Guide to Bows

Bow : What is it?


Bows are devices used for playing string instruments like violins, cellos, violas, and double basses. They are pulled across the strings (bowing) to make them vibrate and produce sound. They consist of a long stick, screw, pad, frog, and hair. They are usually made of wood, fiberglass, and horsehair. They are available in different lengths and weights to suit varying string instruments. 

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Types of Bows


Kinds of Bows include the following:

Wood bows

  • Wood bows are made of genuine wood like cherry, pine, pear, and maple.
  • They have rounded sticks.
  • They are made with genuine animal hair like horsehair
  • They are commonly used for playing violins and cellos.
  • They are available in 3/4, 1/2, and 4/4 sizes.

Fiberglass bows

  • These types of bows are made of durable fiberglass.
  • They resemble genuine wood bows especially when made with real horsehair strings.
  • They are extremely durable, flexible, and responsive compared to inexpensive genuine wood bows.
  • They are available in 4/4, 1/2 , 1/6, and, 1/10 sizes.

Composite bows

  • Composite bows are made of synthetic carbon fiber.
  • They are made with rounded sticks, ebony frogs, three-part buttons, and genuine horsehair strings.
  • They are commonly used for playing cellos.
  • They are available in a variety of colors.
  • They are ideal for students.


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Choosing Bows (Buying tips)

String hair color: To get a smooth sound, choose a bow made with white horsehair strings. If you want to get a rough sound, on the other hand, look for a bow made with black horsehair strings.  

Pernambuco wood:
For professional use, choose a bow made of genuine Brazilian Pernambuco wood that comes with genuine horsehair strings. It produces a rich sound when used on a viola, cello, double bass, or violin.

Skill level: If you are a beginner, choose a bow made of fiberglass. It is extremely durable and flexible, and when combined with real horsehair strings, provide comparable sound quality to an expensive wood bow.

Maintenance information

Loosen your bow’s hair strings before storing it for a long time. Completely loosen the hair then turn the button once to make the strings even. Allowing the strings to relax is essential to maintaining their quality.

Regularly rehair your bow especially after extensive use.
It's time to rehair your bow when the  hair strings become dirty or broken.

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