As a beginner, one might be surprised to find that the quality of sound produced by a viola can vary based on the type of bow used. It is not just the viola itself or one’s level of expertise that matters. In fact, the type and quality of the viola bow used can be just as important.
When searching for the right viola bow, it’s essential to consider how it feels in your hand. A good bow should feel like an extension of your arm, allowing for more fluid movements. Additionally, technical factors like weight, material type, and stiffness should be considered since they all contribute to the quality of music produced.
A lighter bow can be ideal for a beginner as it is easier to handle and play with, while a heavier bow might be better suited for an advanced player. The material of the bow also plays a role in the sound produced. For example, a wood bow might produce a warmer sound, while a carbon fiber bow might produce a brighter sound.
Ultimately, finding the right viola bow is a personal choice based on individual preferences and playing style. It’s important to try out different bows before making a decision and finding the one that feels right and produces the desired sound.
Top 5 Best Viola Bows
Viola bows are predominantly made from three types of material: Pernambuco, carbon fiber, and Brazilwood. So, here is a list of bows that are inexpensive and well-suited to beginners.
|Vio Music Brazilwood||4.3|
|VingoBow Horse Hair||4.5|
|Vio Music Carbon Fiber||4.8|
|CodaBow Diamond NX||5|
1. SKY Brazilwood Viola Bow for Beginners
As someone who has played the viola for a few years now, I know how important a good bow can be for the overall sound quality. I recently had the opportunity to try out the SKY round Brazilwood bow, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
The bow is handcrafted and has a nice weight to it, making it easy to hold and play for extended periods. The genuine Mongolian horsehair gives a smooth and warm tone to the viola.
It is well-balanced, and I could feel the control it gave me while playing. I particularly appreciated the varnish on the bow, which made it more comfortable to grip.
I would recommend this bow to any beginner with a 14″ to 16.5″ viola. It’s not too stiff, making it easy to maneuver for those new to playing the viola. Additionally, the lightweight design means that practicing for long periods won’t feel like a burden. Overall, I was very impressed with this bow and believe it’s a great value for the price.
- Mongolian horsehair
- Round stick
- Made from brazilwood
- Easy to play with
- Warps easily
2. Vio Music Brazilwood Viola Bow
When it comes to finding a quality viola bow that won’t break the bank, the Brazilwood viola bow from VingoBow is a great option. We had the chance to try it out ourselves, and we were impressed with its overall quality and feel.
This round bow is made from Brazilwood and comes with either artificial whalebone or silver winding, depending on your preference. The ebony frog is a nice touch that provides excellent control while playing. At 29″ long, this bow is well-balanced and lightweight, making it comfortable to use for extended practice sessions.
While it may not be the best option for performances, this viola bow is more than adequate for everyday use and is a great choice for beginners or anyone on a budget. This bow is for anyone looking for a quality, affordable option.
- Parisian eye
- Solid, round stick
- Synthetic hair
- Decent quality
- Comfortable frog
- Not very durable
3. VingoBow Carbon Fiber Viola Bow
When I was looking for a new viola bow, I stumbled upon the VingoBow carbon fiber viola bow, and I decided to give it a try. As someone who has played the viola for a few years, I was excited to see if the claims about its durability and responsiveness were true.
The bow’s stiff and stable carbon fiber stick felt robust and sturdy in my hand. As soon as I started playing, I noticed the clear, precise tone that it produced. It was easy to handle, thanks to the comfortable grip and the weight being well-distributed throughout the stick.
I was impressed by how responsive it was to different playing techniques, which allowed me to play with more nuance and expression. The bow’s balance from tip to frog also helped me produce a smooth and consistent sound across the strings.
Overall, I found the VingoBow carbon fiber viola bow to be a great investment for any serious violist. Its durability and responsiveness make it ideal for professional performances, and it is also comfortable and easy to handle, making it suitable for extended practice sessions.
- Parisian eye decorations
- Textured leather grip
- Mongolian Horsehair
- Great value
- Neat and durable hair
- Sturdy carbon fiber stick
- Very responsive
- It takes a few minutes of practice (and lots of rosins) to break in.
4. Vio Music Carbon Fiber Bow
The carbon fiber construction is strong and durable, and the natural white hair provides a beautiful, clear tone.
What surprised me the most was the price – this bow is a steal for the quality it offers. I was impressed by how it held up against bows that cost significantly more.
The weight distribution could be a bit better, as some players might find it slightly top-heavy. But for the most part, the weight is well-balanced along its length, making it easy to handle and responsive.
The only downside I encountered was that I needed to re-hair it almost immediately, but that’s a minor issue that’s to be expected with most bows. This carbon fiber bow is for any viola player looking for a high-quality bow that won’t break the bank.
- Carbon fiber stick
- Ebony frog
- Natural white hair
- Parisian Eye
- Beautifully crafted
- Strong stick
- Resonant sound
- Poor quality hair
5. CodaBow Carbon Fiber Bow
This bow is a beauty to behold, with a sleek design that complements the overall quality.
The blended Kevlar core gives it the necessary weight, and it responds exceptionally well to my every move. The bow produces a rich and warm sound with an excellent range of dynamics that I’ve been unable to achieve with other bows.
The frog’s design is traditional, and the silver winding adds a beautiful finishing touch to the whole bow.
It’s well-balanced and feels comfortable in my hand, allowing me to play for extended periods without any fatigue.
Overall, I’d say that the CodaBow Diamond NX is worth every penny. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line bow, you won’t be disappointed with this one.
- Imitated hard tip
- Xebony Engineered Frog
- Smooth leather grip
- Exquisite craftsmanship
- High-quality carbon fiber construction
- Beautiful design
- Extremely durable
- Quite pricey
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You can feel a difference in quality between brazilwood, Pernambuco, and carbon fiber. Brazilwood is cheap and light. However, once in a professional’s hands, it may feel too weak and probably wouldn’t produce a good enough sound. Carbon fiber bows are relatively cheap and can be of astoundingly good quality. Lastly, Pernambuco bows are some of the best money can buy.
Brazilwood bows have a reputation for being flimsy, and they typically last a few months to a couple of years with good maintenance. Carbon fiber bows may last over five years. They generally are the most durable type of viola bows.
Pernambuco bows are expensive but also tend to be stable with reasonable care and maintenance. If you buy anything over $100, you can expect at least three to five years of service.
A practice bow (for beginners and early intermediate players) shouldn’t cost you over $50. For performances, look no lower than a carbon fiber bow, which can go for $50 to $200, depending on the quality and features.
At the expert level, only Pernambuco viola bows can cut it. These exquisitely handcrafted bows typically cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Our Top Pick
When it comes to sheer value for money, nothing beats the Vio Music Carbon Fiber bow. Sure, it doesn’t come with the best quality hair, but once re-haired, professional musicians have a hard time putting it down. Even when compared to expensive Pernambuco, it is still an admirable viola bow that will suit any intermediate and expert player quite nicely.