Don Leister: Violin Maker from Richmond, Virginia
May 14, 2011

The Pioneers of New Acoustic Music, Part 1: Darol Anger
Feb 21, 2011

Kentucky's Roger Cooper: Big Sandy River and Beyond
Feb 20, 2011

Clayton McMichen: "Fiddler of the Century" - The Early Years
Feb 19, 2011

Calum MacKinnon: Scottish Roots in the Pacific Northwest
Nov 20, 2010

« Newer / Older »
Search
Hold On! A Look at Bow Holds in Traditional Fiddling
Charles Faurot
2011-08-20
Traditional fiddlers have myriad ways of holding their bows. Texas – and Texas-styled – fiddlers place their thumb on the bottom of the frog. Fiddlers in the greater Galax area (a rough circle with a radius of around sixty miles with Galax, Virginia, at the center) place their thumb on the stick, usually above the wrapping. The photographs in this article will illustrate these different styles. Both styles produce great music.


Luke Thomasson (photograph courtesy of Allan Ray Thomasson)

The Texas technique of the thumb on the bottom of the frog goes way back. The photograph of Luke Thomasson, Benny’s father, shows him holding the bow that way. It had to be taken no later than 1924 as that’s when Luke passed away.














Benny Thomasson (courtesy of Rich Nevins)















Fulton Myers,Hillsville, Virginia, 1966 (photograph by C. Faurot)



















Tommy Jarrell, c. 1917; cropped from larger photo of Tommy with Lily Scott (courtesy of Kerry Blech)


















Kirk Sutphin's hand
(photograph by C. Faurot)

Kirk Sutphin, who probably worked with Tommy [Jarrell] more than anyone else, told me that Tommy kept telling him to work his bow hand down. To this day he holds his bow exactly where and how Tommy did.

...

(For the full article and many more photos, please purchase the Fall 2011 issue.)


[Charlie Faurot founded Old Blue Records in 2004. Old Blue’s catalog has grown to nine CDs, which include material from his earlier efforts, both released and unreleased, and new recordings of the New North Carolina Ramblers and Riley Baugus. Old Blue’s most recent release is OB-708, Out in the Field Behind the Stage at Galax Fiddlers Conventions–1967 & 2010.  Charlie lives in Midlothian, VA, and can be reached at the Old Blue website, www.oldbluerecords.com.]