A musician is only as good as their instrument — and their bow. There comes a point in every budding musician’s life when they wonder if it’s time to take the next step in their musical career and upgrade to a better bow. 

As a student, you may have started with a basic bow that came with your beginner-level instrument. As you advance, you may want to consider upgrading to a higher-quality bow to help improve your playing and sound. Here’s what you need to know about taking the leap from violin student to pro.

What Is the Difference Between a Student Violin Bow and a Professional Bow?

How you play while learning an instrument is far different from how you play once you’re more advanced. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that student bows are designed differently than professional bows. 

A good student violin bow is crafted to support a developing violinist’s rougher motor control, unfamiliar hold, and beginner playing patterns. Some ways the design of a beginner bow may differ from a professional bow include:

  • Balance. Student bows usually favor the tip in their balance to offer more stability and accommodate rocky motor control. Professional bows may be more evenly balanced or favor the frog for more control.
  • Weight. A student bow tends to be more lightweight, allowing for easier manipulation. A professional bow may fall on the heavier side to allow for more power. 
  • Action (or Touch). Beginner bows normally feature a firm action with hard and rapid string connection. This action encourages exploration and smoother playing. The supple action of some professional bows allows more nuanced and layered expression. 
  • Stiffness: Stiffer bows can be better for students since they are easier to handle and produce a clear and even tone. Professional bows can be either stiff or soft, depending on the violinist’s desired playing.

How Important Is It to Upgrade Your Violin Bow?

Your bow plays an essential role in how your violin sounds. Once you reach the advanced stages of playing, you’re likely to keep your bow for longer, with proper care and maintenance. However, beginner bows usually aren’t meant to be “the one.” As you grow in your playing and attain new aspirations, you’ll need a bow fit for the job. 

Upgrading your bow is a must if you want to advance your skills and sound. A new high-quality bow can help you produce richer, more nuanced sounds and take you to a new level of playing. 

high quality carbon fiber bows

How Do You Know It’s Time to Upgrade Your Violin Bow?

There are many reasons to purchase a new bow, and evolving violin skills is one of them. If you’ve reached a plateau in your playing and want to improve your sound, you should consider investing in a better bow. Feeling limited in your playing or struggling to produce the sounds you want are signs it’s time to move to the next level. 

If you plan to upgrade your violin to a more advanced model, it’s wise to also upgrade your bow. After all, your bow and instrument complement each other, and you don’t want a beginner bow preventing you from reaching your full potential with your new violin.

How to Choose an Upgraded Bow

Student bows are usually similar in design to support the playing patterns of a novice. When upgrading your bow, you have a lot more options, making it difficult to know which one to choose. The best upgrade bow for a violin beginner depends heavily on your playing goals and the sounds you hope to create. 

The key factors to consider when choosing a new violin bow include the material (carbon fiber or wood), sound, weight, and balance. While research can give you a good idea of what bow to purchase, nothing beats trying the bow for yourself. 

Test out as many bows within your price range as needed until you find the one that feels right in your hand and has a sound quality you like. Be sure you try the bow with your violin to find the right match for your specific instrument.

Turn to the Pros for Your Next Violin Bow

Ready to bow the competition away? Say goodbye to your student bow and hello to a quality performance violin bow from CodaBow. Our bows are crafted with musicians like you in mind to bring you the best playing experience. With an in-home trial, you can make sure you’ve found the perfect bow to take you from student to professional. Feel free to sign up on our email list for additional information we’ve carefully curated that will help your bow have the best performance.

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