Bowing Percussion Instruments

What size bow (violin, viola, cello etc...) is typically used when bowing vibes, china cymbals, gongs, etc.?  I was thinking either violin or viola, but wanted to get some feedback before I make a purchase. 
As Eric said don't spend money on a brand new bow. Use an old one, or find a second hand bow. The bow is going to get torn up from bowing the edges of cymbals and gongs, there's no need to spend money on a nice one.
Another option would be to go to your local music store and see if they've had any bows that were abandoned that you could get cheaply. Maybe someone brought a bow into be rehaired and for some reason they never picked it up or moved or forgot about it...

Bows can also warp over time if they are not properly taken care of (tightened and loosened), so you might happen on to one that can still be rehaired, but wouldn't be feasible for actual string playing.

I would not purchase a nice, new bow. What we do with them as percussionists is pretty abusive (or at least, can be). So, anytime we have a part like this, I just call my orchestra director buddies (aka ex- or retired band directors...) and borrow their crappiest bow. I always add the disclaimer -- if we do any damage to it, I'll pay to have it rehaired.

And even though I advocated cello and bass bows, I always use and prefer a bass bow - more surface area!

[quote author=Bryan Harmsen link=topic=3367.msg17765#msg17765 date=1256223758]
I don't think you really need anything fancy, so it seems than an inexpensive model would do the trick - as long as it's not the one  out of the JP Penney or Sears catalog... or the Walmart ";First Act"; brand :-)
[/quote]

Dang....where did I put that receipt?  ;)
[quote author=JCA link=topic=3367.msg17764#msg17764 date=1256212933]
I'm not sure what brand, but Gadsden music just quoted me at $19.00 on cello bows.
[/quote]

I don't think you really need anything fancy, so it seems than an inexpensive model would do the trick - as long as it's not the one  out of the JP Penney or Sears catalog... or the Walmart ";First Act"; brand :-)
I'm not sure what brand, but Gadsden music just quoted me at $19.00 on cello bows.
I'm thinking about using bows as well.  Any suggestions on brands?  How much could I expect to spend on one?
Ditto on the cello or bass bows.
Cello or bass bows are good because they have a wider surface area.
Login or Signup to post a comment