Bow warp

September 23, 2004 at 05:50 PM · It seems like every bow I've had eventually warps. I know this can be fixed by a re-cambering, but is there any way to prevent it happening? I'm looking to get a more expensive bow fairly soon, but don't want to invest such a large amount if it's going to warp just like the cheaper bows I have been getting (around the AUD$250).

I always loose my bow when finished playing, so it's not under any stress in the case, so I'm not sure.

It is just because it's a cheap bow, or are there other things I can do to prevent this? One option I am thinking of is keeping a cheaper bow to practice with, and then have another bow just for concert performances. Also thinking about carbon fibre - do these warp with time?

Replies (8)

September 25, 2004 at 01:59 AM · I've seen one CF bow warp. I've never had a good pernambuco bow warp. I've had a number of less expensive (very cheap) ones warp. The main culprit seems to be a case that stresses the bow when stored. The most popular pernambuco bow we sell is the Arcos Brasil nickel mounted. I've not seen a warped one of those, nor do I expect to.


September 25, 2004 at 03:22 AM · Concur. One other thing to take into consideration is the possibility of uneven bow hair. That can cause warping over time.

....Steve Perry??!!

September 25, 2004 at 12:46 PM · What's the "Steve Perry??" thing about? Most people who call ask for Steve Perry, which is fine with me.

September 25, 2004 at 01:05 PM · I've had many bows warp on me as well...mostly cheap bows, but one expensive one (550 dollars being expensive in my book). I think part of the reason is the level of tension WHILE playing. Or lack thereof. I play with a pretty loose bow. My teacher is always telling me to tighten it more, but I get better response when it is looser and when I'm nervous, a looser bow shakes less....I dont know if that has anything to do with warping. could be climate. Or...In my whole life, I've never (until last week) had a bow rehaired. I always just played the bow out. I played it and played it and when it was warped and past the point of needing rehairing, I'd trade it in to my teacher and pay the difference on a new bow. Well. I like the one I have now (about 800 dollars) and it hadn't warped yet, so I sent it with my violin and it is getting rehaired. Maybe this is a new trend that I should follow up on....healthy violin practices...


September 25, 2004 at 08:36 PM · So you're not the Steve Perry that was lead singer for Journey?

September 26, 2004 at 01:10 AM · LOL!

September 26, 2004 at 07:24 AM · Bad bows warp, regardless of their sales tag price. A truly good bow will not, if treated properly.

September 26, 2004 at 12:20 PM · Oh, the Journey thing. I suspect I started much earlier!

One feature I find in bows (even good bows) that have eventually warped (and fine playing bows will sometimes warp or need recambering) is that the spot that warps often has a disruption in the grain of the wood and generally shows slight darkening from having to be highly heated in making the bow. These areas may always remain unstable. But I don't see it as a GREAT flaw, just one to keep in mind. When I select bows out of a group, I generally use balance as the first criterion. I can whip through 100 bows quickly by just picking them up. At some point I'll actually try the remaining bows. I'll sometimes keep an exceptional one that has a potential problem. But normally excellent wood is a primary criterion.

I suggest that developing the habit of really looking at the bow stick is a good one for those trying out bows.

One of the nicest bows I have was stuck in a case on an eBay violin. It had no camber and a complex set of warps, but the wood was nicely grained. Much work later, the stick was dead straight with beautiful camber. It has remained so for a number of years and always attracts compliments. So a warp isn't necessarily the kiss of death.

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

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition
ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program Business Directory Business Directory

AVIVA Young Artist Program

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