Do you feel like Gollem when you are trying to find a good bow?
The bow is an important part of your violin and there are different aspects to take into account when buying a new one. Many people find it very difficult to find themselves a payable and playable violin, viola or cello. Certainly when it’s your first instrument and you are not very experienced with bowed instruments, it seems like a big leap to select your first musical friend. There is an overload of information and offers on the internet, so I have made a video series to make it easier for you. In this video series I compare a € 40 violin to a € 499 violin, explain the difference and give you tips to select your ideal instrument yourself. In this video I explain how to look at common characteristics of the body of the violin, viola or cello.
When you compare playing the violin to singing, the violin is like the lungs of a singer, but the bow is like the voice. A good bow is essential for playing violin beautifully!
To start, it is important that the frog of the violin is all the way against the bow. You should not be able to move it around. A plastic frog can give you sweaty fingers and does not last that long. So if you play a lot, you might want to reconsider opting for a bow with a mahogony frog for example.
Moreover, the bow should be straight and stiff. If it is not, the bow is unstable and affect your playing. If the bow is wobbly when you put pressure on it, you will not be able to play clear notes. Therefore, choose the right material that fits your playing style.
The bow does not only consist out of the stick, but also the hair. The hair should be horse hair. Why? Because horse hair is able to make the strings vibrate. Cheap bows most often have synthetic hair, which does not make the strings vibrate as well. Beginners with a synthetic bow can think that their playing is affected by their technique and start adjusting it. This can get them stuck in playing and building a good technique, so I would advice to always buy a bow of horse hair.
PS: Do you want to see YOUR question answered in a Violin Lounge TV episode? Post a comment below!
Selecting a bow is like being a wizzards going to Ollivander’s.
Most valued features:
- Ease of bowing