Hello everyone ! - I am new to the forum and would appreciate your thoughts on something which has been troubling me for some time.....
Basically at the risk of being shot down in flames I would like to (respectfully) suggest that the whole notion of the violin bow being anything other than a stick of wood is completely FALSE and in fact the "quality" of the stick has absolutely NO bearing on helping the violinist to produce a more beautiful, powerful tone or anything else - the ONLY criteria being that the bow should have a good balance point and "feel" good in the hand.
I am not a professional but I do consider myself to be a competent classical violinist having played constantly for over 30 years and being able to tackle most of the standard repertoire with a good techinique.
I am lucky enough to have inherited a beautiful 18th century English violin by William Forster but I have always played with the cheapest bows I could find.
Fifteen years ago I thought that I should try some "good" (ie expensive) bows but having tried out many "fine" (and expensive) French and English bows I came to the conclusion that my technique just obviously wasn't refined enough to warrant anything better than the cheap german factory bow I'd been playing with so I abandoned the search.
However, I recently decided to try some bows again thinking that maybe my technique has evolved so out I went and took a number of "fine" bows on loan to assess and hopefully fall in love with one.....
The trouble is that after trying many, many "fine" bows including Sartory, Lamy, Bazin, Voirin, Tubbs, Dodd and W.E.Hill & Sons the only conclusion that I have reached is that the only thing that is "fine" about any of them is their price !! .... in desparation I even tried some top end carbon fibre bows which were not bad but in my opinion still nothing special.
So the end result is that I've gone back to playing with my very cheap and cheerful bows - my favorite being the Chinese bow that cost me less than 30 pounds !!!
So the question is: am I just a pure heathen or am I simply saying what every violinist knows but will never admit because its just not fashionable to say that a cheap Chinese bow is every bit as good as the work of a "master" that costs 1000's times more ??
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