Like so many other traditionalists, I turned my nose up at the thought of fiberglass, composite, carbon-fiber, or alternative wood species. Now, I'm considering those a viable alternative to Pernambuco in student-level bows. I have become more aware of the wasteful use of wood in low-cost, high-production bows. These bows are of such poor quality and such low cost that it is less expensive for a shop to throw away the bow and replace it with a new one rather than repair or rehair it. I consider this irresponsible and wasteful of our forest resources and I will not sell these bows. My shop policy is to sell no Pernambuco bow under $300, and no wooden bow under $100; I save the unique and essential Pernambuco for the higher-quality bows. Our forests are precious, and the choices we make in our businesses will make a dramatic difference for the future health of these forests. I feel that I want to educate my clients and provide them with responsive and responsible alternatives. I believe that every teacher, every shop, and every music store has the opportunity to make a difference.
Fiberglass, Carbon Fiber and Composite Bows
These student bows are available in prices ranging from $50 to $200. The weights and balances have greatly improved over the years and the musician (especially the young beginner) can now find bows that provide comfort and an alternative, non-wood product. Call for availability and pricing.
The bow shown here is a Glasser Advanced Composite violin bow.