If you are a music lover and want to start playing a violin, then the first thing that comes to your mind is the price of a violin. However, you should remember that the factors such as size, shape, material, and brand influence the cost of a violin. If you are thinking about purchasing only a violin bow, then you must be wondering how much does a violin bow cost.
In this article, we have briefed everything about violin bows, their cost, and the factors that you should consider while buying one for you.
What is a violin bow?
The violin bow is a part of the popular musical instrument violin that a player used to play this stringed musical instrument. Typically the violin bow is made from of Pernambuco wood from Brazil that is strung with horse hair. Usually the bow maker uses about 150 to 200 hairs from the tail of a horse to make a violin bow.
The bow comes with a specially shaped stick with other materials forming a ribbon stretched between it ends; this is used to stroke the string and create sound. Currently, the Pernambuco wood has become an endangered species of wood, hence these days bow makers are adopting new materials like the Tabebuia wood and carbon fibre. Tortoiseshell, mother of pearl and ivory are also used for the decoration of the bow. Usually, the tip of the bow is made of bone, metal or ivory.
Carbon fiber bows are very popular these days. Moreover, some of the better carbon fibre bows are now comparable to beautiful Pernambuco sticks. The most elegant and most sophisticated bows come with gold mount. The violin bows are a demanding craft and some well-made bows come with a really high price.
A typical violin bow measures 75 cm (30 in) overall, and weigh about 60 g (2.1 oz). Viola bows may be about 5 mm (0.20 in) shorter and 10 g (0.35 oz) heavier.
What is the cost of a violin bow?
On average, a violin bow may cost you around less than $50- $1000 or above. For beginners, we recommend you to go for something in the range of $50- $100 or slightly more than that. But if you’re an intermediate player, you can expect to purchase a bow that comes in the range of $100-300. This will be a good purchase.
Fiberglas violin bows are cheap and come at the lower end of the price range. Beginner violin bows can cost you less than $100. In between wooden and fiberglass violin bows there lies the carbon fiber one, which is a great all-purpose bow. You can expect to purchase a carbon fiber violin bow in the price range $50-$300.
Wooden bows are often made from Brazilwood or Pernambuco. These are the costliest among the four types of violin bows. You can buy a cheaper one at $100 bucks, while the best wooden bow can cost you around thousands of dollars. The recommended violin bows should cost 20-25% of the total price of your violin.
Expected extra costs
The violin bows consist of horse hairs. If you are planning to buy the hair on your own, but you don’t know how to replace it on the bow, you may need to take the help of a professional or visit a local music studio. You may expect to spend $20 to $40 to re-hair the violin bow.
Make sure to use Rosin, which is necessary to get rid of the scratchy sound coming from the bow. The cost of Rosin will be somewhere around $5 to $20.
How can I save money?
You can save money by following just a few simple things. As a beginner, buy a cheaper bow instead of going for a really costly one. Continue with the cheaper one until you become sure if you are going to stick with playing a violin or not.
Do a thorough research before purchasing a bow in person. A few music studios will allow you to play it before purchasing it, while some may even allow you to take them home for a few days. In this case, you can avoid buying one for you at the learning stage.
If you want to replace your old bow with a new one, then we will suggest you to purchase hairs instead of buying entirely a new one. This will be cheaper. Moreover, you can watch the tutorial videos of replacing bow hairs instead of visiting a professional, which will help save some extra bucks.
How to choose the best violin bows?
There are a lot of options available in the market if you want to purchase violin bows. We have made our own research to find out the best violin bow makers, who can supply you with quality bows.
For a respected handmade bow that you can play for several years, we recommend you Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow. This bow is crafted from quality carbon fiber and comes with a balanced weight distribution and a beautiful arch that provides a great bounce.
If you want to buy a violin bow with must-have features and design quality, Cecilio Brazilwood Violin Bow with Ebony Frog is the best choice for you. This comes in budget range and will serve your purpose also. This violin is strung with unbleached horsehairs and can be the best replacement bow for beginners.
If you are in love with carbon fiber bow and want to purchase one, we will recommend you Crescent Well Balanced Carbon Fiber Violin Bow. This type of bow is lightweight and serves the purpose well.
For practice purpose you may go for the Violinsmart 3/4 Size Violin Bow.
If you want to purchase a violin bow for your kids for learning purpose then go for the Crescent 4/4 Balanced Brazilwood Violin Bow. It is suitable for beginners and comes in your budget.
Factors to decide while buying a Violin bow
While purchasing a violin, you need to keep certain factors in mind so that you can get a quality bow. This will save your hard-earned money and time as well.
The shape of the bow: Typically violins are available in either octagon shape or round shape. WE recommend you to go for round shaped bow as it is less stiff and more comfortable to configure as well.
Materials: Violin bows are made from four types of durable and lightweight material such as, Pernambuco, Brazilwood, carbon fiber, and synthetic material.
Weight: Each bow features a certain weight and balance. A heavier bow creates a deeper sound while the lighter one will produce pure sounds with every stroke. Hence, we recommend you to purchase a lighter one for getting that perfect sound.
Strength: A good violin bow should be flexible enough to produce the great sound effects. So consider the strength of the bow while choosing one for you.
Few Tips to know while using a Violin Bow
Try to find the “sweet spot” that is responsible for producing great sound. You can take advice of a professional to find out this spot, if you cannot find it on your own.
Make sure you do not tighten your bow hair too tight. Keep it slightly loose as over tightening of the bow may leave too much tension, which causes the tone to slightly be off.
Avoid applying too much rosin on your bow, as it can throw off the sound. If you apply too little rosin on your bow it will produce a scratchy sound. Always apply proper amount of rosin to avoid these hassles.
Make sure to buy a violin bow that uses a good quality bow, as it is responsible for the quality of sound.
If the bow is curved, the shaft may hit the strings. So you need to check the bow personally and thoroughly at the time of purchase.
Make sure you test the strength of the bow by pulling your violin across the strings with slight pressure. Check if the shaft comes in contact with the strings. If it happens then avoid purchasing this type of bow.
Top brands to consider
Here are some top brands that manufacture violin bows. These brands are popular and reliable though they are little costly.
Violin bows are really too expensive. They are more than an accessory, hence you should consider all the above aspects before choose one. You should thoroughly inspect the strength of the bow, the material of the wood, the size, and the hair quality at the time of purchase. This will help you to choose a good product for you that will serve you for years. The poor one will fail to produce the same sound effects that a great quality bow produces. If you already own a violin bow and want to replace it then we will recommend you to purchase the bow hairs at cheaper rate instead of replacing the entire bow that will make a big hole in your pocket. But remember one thing, a quality bow should cost roughly one third of the price of a violin.