Putting the Bow Before the ViolinInstruments: I don't have a lot of expertise, but I feel as if the bow I am using is not that great a tool.
From Krista Moyer
Granted, after only a month of lessons, I don't have a lot of expertise, but I feel as if the bow I am using is not that great a tool. Since a bow is a smaller investment than the violin, would it make any sense to purchase a better bow now, while I am saving the money for a violin of my own, or am I getting ahead of myself?
I am lucky to have the loan of an instrument, but am eager to have my own. Is this perhaps coloring my perception of need versus want?
From Roland GarrisonI would take your violin to some local violin shops, and try different bows they have in your price range. Then you will find if this is the issue.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 06:28 AM
NOTE: The bow may be adequate, but may need a rehair. As you try different bows, you will get the feel of how a well-haired bow feels, so you will then know if this is the case.
From steven suto me, bow is equally as important. Ideally, you should get one that you can play with comfortably. but good ones cost quite a bit. For myself, I still play on my crappy bow and student violin after 10 years cause I am broke. I do catch a break when my friends lend me their bows!
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 06:35 AM
If you do decide to buy a new bow, you should ask someone you trust to help you pick because there are a lot of unethical dealers so you don't waste your money.
Otherwise, Good luck!
From Carlo BallaraKrista, I would buy the cheapest model of the Codabows or similar carbon fibre. This won't set you back much and would make a useful spare in the future. You can check prices online.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 07:10 AM
Steven, I agree about dealers, but in the price range Krista will be looking in, there is not much to worry about.
From Brian KellyI have just found out myself how important a good bow is to the sound. Buy the best bow that you can afford. That is what I will be doing. Even a cheap violin can sound pretty amazing with decent strings and a good bow.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 08:49 AM
From Carlo Ballara@Lyndon. That sounds like a very good buy. I suspect it is a Chinese bow rebranded as a German bow.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Many of the new low end European labelled instruments are made in China. As long as more than 50% of the final price is European they can be labelled us such.
In the case of a bow probably the hair is enough. For a violin the varnish, or maybe just the set up.
From Lisa Van SickleIf this is the low-end Glasser fiberglass it would cost more to rehair it than to replace it, and you would still have a pretty lousy bow. They're made for school programs where minimum cost and maximum durability are what counts. A new bow is the best investment you could make right now. Any idea what you are looking to spend?
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 03:38 PM
From Krista MoyerThanks for all of the replies!
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 05:17 PM
It sounds as if a bow purchase would not be out of line at this point. I will look into the Vitali Imports option, and will check with some of the other shops in the area. I have a used carbon fiber out on spec right now from one shop (brand name Arcos?). It draws a better sound for sure, but is harder to control. I'm not in love with it.
My plan is to purchase a violin (not including bow)in the $800-$1200 range within the next year. How much should I consider spending on the bow? I was thinking around $150-$200?
From Carlo BallaraThe general rule is the bow should be 25% of the value of the violin as a minimum. A great bow on a good violin is better than the other way around.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 08:58 PM
From Lisa Van SickleMaybe look up to $400 or so. A couple hundred dollars extra goes a LOT further in a bow than an instrument in this price range. There's a bunch of nice bows out there in the $300 - $400 range.
Posted on June 15, 2012 at 09:20 PM
From Brian KellyI think that you should spend more than that. I intend to spend about $200 on a bow and my violins are only worth about $300-$400 each.
Posted on June 16, 2012 at 03:40 AM
From Nicky PaxtonThere remains an unresolved question as to whether the cheaper end of stamped German bows are in fact German, or simply Chinese bows rebranded as German, or else bows made in China but commissioned by German firms and made according to the German firms' specifications. I'm rather concerned at Carlo's comment that Chinese bows can be rebranded as European if at least half of the asking price is imposed on the bow in Europe (if I understand him correctly).
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Does anyone have further information on this question? I'm not trying to 'stir things up'. Instead, the reason why I'm asking is that, if I want a German bow, perhaps I'd better go for older ones in the event of needing another.
From Bart MeijerIt could be very important to ask your teacher before you buy a new bow.
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 05:15 PM
From Krista MoyerBart, that's a good point. I did speak with him, and he is on board.
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 06:10 PM
From Carlo Ballara@Nicky, you are correct. That is how the law stands. It doesn't just apply to instruments. Cheap chicken, in the UK, is sold as British but in fact is grown and killed in Thailand in dubious conditions. The whole carcass is imported and butchered here. British chicken anyone?
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Regarding instruments, it is the cheaper violins and bows. There are, of course, top quality handmade German bows and violins. Even French and Italian ones too...
Chinese instruments are handmade too. Choose a violin or bow based on how it plays, but don't pay a premium because you think it may be European. Do your homework first and if the price seems too good it probably is. I don't see how a $200 German bow adds up.
From Carlo Ballara@Lyndon, Please follow the thread and read all the words in a post before you write your response.
Posted on June 19, 2012 at 09:57 AM
It is clear that I meant, at $200, I very much doubt that the bow was made in Germany. This would have to be made in a low wage economy.
Neither the price nor the quality of the student bow is in question.
From Carlo Ballara10 years ago the world was not flooded with Chinese made instruments. Contact Shanghai.
Posted on June 19, 2012 at 04:05 PM
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