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Parent and Beginner FAQs

FAQs from Parents & Beginners

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

Getting the Most out of your Bow

Get the Most Out of Your Bow

Tips that will help you maintain and care for your bow whether you're just starting out or an established professional.

Pernambuco vs. Carbon Fiber

Pernambuco vs. Carbon Fiber

We explore the differences between pernambuco and carbon fiber bows.

SHAR Fusion Carbon Composite Violin Bow

Instrument: Violin
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."

The antique finish of the fine pernambuco hints at the playing characteristics of the sophisticated bow. Firm stick imparts a warm sound for demanding passages.

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.

Presto® Impulse Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

Instrument: Violin
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 violinist 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® Impulse endorsement

Presto® Encore Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

Instrument: Violin
Level: Intermediate

PRESTO® Carbon Fiber Performance Series

PRESTO® Performance Series carbon fiber bows have gained a loyal following among players and teachers alike. Combining modern, strong, state-of-the-art materials with traditional handcraft, these bows are as impressive and beautiful to look at as they are to play. Agile handling, arrow-straight tracking and full tonal power are hallmarks of these fine bows. Decidedly stunning in appearance due to the open weave carbon cloth, these bows are far better suited for severe performance conditions than wood bows, including pernambuco. And, as the world's supply of expensive pernambuco wood disappears, PRESTO Performance Series bows deliver more performance for your dollar than any fine bow on the market today.

Silver mounted, open weave black carbon-fiber finish.

Beautiful high quality Pernambuco, flexible stick of medium weight, silver mounted.

In the tradition of the great French archetiers, we are proud to offer these impressive bows of fine character and outstanding playability. For the violinist seeking a strong bow with very warm sound, excellent control and fast response, but without breaking the bank, look no further! Comparable to European bows costing twice the price, these master bows are from the finest workshops in China.Due to a temporary supply problem, these bows are unavailable until further notice (September 15, 2006).

Meinel Pernambuco Violin Bow

Instrument: Violin
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. Available in 4/4, 3/4, and 1/2 sizes.

A Schmidt™ Brazilwood Violin Bow

Instrument: Violin
Level: Beginning

A. Schmidt brazilwood bows are a good choice for young players. Offers better flexibility, response, and playability. Fully-lined ebony frog with Parisian three-part button, thumb leather, wire winding.

Presto® Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

Instrument: Violin
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).

Meinel One Star Pernambuco Violin Bow

Instrument: Violin
Level: Intermediate

Excellent pernambuco bow, ideal for intermediate players and beyond. Medium firm nickel-mounted stick; nickel-mounted ebony frog; wire grip. Medium weight and balance. Sweet, articulate tone with quick response. Flawless German craftsmanship throughout.

$25.99

Imported Brazilwood Violin Bow

REVIEWED ON: October 28, 2014

Fantastic bow

Read All 5 Reviews

reviewed by: Brett Omara

I've been using one of these bows for 3 years. I sold my 5,000 Pierre Fuchs bow because I liked this one better. It sounds and plays great. I use it for professional work in Opera Colorado and other orchestras, for rock shows with my touring group Spinphony, and have won auditions with it. Highly recommended. Although you will have a grumpy bow rehair person when they have to dig all the glue out of the frog...

$79.00

Presto® Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

REVIEWED ON: October 24, 2014

Mr

Read All 12 Reviews

reviewed by: LARRY STAFFORD

After reading the reviews on this bow, I bought one for a violin that I built for my niece. It got here in three days after the order was placed. That was one day ahead of schedule. Upon opening the package, I personally found the bow to be beautiful for the price. I don't play violin, I'm a guitar guy. but I took the bow and added a heavy coat of rosin then steel wooled the horse hairs to roughen them up so they would hold the rosin better. I then worked some more rosin into the hair. Then sent the bow along with the violin to my niece. my niece has been playing violin for about 40 years (she's not a kid), but didn't have a good violin to play on. After testing the violin and bow, she gave the presto 4/4 carbon fiber bow two thumbs up. She said that her old bow did not begin to compare to it. I can't give you more detail as I don't have the details. Do keep in mind this is right out of the box, so I'm giving the bow a five star rating.

$79.00

Presto® Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

REVIEWED ON: October 24, 2014

Amazing bow has ability to do all of the bow attacks and techniques!

Read All 12 Reviews

reviewed by: Teacher, KENNETH NIELSEN

Upon arrival of the Presto Carbon Fiber Violin Bow Black 4/4 Size, I immediately notice how it looked nice and very well finished and with a good appropriate weight and balance. As is recommended with any new bow, I rosined it up heavily after running a little sand paper over a new cake of rosin to rough up the new surface (I see others not understanding or knowing how to do this step.) Playability is nothing short of marvelous. I've owned bows costing over $3,000.00 and this bow is enough to embarrass the many bows which cost up in the hundreds and even thousands of dollars. The Presto Carbon Fiber Violin Bow Black 4/4 Size has the right bounce and action to do all of the over two dozen various bow attacks and techniques. To me, this bow is a real find and I congratulate the originators and manufacturer for producing a fine product. As the final test of quality I would rate the sound produced by the Presto Carbon Fiber Violin Bow Black 4/4 Size as bright and cheerful and able to swing into dark and moody tones at the whim of the player. This bow brings excellent 'voice' to my instrument and it is as an understatement that I say I am very pleased with it.

$25.99

Imported Brazilwood Violin Bow

REVIEWED ON: October 09, 2014

poor quality

Read All 5 Reviews

reviewed by: JULIE CARPENTER

I have had to replace this same bow 3 times in the past year. Twice the wedge of the frog that flattens the horsehair came out, and once the plug that attaches the hair to the tip came out. Each time we only had it for a few months before something would fall apart. Shar is good about replacing them, but I'm definitely going to upgrade to something with better quality.

$59.99

A Schmidt™ Brazilwood Violin Bow

REVIEWED ON: August 09, 2014

not good

Read All 2 Reviews

reviewed by: Anonymous

This bow came as part of the new outfit I bought for my son. He has been playing for 3 years and is ready for a better set. This bow has a very heavy sound and a very poor quality tone when trying to play piano (pianissimo is not possible with this bow). It is also poorly balanced and UTTERLY unforgiving. It is described as being a GOOD, FLEXIBLE bow well-suited to young players. It is NEITHER of these things. After 2 months trying to get used to it, we've officially declared it worthless and I will be replacing it immediately.If I could give it NO STARS, I would.

$189.00

Presto® Encore Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

REVIEWED ON: June 28, 2014

A surprisingly good bow!

Read All 8 Reviews

reviewed by: CATHERINE ROSE

I have played with this bow for two years now, and I really like it. It draws a good sound from my instrument, and is easy to handle. Over time, I have begun to use it more than my heavier, much more expensive wood bows. An added bonus for me is that I don't have to worry about using this bow for outdoor gigs.

$289.00

Presto® Ovation Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

REVIEWED ON: June 28, 2014

Excellect Intermediate Bow

Read All 5 Reviews

reviewed by: Anonymous

I got four bows through the in-home trial program (two wooden and two carbon fiber) and my teacher and I tried them out before deciding on this one. I am an intermediate player that really enjoys making music and wanted a versatile bow that was light enough to do different techniques with (that's why I went with the carbon fiber - they are lighter than wood) and made a nice, rich sound. I definitely found that in the Presto Ovation!

$99.00

Meinel Pernambuco Violin Bow

REVIEWED ON: June 22, 2014

Great Bow!

Read All 2 Reviews

reviewed by: Anonymous

I purchased this bow for a beginner/intermediate student and I am very pleased with it. It makes a nice warm tone. I like it better than the bow I have been playing with for years though it would be a bit too light for me. My student is going to be very happy.

$373.50

CodaBow Diamond NX Violin Bow 4/4 Size

REVIEWED ON: May 04, 2014

great bow!

Read All 2 Reviews

reviewed by: Anonymous

It was totally worth it to buy this bow. At first I was worried that I would be buying not that good bow with high price. When I got it, I was super excited to use it right away and it made my tone quality much better and it sounds more full and its easy to hold the bow and stuff. I strongly recommend using this.

$229.00

R. A. Meinel Pernambuco Violin Bow

REVIEWED ON: April 18, 2014

excellent bow

Read All 3 Reviews

reviewed by: Anonymous

This bow has great flexibility and produces a smooth sound. I recommend this bow to all my intermediate level students. It pairs well with the Carlo Lamberti violins.