how to shop for bow
Hello ladies and gents, I have saved some money on the side and now in the position to get a new bow, my current bow is fine, no complaint, but its still a beginner intermediate bow around $200 bucks range,
I know there is some sort of chart of how much you spend on the bow depends on how much the violin cost, well my violin cost 1300 after a heavy discount due to a cosmetic flaw(which i have since had it repaired) but its the best sounding one out of 30 odd violins ranging from 1k-5k. so i don't think that formula applies here.
To be specific, what does one look for when bow shopping, i'm not gonna be exclusive to one material, carbon,, brazilwood, pernambuco. its all fine.
I have tried a 8k hills and son prior, and noticed just how much smoother the sound is, is that the only indicator? what other criteria should i be looking for.
There is a very VERY rough guideline that you spend about 1/3 on your bow what you spent on your violin. The error margins on that are enormous. And I am not sure how well it applies to lower-end violins.
Try as many bows as you can on your violin. Look for very best sound and for very best handling (unfortunately these two characteristics do not often come in the same bow).
If you have a violin you love and you'll never sell, you can spend whatever you like on your bows, whether a third or even much more. 1/3 is just a guideline at a certain level of learning and instruments that people like to give. Bows tend to be relatively more affordable and a better value (if good) than the "equivalent" instrument, have an obvious, substantial effect on the music made, and help the confidence of the player when both handling and sound are excellent.
My beloved JP cost a significant percentage of my lovely antique violin and a far higher percentage of the student violin I had when I bought the bow.
Spend six dollars and buy a copy of The Elements of Style, 4th edition, by Strunk and White. You need it. Also, this website is managed by a woman, and at least half of the commentators are women. Perhaps you should rethink that "gents" salutation. As far as getting a bow goes, Paul said it all.
To be fair, many if not most people online very rarely adhere to academical writing rules. I myself, familiar with the book in question, cannot claim to remember all of its rules.
Thanks all for the reply, i have edited my original post,
this kinda came to mind, a friend of mine this year dropped 3 grand on a new (old) bow, whilst her chinese jay haide violin only cost 2.2 grand, her purchase convinced me that its not illogical to buy a bow thats more expensive than the violin itself.
True enough, even when you are looking at more expensive equipment. The violins I use most these days are made within the last decade. I recently tried a bunch of bows that were not. Ratios were 1:1 or higher, favoring the bows. And with very good results!
As a very general rule less experienced players favour a heavier (60 grams plus) and stronger stick, that bounces easily and can take a lot of lateral pressure. As one matures as a player, lighter and more flexible sticks, will offer a greater range of tone colours. I have not personally played any carbon fibre bow that sounds as good as a fine wooden bow, but they can handle very well and are certainly more affordable.
·I wouldn't buy a bow if the stick itself was broken. (Usually in the upper third.) But there's nothing wrong with a well done head spline. For 20% of the money you'll get a bow that hasn't lost any substantial characteristics, neither technically nor tonally. The 80% in price difference are earned with a slightly increased risk of recurrent damage, but on the other hand you never know, also with undamaged bows, and in case of an already repaired bow will be exactly the cost of the redo work.
Using a set formula to determine how much to spend on a bow based on instrument value is a bit like adhering to “rules” about how much to spend on an engagement ring relative to your annual or monthly income. If you have an instrument that works well, focus on finding a bow that does what you need. Set a budget that’s comfortable for you and look at what’s available. The bigger your budget, the wider the range of options, but it’s best to avoid straining yourself financially.
How I shop for bow:
I did an article a while back that might shed some light on the process: https://adbowsllc.com/2020/08/10/shopping-for-a-bow-part-1/
Carlo, it seems to me that in recent years, the buying trend for players has been towards sticks that can take a lot of weight and are quite strong -- i.e. the fashion for Sartory over, say, Voirin.
Don't overthink it. Go to the shop, try 5 or 6 bows in your price range (not 30) and pick one you like. At this price range it's not a huge decision.