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Basic Bow Care

Posted by Anton Krutz on

Violin Bow
Bow Care...

It is all too easy to lose one's bow because of not taking good care of it. Here are four "MUSTS" for taking care of the bow!

  1. Always loosen the bow before you put it in the case.

The bow stick must rest from all of the tension that is created when the bow hair is tightened for playing. If it remains tightened all the time, the stick will eventually warp or break. You can also excessively loosen the bow, such that the hair becomes uneven. A good rule of thumb is to loosen the bow hair to the point that it starts to hang loose and then turn the screw once back to the right. This ensures that the hair will remain even and the stick will be at rest in its natural arched shape.

  1. Never overtighten the bow.

Over tightening the bow for playing is a common mistake that students make. This can warp the bow stick, break the tip, or cause the bow to lose hair quickly. You can prevent this by creating a space slightly bigger than a pencil between the hair and the stick – this is the easiest on your bow, will create the best sound, and will give you more control over your bow.

  1. Learn how to properly rosin your bow.

Before putting on rosin, make sure bow is tightened to playing tension. To apply the rosin, hold your bow in your right hand in playing position and hold rosin the in left. In long motions, slide hair across the rosin. Make sure to cover hair from the frog to the tip! You may want to slide a few times and then test how it feels and sounds while playing, and from there, assess how much more it needs. If you put too much rosin on the bow, the resulting stickiness can become a trap for dust particles, which will ruin the hair.

  1. Never touch the bow hair with your bare hands.

The oils in your hands can coat the hair and capture more grime. It doesn't take long for the bow hair to go bad in this way.

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