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Parent and Beginner FAQs

FAQs from Parents & Beginners

You asked, we answered. Read the FAQs from parents and beginning players.

Pernambuco vs. Carbon Fiber

Pernambuco vs. Carbon Fiber

We explore the differences between pernambuco and carbon fiber bows.

Bow Concerns

Bow Concerns

We provide answers to some of your common bow concerns.

SHAR Fusion Carbon Composite Viola Bow

Instrument: Viola
Level: Beginning

For years string teachers have told us that fiberglass bows are a durable and practical choice for active young students and their budget-conscious parents. But because they lack the finesse and handling properties of wood or carbon fiber bows, teaching bowing techniques can be difficult. We listened to our colleagues and set out to find a solution. The result is the SHAR FUSION student bow. Utilizing high tech composite of carbon fiber and fiberglass, the SHAR FUSION is strong and priced right. But best of all, the SHAR FUSION performs like much more expensive wood or carbon fiber bow. Try one today!

"When considering a new bow for their student, teachers and parents alike have expressed their desire for a well-constructed bow that doesn't compromise its playability and responsiveness. I'm happy to say this bow is an excellent option for customers looking for a durable and practical bow, without inhibiting a young player's sound and technique development. Immediately after trying this bow for the first time, I noticed how easily the violin responded to it."
- William Kaltz-Hall, Violinist, Contact Center Representative


Canadian rock group Article One (www.articleonemusic.com), combines pop-rock accessibility with the hard-driving virtuosity and honesty of an indie band. Here's what Article One's world-class rock violinist, Matt Piche', has to say about the Shar Fusion bows that he uses in his performances:
"The Shar Fusion allows me to express all the passion and intensity that Article One's music demands, without wilting or breaking. Sometimes our shows get a little crazy - the rugged Fusion bow stands up to abuse better than any wood bow, yet it plays like a good wood bow. It's ideal for demanding music-making."

PRESTO® Impulse Carbon Fiber Viola Bow

Instrument: Viola
Level: Advanced

High Performance Bows for High Performance Players

You've worked long and hard to develop your skills and you have a repertoire of advanced techniques. You know what you want to express in your playing. Now, here is the perfect partner that feels your every impulse and responds in-kind. After three years of painstaking development and countless professional trials and tests, the new PRESTO® Impulse is born. Meticulous attention to every detail assures that the PRESTO® Impulse stands ready to accurately reproduce your every nuance, and nothing more. Splendid tracking ability, superb control and a warm tone allow you to keep your mind, and your heart, on your performance.

When we set out to develop this new bow, we started with a list of "must-haves":
- The bow must feel alive and resilient, just like a fine-quality wood bow
- Weight and balance must be exactly like a traditional bow so that tedious re-learning of bowing techniques would not be necessary
- Each bow must conform to strict manufacturing standards, for consistency; yet, within defined parameters, the blending of carbon resins must be such that a variety of sticks would be made available for audition. In this way, a skilled violist is able to discover the perfect PRESTO® Impulse bow
- Each bow must be fitted and finished by hand, to assure proper operation and hand-feel

Andres Cardenes"The Presto® Impulse bow is remarkable. I was amazed at the response, clarity and tone it produces. This is a serious endorsement from me, as I have always shunned carbon fiber bows due to their lack of an "organic" feel. This bow feels and responds like a first rate bow in many ways. It doesn't produce a buttery tone like a great Pecatte or Simon, but it's the next best thing. Congratulations to Shar on a wonderful achievement."
- Andrés Cárdenes
Learn more about Andrés Cárdenes PRESTO® Impluse endorsement.

R. A. Meinel Pernambuco Viola Bow - 4/4 (17" - 14") size

Instrument: Viola
Level: Intermediate

Flexible to moderately-flexible pernambuco stick medium weight. Nickel-mounted ebony frog with Parisian eye and three part button: Plasti whalebone or wire grip.

Meinel Pernambuco Viola Bow - 4/4 (17"-14") size

Instrument: Viola
Level: Beginning

Experience the performance of pernambuco at a price you would expect to pay for a brazilwood bow! Flexible to moderately-flexible pernambuco stick, ebony frog with Parisian eye and three part button, wire winding. Full size bow accomodates a full size (15 -17 ) viola.

Marco Raposo Silver-Mounted Viola Bow

Instrument: Viola
Level: Advanced

We are pleased to stock silver mounted bows from Marco Raposo. After extensive testing of the bows from the leading bow makers in Brazil, we have selected those from Marco Raposo as our choice. Each bow is identified with the master maker who created the bow. Pernambuco is graded along with playing qualities before it's considered to be the best for our customers.

Bows are selected for excellence in design and metal workmanship, stiffness, weight, color, balance point, winding, round or octagonal. Our selection of Marco Raposo bows will clearly represent consistency of high quality workmanship and playability. 4/4 size. 

Stunning silver fittings and faux tortoise shell frog on this impressive bow! Firm stick is at home with the Dvorak Concerto as well as with Bach's Suite No.1. This bow will help take any serious student or amateur to the next level of playing.

Bows from the Guy Laurent® workshop are amongst our most popular, serving the most demanding advanced students and serious amateurs. In the tradition of the great French archetiers, we are proud to offer these impressive bows of fine character and outstanding playability. For the violist seeking a strong bow with very warm sound, excellent control and fast response, but without breaking the bank, look no further! Easily comparable to European bows costing twice the price, these master bows are from the finest workshops in China.

Schmidt Workshop Viola Bow

Instrument: Viola
Level: Beginning

Economical brazilwood bows best suited to beginning players. Half-lined ebony frog, leather thumb grip, three-part button, wire winding.

Presto® Carbon Fiber Viola Bow

Instrument: Viola
Level: Beginning

Enjoy the benefits of a carbon fiber bow - laser-straight tracking, excellent control and unparalleled durability - all at a great price. The perfect bow to teach young players correct technique, the Presto bow is also used by many advanced players for outdoor or pit work, or as a backup bow. Black with finished stick, ebony frog with Parisian eye (bass bows with pearl eye).

V. C. Jeandel Pernambuco Viola Bow - 4/4 (17" - 14") size

Instrument: Viola
Level: Intermediate

Beautifully finished French-made bows. Quick-responding, medium-firm to strong, round stick. Nickel-mounted ebony frog.

$409.50

CodaBow Diamond NX Viola Bow

REVIEWED ON: July 29, 2014

Better than I imagined

Read All 2 Reviews

reviewed by: ELIZABETH BUSTAMANTE

This bow is so agile and responsive that my playing has noticeably improved in just a few months. After being away from all things string for 40 years (!) I picked up a viola again. There were no such things as carbon fiber bows back in the day, so this has been a high-tech dream for me. At my level of playing (geezer redux), the NX suits me just fine and I can't really envision needing to move on up. Heartily recommended for just about anyone who is not quite a virtuoso!

$690.00

Guy Laurent® Pernambuco 3 Star Viola Bow - 4/4 size - Silver Mounted

REVIEWED ON: April 13, 2014

Wonderful bow!!! *****

Read All 1 Reviews

reviewed by: Anonymous

I purchased this bow about 2 months ago. I wanted to wait before I reviewed it. The bow not only produces the most beautiful tone from my viola, but it is beautiful to look at! I have fooled a few people already with the faux-shell frog! No complaints thus far and I don't foresee any.

$149.00

Presto® Audition Carbon Fiber Viola Bow

REVIEWED ON: December 10, 2012

Great Bow!

Read All 3 Reviews

reviewed by: SANDRA KEAR

This is a great bow for the price! It's very nicely balanced and produces a good tone. I am very pleased with mine.

$149.00

Presto® Audition Carbon Fiber Viola Bow

REVIEWED ON: October 09, 2012

Great Bow; Great Price

Read All 3 Reviews

reviewed by: ROBERT BABS

This is a great bow. It's strong, plays well and produces a great sound. It has a great bounce but is still easy to control. To be honest, I still prefer my wood bow, but I think that's just because it's a rather high quality wood bow. Though this new bow has still been an excellent backup bow for me. For the price you pay for this, you're getting way more. I highly recommend it! as I do Shar in general. I'm very satisfied.

$89.00

Presto® Carbon Fiber Viola Bow

REVIEWED ON: October 02, 2012

A+

Read All 1 Reviews

reviewed by: CANDICE GARY

This bow helped me when I was in a pinch a week before a concert with my university symphony. It is easy to work with, has a decent weight, and handles massive usage in a small period of time. This makes for great back up bow in time of need, or a good starter carbon fiber for those that are new to them.

$330.00

Guy Laurent® Workshop Viola Bow Round

REVIEWED ON: September 13, 2012

Awesome Bow, Great Price

Read All 1 Reviews

reviewed by: MICHAEL DAVIS

This bow easily outperformed other bows that I tried out at nearly double the price. I love the way it handles and the sound it pulls out of my viola. Maybe in the future I'll go for one of their better bows but for now this one is great.

$480.00

Guy Laurent® Pernambuco 1 Star Viola Bow - 4/4 size - Silver Mounted

REVIEWED ON: August 16, 2012

Nice viola bow!

Read All 1 Reviews

reviewed by: Anonymous

I ordered this bow about 2 weeks ago. I did an in home trial first, and I loved it. The bow, for my instrument, provides a warm sound. I enjoy playing with this bow very much. It has made my practice and play time a lot more enjoyable! It is also beautiful to look at. :)

$149.00

Presto® Audition Carbon Fiber Viola Bow

REVIEWED ON: January 14, 2012

Amazing bow!

Read All 3 Reviews

reviewed by: Anonymous

I ordered this bow a few days ago and just got it today. I can already say that I love it! The tone that it produces is superb, and it is very good quality for a cheaper carbon fiber bow. I also noticed that the bow has a lot more bounce than my pernumbuco bow. Very satisfied with this product. I would recommend it to my fellow viola players.

$409.50

CodaBow Diamond NX Viola Bow

REVIEWED ON: December 07, 2011

Complexity and Volume

Read All 2 Reviews

reviewed by: Seth Van Embden

The moment the bow touched the strings I was amazed. The sound produced surpassed all other bows I tried in its complexity and volume. What I was looking for in my next bow was control, and the Diamond NX gave me the control I wanted. I feel much more comfortable playing now than I had been with my old wood bow.

$329.00

Presto® Ovation Viola Bow Black 4/4 Size

REVIEWED ON: August 09, 2011

mixed feelings

Read All 1 Reviews

reviewed by: Anonymous

On my previous viola this bow worked wonders and reminded me strongly of the coda bow diamond gx, quick response, excellent spicatto. On the viola I have now this bow frustrates me to no end, it's sluggish and too bouncy. But on both of my instruments it did pull out a pretty decent tone. Test out this bow before you buy it!