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Choosing and buying a bow

Choosing and buying a bow is a difficult task for many (amateur) musicians. With so many choices to make and so many variables to take into consideration, after a while many people stop seeing the woods for the trees. Although you remain the only person who can decide which bow suits you, your instrument and the way you play best, the following tips might help you in your search.

You can buy a bow from a violin maker, but you can also go to a specialised bow maker. The advantage of this is that, besides selling existing bows, he also sells bows that are newly made by himself and that he can on request adapt the bow to suit specific wishes, for instance with regard to balance, weight, flexibility or size.

A good bow is at least as important as a good instrument. Sometimes, but certainly not always, the bow that suits you or your instrument best, turns out to be more expensive than the instrument you play.

Old is not always better than new. Many people think that by definition an old bow is better than a new one. Partly, however, this is just in the mind. Of course, there are a great many beautiful old bows, just as there are many beautiful old instruments. But a lot of the old bows on the market are no better, and sometimes even worse, than a well-made new bow, but still you pay the price as for an ‘antique’. So, when purchasing a bow, don’t focus on antiquity, but on quality and sound. You alone can be the judge on whether that suits you and your instrument.

Don’t try too many bows at once, this makes choosing only more complicated. It’s better to limit your choice to two bows at the time. From these, you choose the one that you like best. Next to this one, you can then try another one, choose the one you like best, etc.

Realise that getting used to a new bow may take time, because the balance, weight, etc. might be different from what you are used to.

You’re welcome!

You’re always welcome to make an appointment to visit the atelier. Here you can make or discuss your choice at leisure. You’ll find our address and how to get there on the contact page.

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