Recommendations for a new bow for an intermediate violinist

January 19, 2017 at 07:50 AM · Hello!

I have recently started playing my violin again after a long 12 year break (I stopped when I was 16 and I’m now 28).

I have regretted giving it up for a long time, but avoided starting again because I feel so rusty and my skills have deteriorated so much. But I figure there is no time like the present, and with some practice hopefully I can get back to where I was!

So my question is, can anyone give me any recommendations for a new bow?

My current bow is a P&H, but it needs to be replaced because about half the hair has fallen out of it and it really isn’t sounding good.

I would like to upgrade to something that is perhaps suitable for an upper-intermediate player. I think my violin is quite nice and I would like to have a bow that complements it.

I really don’t know a lot about bows so any advice would be much appreciated!

Thank you!

Replies (20)

January 19, 2017 at 02:42 PM · What's your budget?

January 19, 2017 at 05:47 PM · I recently picked up a Codabow GX but I did not like their lower priced bows. I have to say I like most of the JonPaul bows as well, across the entire price range.

January 19, 2017 at 11:39 PM · Go to your luthier and tell him/her what your budget is. You will need to try a number of bows to see which one works best with your violin and strings. Since we cannot play your instrument with various bows, our well-meaning advice is likely to be useless to you. Sorry. Good luck!

January 20, 2017 at 02:44 AM · Thank you all - I actually didn't realise just how much the instrument can affect the sound of the bow, so your advice is helpful :)

I'm in Australia, and the bows here seem to jump from about $100 for a student bow to about $300-$400 for the next level up. So I guess I'm anticipating spending about $300-$400.

January 20, 2017 at 02:47 AM · Carbon fiber. I like my JonPaul Avanti.

January 20, 2017 at 02:57 AM · The JonPaul bows look really nice but it doesn't look like they are sold in Australia unfortunately!

January 20, 2017 at 03:05 AM · Annabel,

300-400 should get you a decent carbon fiber bow. I like JonPaul carbon fiber bows, but Coda is also ok, depending on what you have available locally.

January 20, 2017 at 06:11 AM · W E Dorfler pernambuco.

January 20, 2017 at 06:45 AM · For an intermediate player I would recommend bows by W. E. Hill & Sons. They come in various grades, and the earlier makers are better than the more recent. I have never played a great stick in the lowest grades of Hill and H&S. Relative bargains can be found at the WEH&S level. Expect to pay about £2000 at auction, more from a dealer.

Cheers Carlo

January 20, 2017 at 11:43 AM · Carlo, you have WE Hill bows for $300-400???? That's the OPs price range!!

January 21, 2017 at 07:39 PM · For an intermediate/student level bow, I highly recommend the Shar carbon fiber bows. Heck, even the $79 plays nicely for most any middle school level music. However, for an intermediate level amateur bow the Coda and JonPauls are good substitutes for much more expensive wood bows.

January 22, 2017 at 01:49 AM · I had a situation similar to yours. I ended up buying a brazilwood bow from a local luthier after trying a couple of bows. I just chose a bow with a good bouncing and that made the violin ressonate. Pruce was 450 eur, i think.

I also bought a "cheap" carbon fiber bow to try, but to be honest with you, i dont really like it (it is very sturdy though).

I suggest you go to your a local luthier and check if it is worth to get your stick rehaired before proceeding

January 22, 2017 at 10:13 AM · Lyndon, I only read the original post where there was no mention of price. I saw the words "intermediate player". I was thinking Mozart and Bruch violin concertos. Clearly "intermediate" means different things to different people.

Cheers Carlo

January 22, 2017 at 02:29 PM · I suggest looking at Yitamusic's 'master' bows. It's obviously a gamble, but there is a return/refund policy if there's a problem, and at this price range (or any really), there will be no guarantees.

I have one which I got for somewhere around 1/3 of the price of my CodaBow GX, which handles fine for my needs, and produces a better tone.

January 23, 2017 at 09:05 PM · Don't buy it J money. My Coda Bow GX rocks. Have you considered the Fiddlerman CF bow? Nice balance. Good value for the money.

January 24, 2017 at 02:47 AM · Mary Ellen, I have heard a lot of recommendations for JonPaul Avanti bows. I want to consider this bow. Johnson String has it ready to ship on a trial basis (about $720 to purchase). In the grand scheme of things, that's not terribly expensive. You have used yours undoubtedly for a lot of practicing and probably some performing and teaching too. Is the frog well fitting and the frog mechanism/screw assembly working well and durable? I have Cadenza CF bows which play well, but I'm starting to wonder if the frog mechanism is not very well made.

January 24, 2017 at 08:48 AM · Thanks so much for all the advice!

I went to my local luthier last weekend to try some out, and now I'm just waiting for their new stock to come in before trying some more.

Seeing all of you on this discussion site really motivates me!

January 24, 2017 at 07:56 PM · Paul, what does your local bow guy say about the mechanism? Sometimes issues with this can be due to an improperly-done rehair, too.

January 26, 2017 at 02:12 AM · if not rehair, I vote for Alfred Knoll or JonPaul bows(if Avanti is anything like Vetta). I personally had somewhat distasteful experiences with Codabows, but a lot of people seem to like them.

February 13, 2017 at 05:41 AM · For color, play what your dealer has in wood and go with how it sounds and plays. If you are looking for consistency and durability, Glasser Braided Carbon (octagonal livlier than round which is rounder in sound as well) or JonPaul's wood/carbon hybrid (both around $300-400) or Codabow ($300-$900)

btw, why aren't you trying new hair first?

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