Buying a violin bow
If you are a beginner i would recommend to buy a violin from a local shop or online. The bow, the violin-case and rosin are usually included in the package. However there are cases in which you might have to buy the bow separately, especially if you are looking to buy something more advanced. In that case you should visit several local music shops (in case of Cyprus most preferably Violin -makers) where you can try out several bows. In this article I would like to suggest some tips about what to consider buy choosing a violin bow. Keep in mind that you will have to spent some time playing and trying out several bow techniques ( if you are familiar with staccato, spiccato, Sautille, ricochet etc.) in order to find the right bow for you. Here are some factors you have to consider:
The most expensive bow are not necessarily better, so try quite a few. There is always the option of choosing between wooden bow and carbon bow. The wooden are usually the more expensive but not necessarily the better. Carbon bows are becoming recently very popular, and the choice of many professional musicians
Check the length of the bow and make sure that it has now bold curve towards left or right. Have also a look at the mechanism of stretching (screw and frog) the hair and make sure that function flawless ( you can also unscrew the frog to make sure that everything is fine with the socket of the screw)
3. The Quality of hair
The quality of the hair is also important especially in cheaper bows. I still remember my self trying to produce sound with a bow that had not the usual hank of horse hair, but something made out of fiber…
Bows come in a variety of weights. Have an experienced violinist help you pick one out that is neither too light nor too heavy for you. A bow that is too heavy can cause hand strain over time, while a bow that is too light makes it difficult to get a big sound.
5. Flexibility of the arc
Get the bow in your hands press the bow against left hand as shown in the photo. Then you can also test to make sure it maintains a good arch and has a good spring when pressed against the violin strings.
The bow should be thinner and lighter at the top and heavier at the frog (lower part). Note however that it should not be too heavy at one end or the other.
As said above the best way to judge how good the bow meets you expectations or needs is to play with it for a while. If you have the opportunity to borrow the bow and try it out for a couple of days, DO so.