With so many variations available in the market, it can be challenging to choose one. It’s crucial to make the right decision when buying a viola bow. This guide will help beginners and violists looking to upgrade their bow, choose the best bow to elevate their musical experience.
The guide to choose the right bow
There are a plethora of viola bows, with each of these producing different frequencies on the viola, and thus sound drastically different to the human ear. There are also material differences and size differences, which are directly tied to its price and sound quality. Determining the right weight and balance is also extremely crucial.
It's all in the materials
The most important factor in choosing a viola bow is its composition. Although it is typically wood, different kinds of wood are used, varying in quality and price. Pernambuco is highly coveted and expensive heavy wood. It possesses the right strength and imparts better tone quality, suitable for master violists. Brazilwood is ideal for beginners. Since bows are fragile, synthetic bows like fiberglass or carbon fiber are great for children. They are durable and inexpensive, making it an excellent starter for beginners as well.
Weight and balance
Viola bows come in a wide range of sizes, with 29" being the standard full size. The heavier the bow, the quicker it will wear you out while playing. In contrast, lighter bows do not produce the same sound as their heavier counterparts. It should feel right and well-balanced in your hand. Viola bows aren't like one size fit for all; it all depends on your personal preference.
Round vs. octagonal
every bow is different and creates a different sound but, there are two main types of bows: round and octagonal. Octagonal bows are stiffer, resulting in a hard and raspy tone, while round bows are flexible and usually produce a quiet and soft tone. However, the difference in tone is quite subtle. Since it is difficult to make an octagonal bow, it's more expensive and is often touted as a better bow. It all comes down to the buyer's aesthetics of which shape they prefer at the end of the day.
Categories Simillar to Viola Bows includes Cello Bows, Violin Bows