What to look for when buying a bow...
A bow makes the sound, and everything about the bow influences that sound. The weight, camber, balance point and materials all make a difference to the sound and our ability to play. There is a bow that is appropriate to person’s physical size and arm weight and also the type of music to be played. Mismatches seem to mostly occur with younger players having bows that are too long, poorly balanced and too heavy.
Materials bows are made from.
1. Fiberglass: This is the least resonant of materials and is generally used for cheaper bows bundled in budget outfits which include a bass, bag and bow. It is always worth asking if it is possible to upgrade to a better bow and pay the balance.
2. Carbon Fibre: Is a resonant material and very strong. These bows are very neutral in sound as compared to a similar wooden bow. There are many manufacturers and the question to ask is who designed the bow and what is its purpose. Manufacturers such as Carbow who have employed master bow makers to design and oversee production have carbon bows that are outstanding. There are also some very poor carbon bows produced.
3. Wooden bows: are traditionally made from Brazilwood or Pernambuco however a variety of different timbers are now being used by bow makers. Every wooden bow will sound a little different as the density of the wood varies according growth rate, climate etc.
When buying a bow ask: 1. What is made of? 2. Who designed or made it? 3. What is its purpose?