Looking for a 7/8 violin bow

September 6, 2010 at 04:44 PM ·

Where can I purchase an inexpensive 7/8 violin bow?  Does anyone have a 7/8 violin for sale?

Replies (20)

September 6, 2010 at 10:36 PM ·

I've never seen a 7/8 bow, or an ad for one.  At that point, people just go for the 4/4.  Is there a specific reason you are looking for a 7/8 bow, or do you just need something to go with an instrument of that size?

September 6, 2010 at 10:49 PM ·

Regina just search for  '7/8 violin' on www.ebay.com, it comes up with seventeen violins at the moment. Some of them looks beautiful. Use a 3/4 bow with a 7/8 violin because a 7/8 bow can be hard to find, or if you find the 4/4 too heavy.

September 7, 2010 at 10:25 AM ·

Just after seeing your queery I came upon this violin from Keith Hill:


There's also two sound samples....


September 7, 2010 at 12:40 PM ·

I'm using a 7/8 myself, and using a 4/4 bow. As far as I know, the 7/8 size is for people with short fingers or small hands, not short arm so I don't think there is a 7/8 bow.

Some teacher told me that I could use the 3/4 bow as well, as long as I was comfortable with it. But i'm using the 4/4 since I paid a sum of money on it which I can't afford anymore. I start getting used to it, too.

September 7, 2010 at 07:59 PM ·

When I played a 7/8 violin, I used a 3/4 bow.  Since then, I've switched to a 3/4 violin, so I did not have to buy another bow.    I'd not heard that there was such a thing as a 7/8 bow, and so did not seek one at the time. 

September 7, 2010 at 09:07 PM ·

I play a 7/8 violin and my bows are 4/4.  I wouldn't recommend switching to a 3/4 bow unless weight is an issue, as good 3/4 bows are much harder to come by.

September 7, 2010 at 09:48 PM ·

@Phuong ;

As far as I know violins are chosen according to arm reach i.e. with your out stretched arm your left hand must be able to curl round the scroll of the violin, and that is how children progress to the larger sizes. The body size difference is 1/2 inch between 4/4 and 7/8 i.e. 4/4 length 14 inches, 7/8 length 13.5 inches. If the fingers or hand is small they may have to re-shape the circumference of the violin neck.

September 8, 2010 at 06:51 AM ·

 Some 4/4 bows are 72 or 73 cm, others are 74 (most).  You need to search, but the shorter full size are out there, just as there are smaller/shorter bodied full size violins. I got a 71 cm which is pretty nice,excep the rehair was too long for it so it doesn't adjust up at the moment, but it was nice to play on with its few original hairs. a 3/4 bow is down around 68-9 cm, so you do lose a fair bit of length if you go that route, but that's not all bad. It is harder to get a really nice 3/4 bow I think. Well, in Australia at least.

September 8, 2010 at 07:56 AM ·

@Dion: Sorry, I'm not sure what you are pointing out - no imply here, I really don't.

Since my arm length is perfect for a 4/4. but my hands are extremely smalls that's why I settled with a 7/8 with a slender neck and a little shorter. I don't use a 7/8 because my arms are short. So I guess this statement complies with what you say, doesn't it?

September 8, 2010 at 10:45 AM ·

 Phuong if you ever played a viola you will realize that a full size violin feels like a little toy in the hands of a grown up. There are thousands of women with small hands that plays a full size violin at the highest level, and the scarcity of 7/8 violins confirms my suspicion. Not to even to mention the thousands of small size women that plays the viola. If you are happy with playing the 7/8 then by all means carry on, there are flute players that enjoy playing the piccolo.

September 8, 2010 at 02:22 PM ·

@Dion: I think it's easier for you to imagine how small my hands are, let just say my 4th finger is 4.5cm and middle one- the longest is 6cm.

September 8, 2010 at 03:26 PM ·

If your set up works for you, with the 7/8 violin, go for it. I am curious if you ever find a 7/8 bow, though.

In my case, short fingers (4th finger also about 4.5 cm), short hands, short arms, and multiple joint problems, so I am using a 3/4 violin with a 3/4 bow, to relieve as much stress as possible on my hands, elbows, and shoulders.  But I'm an adult beginner, and although some day I may want a nice bow, no sound is worth more joint pain, so I am happy with the 3/4. 

December 13, 2010 at 05:09 PM ·

Check out Gliga Violin's site, violinslover.com. They sell several 7/8 bows, including permanbuco & fiberglass. I use a 7/8 bow because a full-sized bow will not fit in the case for my 7/8 violin.

December 14, 2010 at 01:39 PM ·

7/8 bows DO exist, the violin shop I use has quite a few of them (in central London).

in regards to the subject of short fingers and small hands and why is there so many women with small hands/short fingers playing perfectly well on a 4/4 violin?

I think this also has something to do with these players playing from a very young age and the stretch in the tendons in their hands/fingers developing that little bit further as a result, allowing their fingers to stretch (I am talking about the outward stretch to open up fingers) to be a millimeter or two bigger than if they took up violin playing as a late adult ie if they took up the instrument when they were over the age of 30+ when no matter how much exercise you do and how much you play the violin, your tendons will stretch but your body has done all the growing so you will not stretch as much as you will have done as a growing child!

My fourth finger can stretch for miles, I have NO problems in playing octaves at all! I can do more than an octave on a piano too, BUT give me a low second finger with a high third on a violin and I just cannot do it without being in pain and struggling!!! I just need ONE millimetre leaveway to be comfortable and be spot on with my intonation, but only in first position, take me in higher positions and I am fine.

So I have switched to a 7/8 after 4 years of learning and struggling with it. The 7/8 violin means the gap between my notes in 1st position is 1mm less, the 1mm I 'need' to be pain free and comfortable to achieve perfect intonation at same time.  I have had no loss of tone as I found a really nice 7/8 thankfully, you really wouldn't know it is a 7/8! :)

So yes, and of course at the end of the day whatever suits one person will always be the answer, of course I also think it's important learners don't jump to conclusions that a smaller violin is the answer but rather such decision is made carefully and after having looked at all aspects of technique/posture etc and ideally with the help of a teacher/experienced person otherwise one is not really 'helping the problem' but just going round in circles  ;)

January 3, 2012 at 11:15 AM · I have a 7/8 violin for sale. Asking Price of 2100.00

Contact me for additional information

January 3, 2012 at 12:13 PM · My baroque bow (a copy of a 1750 French bow - therefore pre-Tourte) is 2" shorter than my standard size bows. Something like that may be worth considering if most of your playing is of pre-romantic era music.

January 3, 2012 at 01:53 PM · You can find lady's violins, or 7/8ths, around. Not too many of recent construction. A 7/8 bow is not common. Don't know that I've ever seen one, in fact. Once you find a violin you like, try it with full-size bows, and just plan on not playing all the way to the tip. Also try 3/4 bows, in case the weight distribution feels better & draws a better tone. 7/8's are generally carried in full-size cases, so be sure a 3/4 bow will stay put if that's what you choose.

December 6, 2016 at 04:29 AM · I accidentally acquired what I think is a 7/8 violin bow. I purchased a lovely John Brazil bow because of how well it played. My instructor at the time thought it was great too. Recently, I measured it against every other bow I own and realized it is about half an inch short! I think it's a 7/8 violin bow.

December 6, 2016 at 11:19 AM · Joshua, a true 7/8 length would be a fair bit shorter than that. As I mentioned above, there is variation in 4/4 (there is not actual standard, just they tend to be around 74cm).

By chance I happened apon a nice pernambuco 7/8 by a Brazilian company, bought it via ebay since they're impossible to find in Australia, and it suits fine. Nothing overly high standard but it was well under a $1,000 so I'm happy. One day, I'll have the bucks for my luthier to get a reeeally nice smaller bow on one of his hunts in Europe.

December 7, 2016 at 07:05 PM · I am 5'3" and have small hands but would never sacrifice sound for comfort. I found an Amati patterned 4/4. Slender neck and body but more comfortable. With that said, I would tremble to play some passages with a 3/4 or 7/8 bow. Sometimes I wished my 4/4 bow had a few more inches!

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