The Best Violin Bows: Which One Is Right for You?
There are a lot of different factors to consider when purchasing a violin bow. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. This could also vary depending on the violin you’re using. Whether you are using a Mendini MV300 or a Scott Cao, using the right bow is essential to enhance your overall performance. This blog post will discuss the different types of violin bows and help you decide which one is best for your playing style.
Finding the best violin bow is like finding the right wand for Harry Potter. Some bows are too big and hard to hold, while others are too weak and don’t work well. But when Harry finds the right one, it’s as if everything falls into place, and he knows it’s the right choice.
When shopping for a bow, you will know when you find the right one for you. It won’t be because of any magic or mystery. It will just feel right. Bows are different for everyone, so there is no perfect bow.
There are a lot of different bows to choose from. You need to find the best one for your instrument, playing style, and budget.
Quick Picks: The Best Violin Bows
Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
D Z Strad Violin Bow (Model 300)
Fiddlerman Wood and Carbon Fiber Hybrid Violin Bow
Kmise Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
What Are The Best Violin Bows?
Here are some brands for a new violin bow.
1. Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
- Fiddlerman Handmade Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
- Quality Siberian Horse Hair
- Nicely Decorated Copper Mounted Ebony Frog
- Great Balance and Weight Distribution
- Nice Arch with Good Bounce and Action
The Fiddlerman violin bow is one of the most widely used violin bows available on the market today, and it is available in a variety of colors to suit your preference. This is an excellent option for those who are working with a limited budget.
The construction of this baseball bat is made of carbon fiber, which makes it an excellent choice for both beginning players and those who prefer to play baseball outside.
2. D Z Strad Violin Bow (Model 300)
- This Pernambuco, silver-lined, octagonal stick with Ebony frog with fleur-de-lis inlay is a high-quality musical instrument.
- Mongolian Grade AAA Horse Hair is included in the package.
- Every bow is checked in America.
- This racket is designed for good playability and has a medium to strong stiffness.
- This bow is well-balanced, so it responds quickly and bounces back easily.
Using a traditional wooden bow, which is a more cost-effective alternative, allows you to save money on your purchase.
It is equipped with an octagonal stick that assists in concentrating and delineating the sound produced by the bow. The ebony frog is embellished with a lovely fleur-de-lis inlay design, and the turning screw is also embellished with a lovely fleur-de-lis inlay design.
3. Fiddlerman Wood and Carbon Fiber Hybrid Violin Bow
- Fiddlerman Handmade Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
- Quality Siberian Horse Hair
- Nicely Decorated Copper Mounted Ebony Frog
- Great Balance and Weight Distribution
- Nice Arch with Good Bounce and Action
Fiddlerman has released yet another popular model in this series, which has become increasingly popular. It's a cross between a wooden stick and a carbon fiber stick in appearance and function.
The carbon fiber and Pernambuco wood that were used in the construction of the stick are both environmentally friendly materials to work with. The advantage is that it has the strength and durability of carbon fiber while also having the appearance of a conventional bow.
4. Kmise Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
- The violin bow is made with advanced molding techniques and modern materials like carbon fiber. This construction delivers a new level of performance that is better than traditional wood bows.
- How the violin bow transfers vibrations to your fingertips feels like you are one with the instrument. This makes it easier to play and enhances your personal expression.
- This violin bow looks great because it has an eye-catching decoration. It is resistant to temperature and humidity, so you can play anywhere without any adjustment.
- This violin bow gives you great balance and responds quickly to your playing. You can feel every vibration of the strings as you play.
- This violin bow is really good, you should try it! You’ll never go back to using a wooden bow.
This is a fantastic option to consider if you are just starting out or have a limited budget to work within.
Because of its durability and vibrant color scheme, this toy is particularly appealing to children who are just beginning to learn. It is a heavier toy with an octagonal stick, which makes it more stable and produces a more distinct sound than other toys of the same weight and shape. It is also more expensive.
5. VINGOBOW Carbon Fiber Violin Bow (Art No.106VB)
- Black Horsehair – People use unbleached black Mongolian horsehair stronger than white hair. It makes it easier to rosin. Black horse hair is thicker than white hair, so it gives a clearer and louder tone when you play outdoors, in bars, or anywhere heat or moisture might ruin your bow. These bows look like they are very strong.
- Advanced Performance – The bow is made by an experienced person. It will make your violin sound warmer and clearer. People who know a lot about bows recommend it for advanced violin players, but beginners can also learn to play.
- Good-Quality Carbon Fiber – This bow is stronger and more durable than Pernambuco. It will play well and be easy to use. It is close to 60 grams, or about 74.5 centimeters long, including the screw, which you can use to change the size of your bow.
- Perfect Balance Point – As you know, a balance point is necessary for a bow. With a good balance point, the bow will be easier to control. Our makers always adjust it several times to ensure that the balance point is in the right range.
- Carefully Handmade – This bow is made with traditional handicraft skills. The stick is straight, and the work is clean. It is ready to play. This bow has good strength and exceptional bounce stability.
This is a very popular bow among violinists, and for good reason.
The use of black Mongolian horsehair, rather than the more traditional white horsehair, is what distinguishes this violin from the rest of the crowd. This gives the violin a robust and "wild" sound, which can be appropriate for outdoor or loud venues such as concert halls.
This, together with the carbon fiber stick, makes it a good choice for outdoor or dangerous environments.
6. VINGOBOW Antique D. Peccatte Model Master Pernambuco Violin Bow
- ANTIQUE MODEL -This bow is a replica of a D. Pecatte model that dates back to the 1800s. Made of dark-brown Pernambuco, it is embellished with a polished old ebony frog and screw that is unique to this piece. The winding is made entirely of pure silver, and the grip is made entirely of genuine leather, with a small piece of leather at the other end of the winding for added durability. When you hold the Frog and screw in your hands, you will feel very comfortable because the sharp corners have been carefully polished by hand.
- MASTER LEVEL – This is a violin made by a master bow-maker, and it is in excellent condition. It has a pleasant sound, nickel silver fittings and windings, a genuine leather grip, and a Pernambuco stick, among other features. The quality of the craftsmanship distinguishes it from other violins in its price range.
- PERNAMBUCO – This bow is crafted from Pernambuco wood that has been air-dried for more than a decade. It is approximately 69 grams in weight and has a round stick shape to it. This bow would make an excellent backup or practice bow.
- GREAT BALANCE POINT -The center of gravity of a bow is extremely important. This is the point at which it is simple and comfortable to control the bow and arrow. The point of our maker is always adjusted several times to ensure that it is within the proper range.
- WELL HANDMADE – The bow is created using traditional handcraft techniques. It's a pretty good bow for the price. The bow is well-balanced and easy to manipulate, allowing you to perform a variety of strokes. It's a good system. You can use it for your game right away, or you can give it to someone else as a gift.
There are a variety of colors available for the VINGOBOW Antique D. Peccatte, a beautiful replica of a violin bow designed by Dominique Peccatte that is available for purchase.
This octagonal bow from Pernambuco is an excellent choice for students who want to improve their skills by experimenting with different colors and techniques. A sweet and clear tone can be heard in its voice.
7. CodaBow Prodigy Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
- 4/4 Violin Bow – Graphite Diamond Weave Finish – Blended Acoustic Core – Brown Tint
- Traditional Frog Design Made by Walter Paulus with Xebony Engineered Ebony – Sterling Silver Winding – White Mother-of-Pearl Slide
- Nickel and Silver fittings – Moroccan Leather Grip – Metal Alloy Tip Plate – Silver Medal Horse Hair – Traditional Hand-Cut Wood Wedges and Plugs
- Limited 5-Year Warranty to Registered Owner. The bow must be purchased from an authorized CodaBow dealer.
- Handcrafted in the USA
CodaBow has built a solid reputation as a manufacturer of carbon fiber violin bows over the course of several decades.
It is a well-liked CodaBow because of its ability to balance and respond in a clear manner. Because of the bow's unique brown diamond weave finish, it has an appearance that is reminiscent of traditional wood bows. However, it still maintains a contemporary, sleek, and sophisticated aesthetic.
8. CodaBow Diamond SX Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
- 4/4 Violin Bow – Kevlar Acoustic Core – Stunning Graphite Diamond Weave Finish – Natural Graphite Tint
- Traditional Frog made from Xebony Engineered Ebony by Walter Paulus – Diamond Weave Slide – Sterling Silver Inlay – Sterling Silver Winding
- Nickel Silver Fittings – Moroccan Leather Grip – Simulated Ivory Tip Plate – Gold Medal Stallion Hair – Traditional Hand-Cut Wood Wedges and Plugs
- The original registered owner is covered by a 10-year limited warranty. The bow must be purchased from a CodaBow dealer who has been authorized to sell it.
- Handcrafted in the USA! CodaBow Quality!
For those of you who have been playing for a while and want to take your game to the next level, this bow is an excellent choice. This bow is an excellent choice for the busy musician who is looking for a dependable, long-lasting bow that will produce a bright tone and a lively response while remaining durable.
Because it is suitable for both beginning and advanced players, this bow is a good choice for both. A wide variety of colors and designs are available, ensuring that there is something for everyone. It is possible to use the bow on public roads and highways because of its dependability.
High-quality workmanship is evident in the Kevlar-cored construction of the CodaBow, as well as the sleek black design. Another notable feature of this bow is its carbon fiber finish, which serves as a quality trademark and is visible throughout the rest of the bow.
9. D Z Strad Pernambuco Violin Bow
- Master Dark Antique Pernambuco 4/4 Violin Bow D.PECCATTE Copy with Silver Parts-D Z Strad #826
- French-style: strong, stiff
- Perfect weight, excellent balance, and fast response
- Perfect weight about 61g/2.2oz
- Good for professional violins and serious players
This bow was originally created by master bowmaker Dominique Peccatte, who passed away recently, and it is a replica of his original creation.
Despite its rustic appearance, this wooden bow has a classic feel to it. It is constructed of wood. It helps to bring out the warmth and projection of the performance, and it responds consistently across all strings in the orchestra.
Musicians who are well-versed in their field and who exhibit a high level of professionalism will benefit the most from using this bow. Their performances will benefit from their ability to be more subtle and nuanced as a result of this.
10. CodaBow Diamond GX Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
- 4/4 violin bow
- Kevlar acoustic core
- Traditional Frog made from Polished Premium Ebony by Walter Paulus
- Handcrafted in the USA. Individually numbered.
- If you purchase your CodaBow from an authorized dealer, your bow will be covered by a limited lifetime warranty. This warranty does not apply to bows that have been used.
It is highly recommended that you use the CodaBow Diamond GX if you are an advanced or professional musician.
It has a wide range of responses when it comes to nuance and expression, making it extremely responsive to the subtleties and expressions of even the most experienced players.
Because of the strength of the Kevlar core, it is suitable for both fast and articulate passages as well as lyrical styles of music composition. It has a pleasant sound that is appropriate for both ensemble and solo performances. Even though it retains the appearance of carbon fiber, the brown finish is more akin to wood in appearance.
Buying Guide and Qualities to Look for in a Violin Bow
Before you begin playing, it is critical to check that the size of your bow corresponds to the size of your violin (see Figure 1). A bow three-quarters the size of your violin should be paired with a violin that is three-quarters the size of your bow, to give you an idea of what I mean. It is recommended that a full-size violin (4/4) be used in conjunction with a full-size bow (4/4) when performing with the violin.
The weight of the bow has a significant impact on the quality of the sound produced by the instrument, as well as how easy it is to play the instrument with the bow. Individual preferences will also play a role in determining how well a player performs.
Bows come in a variety of weights, which are associated with different bows. When used properly, a heavier bow is more difficult to play with, but it produces a more powerful sound when used properly. However, although it is easier to handle a lighter bow, it does not possess the same amount of power as a heavier bow.
Various violins have different strengths and weaknesses, and some are more powerful than others. However, a heavier bow may be beneficial when used with a weaker violin, but it may cause the instrument to sound worse when used with a stronger violin.
- Lightweight to average bow = around 55-62 grams
- Heavy bow = around 63-65 grams
Brazilwood, pernambuco, and carbon fiber are the three most common materials used to construct bow sticks. Brazilwood is a generic term that refers to various tropical hardwoods that are commonly used to make low-cost bows. It is sourced from Brazil, as well as other tropical locations worldwide. Brazilwood violin bows are typically priced between $50 and $200, making them excellent for beginners or early intermediate players.
Historically, Pernambuco has been the wood of choice for the best bows since the late 18th century. There are several areas in Brazil where this dense, heavy wood grows, and it appears to have the perfect combination of strength, elasticity, and responsiveness for the task at hand. There are numerous subspecies and a wide range of quality between them. Bow makers of the highest caliber will spend a significant amount of time searching for and selecting only the finest Pernambuco sticks, rejecting virtually everything else. Pernambuco is becoming increasingly scarce as a result of environmental degradation.
As a result, the Brazilian government has imposed severe restrictions on exporting this wood, making it both scarce and expensive.
The lack of readily available Pernambuco may be to blame for the poor quality of products available on the bow market today. In the opinion of many players, work done by the great 19th-century French bow makers represents the pinnacle of the bow-making profession. The question is, why haven't the subsequent creators been able to match their level of excellence?
The species of Pernambuco used by their forefathers is believed to be extinct, having gone extinct at the beginning of the twentieth century, according to some.Alternatively, some believe that makers such as Tourte, Peccatte, Simon, Pajot, and their contemporaries were simply the best makers of their generation. Indeed, their bows are one-of-a-kind.
In many cases, the bow's texture is smooth and supple, almost becoming an extension of your hand; the sound produced by these bows can be complete and rich. When describing a delicate old French bow, I've heard the phrase "smooth as butter" used more often. On the other hand, other players prefer modern bows that are stiffer, stronger, and respond more quickly to their commands.
Increasingly popular in recent years due to the scarcity of pernambuco wood, newer, more durable carbon-fiber bows have replaced older, more scarce pernambuco wood models. Carbon-fiber bows, made from various grades of carbon fiber bonded together with a resin, have many of the characteristics of Pernambuco. Carbon fiber is also a long-lasting material that represents a good value at its current price point. A carbon-fiber bow that plays similarly to a standard wood bow and has the same weight and balance, Mason recommends as an inexpensive alternative. If they decide to upgrade, this will make a great spare bow.
On the other hand, not everyone is a fan of the newfangled synthetic sticks.
Regarding carbon-fiber bows, "the most common complaint I hear is that they don't have the same tone as wood," says Ken Altman, a bow maker in Silverton, Oregon.
Although carbon fiber and less expensive fiberglass bows do not warp like wood, they are still preferred by string players who travel a lot, play outside in extreme heat or cold, and travel a lot in general.
Each bow has a point of equilibrium. This is where you could use your finger to balance the bow on your index finger. In determining how the bow's weight is distributed and how easy it would be to play certain passages, the balance point plays an important role.
The bow's stick should be perfectly straight and not even the tiniest bit warped when it is finished shooting. Despite the fact that a natural curve should be visible at all times, it cannot be excessively curvy or bent. It can't be bent or warped in any way.
In order to check for warping, position the bow so that the tip of the bow is pointing downward toward the floor. (See illustration.) Observe the length of the stick, away from the Frog, and something interesting will come to light. It could be warped if it appears to be twisted or bent to the left or right in any way. At this time, it is not a good time to purchase this bow from the vendor.
Bow Testing Tips
Select a few musical excerpts that represent a variety of styles. This will allow you to see how the bow performs in all conditions when you are playing your style of music, which will be beneficial.
It is simple to test the bounce of the bow by playing fast passages. When you play slow music, you can see how well the music complements your instrument's sound. Also, you should vary the dynamics of the music because some sections will be louder than others and vice versa.
Being able to play music for other people is always beneficial. It is sometimes preferable for them to close their eyes or turn around in order to concentrate on the sound rather than the instrument.
Make a video recording of yourself playing each of the bows. Put them in the correct order on your list by numbering them. Then you can listen to them and make an unbiased decision about which one is the best.
Pros and Cons of Wood VS Carbon Fiber
A variety of styles and materials are available at a variety of price points, ranging from the inexpensive to the luxuriously expensive. When it comes to making bows, carbon fiber and wood are two of the most popular materials. There are a small number of people who prefer wooden bows, whereas there are an equal number of people who prefer carbon fiber bows.
What are the pros and cons of these materials?
Round VS Octagonal
Two types of bows exist: those that are smooth and rounded, as well as those that have more of an octagonal shape. The differences between the two shapes are not particularly significant, but they are worth mentioning nonetheless.
Generally speaking, rounded bows are smooth and produce a rich, full sound. In contrast, when they are asked to play more articulate pieces, they can struggle to maintain their clarity.
In the case of the violin or viola, using an octagonal bow can make it more difficult to play softly, especially when using a long bow, which can be frustrating.
For the most part, horsehair is a superior choice for hair than any other type of synthetic hair available today.
While the type of horsehair is an important factor to consider, it may not be as important as the color of the horsehair in terms of aesthetics and functionality. Due to the fact that the hair on a bow almost never outlives the life of the bow itself, which is extremely rare, this is the case. It will be necessary to replace the hair lost as a result of natural shedding caused by aging or usage.
A bow replacement is frequently less expensive than paying a luthier to repair it in the majority of cases. Due to the fact that many luthiers will not repair bows that are less expensive, this is the case.
Therefore, when evaluating bows, it is important not to place too much emphasis on the sound produced. Depending on how good the horsehair is, the quality of the sound can vary, and it can change when new hair is added.
Product trials are offered by some companies and manufacturers as a free benefit to their customers. This means that you will be able to use the bow for a period of time before making the decision to purchase it.
Conducting in-home trials is a fantastic way to get a feel for different violin bows before making a final decision on which one to purchase. By testing them out in the privacy of your own home, you will be able to make an informed decision without feeling rushed or under any time constraints. Whenever you're out looking for bows, keep an eye out for this particular style.
Bows come in a variety of styles and prices, and there are some companies that specialize in this product line. It is important to inquire whether the company offers a return policy if the bow you choose does not work for the violinist you have chosen. When purchasing a bow as a gift, this is especially useful.
In order to choose the best violin bow, there are a number of factors to take into account. Before proceeding, it is necessary to take into consideration the material from which the bow is made, as well as the design of the bow in question.
In order to get a sense of how the bow feels when used on the violin, experiment with different passages when testing them. Another option is to record your own performance and then perform it for a teacher or a musician friend who will be impressed by your talent.
There are many affordable and expensive bows to choose from, depending on your budget and preferred playing style, despite the fact that a variety of factors can influence the price.
To learn more about the best violin bows, you can check out this link.
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Violin Bows
A beginner's bow can range in price from $50 to $200. Professional bows will cost in the neighborhood of $1000 or more. If you are a violin student who hopes to pursue this as a career, you should avoid purchasing a cheap instrument.
A violin bow can be worth tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. A large portion of this money is derived from the skills and time invested by the person who created it. To make a single bow, they could spend up to a week working on it.
The manner in which you hold and use your bow has a significant impact on the sound quality of your violin as well as how easy it is to play. The sound of your violin will vary depending on which bow you use. Some bows make it more difficult to play, while others make it simpler – you simply have to think about what you want, and the bow will take care of the rest for you.
It is important that the bow does not feel too heavy or too light in the hand. It should also be strong and not weak or soft. When looking down the stick while playing, the bow should be kept straight at all times. There are many different bowing styles to choose from, including legato, spiccato, sautillé, and others.
When there is too much rosin on the bow, it can make it feel stickier as it moves across the strings. Additionally, it can cause a cloud of rosin dust to form while you're playing, which will make the sound harsh and scratchy. It is possible that rosin debris will fall onto the surface of your instrument, causing damage to the varnish and wood over time.
Carbon fiber bows are significantly less expensive than wood bows, and they produce significantly more resonance. Their sound and playability are superior to Pernambuco bows, thanks to the use of approximately 60% carbon fiber in their construction.
Pernambuco is a type of wood that is commonly used to make violin bows. Pernambuco is derived from the denser part of the tree, which makes it more sensitive to the environment than other woods. Due to the rarity of this wood, it has a higher value than other types.
Spruce is used for the top, willow for the internal blocks and linings, and maple for the back, ribs, and neck of a violin, among other types of wood. Many people believe that the wood was treated with various minerals both before and after the violin was built, and that this is true.
Stringed instruments should have their seams finished in a refined manner, with no traces of glue or rough edges. With a finely carved scroll comes a higher caliber violin and vice versa. Purfling, or the thin black lines that outline the top of a quality violin, will be inlaid rather than painted on a high-end instrument of superior craftsmanship.
The length of a bow is usually proportional to the height and weight of the person who is using it. The result is that a small child would have a shorter bow than an adult who is playing a full-size orchestral instrument. The stiffness of the bow is also affected by the length of the bow. An elongated bow is stiffer in comparison to a shorter one.