The hair on a bow is made from horse hair -- tough stuff, but it's still hair.
That means that over time it grows brittle and wears out -- it loses its ability to grip the string, even with rosin. When that happens, it's time to bring your bow to the shop and get it rehaired (unless you are trained to do this yourself!) But how often do you need to rehair your bow, and how often do you actually do it?
First, how often should it be done? It can depend on how much you play, the quality of the hair and also your environment's humidity. In general, luthiers tend to recommend getting a bow rehair about every six months.
But what people do in practice can be quite different. Those who play a lot might get it re-haired every three months. But if it's still sounding good, others might stretch it out quite a bit longer. Or one might forget, might not have it in the budget for this month, or not really know about re-hairing the bow -- and years can go by! One of my high school students had grown busy and somehow had not done it in a year -- a year of playing quite a lot. The difference, once it was re-haired, was quite remarkable.
For you, how long do you typically wait before getting a rehair for your bow?
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