Warped bow


said: Sep 2, 2006
 20 posts

So, I keep hearing that a warped bow is bad, but I can’t find anything about why it’s bad. Could anyone please elaborate? What’s bad about it? Does it make it harder to play? more bouncey? less bouncey?


Gabriel Villasurda said: Sep 2, 2006
Gabriel VillasurdaViolin, Viola
81 posts

A warped bow stick is not good.

Most violin and viola bows warp to the right and cellos to the left, which makes the wood rub against the string distoring the tone.

A warped bow will not “track” properly, so drawing a straight bow will require corrective measures which would not ordinarily be needed. Think of driving a car on a straight road with a steering defect that pulls the car to the side. You can do it, but you have to work constantly to keep the car in the lane.

A warped bow will not bounce properly since the rebound of the bounced stroke will be off axis with the normal flex of the stick.

A warped bow puts mechanical stresses on the tip and frog which could lead to wear or breakage since the tension of the hair is not in the direction for which the stick and moving parts were designed.

Warped bows are sometimes caused by uneven rehairing. If there is not an even ribbon of hair, then more tension on one side may lead to warping.

Warping can be corrected by a skilled repair person by heating the stick over a heat source and re-forming it. Do not try this yourself.


Gabriel Villasurda
Ann Arbor MI

said: Sep 3, 2006
 20 posts

Wow, thanks so much for that information!!

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 7, 2006
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

might I add that the difference in ease of playing that comes between a warped bow and a non-warped bow is HUGE. It’s like the difference between carrying a heavy pail of water in one hand while walking down a straight road (you have to constantly pull to oppose the weight) and walking empty handed down the same road. If you don’t need to do that extra work, why burden yourself?

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