Join me: sign up for my newsletter

Violin effect : pulling a tied bow hair

Posted on 19 January 2007

The violinist in Taraf de Haidouks sometimes uses a special effect which took some detective work to understand how it was created. Here's how it sounds when the Taraf do it:

It turns out what is happening here is you take bow hair and tie it to the G string of the violin about a centimeter awawy from the bridge towards the fingerboard (I used a reef knot "left over right and under, right over left and under" and in the recording below I didn't tie it tight to the string, but I don't think it matters either way).

You then get loads of rosin all over your fingers and wipe it on the string a few times as well - really saturate everything. Then just pull:

Incidentally if you tie too near to the bridge I found you couldn't change the pitch and just get a more rasping effect:


I used this effect in my piece Piosenki. Unfortunately I only exploited its cruder qualities, using it in the opening of the song 'Smelly' (it evokes flatulent imagery). You can hear it on the Carnegie Hall website where it is the forth song, about 5 mins in.


Leave a Reply



2016: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2015: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2014: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2013: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2012: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2011: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2010: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2009: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2008: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2007: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2006: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 

All works are available through


       Latest CD release


Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project has been on a mission to promote innovation and cross-cultural understanding through the arts for the last 15 years; the latest chapter comes with their new album, A Playlist Without Borders. The vision of Yo-Yo Ma's limitless collective is as timely as ever: to connect the world's neighborhoods by bringing together artists and audiences. From flashy surf guitar sounds to ninth century Chinese poetry, from modular playlists to Egyptian rhythms, the Silk Road Ensemble mixes the modern and the traditional, breaking boundaries of ethnicity and era. The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma's A Playlist Without Borders is the groundbreaking group's fifth recording and the first since 2009's Grammy® nominated Off the Map. With A Playlist Without Borders, The Silk Road Ensemble once again demonstrates that there are no barriers for those approaching music with an open mind.

Buy now on
Buy now on itunes



The Myriad Trio launches their debut disc, featuring classic work for flute, viola, and harp. The last piece on the CD is the source of inspiration for the disc and the work that anchors the album: The Eye of Night. Commissioned and premiered by The Myriad Trio in 2010, The Eye of Night, written by the British-American composer David Bruce, highlights the very special qualities that make this instrumental combination distinctive and this unique ensemble extraordinary.

Buy now on
Buy now on itunes

Recent blog posts

  • A nice surprise
  • Two for one
  • Thoughts on Nothing
  • Consigning to the flames - the dirty sonnets of Giuseppe Belli
  • Making it work

  • Most popular blog posts

  • Beginners Lessons in Tabla playing
  • Indian melodies, Indian ornaments
  • Have all the good melodies already been used up?
  • Ligeti's Sippal, dobbal, nadihegedűvel text and translation
  • My Lagerphone is built
  • © 2016 David Bruce