Why are all my bow hairs falling out?

Asked by: Melinda Hansen

It is normal for bow hairs to “break.” Simply pull them off the bow. If you have the little stubby ends at the frog and tip that you can’t remove, just use a nail-clipper to clip them off. Now if the bow hair is constantly coming off during normal playing, it might be time to consider a better bow.

Why do my bow hairs keep falling out?

If you leave it at a normal tension a change in humidity or temperature could cause the wood to expand which stretches the horse hair (not good) and could cause some hairs at the tip to be closer to falling out.

Why should you not touch bow hair?

Don’t touch the hair. Once kids learn that the bow has horse hair in it everyone wants to touch it; don’t allow it. The natural oils in the fingers will make dirt and oil stick and the bow will need a re-hair sooner than otherwise. Like Tony Manero says below: “Watch the hair!”

Why is my violin bow hair loose?

The bow hair on a violin bow usually consists of some 150 to 170 strands, so if individual hairs become loose or tear, there is no need to have the violin bow rehaired right away. This is a normal sign of wear and tear and has no effect whatsoever on the playing characteristics of the bow.

How often do bow hairs break?

about every six months

“For most people, every 6 months to once a year is enough if all or most of the hairs are still intact.” Laurie Niles of the Violinist.com adds that “luthiers tend to recommend getting a bow rehair about every six months.”

How tight should a bow be?

A good rule of thumb that I use is a pencil width. If you tighten your bow a bit and can just fit a pencil in between the bow hair and the stick in the middle of the bow, that is enough tension. You can also use your pinky, but in this case, only the tip of your pinky will fit.

How often should I Rehair my violin bow?

every six months to a

In general, we recommend a bow rehair every six months to a year, ideally at the beginning of the winter and summer. Rehairing maintains the physical condition of the bow and enhances playability. Bowhair is extremely responsive to humidity conditions.

What happens if you put too much rosin on a bow?

Too much rosin will make the bow feel stickier as it moves across the strings. Excess rosin can generate a cloud of rosin dust as you play, and the sound will be harsh and scratchy. Rosin debris will fall onto the surface of the instrument and, over time, can damage the varnish and the wood.

How often should you rosin your bow?

once every 4-6 hours

Generally, we find that players are reapplying rosin once every 4-6 hours or solid playing. For professionals, this is usually once a day, but for beginners playing 15-30 minutes a day, we find that once a week is plenty.

How do I know if my bow has enough rosin?

Here are two possibilities: Acoustically: you shall strike the bow across the strings as a test. If the bow does not slide easily and produces no sound or only a faint, thin sound, then the bow hair does not have enough rosin. But if the bow is very scratchy, then it may have gotten too much rosin.

How do I know if my bow needs Rehairing?

If the skin is dry on the back of your hands, check your bow. If you can’t loosen it enough to take the tension off the stick, get a rehair. (If the dry spell is temporary or help is not readily available, refer to the accompanying sidebar.)

How much does it cost to Rehair a bow?

Bow Repairs

Bow Repairs Violin/Viola Bows Bass Bows
Rehair Bow–Fiberglass Stick (Glasser) $42.00 $51.00
Rehair Bow–Wood or Composite Stick $58.00 $69.50
Rehair Bow–Colorful Hair $70.00 $80.50
Install Brass Eyelet (Parts Included) $30.00-$50.00 $40.00-$60.00

How long will a violin bow last?

A hank of bow hair has about 120 hours of useful life in it before the natural friction slowly becomes replaced by the stickiness of the rosin. At that point, the player starts to notice they must rosin their bow every time or seems to lose its grip and skates about.

Why does my bow sound scratchy?

Too much rosin on the bow hair produces a scratchy, unpleasant sound, while too little will cause the tone to fade out during your bow stroke. Finding exactly the right level of rosin to apply is like everything else involved with learning to play the violin… it takes practice.

How do I know if my violin bow is too tight?

So if the bow is too straight as far as the stick. That means that the bow is too tight most likely so we want the bow more on a camber where it's more angled like this. And when we play the violin.

How long does it take to rosin a new bow?

You’ll probably only have to go up and down the bow 3 or 4 times to get the correct amount of rosin on the bow. In most situations, you’ll only have to rosin the bow per 3-5 hours of play time.

Should I scratch my rosin?

Gently scratch the surface (“gently” is the key word here – you don’t need to press hard at all), working back and forth until the surface is dulled or scored. You shouldn’t gouge or poke the rosin. Once the glossy surface is dulled, the rosin is ready to adhere to your bow.

What should rosin look like?

Violin rosin is made by heating fresh liquid resin, until it becomes solid. It smells a bit like pine and has a glassy, orange look. It also has a very brittle texture, which means that as soon as you accidentally drop it onto a hard floor, it can shatter like glass (the bugbear of every clumsy string player).

How do you know if a violin bow is good?

The bow shouldn’t seem too light or heavy in the hand. It shouldn’t be too weak or soft: It shouldn’t collapse easily on the hair when playing, or flex too much laterally. And it should be straight when viewed down the stick. Play a combination of bowing styles, including legato, spiccato, sautillé, and so on.

How much does a decent violin bow cost?

A beginner’s bow can cost between $50 – $200, while professional bows will cost thousands of dollars and antique bows even tens of thousands. If you’re an advanced student studying violin as a potential profession, don’t balk at paying anywhere from $500-$1200 for the right bow.

Is a lighter violin bow better?

The heavier the bow is at the tip, the heavier it will feel. A heavy bow might feel secure in long bow stroke, but it will be harder to make it jump in spiccato. A lighter bow can feel very good to play with, but it can also feel nervous.