Tips On Selecting a New Bow for Your String Instrument

Like the instruments themselves, bows for string instruments are available in a variety of materials and price ranges. It is preferable to rent an instrument and bow from a reliable music store as a beginning while deciding whether a career as a string musician is right for you. When you reach intermediate and expert levels of string playing, it’s time to consider updating your tools.

It is common knowledge that a string player chooses their instrument before purchasing a bow. 

A lot of people think the instrument is more significant. Some people think the bow is more significant than the other components, while others think they are both equally important. Do you attend a violin performance or a bow recital? Is the performer a violinist or a bow player? That addresses the query. But after choosing an instrument, the bow is the next task.

Finding the ideal bow for your cello classes, violin classes, or viola classes may seem complicated, but with these suggestions, you can make it easier. We advise you to consider the following factors when choosing a new bow: flexibility, balance, carbon fibre versus wood, investment value, tone, and reaction.

Make a Budget

Set a spending limit before you go out to buy your bow. Knowing how much you want to spend before entering the store will help the salespeople point you in the direction of bows that are suitable for you. Also, remember that you will need to include accessories in your budget. Make sure you only spend some of your money on the bow. Although many “kit” bows are offered for purchase as-is, the cost of the accessories will quickly mount if you purchase a naked bow. Bows from renowned brands can carry exorbitant price tags. On the other hand, they shoot well, so they resist the urge to take out a loan.

Fire Several Bows

Once your spending limit has been determined, you can begin bow shooting. The enjoyable part is now. After discussing the price with the pro shop clerk, they will probably recommend a few bows for you to try. More bows are better when testing them, in this case. Spend some time and a few shots with each bow. Clear your mind and let yourself feel the bow since this is a process (more on this in a minute). Ensure that each bow’s draw weight and length are suited for you (your bow shop will help). To level the playing field, you should shoot each bow at the same poundage, let-off, and draw length.

Strength: Carbon, Synthetic vs. Wood

The body and strings of the instrument are given so much attention, but have you thought about how much work the bow puts in to create the sounds you want? And it accomplishes all of this while being pulled taut by the constricted bow hair. Bow structures need to be robust and resilient to withstand all of the different bowing techniques you’ll use throughout your playing career, not to mention the knocks, bumps, and clunks bow encounters when it enters and exits your case and travels through the outside world. 

Vibrations and Liveliness of a Bow

A bow must adhere to the strings to perform its function and to adhere to the strings. Therefore, it must vibrate in tandem with the string. By tapping the tightened bow on your wrist with the hair facing outward, you may check to see if the bow is alive and capable of vibrating along with the string. Without it, the bow won’t settle in, pull a whole tone, or alter the tonal colours; instead, it will slide and skate around the surface of the string. This vibrancy also helps improve and clarify off-the-string strokes like spiccato and ricochet while enhancing on-the-string strokes like legato.

Cycle of Draw

The initial pull of a bow initiates the draw cycle, which continues as the cam rolls back until the valley and back wall are reached. You will strike the back wall as you pull through the valley. Hunting requires a bow with a smooth draw cycle, although each archer will feel it differently. The draw cycle will be most significantly impacted by the cams’ design. You’ll discover that bows made for speed have a very forceful cam and probably need a smoother draw cycle. Your draw length and desired draw weight will also affect how the draw cycle feels after you’ve chosen the cam’s design.

Condition of the Bow

For a bow, condition matters a lot more than it does for a violin. Even with just one crack, the bow loses around 90% of its trade-in or retail value (especially at the tip). Even if the break has been repaired and the bow functions flawlessly, this is still true. When a bow’s tip fractured thirty years ago, it couldn’t be repaired since conventional glues couldn’t hold up. Bows may now be repaired and nearly as good as new, thanks to epoxy and other space-age glues. If you can’t afford a bow of such kind in uncracked condition, consider purchasing a fine-playing bow that has been repaired for a reasonable price.

Country of origin

Both the Italians and the French are highly recognized for their bows. The bow as we know it was created by the French, and most bowings are described using French terms. Over the years, France has produced numerous excellent bowmakers. Even with contemporary French-made bows, the cost will typically be more than that of bows from Germany, Switzerland, and the United States. However, there are many excellent performing bows from these nations, and they play just as well as a French bow at a far lower price.


This blog is meant to serve as general information; however, we do our best to give you a good understanding of the prospects available. Nothing can replace trying out bows and getting straight, detailed guidance. So, when you come to our showroom, we’ll have this ready for you.