Will about 10 loose hairs in a violin bow make any difference when I use it?

Asked by: Lynette Pollock

What can I do about loose hairs on my violin bow?

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 loose should bow hair be?

Two good rhyming tips to remember are: “lefty loosey, right tighty” and: “tighten for playing, loosen for staying.” You must tighten the bow (add tension) to play, but when you’re finished, you should loosen the bow’s hair (remove the tension) before you put it away.

How much hair do you need for a violin bow?

between 160 and 180 individual

Bow hair is made from horse hair

The bow hair is made of a hank of horsehair. A single violin bow will use between 160 and 180 individual hairs. These hairs are all attached next to each to form a ribbon. Unusually thick hairs and kinked hairs are removed so that only straight hairs are used.

Why does my violin bow keep losing hair?

The oils and dirt on your hands are the most common cause of this build-up. Avoid touching your bow hair when possible and rehair your bow regularly. (See photo below.) The bow pictured above is an example of a bow with missing and dirty horsehair.

How long does violin bow hair last?

“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 Loose Should a violin bow be?

You want to make sure it's loose. So I recommend loosening at the most you can to where the hairs are dangling. And then that's perfect to put it in the case because.

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

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 heavy should a violin bow be?

about 60 grams

Weight and Balance

The average weight of a violin bow is about 60 grams (a viola bow is 70 grams; a cello bow, 80 grams). But remember, this is only an average. Many bows by the great makers of the past weigh as little as 54 grams and yet play beautifully.

How often should you rosin your violin bow?

every four to six playing hours

Typically, students should re-apply rosin every four to six playing hours, which equals about two times per week.

How do I know if my bow needs a Rehair?

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 violin bow?

around $50

While many prolific string musicians learn to rehair their bow independently, most musicians take their bow to a professional. The cost of rehairing a violin bow is typically around $50 or less, a bit more for cello and bass bows.

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 can’t you touch the hair on a violin bow?

The reason touching the hair with your fingers is discouraged is because natural oils from your fingers or skin will transfer to the bow and cause the hairs to “slicken.” This greasiness (think of how greasy your own hair gets after not washing it for days) compromises the dry texture of the hair that grips to the

Should I loosen my bow after use?

It is very wise to loosen the bow hair after every use. The bristles that are exposed to a permanently streching will, of course, be damaged sooner than the bristles that can rest. Also it’s very wise to loosen the bow for the good sake of the bow stick itself.

What happens if you don’t loosen your violin bow?

Yes, if you leave a bow under tension too long, it will lose its camber (bend) faster.