Gilles Nehr Thinking Outside the Bow........

March 14, 2007 at 04:42 AM · The current STRINGS magazine is featuring Gilles Nehr and his bow of the 21st century.

Are you ready for it?......

"Gilles Nehr Thinking Outside the Bow"

Gilles Nehr’s innovative tête-bêche sticks it to hundreds of years of tradition. By Patrick Sullivan.

This is a concept that has been evolving since the late 90's.

If you have read the article and seen the pics, let us know what you think.

Are you ready for the future now...........

Replies (46)

March 14, 2007 at 08:35 AM · The tete beche is facinating. Before talking to Gilles about it, I did not know the risks and problems involved in rehairing bows. It's an intelligent design. I've seen a few articles, but this was the longest.

March 14, 2007 at 03:40 PM · I've tried one of his early models about 10 years ago.

The latest evolution is really the most unique and original.

March 14, 2007 at 05:43 PM · I have a couple ideas what this might be. I'm not going to write them though, because if I'm wrong they instantly become public domain, which would prevent somebody in the future who thought of them too, who could actually benefit from them, from getting a good patent, if he otherwise could have.

March 14, 2007 at 05:38 PM · Why don't you get a good patent on it then, and become rich :D

March 14, 2007 at 05:41 PM · Because, 1. I'm not in the bow business, and 2. Nobody is going to get rich from new bow ideas :)

March 14, 2007 at 11:48 PM · JIm,

His tete-beche bow is already patended. Too late.....

And the latest change to the frog, is quite amazing and one of its kind.

March 15, 2007 at 12:26 AM · That's not exactly what I meant but it doesn't matter. When do we find out exactly what it is? We should get him on here to tell us himself. Maybe a nice presentation or something.

March 15, 2007 at 02:51 AM · Buy the current STRINGS issue and see for yourself.

Yes, Gilles, if you are reading this, perhaps you can share some photos?

March 16, 2007 at 12:58 AM · Not hard to find:

March 21, 2007 at 05:10 AM · unfortunately he is not featuring many photos of the tete-beche bow. Perhaps due to the article....oops. Actually, I just looked and yes he is now featuring the latest fine photos of the tete-beche bow.

Reinventing the bow indeed.

Bravo Gilles!

ps: BTW, his traditional bows are very beautiful as well.

March 21, 2007 at 07:54 AM · After those pictures, I still have no idea what it does or even really what it looks like. I guess it will just stay a mystery. Ok, next contestant please.

March 21, 2007 at 08:26 AM · Greetings everybody, this is the first time ever that I am posting something on the website. First, I want to apologize for my poor english writing and second, in 2 weeks from now every single aspect of the Tête-Bêche bow should be clearly described and explained on my website. For now I would like to share with you some close-up pictures and talk about it. (but... I can't find any upload button?)

Gilles Nehr.

March 21, 2007 at 09:25 AM · Hey, man!

The best way to get the pics here would be upload them anyplace, and post links to them here.

March 21, 2007 at 01:12 PM · Thank you Jim Miller.

Until the updating of my website is accomplished, you may click on this link to see photos and descriptions of the main features of the Tête Bêche.

March 21, 2007 at 01:53 PM · Has anyone had the opportunity to play a Nehr tete-beche? What is it like?

March 21, 2007 at 05:41 PM · I see what it's about and how it works now. It's about making re-hairing a reasonable operation, like just buying shoes instead of hiring a cobbler to make some. I like it a lot. I think it's inevitable and evolutionary. Looks great too. Wouldn't change a thing.

March 21, 2007 at 08:56 PM · I'm curious about the weight?

March 22, 2007 at 04:22 AM · the weight is same as traditional bows.

BTW, welcome Gilles, to!

March 22, 2007 at 05:16 PM · Gennady--\have you had the o[pportunity to play a tete-beche?

March 22, 2007 at 08:24 PM · Jay,

I tried the early version a few years ago.

The new version seems quite different.

March 22, 2007 at 08:32 PM · Until there's a bow that fixes me breakfasts in the morning and tucks me in at night I won't be content.

March 22, 2007 at 10:14 PM · Wow this bow looks high tech. I'd be curious to try it out. Is there any way to do that short of going to Manhattan? Is it available for purchase yet in it's current form? I havn't read the strings article so I don't know any details.

March 22, 2007 at 11:04 PM · The current form, is the most up to date in his 21 century design.

Gilles is in Rome.

March 24, 2007 at 02:20 AM · BTW, I can only say that even the earlier model was excellent.

The current model looks even more interesting than before.

I look forward to trying it. Can you hear me now Gilles.....?!

March 24, 2007 at 11:46 AM · Hello Gennady, I'm there and thank you for your comments.

To answer the question about the Tête-Bêche playability, everyone have to think that the Tête-Bêche, outside the different look, is a traditional modern bow. Basicly trying one of my traditional bows, it is like trying a TB at the same time. Instead of "dérouter" the player to a different kind of feeling, it is to go more precisly into details for a very customised bow, in terms of weight, balance and precise details such as where the player place his fingers on the frog, what is the ideal distance between the thumb grip and the frog, etc...

March 25, 2007 at 02:12 AM · A very prominent player out here in Southern California plays on one of your bows Mr. Nehr. He sounds great and I am sure your bow is part of the reason. He has nothing but great things to say about your bow. I have played it and I like it a lot too.


April 5, 2007 at 11:00 PM · I was trying bows today made by a visiting bow maker Daniel Schmidt and I was reminded of this discussion. I just checked out the article in Strings magazine and have to say I really want to try a tête-bêche.

On a side note, I never heard of Daniel Schmidt before today, but for some reason, his bows where better than my Louis Bazin and around the same price (slightly more ~$4000) Slightly disheartening for me, but but perhaps my bow needed a rehair. His bows all felt much lighter (differently balanced maybe?) Funny thing is people think my bow is exceptionally light whevever they try it.

April 6, 2007 at 02:58 PM · Incidentally two of my friends play on bows made by Daniel Schmidt: Julian Rachlin and Vadim Gluzman.

April 10, 2007 at 03:40 AM · Gluzman was just here in town for a concert and masterclass not too long ago. Around the same time as Schmidt. Small small world.

March 8, 2008 at 03:29 PM · Anxious to try a Nehr bow. I've contacted him, but haven't heard back yet.

Where can I try on of Nehr's bows here in the States?

March 8, 2008 at 04:00 PM · Nobody carries the Strings Magazine here anymore.

What a bummer.

March 8, 2008 at 11:00 PM ·

March 8, 2008 at 07:03 PM · "He is by far a better maker and with the weak dollar you are better of financially."

That's BS.

March 8, 2008 at 11:00 PM ·

March 8, 2008 at 07:32 PM · Oh, let's just imagine that 'BS' stands for "Pardon me, but I beg to differ as I cannot quite agree with your conclusions." ;-)

March 8, 2008 at 11:00 PM ·

March 8, 2008 at 09:09 PM · I have a Nehr but I also have had other bows which are much more expensive from early 20th century masters, and soon I'll be into older makers from the first half of the 19th century.

Besides myself I know 4 other people who have a Gilles Nehr bow, and like me, they have other modern bows or bows in the 20,000-50,000 range. One of these people has a large modern bow collection, and to say that Espy is far better is really ridiculous, it's just different. I have tried most big makers, and someone's work like Thomachot is very well regarded, I do not like it, but I do not proclaim that Gilles Nehr or Wehling is "much better" than X bow just because of my preference. You're essentially comparing a fine Maline to an equally good Maire (not talking about specific respective models, just level of making). It's just stupidity. The law of diminish returns is very much in play, and frankly a lot of desireability is hype and is a totally untangible asset. I realized that at a certain level of making or a certain price, things become about preference, not really which one is universally better. It's the same with cars or any other high performance item.

These guys are all very talented makers using the models of the best bows ever and have excellent training that goes back to the best makers. I am quite familiar with Espy and he certainly isn't a lot better than Gilles Nehr. He's just more famous and less approachable making it seem like his work is superior. I don't think my Gilles Nehr bow is superior to other top makers work, I just happen to have it and know that it is at least as good as most of the best stuff out there. I have a lot of options when it comes to owning bows so I have a fairly good idea of the level that is out there.

To anyone looking for a bow, be extremely careful of people who compare two highly credible makers (violins or bows) and say that their work is "way" better. It's very adventurous rhetoric to say the least. If it's an issue of dollars, I agree. If it's about getting the best product, it's BS.

March 8, 2008 at 08:29 PM · I agree with Pieter, there are a lot of great bow makers out there today, and Nher and Espy are two of them.

But I also agree that buying a European violin or bow right now is a bit risk because I do not think that the dollar will regain a lot of ground in the next 5 years.

My teacher has a Nehr and a Fuchs and she loves both of them.

March 8, 2008 at 08:17 PM · I've tried two Espey's.

Now I would like to try a Nehr. :)

March 8, 2008 at 11:07 PM · I will not condescend to this vulgar level of discussion.

March 8, 2008 at 11:23 PM · good.

This is the best time to be a buyer. There are dozens of choices from makers whose level of competence and quality of materials are quite similar. Don't be tricked into thinking that one is head and shoulders above the rest.

March 9, 2008 at 12:01 AM · I'll try not to be tricked, Pieter.

March 9, 2008 at 12:06 AM · just lookin out for the little guys Mr. W.

July 1, 2008 at 07:59 PM · The Tête-Bêche bow is so beautiful.Do you know how much it cost?

July 8, 2008 at 05:07 PM · No one know?Really?

I hope some carbon fiber bow maker will use this frog and tip.

July 29, 2008 at 04:08 PM · Hi Juda,

I believe his current price is 6000 euro.

Good luck!

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Business Directory Business Directory Guide to Online Learning Guide to Online Learning

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine