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What Do Violin Bows and Kayak Paddles Have in Common?, Part I

Posted by Staff Writer on Jun 30, 2015 2:07:00 PM

How far could you kayak down the river if you didn’t have a paddle? When you’re out on the water, you might notice the cicadas and the tug of the current, but you’re probably not paying really close attention to what’s in your hands. It’s likely that you take your paddle for granted, how useful and powerful of a tool it is. It’s also likely that you probably spent a lot of time choosing and purchasing your kayak, but not quite as much choosing your paddle. If you want to go far—or anywhere at all—you definitely need a good paddle for your kayak. And not all paddle blades are created equal: some of them are made from wood; others are made from aluminum; there are even fiberglass and carbon fiber paddles. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but one thing is for certain: you need a good one if you’re going to be able to kayak anywhere at all.

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Topics: Bows, PRESTO

The Bow Guide: How to Select a Bow

Posted by Staff Writer on Jan 14, 2015 3:29:00 PM

A new bow can have an immediate and dramatic effect on your playing for a relatively modest investment. Many players do not realize how much they are held back by a bow that no longer meets their needs and skill level. Call a SHAR Violin Shop representative today at 866.742.7270. They can play-test and assist you in selecting the right bow to help you break through to the next level of performance. And please check out our other articles in the series, "Do I Need a New Bow?" and "The Most Common Bow Materials."

The musical sounds which come out of a bowed stringed instrument result from the three-way interaction of the instrument, bow, and player. Change any one of the three and the resulting music can be noticeably different. You can easily determine a bow's compatibility with a specific instrument and player using this simple progression of tests:

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Topics: Bows, Buying Guide

The Bow Guide: The Most Common Bow Materials

Posted by Staff Writer on Jan 9, 2015 11:51:00 AM

A new bow can have an immediate and dramatic effect on your playing for a relatively modest investment. Many players do not realize how much they are held back by a bow that no longer meets their needs and skill level. Call a SHAR Violin Shop representative today at 866.742.7270. They can play-test and assist you in selecting the right bow to help you break through to the next level of performance. And please check out our other articles in the series, "Do I Need a New Bow?" and "How to Select a Bow."

The Most Common Bow Materials

 

 

Brazilwood: Typically used for student level bows, this wood can come from several members of the Fabace family of trees found in South America.

 

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Topics: Bows, Buying Guide

The Bow Guide: Do I Need a New Bow?

Posted by Staff Writer on Jan 6, 2015 10:55:00 AM

A new bow can have an immediate and dramatic effect on your playing for a relatively modest investment. Many players do not realize how much they are held back by a bow that no longer meets their needs and skill level. Call a SHAR Violin Shop representative today at 866.742.7270. They can play-test and assist you in selecting the right bow to help you break through to the next level of performance. And please check out our other articles in the series, "The Most Common Bow Materials" and "How to Select a Bow."

Do I Need a New Bow?

Almost all players come to realization that new bow would be beneficial to their technical and musical development. Here's a guideline to help you tell if a new bow may be right for you. The more "Yes" answers you have, the more likely a new bow will help you.

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Topics: Bows, Buying Guide

Getting the Most Out of Your Bow

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sep 7, 2012 2:56:00 PM

Today we have another fine blog from our apprentice James Engman. James shares six tips that will help you maintain and care for your bow whether you're just starting out or an established professional. 

As a young player becomes more experienced, their technical ability may begin to require a higher quality bow. The balance, weight, flexibility, and setup of a decent bow will allow a student to accelerate their formation of technique and tone. Just as a sharpshooter can’t perfect his or her aim with an old black-powder musket, a violinist can be held back by an inferior bow. However, the cost of a good bow can often seem unusually steep to first time buyers. It is easy to forget that the instrument in your right hand is just as much of an investment as the one in your left, and it requires just as much care, if not more. Therefore, a student should learn to care for their bow as it were a $90,000 Peccatte from the first time they pick one up. Here are six simple tips, for students and professionals alike, to get the most out of your bow.

1. Rosin the Bow!
Although a strand of horsehair appears smooth, it is actually covered in tiny scales and hairs. Not only does your rosin help the bow stick to the string, but it also protects its texture. Bowing without enough rosin or rosining a small area with too much pressure and frequency can smooth out the hair and ruin it. So, it is always important to keep the hair evenly rosined.

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bows, Bass, Instrument Care

Pernambuco vs. Carbon Fiber Bows

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Jul 2, 2012 4:17:00 PM

People think gold is precious. It isn’t. You just go to the store and ask for it. The stick is a different story. You’d go to the ends of the earth and crawl on hands and knees to get that stick. – Charles Espey, bowmaker

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Topics: Bows, Pernambuco, Carbon Fiber

Don't Panic: We Have Last-Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Posted by Joe Chapman on Dec 20, 2011 12:13:00 PM

We try to quell your rising holiday panic by sharing a few gift ideas.

I have a confession to make: after work today, I still have three Christmas gifts to buy. Tomorrow, I'm flying home to North Carolina. Every year, I do the same thing. I start thinking about possible gifts in October and then revel in the platonic perfection of these un-purchased gifts.

It's usually not until December 20th or so that I really begin to panic and worry about actually buying these oh-so-thoughtful presents. Sometimes, I'm still scrambling on Christmas Eve for the perfect gift, clinging to the idea that I will find a snazzy iPad case or hip cardigan for the Grinch on my list. (You know this person: your friends and family members all call each other every year, saying, "Um ... what are you getting So-and-so?)

Here are a few quick ideas if you're struggling to find the perfect present for the musician on your list. If you order the item with Express Delivery by 3 p.m. today, you'll get the gift in time. If you want to think about it more, you can still order by 3 p.m. tomorrow and add 2nd Day Air. Good luck!


$25 & Under:













Mark O'Connor's
An Appalachian Christmas.This will be an immediate hit. You can ditch Pandora for a little bit and throw this album on the stereo Christmas afternoon. It's only $8.99, which is a small price to pay for a terrific album. (The Wall Street Journal thinks so too; they put it in their list of the top six Christmas albums.)














Folks can get attached to their rosin brand, but it's worth trying Liebenzeller. It's a high-quality rosin that's a tiny bit indulgent: and aren't those the perfect gifts? The gifts someone will actually use and love but might not buy for himself? It's on sale for $20.


$50 or more:








String instrument players always need strings. Do a little quick research and find out what kind of strings the person on your list uses. Pair it with something a little more indulgent like a fine chocolate. Well, that's what I would want.


$200 or more:

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Topics: SHAR, Rosin, Mark O'Connor, Bows, Strings

Get Your Art On: October is National Arts and Humanities Month

Posted by Joe Chapman on Oct 25, 2011 5:11:00 PM

Though much of the rhetoric about American schools has been focused on math and science, test scores, and the growing gap between the quality of education in the United States and other first-world nations, the value of the arts and humanities in education is receiving national recognition during the month of October. Perhaps this recognition shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Many economists such as Edward Glaeser (check out his recent book Triumph of the City) are beginning to recognize the value of creativity in our future economies; the development of our creative sides, through music and the visual arts, could be an asset (gasp!) instead of a hindrance. Huzzah for the economy of the future and for October.

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Topics: Education, SHAR, Bows, String Community

PRESTO Impulse Bows: Endorsed by Andrés Cárdenes

Posted by Rachel Krueger on Jul 18, 2011 10:51:00 AM

See what Conductor and Violinist, Andrés Cárdenes says about the PRESTO Impulse Carbon Fiber Bows:

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Topics: Violin, Bows, Andrés Cárdenes

Notes from a SHAR Apprentice - Bow Concerns

Posted by Rachel Krueger on May 3, 2011 2:00:00 PM

Common Bow Concerns
Troubled by misgivings about bows? Don't know if these bow inspector specials are a good idea for you and your family? Wonder what to do if you are on a budget, break a bow, or need to travel?

Here are some answers for you!

We may not be playing very long...
Young children who want to play because their best friend plays or adults who always wanted to try and have decided to take a chance on string playing; these are just two of many situations where there may not be a long term commitment to string playing. Many people start lessons and then, after a few months, decide to invest their time in something else. The bow specials are a way to obtain a good bow at a realistic price, so you can go ahead with your experiment without worrying about your wallet.

My student is ready for a new bow, but can’t really afford it.
Inspector Special bows include all levels of our student bows at discounted prices. Often inspector special bows are at just the right price point for a student with a limited budget.

Help! I broke my bow by (dropping, sitting on, running over, sword fighting with) it!
Let’s face it. Life happens, and sometimes fragile things like bows are casualties of existence. If you have a child who is extremely active and breaks bows like tinder, you may not want to invest in an expensive bow every time. These reduced prices allow you to replace that bow for as little as $15!

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Topics: SHAR Apprentice, Bows, String Community

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