All About Violin Bows

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A violin bow is a tool used with stringed instruments such as violins, violas and cello’s. The purpose of this tool is to make the instrument produce sound; the bow is pulled across the strings of the instrument causing them to vibrate and emit sound.

What Are Made Off?

Violin bows are usually made from a length of wood with some other material stretched between its ends. The standard wood used in bows for a very long time was Brazil wood, this wood was prized for its strength, resilience, warm tone and attractive dark finish.

Brazil wood has now fallen out of fashion due to the supply becoming very scarce. These bows are now out of the price range of most beginners.

Modern violin bows can also be made from fiberglass or some other kind of synthetic material; these synthetic bows are more suitable for beginners because of their strength and durability.

The material stretched across the ends will be hair, it will most often be horse hair but in cheaper violins can also be nylon or synthetic hair. The violin maker will use between 150 and 200 hairs from the tail of a horse.

The bow will also need to be rehaired from time to time, this must be done by professionals and not by the owner, rehairing is done when the bow is dirty or has lost its friction. It is also done when the hairs of the bow have become broken and brittle. In some cases it is easier and cheaper to replace the entire bow than to rehair it.

Rosin, which is a kind of lubricant made from tree sap, will also be applied to the bow hair to increase friction.

How To Use One

The familiar singing sound of a violin bow is due to the drawing of the bow across its strings. When the player pulls the bow across the strings it is called a down bow when he pushed it in the direction of the tip it is called an up bow. The down bow will be used for strong musical beats and the up bow for weak beats.

About the Author

Eric B. Hill is an professional violin player and teacher with over 20 years experience.

If you’d like more free online violin lessons or would like to learn the secrets of learning violin extremely fast you can visit his website at

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