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Buying A Violin Bow For Your Beginning Player

By Expert Author: Nathan Weiss

If you have purchased a student or intermediate violin outfit, the bow is included in the package along with the instrument and the case. If you purchase a stand-alone violin, however, it will become necessary to also purchase a violin bow.


Once you decide to make the purchase, you have two choices: You may visit a local violin shop that sells bows or you may choose to purchase your violin bow online. Since you’re purchasing a student violin, either way is safe. The local violinmaker, though he most likely isn’t a bow maker, will be very knowledgeable about bows as will the customer support of the online violin store.


Simply put, it isn’t necessary to purchase a student player an expensive violin bow. Expensive, fine violin bows can cost many thousands of dollars, but such bows possess qualities a beginning player doesn’t need.


A “good bow” for a student is one that is strong and sturdy, balanced and with a good curve in the wood. Most inexpensive student violin bows are crafted from brazilwood, a cheap but sturdy tropical hardwood exported from Brazil. These bows can cost anywhere from $50 to $300.


Manufacturers have recently begun producing fiberglass student bows that can be purchased for as low as $42. These bows tend to not be high performing bows, but may be ideal for students because they are much more durable and tend not to break or warp. Violin bows made from carbon graphite or composite are also on the market and can be purchased for around $100.


As attractive as these manufactured bows can be in both price and durability, they will not perform as well as a high quality student bow made of wood. The general rule of thumb is, buy your student player the best bow you can afford. Make no mistake, the bow is a vital tool to violin playing, not just in the sense that one needs one to play; as a student progresses, the quality of the bow can make the violin much easier to play, as well as to help get the most out of the violin’s sound and tone.

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