What to look for when buying a new bow
Hi everyone, I'm looking for a new bow, but don't know exactly what to look for yet. My previous bow's hairs started loosening from the frog so that's all I know to ask the luthier for. Any tips? Thanks in advance!
Hair is replaceable. It get my bow rehaired once a year. I think I already descrped my bow checking routine in this forum.
check the value of the bow, i suggest. rehairing itself costs around $50 and above (depends on horse hair quality). So, if it's a good bow, good quality and you like it, sure let it rehaired, but if it doesn't worth it let's buy a new bow.
Old French bows, certified and in mint condition, will cost the most but will also be the best investments long term.
I thinkthat somebody asking in an online forum how to test new bows is probably not looking for such an investment.
For an aid to testing, please visit my website and look in the "writings" section
Carlo, if you can only have one bow CF seems like a good choice since it's almost indestructable and is useful to have around for risky situations even when you have a good bow. But, bow number two should definitely be a nice contemporary pernambuco or even better old french bow.
@Jason. I disagree. If you can only have one bow, make it a good pernambuco one, or you will have one bow that sounds poorly.
I own a Arcus S8, but if I had to choose id keep my Grünke for sure and get rid of the Arcus.
What to look for in a bow may depend on what level of technique you have. For example, if you are an advanced or professional player that needs to have every shade of spiccato or sautille, the way a bow bounces may be primary. If you do jazz or country styles and never need a Mozart-style brush stroke, you may not care. You may need a bow that has a clean ricochet, or you may not.
The effect of the bow on the *tone* of the violin is one of those legendary controversies. Pros will swear up and down that it matters tremendously, and their experience and knowledge cannot be discounted.
And following up on Scott's comment, I once went to a dealer and picked out what I thought was an awesome bow. I took it to a local pro for his opinion. He tried it for 30 seconds and said, "Don't buy this bow. I can't play anything with it. I can't play sautille." Those were his exact words.
The OP is an intermediate-level teenaged player, to judge by their previous posts (they're at the Csardas level).
Paul, it also depends on what your violin can do.
This is what I had to say about bouncing bows about 15 years ago: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/161366-help-with-sautille-csardas/
When you come to a forum like this you get lots of random advice like "go spend thousand of dollars on an exotic antique", counterbalancing common sense like "you are at a level at which a decent, sub-$1k bow will do just fine." and practical guidance like the links included above.
The first thing I look for when trying a bow is the frog. Then I put my hand there and try out the bow.
Marty, not to diss your joke, clearly the violin bow needs a handle.
In my short time here there's one thing I have never heard anyone say.
There have been endless bow discussions in this forum. I own an Arcus S8, one of the better CF bows. It has some advantages, but in general I would never ever choose it as my only bow and also not recommend doing so.
It's never a bad idea to try out a bunch of bows, because shopping for bows and instruments is a process, and you don't always have all the information all at once. If your technique is up to it and you are playing music with more complicated bowings and bow-strokes, you will have a better idea of what to look for. Still, even if you are not, it's good to spend time over a number of sessions, see what is out there, and see if it is really that much better than what you already have.
I have an old bow passed down through my family. It faintly says Tourte Model on it above the frog. Can anyone tell me about this bow?
Tourte was one of if not the most important bow maker. He made significant changes to bows that we still consider the modern bow.