The violin is a most unique string instrument. Like any other music instrument, there are many choices available. However when you select your violin, you are also selecting the violin bow. There are many different kinds of bows which vary across the board in terms of quality. Here, I will share with you some tips in selecting your first violin bow.
Bear in mind that when you learn how to play the violin, it is the combination of both the violin bow and the violin which produces the tone of the instrument. As such the quality of the bow is as important as that of the violin.
So what type of bows are suitable to beginners who want to learn the violin?
Firstly, determine your budget.
The price range of violin bows can range from between twenty dollars to six figures. The cheapest bows typically do now have the quality required to produce french violin bow makers great tonal quality in any violin. Anyone, even those who do not play music instruments, will be able to detect poor music quality from a badly made bow. As such, if you have the budget, I suggest you start off with a decently made quality bow from a two hundred dollars onwards.
Secondly, weigh the bow.
The bow is actually an extension of your arm when you play the violin. The ideal weight of a violin bow should be between sixty to sixty four grammes. Any lighter than that or heavier than that, it will feel unnatural when you play the violin.
As such at your local violin shop, ask to weigh the bow you select on a weighing scale. A digital weighing scale is most ideal as this give the most accurate reading.
Any violin shop serious in selecting quality violin and violin bows will have a digital weighing scale on hand for this purpose.
Thirdly, wood or fibreglass?
Majority of violin bows are made from different types of wood, the other alternative will be fibreglass bows. Fibreglass is lightweight in nature and produces a different tone compared to a normal wooden bow. My personal preference will be to purchase a fibreglass bow compared to a cheap twenty dollar bow as the former will produce excellent sound quality. The price difference between the two types of bows is not great.
However, if you compare the fibreglass bow to a well made wooden bow, the latter may be a better investment. In either case, ensure that you try out the different types of bows and select the ideal one for your violin.
At Stradivari Strings, we take pride in offering you personalized services in selecting your instrument. Whether you are looking to buy your first violin or cello bow, or invest in a handmade investment grade instrument, stradivaristrings.com has the range for you. Check out Stradivari Strings as we also stock a wide range of other instruments including violin bows, cello, cello bow, guitars, saxophone, flute and ukulele.