For the few fiddlers feeling their way around here


Apr 27, 2009
Current Location
Usually the East Coast, South, or Midwest
Fenagle yourself an incredibow. One thing I've learned about traveling with a fiddle is you go through bows really quick. Since they can range from $30 to thousands of dollars (and price really makes a difference) it makes sense to make 'em last if you can. I personally HATE flying signs, so I busk whenever I can, and if I don't have a bow, then I can't busk, and then I can't have money unless I spange/fly signs. I've gone through many many cheap bows, and I learned a lesson recently.

This year, I was at Clifftop, in WV, which is an old-time music festival in the mountains. It's located in an area where it rains heavily almost daily in the summer, and as humidity can ruin bow tension, my nearly denuded bow refused to tighten up within a day of being there. So I got lent this thing called an Incredibow. The arc of the bow is in the opposite direction of a normal bow, and it's made of carbon graphite, not wood. It uses synthetic hair (so if you're gonna make a big deal out of bow hair being made of horse hair, there's a solution.) The tension is not adjustable, and that affects the way it plays in a really intereresting way. It has a lot of bounce, and it gives it a lot of attack, which, by the way I play fiddle, is a good thing.

They cost $138 total, which is a lot of money, but if you go through bows like I do, it makes sense. So if you're a fiddler holed up for a moment and you got yourself some cash, go to and get one. They're so nice; they shot me a personally written e-mail that was like "Oh I was so happy to see that I"m sending a bow to New Orleans; I love that city! Tell me how you like your bow!"

So they're fucking awesome.


Oct 28, 2010
Current Location
your mom's backyard
Hmm..interesting. Glad you posted this. I just got my fiddle. Haven't traveled with it yet, so I'll be thinking of this if my bow breaks.


Professional knob twiddler and sound anarchist
Apr 18, 2013
Current Location
Important info for people with Carbon bows-
Not even just humidity but temperature changes can greatly alter your bowhair! When I went travelling this summer I took two carbon bows with me with horsehair. I ended up in Black Rock for a week and both my bows were done. When I returned, I took my bows for their usual rehair and my repairman (Armenious wratch-Toronto's best repairs IMHO) knew right away what was up. See what happens is the hair adjusts tension in the hot and cold but the carbon bow remained unchanged. So the hair got stretched out of proportion and made for no more desert jams. :(

This incredibow sounds perfect for all conditions but, contrary to what I had thought originally, a wooden bow is more adaptable to extreme dry and temperature fluctuations. Just remember to have a wee humidifier in your case to avoid cracks. You can pick them up for real cheap or DIY one super easy. That's just common sense though.

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