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Nick Thorpe
Bows

Dear Beth & All.  I  read somewhere  that as a rule of thumb a bow should cost about a quarter ( I think), the cost of the violin. I have a $450 / £300 Gliga violin that I am very pleased with but I am not sure about the bow and would be happy to upgrade if you thought it worthwhile. Christmas is coming! Any recommendations would be appreciated.

My current bow is one of the standard octagonal Brazil wood types.

Best wishes, Nick
Nick Thorpe
12 Responses
Posted: November 3, 2011
Last Comment: November 12, 2011
Replies

jojo
Posted: November 12, 2011
great stuff that you will come along to the Egham even Nick!!

by the way, you don't have to know now what you want to play, you can leave the 'piece choice' blank on the form and email later the organiser to let her know, but bear in mind that if you want her to organise an accompanist for you then you should let her know probably no later than one month before the event what you will play so that she can let you know who your accompanist will be and you can email/post the piano part to the accompanist :)

for example I don't know yet what I will play, but I will decide by first week in January, I already have an accompanist and will give her the music by then.

we should start a thread about this I think, I will later tonight ok?

Nick Thorpe
Posted: November 12, 2011
Thank you Jo and Simon. Amazing Jo to think that you are not far from the shop in Egham. The adult learners concert in February sounds good - thank you for mentioning it and I  will sign up later this weekend. Hopefully I will have Twinkle firmly in my repertoire by then!

I wondered if Simon would be interested and maybe we could get some more VL members along? I seem to remember that there is a lady in Cambridge and a chap in Kent.

Best wishes, Nick.

jojo
Posted: November 12, 2011
you too Simon, come and join us :)

here is the website for the adult concert, but please hurry up in sending off your registration form, places get filled up real quick!


Simon
Posted: November 12, 2011
Hi Nick, thanks for the update - I'm glad Andrew was able to help you out.  I get most of my bits and pieces from the Stringzone and want to visit the shop at some point.  Enjoy the new bow and sound!



jojo
Posted: November 12, 2011
GREAT result Nick :)

I've been to that shop a couple of times!

Incidentally....

we are doing an 'adult learners concert' just 2 minutes walk from that shop on the 18th of February!

Only us adult learners and our closest friends and family would be allowed to be in the audience, no 'strangers'.

ALL INSTRUMENTS AND ALL STANDARDS are allowed to take part, from total beginners playing ONLY open strings to advanced.

Most of us are SO SO nervous of playing in front of others but we want so badly to do it!  I was crying in the back last year before I got on stage!! LOL

Would you want to join us???

We can find you an accompanist :)  In the morning we rehearse, in the afternoon we play, your wife could come.  Participants (players) pay £10 and people who come to support (in the audience) pay £5 (some of this money goes towards hire of premises some to charity).

After we all go for a meal together, it's a GREAT DAY OUT!!!

Go on!!!  If on the day you feel you are too nervous you can pull out but I doubt it, the organiser is so good at calming people.  OR you can still come and meet us all anyway and just be in the audience.

what do you say???

Jo

Nick Thorpe
Posted: November 12, 2011
Dear All. Following on from Tricia, Eileen and Simon's advice (below),  I visited Andrew Riley Violins in Egham (England, UK), the retail outlet of Stringzone which  is on the southern side of the M25 motorway. 

I ended up with the Col Legno Standard  carbon bow that Simon had suggested at £132 ($200). Andrew Riley was extremely helpful and I had the benefit of advice from a hands-on luthier who just happens  to run a shop. He said that the hair on my original, three month old kit bow, was too long and was  pretty useless. This was a great comfort because I thought that my problems with the bow might have been down to me being a rank beginner.  Andrew wasn't pushy and we started looking at bows at the £50 ($75) mark.

In summary, the new bow feels so much better - almost as though a lead weight had been taken off the tip of my old one, and my wife says that the  tone is much improved. Thank you everyone for your help. What would we do without Violinlab?? Best wishes, Nick

PS: Beth & Al's 'Choosing a Bow' video was really helpful. I am always encouraged by Beth facing  the same problems as us, albeit at a different level.

Eileen
Posted: November 4, 2011
My mistake !   It's in the Video Lessons Library under "Webcasts"   "What to look for when purchasing a bow"

Eileen
Posted: November 4, 2011
I believe in the resource section there's a video of an online workshop that Beth did for purchasing a bow.   Some pretty good information in there as to what to look for when trying them out before you purchase.

I'm still not happy about missing the workshop she did for purchasing a violin !  That one didn't get recorded...dang...

Patricia
Posted: November 4, 2011

Hi Nick!

Few months ago, I purchased a carbon fiber bow for $697.50 US dollars, free shipping and a nice black with dark green velvet interior "Bobelock" case as a bonus to keep the bow when not in use. Is a CodaBow Diamond GX which I already register under my name with CodaBow. It is easy to guide because is lighter than wood and I found that responds well when I practice spiccato or any bouncing bowing.

I hesitate to purchase a bow via the Internet, then I realized that carbon fiber will be the same for all bows anyway. However, I checked first with CodaBow International my choices of a legitimate authorized dealer, then I pick one that I knew it was established for many years. I also asked them what was included in the “Warranty for Life” for this particular model, and they told me that the stick but not the hair. I don’t remember asking if the frog and the tension screw are also included.

Sometimes I prefer to use my very first old bow of Pernambuco with plenty of hair even when is about time to re-hair because does not grab or bite the strings, giving me a whistle sound in return.

If your preference are not for a CF bow, purchase your bow in person from a well credited seller. Try as many bows as possible before you buy. Careful with seller trying to sell you a Brazilianwood, which it could be any kind of wood from Brazil for a superior quality of Perambuco bow that are no longer permitted to be made because of the tree being in danger of extinction, but there are some left in the market. Check if the bow is straight from the top view because some are crooked at the point and if it keep a nice curb even after tighten the tension screw.

With my best!

Patricia


Nick Thorpe
Posted: November 4, 2011
Hi Simon. Thank you for the feedback; I have a looked at Stringzone but will go back and look at your recommendation. Yes, my Gliga is a Gems 2 and looking at the Website I bought it from the price is £350 ($525). I am delighted with mine -  it is a lovely dark antique colour and has a warm sound that I wouldn't describe as muted. I did read somewhere that someone liked the Gems 2 because they could play it comfortably at home,  but it might not be powerful enough for concert use, but that's not going to be a problem for me!

Best wishes, Nick

Simon
Posted: November 4, 2011
hi nick - I would look at some carbon fibre bows, at this price point they are supposed to be better than any of the wood ones you can get.  Mine is a Col Legno Standard which cost about £120, if you can stretch the budget, Coda Bow are supposed to be among the best. As you're in the UK I would look at  www.thestringzone.co.uk and peruse their collection.

Incidentally, is your Gliga a gems 2? My second violin is that model but i think it sounds a bit muffled - maybe it needs the set up looking at again...

jojo
Posted: November 3, 2011
I always heard the bow is meant to be 1/3 of the price of the violin LOL AH! ;)