June 8, 2015 at 9:46 pm #2596
Firstly, I’m sorry if this is in the wrong area! I guess a bow is an accessory, though?
Anyway, I know that bows get worn after about six months, but I’m starting to wonder if the freshness I feel after getting a new bow is just placebo. What specific characteristics does a worn bow have?
(I guess what I’m really asking is, could I justify going and replacing my bow, or am I just being lazy on staccato? Haha!)June 8, 2015 at 9:54 pm #2597
Adding a related question —
At what bow value would you justify rehairing as opposed to replacing? I have traded in mine up to this point, and now I have a $70 bow. It’s my favorite bow I’ve ever owned by far, but the luthier may still carry the type. Also, I would be without a bow for awhile if I chose to rehair it.June 9, 2015 at 6:38 pm #2649
Great questions about bow rehair and repair. To answer your first question, I believe it is all up to the player whether they decide to replace a bow by getting it rehaired, or decide to just get a new one. I would say though that under $100 in value, it doesn’t make much sense to rehair a bow because typically the repair cost to rehair is above $40 (might as well get a new one). That is totally up to the player though, as you may be really attached to your bow.
The way I handle it is that if a bow is under $150, I will toss if it needs to be rehaired. This takes a while though, as hair only dwindles when it is played often (unless you toss your bow into a celing fan–which I have done before).
Regarding when you should consider getting your bow rehaired. I suggest considering a rehair once the hair of the bow is below 3/4 the amount of hair from when you got it new. To make sure you understand how much that is, take a new bow (maybe while you are at a string shop), and see the comparison between your bow and one with a full rack of hair. This comparison looking at it from the bottom of the frog angle is what I’m talking about regarding your bow having 3/4 hair.
The harder you play on your bow the more you are will find that it will lose hair (totally normal). I would say if you practice 3-4 hours a week that you will need to get your bow rehaired after 1-2 years. This would mean that you would lose about 1-2 hairs a week, as there are many hairs you would have to lose to get down to 3/4 amount of hair.
Hope this helps!June 9, 2015 at 10:15 pm #2659
Wow! Thanks. One question though — is a bow ever rehaired not for lack of hair, but a problem with the hair? If not, I have been looking at this entirely the wrong way!
In my five months of owning this bow, I’m sure I haven’t lost more than five hairs. Guess that makes me lucky.June 10, 2015 at 9:56 pm #2730
It can be both. Some students grab the bow hair with their hands which causes issues that can lead to a bow rehair. The oils from your hands cause problems with the bow hair being able to grab rosin, and can also attract dirt. Always grab the bow by the stick and you shouldn’t have this problem. Good question!June 11, 2015 at 2:50 am #2746
While discussing bows, what are some distinguishing features of a high quality bow, and is it necessary to have a different bow for a certain style or sound? i play many baroque pieces, and wonder if I should use a different bow. I love the mellow sound of period instruments, especially for JS Bach.June 20, 2015 at 1:36 pm #3053
There are baroque bows that you can purchase online and/or some string instrument shops. Here is a good article that includes a comparison and explanation of Baroque bows.
For those of you that are interested in understanding the differences between standard bows (wood materials etc.), I recommend watching this bow comparison video I put together at Wiley for my book.June 23, 2015 at 1:32 pm #3192
What I tell my students about when to rehair a bow has more to do with the fullness across the width of the frog than age. If you look at the ferrule (that metal cap that holds the hair in your frog), the hair should be spread evenly aross the whole witdh. If you see one side has been worn in a millimeter from broken off hairs, you’ll want to get it rehaired as uneven tension can lead to warping the wood stick over time.
And 6 months isn’t a hard and fast rule. If you were a concert soloist or professional performing multiple concerts a week, you might need it even more often than that. Most players can go a year or two easily without needing a rehair.
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Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)