How Do I Choose the Best Double Bass Bow?

The best double bass bow depends on your playing style, budget, and personal preferences. After you’ve evaluated a bow for quality and price, try it out to see if it’s right for you. A bow is as personal to a musician as the double bass itself, so experiment with a few different types before settling on one.

There are two types of double bass bows: German and French. The difference is in the frog, which is a wooden grip area. The frog of the German bow is wide and shaped to fit in the palm of the hand. Because the French bow is gripped with the thumb and fingers, the frog is much slimmer.

The majority of musicians only use one type of double bass bow. If you’re a new student, you might want to experiment with both to see which one is most comfortable for you. Because the prices for the various styles are comparable, the type of bow you choose should not be influenced the price.

Both online and in stores, there are a plethora of high-quality student bows at reasonable prices. If you’re on a tight budget, a used double bass bow might be a good option. Purchase the highest-quality bow you can afford, as it will affect your playing comfort and overall sound on the instrument.

Either wood or carbon fiber are used to make a good double bass bow. The traditional material is wood, but it is susceptible to changes in humidity. Wooden bows can lose their arch over time, becoming straight and difficult to control. Carbon fiber bows are unaffected humidity and never lose their shape. Even so, the responses of wooden and carbon fiber bows may differ slightly, so it’s crucial to try both before deciding which is best for you.

Bows should be tried on in person. You can order several bows for a trial period from online stores in some cases, but only if the company has a good return policy and you can afford the extra shipping costs. Online retailers have a larger selection of bow types and styles than brick and mortar retailers.

Before you try out a bow, make sure it’s free of damage. The bow’s shaft should be free of cracks and splintering, with a deep curve or “bow” to it. The nut or screw that loosens the hair should be able to turn smoothly. Although some rosin residue is normal, the hair should be full and clean. Make sure the tip of the bow isn’t broken off, as this is a common spot for damage.

Both the hair on the bow and the rosin used with it have an impact on its performance. A bow with insufficient rosin or hair will not play as easily or as loudly as one with sufficient rosin and hair. Check for thinning hair or add rosin if the bow doesn’t seem to be playing well. Adding hair to a bow is a relatively inexpensive repair, but if this or any other repair is required, you should get the bow at a discount.

When you’ve found a few double bass bows you like, set up a trial period with the store so you can try them out on your own instrument. Music stores typically give you one or two weeks to decide which bow is best for you. Play a variety of music with each bow and pick the one that produces the deepest, fullest sound with your instrument.