How to Buy a Viola Bow

How to Buy a Viola Bow Reviews

Having a great sounding viola requires more than just the viola, you also need a high-quality bow. There are a lot of viola bows out there that come in various styles and specs. The same may be said for buying them. You have to know what you want in order to find the bow that’s right for you. I think it all boils down to what suits your needs and personal preferences. For me, creating a good balance of both has left me with the perfect bow.

Buy a Viola Bow

This is what you need to look for when shopping for a viola bow.

Weight and Feel

The first thing to figure out about a bow is how heavy it feels and how it balances in your hand. After you’ve narrowed it down, take a viola bow out of its case and test to see how it feels on the string. This can give you a good idea of the balance and weight which will help you when selecting your instrument.

All violists have their own preferences for bows. Some like heavy bows which remain steady on the string, while some prefer light ones so they can easily maneuver it. Some people think a bit of weight is important while others like the bow being as close to balanced as possible. You want to make sure that you find a bow that best suits your body and preference.

Bow Material

Violas are an old instrument that have been around for centuries. This means that most viola bows are made from wood; something you might expect from the age of this instrument. Most bows are made from wood. Wood typically comes from Brazil, where a type of wood called Pernambuco is used. Over the last few decades, a new generation of bow materials has come onto the market. Currently two popular types are carbon fiber and fiberglass.

Both natural and synthetic materials have their pros and cons. These new synthetic ones are usually much better value, lighter and more durable. It’s difficult for me to say as everyone is different. Some people like the lightweight feel of synthetics while others prefer wood.

I would like to say though that if durability is important to you and you are looking for a bow for a child or yourself – say if you know you tend to go tough on your stuff – the newer synthetic materials last longer. Carbon fiber bows in general are super durable and something to definitely consider.

Round vs Octagonal

Whereas bows come in all shapes, there are a few key differences between round and octagonal bows. They’re not exactly the same, though:

  • Round Bow

Round back bows produce a warmer sound. They’re usually more flexible and softer which means the sound is often less harsh or loud.

  • Octagonal Bow

Octagonal viola bows provide a more pronounced attack which results in cleaner high tones. Their stiffness also makes them easier to control and use. They also typically have more treble and upper midrange than round bows which are often characterized by rich low ends.

There are many different bows out there and some people like to try lots of them. In order to help you along when your start looking for a new bow, this article is here to point out some important features.

Other Components

The bow has several other parts than the long, wooden piece or synthetic.

The frog is the end your hand grips. Ebony is often used for the frog, but you can also use other materials like plastic. A lot of people like to put pearls in their inlay work, but there’s a lot of different options out there. You can get different colors or types of pearl. You should try not to be too focused on how “cute” the frog looks and focus more on whether or not it feels comfortable.

Your last point of contact with the lacrosse stick is at the winding or thumb grip. There are tons of materials that you can pick from and many of them are good for aesthetics as well as performance purposes. Again, when it comes to picking a frog you want to feel it rather than look at the design. Common materials include leather, copper or silver.

Price Point

Just like violas, bows have a range of prices. Generally, the more expensive the bow is, the higher its quality. Usually, you should spend about 20-25% of what your viola is worth on the bow.

Not everyone has the same buying situation- for example, my bow is more expensive than my viola. But at least now you should have a better idea of what to look out for when you come into a shop. Generally, people don’t make mistakes while choosing a viola bow. However, you should have a solid idea about your budget and be careful not to spend more than you intended.

There are lots of different viola bows from all different price ranges, so it helps to try a few out before deciding on the one that suits you best. As you may know, many stores that sell handmade goods are willing to negotiate prices. Don’t take the first price they give you and try negotiating the cost of your purchase.

How to Test Out the Bow

A good way to see if a bow matches your stroke style is to have a go playing different types of music – loud and soft, fast and slow. The more you play the more experienced you’ll become with your instrument.

If you take a few home to test them out, it’s best that you do the same thing as usual and see how they work. Change up your bow regularly so you can get used to both bows. With some practice, a couple of sessions or the first one, you will be able to figure out which bow doesn’t suit you. The last one left is the bow that suits you best.

Another good idea is to go through your various scales slowly and really listen to the tone. Practicing slowly is essential for ensuring you’re selecting a bow that sounds awesome as well. Make sure the bow you’re using on your viola sounds good or else it will affect the tone of your viola.


There are so many factors involved when choosing a bow – they need to feel good, sound good and be priced good for YOU. It all comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. It’s really difficult to tell which is best after a certain price point, so it’s worth trying before you buy.

FAQ for Buy a Viola Bow

What is the best type of viola bow for beginners?

This question is difficult to answer. The best viola bow for beginners depends on many factors, including:

  • Budget
  • Skill level
  • Playing style
  • Viola size

Which viola bows have the best sound?

A viola bow is a long, thin piece of wood that is attached to the head of a viola to make it easier to play. The sound quality of a viola bow depends on the type and quality of wood used, as well as the way in which it is made. Viola bows are often used in orchestras or other large ensembles where they are amplified by microphones or speakers.

What are the benefits of a carbon fiber viola bow?

The benefits of a carbon fiber viola bow include the fact that they are lightweight, durable, durable, and resistant to humidity.

How much does a viola bow cost?

Violin bows are made from wood, and horsehair. The most expensive violin bows are made from Siberian horsehair.

A viola bow’s cost depends on material type and quality. A higher-quality bow will be more expensive than a lower-quality one. The cost of a viola bow is usually between $100 and $200.

What is the difference between a violin and a viola?

  • A viola is a larger instrument than the violin. It has a deeper and more mellow sound.
  • A viola is tuned an octave below the violin, so its strings are longer and thicker.
  • The viola is played with a bow, while the violin is played with fingers.
  • The viola has 4 strings, while the violin has 3 strings.

When should I buy a viola bow?

A viola bow is an essential part of a violist’s equipment. It is not only used in the performance, but also while practicing. Violists use the bow to create vibrations on the strings of the instrument.

There are many factors that go into buying a viola bow. The bow must be matched to the violists playing style and skill level, as well as their preferred music style. The most important thing to figure out is what type of music you will be playing with your viola bow: classical, jazz, or pop?

If you plan on playing classical music, then you should consider a longer-haired bow with a heavier weight and more tension than other types of bows. If jazz is your preferred genre, then you might want to go for something in between these two styles – either a medium-weighted violin or cello bow with softer hair (or   ”gut”).

How many strings does a viola bow have?

A viola bow has 4 strings.

What is the difference between a violin bow and a viola bow?

Violin bows are lighter and smaller than viola bows. Violin bows are typically made from horsehair, while viola bows are typically made from synthetic materials.

Violins and violas have different ranges of sounds. Violins sound higher-pitched, while violas sound lower-pitched. This is because violins have a shorter string length, which means that their strings vibrate at a higher frequency than the strings of the larger instrument.

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