bow vs violin upgrade
I watched these two videos, which seemed pretty good:
I've watched of lot of other ones, but these two really seemed to capture the gist of what I have been seeing.
My take aways (other than the specific products she mentions), are:
1) bows affect both tone and technique, bows make different techniques easier or harder, and what is easy for a beginner to control is not necessarily the best bow for a more advanced player. And bows are not one-size fits all either. Some lend themselves better to certain types of playing, but good all-around bows can be had for a price.
2) violins tend to get better tone, especially up the neck, and louder as they get more expensive, but poorer tone doesn't necessarily hold you back in developing technique like a poor bow would. Although a violin that easily lets you draw a good tone out of it across all registers, (even if it isn't the loudest violin in the world) can also help in your development as a player.
So is that about right? Meaning a good bow is higher priority than a good violin, especially at the lower end of the cost spectrum. It seemed like a good $1500 bow, and a $2500 violin would get you pretty far. Although a collection of a few bows dedicated for certain types of playing seemed like that could happen easily enough too.
At that lower end, dollar for dollar, more money on the bow probably gets you more bang for the buck.
You called it, I have a $1200 (used) violin and a new $500 bow, and am a beginner. My next step under consideration is about what you said. Thanks for the confirmation I am on the right track, picking the exact ones however doesn't need to be rushed, since I won't be ready for them for a while.
The problem with using price as your guide to instrument and bow quality is that there are "one-offs" out there and the way to get the "best bang for the buck"is to search over time and area to find them.
One has to consider how prices have changed since the time of Andy's examples, though. A $1400 violin in 1990 might be a very different animal now. Even though that's only $2,700 in present-day dollars, many maker prices have gone up significantly since then. The maker of my contemporary American violin made around that time, which I got for $6.5k (apparently on too much markup, he was charging $4k himself) was charging $20k about a decade ago.
Whatever your budget, the purchases are made separately. First the violin that you like, that responds to you, then, with whatever money is left over, or future money, one or two bows that work well with the violin. I recommend getting two bows, first a cheap one that is good enough, which will be the back-up bow after you find your good bow.
i recommend getting two different bow, one light and one heavier, not too heavy, thats what my tutor said to me.
The prices you mentioned for violin and bow would serve you well and take you far. Good luck in your search!
I see these types of bow vs. violin discussions on here a lot. Almost always recommending spending proportionately a lot on a bow. However, I have noticed in practice quite a few pro players using carbon fiber bows in the $300-1,000 range with very nice $15K and up instruments. To me this would suggest that with the playability of carbon fiber bows in the lower price ranges, students might be better off with say a $400-800 Coda or Jon Paul carbon fiber bow and a more expensive ($2,000+) violin.
The current front runners are a coda bow marquis, and a John Cheng guarnieri or limited. But want to try John Paul and maybe Archon at some point.
This is one of the reasons why people have violin teachers to guide them through the journey. Ask your teacher if you're ready for the next step up in bow or violin.
The correlation between price and playing value is very different for violins and bows. For violins the major determinant of price is provenance, not playing ability . Sure provenance is (can be?) affected by how well violins from the same source have succeeded as soloistic instruments but the maker's name and the country of origin etc are more reliable indicators. This is why dealers do not need to be able to play the violin to trade.
Another way to think about it-- bows vary a lot in usefulness, but it's a bit easier to get a quick read on their quality. So shopping will take less time, even though it can be just as frustrating.
I disagree with Elise. Plenty of players buy bows to collect, since the investment is substantially less than buying a violin, and it can be useful to have a variety of bows.
"Plenty of players buy bows to collect, since the investment is substantially less than buying a violin, and it can be useful to have a variety of bows."
Elise, fine bows have appreciated at least as quickly, or more so, than fine violins, over the last decade and certainly over the last 30 years. Volume has helped that, especially since fine French bows used to be obtainable under $3k. The price of a Sartory has just about tripled in a little over a decade, to the point where it you will see pristine ones for over $40k.
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