author: Erisse Veloso
On choosing the right cello bow, it is vital to look at significant and specific pieces rather than the whole and general bow. The secret to finding the perfect and best cello bow for you lies in the materials and characteristics of the bow.
If this is foreign to you, these materials and characteristics contribute to the overall sound and playability of the cello. Below are some of the essential things to remember before splurging your money in buying your first or next cello bow.
Which one are you?
Before jumping straight ahead to the do’s and don’ts, and tips and techniques, ask yourself, which one are you? Are you a newbie in this field? Or are you a long-time musician who has been looking for your next toy?
Either of the two, it is essential to identify which player you belong to since cello bow differs from variations. Some may be playable only by those who are well-trained. Others may be too easy to use, thus, making it ideal for beginners.
Cello bow materials
The most common cello bow materials are Pernambuco, carbon fiber, Brazilian woods, and fiberglass. Now, what are these?
Pernambuco lies on the most expensive side since it is a classification of rare Brazilian woods. On the other hand, carbon fibers are the most prominent for its better playability – the reason why it is preferred by intermediate and advanced students. In comparison, fiberglass is the cheapest but has a strong quality, suitable for beginners.
This is the most exciting part, shopping for a new cello bow! When in the process of selecting, consider the bow’s weight, balance, strength, and flexibility.
A bow’s weight ranges from 65 grams to 85 grams. Heavier ones need to be played with extra effort since you need strength to carry it, the reason why it can get tiring. But the bright side of this is, it can produce a good light tone which is otherwise for lighter ones.
Balance is subjective since this should be inclined with your preference or where you are most comfortable with. A tip-end bow requires more effort and will feel heavy, while a frog-end bow is lighter but the con is that it becomes harder to produce a tone. Nevertheless, this boils down to wherever you are suitable.
The last two things are relevant to each other, the strength and flexibility of a bow. A stiff and rigid bow is easier to use but produces a thin sound. But, a soft and flexible bow can produce a much-nurtured sound.
While taking these considerations help you to select the right and perfect cello bow, keep in mind that it should also be intertwined based on your personal choice and playing style. You may have the best cello bow but if it lacks your personality, then it will not generate the sound you are looking for. Remember, choosing a cello bow is a personal commitment and decision.