Matching bow to violin and player

August 11, 2016 at 01:27 AM · This is a continuation of a thread: Choosing a bow by feel

What factors influence how a bow sounds with a particular violin?

What determines whether a bow "feels right" to a player?

How does a player's technical approach to the violin and bow affect the bow that's right for them?

Replies (44)

August 11, 2016 at 03:47 AM · Correcting a warp in a bow shouldn't cost more than about $100, its actually about 15 minutes work in most cases, make sure the luthier is competent in bow repair.

August 11, 2016 at 04:41 AM · On the other hand if its a weak stick, too flexible, there's nothing that can be done to save it.

August 11, 2016 at 05:01 AM · How good is your teacher?

Also, who rehaired it previously? Did they never notice an issue? (Warp? Camber issue?)

August 11, 2016 at 05:39 AM · The warp can be corrected as I stated above, but excess flexibility cannot be altered, and can be a real problem, it depends just how bad the flexibility issue is, some people prefer a more flexible bow but no one deserves to play on an excessively flexible bow, they are not worth rehairing. What the shop might be telling you is it is a very cheap bow not worth the cost of repairs, if so you should get your teachers opinion and consider getting a better bow, it could really improve your playing.

August 11, 2016 at 05:42 AM · An excessively flexible bow is a bow that becomes straight, not curved in, with a moderate to moderate high bow tension, a really strong bow you can never get to bow straight.

August 11, 2016 at 08:42 AM · I think bow hold, bowing technique and your concept of sound production are the important issues that make a bow feel right for a player, although they change with the years as we never stop developing as players, as does our taste for sound.

But in my opinion you never find the definitive and perfect bow for everything, different music demmands different playing style and sound color, so I always recommend to have at least two or three bows. Also making the little and necesary adjustments when changing bows are a good thing to keep your hand fresh and "awake".

August 11, 2016 at 11:02 AM · Good point, Jose. A similar argument applies to having more than one violin. My two violins are slightly different in length, width and depth, one has a thicker neck than the other, and bridge profiles are different. I can swap between the two without now being aware of the little adjustments I am doubtless making.

Slight lateral warping of the bow can be caused by a mismatch in tension across the bow hairs. The remedy is obvious, but may include re-setting the bow if the warping is still there when the hair tension is released.

August 11, 2016 at 03:40 PM · I just bought a $5 bow from ebay. It is a very bad bow, but elegant in showing what I don't want in a bow. The balance is poor, it bends to the right, it is very flexible, the hair is poor and thin. By having this bow, I can better understand the good qualities of my Fiddlerman carbon bow. Did I say that it cost $5. Great bargain for a teaching or learning tool.

August 11, 2016 at 04:50 PM · I haven't tried out a huge amount of bows, but I did a number of tryouts, and was able to pretty easily discard bows that didn't sound good or were mushy, or didn't feel good in the hand.

Taking them home, playing with them, and letting others hear helped out a lot in letting me understand what I was looking for.

My teacher also helped out by playing with them and helping discard ones that wouldn't work so well in repertoire I'm not yet in.

Finally, I tried out a bow that just blew me away in both sound and feel, and my teacher confirmed it was a good bow. Funny enough, it was the most expensive one I tried out.

August 11, 2016 at 06:17 PM · I actually really love a Sartory that I've got out on trial, which is comfortable in the hand, with a very smooth (my teacher calls it "edgeless") feel, and a well-projected but warm sound. It is great for chamber music and orchestra.

Unfortunately, what it doesn't have is great articulation and clarity, which is what I want for solo playing. (Unlike most amateurs, I actually have a real need for something that works for solos -- I'm a community-orchestra concertmaster so routinely play CM solos, plus I've been effectively doing a concerto with orchestra each year, and I play recitals.)

I can't afford to both buy the Sartory and another bow for solo playing, though, and as I've looked at less-expensive bows (in a price range where conceivably I could afford two cheaper bows rather than one more expensive bow), none of them have yet been sufficiently satisfactory.

So in principle I agree with the notion of optimization -- multiple bows optimized for different needs -- it does not seem to be a financially feasible decision in my particular case.

August 11, 2016 at 07:33 PM · I would probably lean towards getting one "ideal" solo bow if I found it, rather tham two cheaper ones, unless you get lucky and find both types at a reasonable price. Perhaps then you can add a smoother sounding bow later, but at least you would be addressing your most immediate need right now.

Since you are (I believe) using Passione, the tone will presumably be at least "fair" for non-solo work with a "soloist" caliber bow-though of course, only you know your violin and your needs/preferences.

August 12, 2016 at 01:22 AM · My current bow sounds pleasant on the violin, and there's still plenty of projection; it's just nowhere near what the violin is capable of producing with a better-matched bow. It's a light, agile bow -- people occasionally call it a "Mozart" bow, if you matched it to the type of repertoire it's ideal for.

I've always preferred to have a single bow used for everything, plus a carbon-fiber bow for situations where I don't want to risk a good bow. That's always been driven both by budget and by the convenience of just having a single bow that does most things pretty well.

August 12, 2016 at 09:16 PM · Well I gather that you spent a fortune on your violin so I don't think you should settle when it comes to your bow. Once you find the right one, you know how much you're going to enjoy it.

August 17, 2016 at 01:58 PM · Now I have an odd problem... I'm trialing a bow that I like, but the silver-wire lapping forms an octagonal shape rather than a round one. My bow-hold is Russian, and the way the index finger leans into the bow is subtly annoying because it's over an octagonal (if smoothed) edge rather than perfect roundness. Trying to decide if I'll get used to it or if it will keep annoying me.

August 17, 2016 at 01:59 PM · Also, an interesting discovery that I hadn't realized before: The balance-point of the bow is different between players. Your arm configuration and weight figures into it somehow.

August 17, 2016 at 04:22 PM · May I suggest that your violin is set up perfectly before looking for a bow. This includes the type of string you are using. If find if I change strings, I need to change bows too. It is fortunate that I have a rather full bow box that enables me to do this.

Cheers Carlo

August 17, 2016 at 05:41 PM · I'm probably not gong to change my current set-up, though I've never really been able to totally resist experimenting with strings. Strings have gotten so expensive these days, though, and I no longer live near a violin shop that has tester strings, so I'm mostly sticking with what I have.

August 19, 2016 at 12:09 AM · Getting back to bows, [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEuo6-xzyDI&feature=youtu.be]here's[/url] an interesting video. No idea if Ervin's opinions are all correct, or how his bows actually sound/handle. But he does take a look at two sticks, and suggests what effects their differences might have for a player.

August 23, 2016 at 04:25 AM · Lydia - it sounds like my Hill would fit the description of the Sartory you've been trying - but it's probably a lot cheaper!

September 8, 2016 at 09:11 PM · I thought I'd update with what I eventually bought: a Victor Fetique from Bein & Fushi. A strong stick, moderate weight, with good articulation and precision.

This wasn't my favorite bow from the perspective of pure playability, but it had the third-best sound on my violin out of everything I tried, and among the best handling.

Soundwise: #1 was a Tourte, which was magical, and of course crazily unaffordable. #2 was a James Tubbs, but sadly it was a very light bow with a balance point that was weirdly high.

In terms of handling: #1 was a CN Bazin that felt somewhat Maline-like (I really wish it drew a better tone from my violin, since it was both very reasonably priced and felt great). #2 was an FN Voirin, very elegant. Both were very good soundwise but blown away by the Fetique.

The Fetique is requiring some adaptation on my part, since it is very different than the Claude Thomassin I've been using. Bit by bit my bow-hand is simply making some automatic adjustments, and then I've got some conscious work to do on executing some strokes a little differently. I've gotten used to the silver-wire lapping finally, though. And simply working with the new bow has probably materially improved a few aspects of my right-hand technique. The more I'm not thinking about the bow, the easier it is to adapt to it.

The bad news is that I spent almost twice what I had hoped to spend on a bow, though still within the budget limit I'd set, and in the end I bought a bow that feels and sounds very good, rather than a bow that feels magical.

In the process of shopping, I went to Potter's, Brobst, and Don Cohen's (DC area), Perrin's (Baltimore), and Oster's (Philly), my teacher got some bows from NYC shops for me, and B&F mailed me a couple of bows (all of them very well-chosen, I thought, based on what my teacher told them they should look for). I tried a heck of a lot of bows in a very broad price range, including both older and contemporary bows (including a surprisingly-good Arcus S9, though for $9k it should be!).

September 8, 2016 at 10:22 PM · "The bad news is that I spent almost twice what I had hoped to spend"

Hehe, I often have this problem! ;)

September 8, 2016 at 11:38 PM · Congrats!

September 9, 2016 at 08:14 AM · How did the Tourte handle?

September 9, 2016 at 12:08 PM · The Tourte handled splendidly but it felt like I would have needed to get used to it. I did not spend enough time with it to figure out exactly what caused it to feel somewhat odd in the hand. But it drew an amazing range of nuanced color from the violin, which sang incredibly. Made me feel like I was playing a Strad.

September 9, 2016 at 06:20 PM · Where did you come across the Arcus S9?

Sorry to go off topic a bit, but I ask because I bought an Arcus S5 cello bow from Johnson String about 5 years ago, when Arcus seemed to be having a "moment." Now, they've all but disappeared from the places that were carrying them at that time. I called Johnson about six months ago to ask about selling it on consignment. Turns out it didn't meet the value threshold for a consignment, but the guy I talked to also told me that they don't really deal with Arcus bows anymore, and he even thought they'd gone out of business. I ended up taking a big loss on it in a private sale.

I remember that at the time, there were some other pretty pricey CF bows, but now, that market seems to top out around $1,000. I wonder if the market just couldn't really sustain those prices for CF.

September 9, 2016 at 07:04 PM · Brobst in Alexandria, VA.

There are still plenty of pricey CF bows, but I don't know how many shops actually carry them. The S9 would have been a great choice if my primary bow need was for pit or outdoor playing, for instance; this one handled competitively with other bows in the price range, sounded surprisingly similar to wood, and, of course, was indestructible.

The thing is, for $750, you can get a JonPaul Avanti, which is a perfectly adequate if unremarkable bow. There's a real and significant difference between it and an S9, but the Avanti is good enough. If I were, say, playing in an opera pit for a living (where space is at a premium and thus unbreakability is a plus, and fatigue can be a significant issue), the S9 would probably make a difference to me, but that's about the only compelling use case for the S9.

September 9, 2016 at 08:28 PM · http://servizi.cremonafiere.it/module-Catalogue-browse-id_show-30-bt-a.phtml

In the end of this current month, at the Cremona fair, i'll ask Bernd if he's gone out of business or not, when i'll come to his stand.... :)

September 9, 2016 at 09:53 PM · Your bow quest story was fascinating to read, Lydia. Thank you for taking the time.

Regarding Arcus bows, 3 of my 8 violin bows are Arcus, and they're what I mostly use. I have 4 wood bows, and though none of them are anywhere near the class of bows that Lydia was trialing, they're all decent quality. Still, I just don't use them much, and I'm looking towards thinning the herd. There's one, Chinese ironically, that I really do value and want to keep, but the others........?

But regarding Arcus specifically, in 2011 they shut their Austrian plant and discontinued the bow line made there. Those bows had names like "Cadenza" "Concerto," etc. These were replaced by the bows made in their new German plant that are called "S", "M", or "P" series. As a consequence, I believe, many wholesalers and retailers were left holding stocks of the older models, and some bitterness ensued.

More recently, Arcus introduced the "A" series for violin only, and then discontinued it within about a year, likely leaving some distributors once again holding unsold stock. (My current personal favorite is an "A" series bow.) And Arcus discontinued the violin "M" series, reconfigured the fittings, and reintroduced it as the "C" series, doubtless leaving unsold bows in the pipeline.

If you search around on the Internet, you'll find web pages that claim that the newer German made bows are inferior to the older Austrian bows. I don't believe that, but I suspect that sellers with drawers full of the older models have an interest in maintaining that story. Also consider how many choices the player has with Arcus bows, when you consider the different models, the different grades of each of those models, round or octagonal....? How does a retailer know what to stock? I couldn't blame retailers for being reluctant to stock expensive Arcus bows. When's the next time they'll be left "holding the bag?" Arcus's own website is not up to date, and perhaps that's only fair while sellers are still trying to clear out back stock.

Arcus certainly has every right to develop and improve their product line, of course. Should they stop development to protect the value of older bows?

The bottom line is that for someone new to Arcus bows, it's very difficult to sort out what's what. Add to that the fact that the bows are radically different than most everything else, and require a learning curve to adapt to, and it's not hard to understand why they might be having troubles in the marketplace. I still think they're great bows, and it seems very regrettable that they're not more widely understood.

September 10, 2016 at 12:14 AM · They're all pretty light, no? Doesn't that diminish their use to a student, sort of like aluminum baseball bats?

As for the Tourte miracle, it is the start of a sales pitch. "Roll your own Strad for 10% of the cost." Makes one wonder how much more esteemed modern fiddles would be if the best of them were all assigned to master players carrying Tourtes. I remember reading-- maybe here-- that Jacques Francais kept Elman's Tourte in the shop so that someone balking on an instrument purchase could see how it sounded with another stick.

September 10, 2016 at 10:55 PM · Yes. I find most Arcus bows to be too light, and I actually love light bows (my Thomassin is 56g). The S9's weight felt really good to me, though -- it tracked the string nicely, whereas sometimes with light bows you really feel like you have to exert extra weight to get it to stay in the string.

I've tried many good bows, but the Tourte was tonally in a class of its own. It really opened up entirely new expressive possibilities in a way that really astonished me. I wish I could have tried it on instruments other than my own violin, too.

September 11, 2016 at 12:51 PM · Ms Leong,

Could you please explain a bit what you mean by articulation and precision--what you play for test purposes. I have to upgrade from my Arcos Brasil Chagas in the near future, but I am a beginner (under one year) and would greatly appreciate some help on this topic. Thank you!

September 11, 2016 at 03:38 PM · It should be easy to both grab the string for a consonantal beginning of a note, and to smoothly mask the start of the stroke.

I like Bach or other Baroque-feeling works to test articulation. Anything totally legato can be used to test how easy it is to mask those "edges" in the sound.

There should also be an inner clarity to the sound. If you play a whole bunch of fast notes (you can just do 1-2-3-4 repeatedly on a single string), do each of the individual notes pop clearly, or is it muddled?

For a beginner, rely on your teacher to help you pick out a decent bow.

October 4, 2016 at 10:51 PM · From the predecessor thread, which for some reason hasn't closed despite being over 100 replies, I'm quoting a post with a bunch of questions:

Timothy Smith

October 4, 2016 at 07:06 PM ยท I've been reading these posts for awhile now and finally decided to join the site.Nice site with many informed people here. Glad to be here!

If you read a hint of frustration in this post please don't take it personally.

I response to this fine thread from Lydia and the many knowledgeable contributors, I'll admit I'm feeling more than slightly overwhelmed concerning proper bow selection and I can feel the pain of a few who have struggled with this.

As someone who plays lots of different things that make music I decided to venture into the violin domain about a year ago thinking that this prior foundation might make the trip better. In hindsight I believe it helped but not nearly enough.

I'm on my third violin and my fifth bow. NEVER have I seen a decision with so many variables. The variables change depending on the situation.

I hear stories repeatedly from players 15 years plus who finally found THE combination...Well.... it's about time you did after that long. They say things like, " If I had only known that then I could have played so much better". Really? " I played a cardboard violin for 10 years before I knew what a good violin was supposed to sound like".I'm embellishing slightly.

According to some opinions...at my stage of playing I'm not qualified to listen properly to make a decent determination. I understand I'm inexperienced so I'll ask my teacher. She says that it's a personal choice and what she likes might not be the same thing I might like.The circular momentum here has been amazing.

The last few bows I bought were apparently nice bows. My standards are probably low at this point. They all sounded better in the violin shop. I had no idea I could take them home to try for a few weeks. The shop owner never offered me this opportunity.

If every bow decision is an independent personal choice based on what sounds and feels best for me, what's the point in sharing our experiences? Since your experiences won't mirror my experiences? The best we could hope for is that the success transfers to my situation.

I played with my teachers bow. It did make a positive difference. I didn't ask what it was and she didn't offer to tell me. I think it could work wonders on my string crossings and articulations.

According to what I read in some threads, I might need to approach my wife and tell her we need to re mortgage the house so I can by a decent bow. Really? What about those of us who aren't in the large orchestras who would still like to play well?

Really folks, I don't see how it could be this complicated, but maybe it is. The intricacies of horsehair and wood know no end. Is that true? Modern manufacturing techniques and technologies haven't caught up with 1700's masters bow making wonders?

At some point haven't they found a sweet spot ?...even a wide sweet spot to make good bows that don't require going into debt? The answer seems to be yes. Choosing the right one seems more of a challenge.

Raphael, thanks for posting the comparison chart.

The proper number of hairs. Good quality, with all horsehair running the right directions at the same tension. The right density of wood with the proper resonant qualities. A good curve on the bow. The bow won't be prone to bouncing or need excessive force to be heard or played with the correct bow force. Responds well to fast articulations.

What else? Weight has been determined ideally to be between 60-70 grams.Good transference of bow energy. The combination in basic form has been around for hundreds of years. Slight variations on the combinations seem to make subtle differences.

Don't mistake me for an expert, I'm not an expert. Just a player with about a years experience and more questions than answers.

Two identical combinations.Same materials used.They look the same externally. Priced 1000's of dollars apart. The other factor is name recognition. I'm not interested in name recognition. The people in my circles are lucky to know what a bow is. In fact there are people who would look at me like a fool If I told them I just spent 10,000 on a finely made stick with horse hair on it. We have people starving to death on the other side of the world and we're asking ourselves, " Should I buy the $10'000 or the $50,000 dollar bow? Wow. Is this what it really takes?

I've been told 300.00 will buy a nice bow. To me this whole thing is starting to get ridiculous. Please understand I'm not calling anyone this, I'm commenting on the selection, quality control. marketing tryout process.

October 4, 2016 at 11:13 PM · How much you care about your equipment, and how much you're willing to spend on it, will depend on your playing level and your needs. Everyone is also constrained by their available budget.

I happen to be an amateur who basically has pro-level needs, and a job that pays well enough for me to indulge in pro-level equipment. Many of the other posters discussing bows in this thread and its predecessor thread are professionals, and many of them are old enough to have made their purchases before prices escalated to their current levels. Even 10 years ago, a Sartory was still in a fairly reasonable price range, instead of being the cost of a luxury car. Your needs are probably not the needs of many of the previous posters.

There are some things that you can objectively say about a bow, but how a given player feels about those things will be different. For instance, some players love light bows; some players hate them. Some players like to make the bow do things; others prefer to just let the bow do the work. Different players like different balance points. Some bows are better at doing some things than other things; where those things are in your priority scheme will vary. A violin-shop owner once described the process of choosing a bow as being more akin to choosing a lover. It's very true.

You can get a perfectly decently-playing stick for not a lot of money. I have a JonPaul Avanti carbon-fiber bow; it typically retails for about $750, and I got a good deal on it at $400. It's a perfectly good neutral bow that does pretty much anything I might want a bow to do. I would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone on a budget, and who doesn't mind carbon fiber.

The "people are starving and you're thinking about spending $X" applies to anything. Do we really need $50,000 cars? Kitchens with granite countertops? Landscaped lawns? Diamond rings? Wine cellars with decades-old vintages?

A bow is a tool, but it is also potentially an art object and an investment vehicle. Most students aren't choosing a bow in that category, though.

October 5, 2016 at 01:57 AM · Another thought... Three violins and five bows in one year of playing is just too much, in my opinion. You're better off taking that money and buying one decent violin and one decent bow. Your teacher should have guided you appropriately.

Indeed, in the first year, you are likely better off renting. When you get to the point where your skills are outgrowing the rental, then it's time to buy, and hopefully by then, you will have reached the point where you can reasonably have preferences in the next step up.

Your teacher still remains important in all of this since they can tell you some objective things about what you're looking at, and tell you what limitations a particular choice will have. They're right that you will have different preferences, but they will be very useful (hopefully) in illuminating what's good and bad about a particular thing you're looking at.

You are not probably not going to choose a "forever" violin or bow at this stage in your playing. Beginners need their equipment to be more forgiving. Of course, you could keep what you buy now for a long time, if you never get to the point where your skills outgrow the capabilities of the violin and bow that you purchase.

Many good amateurs are perfectly content with a higher-end student violin (say, no more than $3,000) and a decent bow (less than $1,000).

Pro quality costs, but I wouldn't concern myself with buying anything at that level until you're playing at the equivalent of a pre-professional level. Yes, the right violin and bow can make an enormous difference in your playing, but first you need to get to the level where you can take advantage of the better equipment.

Much of the information in this thread is almost totally irrelevant to a beginner, since it's mostly about the subtleties of high-end bows in conjunction with high-end violins, in the hands of advanced/professional players.

October 5, 2016 at 05:45 AM · It is not always true that a better violin (or bow) will make a difference, and could make things worse.

Some good violins may have great potential, but are much harder to play. Sometimes for serious amateurs it might be better to get a nice sounding violin that plays easily, compared to a really better violin that is a bit like riding a wild horse and needs taming and learning how to cope.

October 5, 2016 at 05:33 PM · Peter is very correct. The first couple of weeks with my current violin were pure struggle -- like trying to learn to drive a racecar with "oversensitive" steering. Forced me to become a better player.

October 12, 2016 at 04:26 PM · Hi Lydia,

I appreciate your advice. I had some difficulty navigating back to this thread. I had concluded that I would get notifications on new replies to a thread. I was wrong in that assumption. Otherwise I would have responded much sooner.

I have only recently started to understand the idea of the instrument as a collectible antique more than a functional tool. This seems to be what's driving the prices of some models and makes up.The same seems to apply to bows. I wasn't aware that this idea was so widespread among so many in the professional music community.

From a practical perspective this idea has no effect on me other than the potential that it could make prices on the bows I might desire for performance more expensive. Let the collectors collect and the players play.

My comment about "children starving" and buying expensive toys etc wasn't intended as any discredit to anyone who has such a bow. My thoughts were more in the direction of , Is more necessary? If it isn't necessary, then I don't need it.

I'm a middle aged guy who can afford to throw money at his hobbies if I think it's necessary. The catch being, Is it necessary?

I still have a difficult time coming to terms with the idea that starting out on something less than good is a good idea.No matter what level I'm at. I also play guitars, bouzoukis, and keys. I wouldn't start out a new guitar student on a cheap guitar. I would attempt to persuade his parents to buy him the very best they can.When I played brass the best players had the best instruments. Was this a coincidence? I could reach higher notes that sounded better on the better instruments.

My second violin was too dark sounding. In fact, I asked for a mellow instrument. I made a bad call.

I bought my third violin from a young woman who placed in the state finals on that very violin. She traded up to a Testore and now plays in a local symphony. I know I have a solid well playing violin, but I'm still out on a good bow. I sincerely believe that it would make a difference in my playing, even at my current level. I'm into some fast playing on Irish music and I think it requires what they say the beginners don't yet need.

Good luck on your searches!

October 12, 2016 at 05:32 PM · I think for anything in life, there is "good enough". The question of what is "good enough" varies per person, and per desired object/experience/whatever.

You can find a decent bow in the $500 to $1000 range -- a bow good enough that it would not serve as an impediment to your playing. For $3000 to $6000 or so, you could obtain a bow from many of the best contemporary bow-makers.

Collectors and players functionally compete in the same market, since collectors drive up the prices but players still need tools. This is especially true when collectors put what they buy into vaults rather than loaning them out to players.

October 12, 2016 at 07:14 PM · @Lydia, I actually need to buy a new bow next (before a violin as we're discussing in that other thread), and following the 40% rule I would be in the price range you mention above. Would you suggest any of the top-tier makers? I would like to start reaching out to them in the next few months, aiming to make a purchase by mid next year if I come across a bow I'm happy with (I don't know how long commissioning would take, but I'd wait longer to purchase to allow that to be an option).

Also, BTW, I think it was your suggestion that lead me to try out some JonPaul Avanti models, of which I did find one I'm happy with. And I tried out four copies, and they all sounded and handled differently. The one I picked definitely had the best tone and balance of all of them, and it wasn't even very close. So, to all of you ever in the market for a carbon fiber bow, get several copies to try out, as you'll probably find one matches your violin better than the others.

Now, the sound quality with this carbon fiber bow isn't as good as a quality wooden bow for sure, but it's very playable and thus an upgrade over my childhood wooden bow that I was using--it has allowed me to improve my technique quite a bit. Also being virtually indestructible is nice, so I can keep using it in risky situations even after I get a nice wooden bow.

October 12, 2016 at 08:00 PM · There are extensive existing threads on contemporary bowmakers on v.com. Start with this one: LINK.

Many makers don't have unsold bows, and often the shops that might carry any unsold inventory are pretty local to the maker. It's hard to try out a lot of bows from different modern makers. Where do you live? You might consider visiting makers in driving distance for starters.

It is pointless to search for a bow until you've found the violin you want, though. The pairing is too important.

October 13, 2016 at 02:28 AM · I live in the Denver metro area.

As for the bow-violin matching, that's a good point. I expect to keep my current violin, either as a second or for one of my children to use, and as it's pretty good (I was able to have my teacher try out violins and pick one in Chicago when I was a teanager) I think I'd rather have a wood bow now then wait 5-10 years until I upgrade the violin.

I will check out that thread you linked to as well.

October 13, 2016 at 04:08 AM · Oh, if you're not going to upgrade the violin for another 5+ years, go ahead and get a bow now. Just expect you might need to get another bow when you change violins.

October 13, 2016 at 03:45 PM · Not a player but I would think the risk of commissioning a bow and not being happy with it would be even greater than the risk of commissioning a violin and not being happy with. It seems bows are more intensely personal than violins, and even with a top maker, variation between bows is going to be a factor. I've heard talk of really top bow makers that can work with the player and actually customize their commission to the playing characteristics they want, but short of that I think there is good reason to try many available 4 sale bows and pick the one that works for you be it antique, vintage or new IMHO

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Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

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