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How to Pick a Bow for Your Violin

Learn about bows for violins from musician Julie Artzt Becker in this Howcast video.


And now, I'm gonna teach you how to pick a bow for your beginning violin. Again, this is a sixteenth size violin. And usually, more times than not, you're gonna get a bow that it comes with the violin. So, if it's a sixteenth size violin, it's a sixteenth size bow that comes with it. Sometimes, you know, 50 percent of the time, you might need to change the bow size to longer or smaller, depending on the child's size. So, this is the sizing of sixteenth size bow, compared to the violin. You might need a bigger bow first before you change your violin size, depending on your child's arms. However, I'm gonna show you on my full-sized violin how to know if your child is ready to move on to a new bow or can stay on the bow size that comes with the violin you pick. So, now I'm gonna get my violin. So, here's my violin and bow, which is a full size violin and a full size bow. When you're picking the bow, you wanna make sure that when you're at the tip - this is the tip right here - when you're at the tip, you have just a tiny bend of your arm left. You don't want it too much, too overextended and you don't want it to end, you know, if I have too small of a bow, it would end here and you don't want that. So, you want a nice extension like this. If it's a little bit further up, that's okay too.
The other thing you wanna think about when you're choosing a bow is to make sure that it's not too heavy. You don't want something that the child, you know, it's a hard thing to hold a bow in the right bow grip and have the fingers just where they are, so you don't wanna make it even more difficult by adding a really heavy bow to that. You want it to be nice and light. Real wood on the bow is even better. They do sell fiber glass for cheaper, renting fiber glass for cheaper. If you could find real wood, you'll probably get a better sound. But the most important thing is where your arm is at the tip. So, that's how you pick a bow for your violin.

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