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I was skeptical at first. I've even had professional violinists and teachers tell me they didn't think these things were all that effective. They didn't actively discourage it though. So I decided to give one a try. Now it lives in my violin case next to my shoulder rest.
I don't leave the bow guide on for every practice. Instead, what I do is put it on for every other practice or so, or sometimes for part of a practice and then take it off, to try and develop a sense of muscle memory while also forcing myself to be mindful of my bow's position.
The device itself is pretty solid. The rubber feet protect the violin's finish beautifully, but it slides on or off easily without any trouble. I'm definitely happy with it. If nothing else, it's an excellent way to internalize how your violin is supposed to sound, so when you're dreamily scratching away at Ode to Joy, and the sound suddenly goes horribly wrong, you'll know it's because your bow sailed off course again, when you don't have it on 🤣
Sidenoite: I've made a 'guide' like this using bendy straws in the past, but honestly, I've found this much easier to deal with. It sits in place, where the straws bounce around as they're bumped by the bow, and can be a little distracting. Others may not mind that. To each your own, but if you're having trouble keeping your bow straight, you may wish to give this a try.
This little guy is really helping my bowing. I have used it on my Mendini MV500. I would not ever put this on an expensive violin or use an expensive bow. However, for my use it is perfect. I take it on and off during practice. So it can help train my muscle memory, but I get used to playing without it as well. I definitely feel like the notes resonate better with a straight bow so I can hear the sound I am aiming for without it. Overall, a great practice tool, just dont use it on an antique or with an expensive bow. The bow tends to bang around a little while you are learning.
I'm very new to learning violin and I thought this would help me stay in place better. I tried it and it does do that and it works well for just doing bow strokes on open strings. But it is certainly not something i would use while playing an actual song as it limits your mobility.
Took three days to arrive. The metal was rusty on arrival and it's somewhat loose when installed. You can narrow/widen the gap between the two metal wires, but I wouldn't say that it's an extremely useful method.