Trying out violin bows

August 29, 2018, 9:38 AM · Hi everybody, I will be going to an instrument shop to test out new bows quite soon, so I would much appreciate some advice on what to look out for (tone projection, sautille etc) and maybe even what pieces to play (perhaps the opening of Bruch, or the Adagio portion of Mozart 5?). Thanks so much!

Replies (2)

Edited: August 29, 2018, 9:54 AM · My advice is based on what I have done in the past for violin and cello bows.

1. Bring your own instrument and bow(s).
2. Test all the bows they will let you try including those below your price range and those above - as far above as they will let you touch. Actually I would test bows in your price range first and then test bows below and above your range in the following way.
3. Test bows in pairs, keep the better one and send the lesser one back. Or test bows one at a time against the best of your own bows and send them back until one betters your own bow. Then test each successive bow against your last keeper.

By testing bows below your price range you may save money. By testing bows way above your price range you will learn what you sacrifice, if anything, at your price range - it may not be as much as you fear.

As far as what to play, what I did was have a routine that I played with every bow - little snippets from a number of pieces that covered the range of my technique and "repertoire" - probably 1 or 2 minutes worth. Be sure to play a 2 octave scale up the G string (it can be a test of bow as well as violin and the combo of the two)!

August 29, 2018, 7:52 PM · Thanks a lot Andrew! That sounds like really rigorous testing haha


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