“When you play a violin piece, you are a storyteller, and you’re telling a story,” violinist and conductor Joshua Bell said.

As a new player, you’ve just cracked open your book. You’re leaving the preface and moving into the first few chapters of the story. Where will the journey take you?

With the right instrument and bow in hand, you can tell any story you want. Look, listen, and feel for the right design, sound, and material to select the best student violin bow to build your foundation and develop your skills. But how to select a violin bow? Let’s explore three key factors beginners should consider.

Elevating and Supportive Design

When determining how to select a student violin bow and evaluating its design, you need to know four terms: weight, balance, stiffness, and action.

  • Weight: The mass the player feels. Most players prefer a standard bow weight of 58-62 grams. CodaBow’s student bow, the Prodigy, is lightweight and easy to manipulate.
  • Balance: The inertial center the player experiences while playing. We designed the Prodigy bow with a reinforced tip that allows for steady, forgiving balance to accommodate coarse motor control and beginning right-hand technique.
  • Stiffness: The force required to flex the bow. The Prodigy scores high on the stiffness scale, so it’s easier for a new player to handle while still feeling soft in hand.
  • Action: The degree to which you can feel the connection with your violin strings. You’ll hear “action” referred to as “touch,” too. CodaBow’s student bow offers a firmer, stable string connection to encourage early range exploration and articulation.

desired bow design balance weight action stiffness

The best student violin bow has an elevating and supportive design. It’s built to provide on-string forgiveness and comfort while enhancing the student’s natural and developing capabilities. In the hands of CodaBow experts, carbon fiber can be intentionally engineered to provide the perfect weight, balance, stiffness, and action for new string players.

high quality carbon fiber bows

Wood is extremely variable, but carbon fiber is not, so it’s possible to make bows that are very consistent in weight, balance, and feel,” writes Laurie Niles, the editor of the Violinist.

A consistent weight, balance, and feel is exactly what new violinists need in a bow.

Clear and Even Sound

It’s challenging to produce consistently beautiful sounds when you’re just learning an instrument! Your practice sessions are likely marked with sporadic, persistent squeaks and squeals, and that’s okay. You can turn the cacophony into clarity with dedication, consistent practice, and the right tools and teacher.

When it comes to your first or second violin bow, keep your ears open for one that delivers a clear, strong, and even sound.

Also, avoid over-rosining your bow, and be sure to wipe off your strings and bow after playing. Beyond selecting a good student bow, you can also practice in front of a mirror to improve your bow technique.

Follow these tips to get the best performance from your student violin bow:

  • Maintain a straight bow stroke.
  • Keep your bow from veering too close to the bridge.
  • Remember that the “ribbon” of the bow hair should maintain flush contact with the strings.

Durable, Sturdy Material

Even when using the best student violin bow, it takes time to remember what you should and shouldn’t do with your bow. Should you leave it on the edge of your music stand? Nope, but accidents happen. Young and new violinists need a violin bow that can stand up to a few bumps and bruises! Even the best violinists sometimes trip and drop their bow or close their case on it.

Carbon fiber is the perfect material for a student violin bow. Carbon fiber is five times stronger than steel and twice as stiff. A carbon fiber bow can withstand the trials of everyday life. It won’t crack after years of use, react to changes in humidity, or warp if too many hairs break on one side.

Like how a good beginner’s bow should offer on-string forgiveness for coarse motor control, it should provide forgiving durability to allow a new player to experience the ups and downs of learning.

A Pedagogical Approach to Student Violin Bows

At CodaBow, we believe in a pedagogical approach, meaning bow expectations need to evolve as players progress from beginner to intermediate to advanced.

Modern methods and materials in bow making give us great scientific insight into long-appreciated bow performance and allow us to design and produce bows specifically for each stage of a player’s technical development.

Our approach to intentionally designing bows ensures that players can feel confident that they’re playing the best bow for each chapter of their musical journey. CodaBow student bows reinforce young artists’ confidence in their performance.

Shop the best carbon fiber violin, viola, and cello bows online or at a CodaBow retailer near you. If you’re not yet convinced that CodaBow offers the best student violin bows, request a free in-home trial to experience the difference in design for yourself.

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