Finding the right bow: A marriage made in heaven

Amandine Beyer (c)Oscar Vazquez 17

A string player can miss out on the full potential of their instrument if they don’t find the perfect bow to go with it. A host of players and bow makers share their experiences with Jacqueline Vanasse and lend advice on the process of searching for the right bow

String players can spend a lifetime trying to find the ideal direct physical connection between their imagination and their instrument. Over time, a player may adapt their instrument, its strings, the soundpost, the bridge height; they might develop the use of their right arm to make it work best with the way that they conceive a phrase. The vital connection here is the bow; when a string player feels they have found the right one, both for them as a player, for their instrument and for the repertoire they happen to be playing, they can then achieve that wonderful fluidity, as if the right hand is speaking and singing. It’s little wonder that the bow is often described as directly relating to the breath of a singer…

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