple practice, and this can aid in that process.
I suggest spending 6 hours isolated in a room with no distractions and a mirror. A bathroom is great for practicing. While using this and not using this product, now the open strings as many times as it takes until you get a straight bow. I had problems bow sliding and it had corrected after a few weeks of practice. Your mileage may vary.
I initially reviewed Bow-Right with 3 stars - my reasoning that I didn't really learn to bow until I took the gadget off my violin.
It was an honest review then, but recently I found new appreciation for Bow-Right when I started learning 3rd and 5th positions and vibrato at the same time. I was so distracted that my previously straight bowing fell apart. So I pulled out the Bow-Rite - what a difference!
While I focused on my hold and fingerings, Bow-Rite gave me little reminders as needed to straighten out my bow stroke again. Very useful now that I'm far enough along to appreciate what it's telling me!
The Bow-Right is a very useful tool. I've been playing the guitar for 15+ years and have just started learning the violin. My left hand feels right at home due to my extensive experience on the guitar but my bow hand is a different story.
My goal at this point is keeping my bow straight. I tried looking in the mirror but I just don't like it and I can't read music while doing it. The bow right really works well and it forces you to bow straight. This would be a 5 star item but it could damage your finish if you're not careful when putting it on. The plastic that attaches to the violin has no padding. Once it's on it's fairly safe but I wish the manufacturer would address this issue but until they do I came up with my own easy fix. Below is what I did.
The fix: Get some thick double sided tape. Only remove one side of the tape backing and stick it on the inside part of Bow-Right (the side that rests on the violin). Make sure you don't remove the backing from the other side of the tape- you don't want the tape to stick on the violin. The tape makes for a great cushion since it's soft and thick and it won't fall off the bow right. You still need to be careful but this helps a lot and only takes a minute to do.