Violin bow hair
Does 400 hours on a violin bow indicate it is time for a rehair especially since it is slipping on the “A” string and only holds the rosin for 3 hours. If I add more rosin it slips more! Any ideas? I am not a novice player. I bought my bow 1 year ago and I wonder about the quality of the hair. I have not had this happen before and I have always had Mongolian hair.
Rehair your bow at least once a year.
I find I need five or six good strokes of rosin per hour. I remember reading in other threads how various pros and advanced players claimed they were hardly ever rosining their bows. I asked me teacher about it and he looked at me over the top of his glasses, and he said, "Paul, rosin your bow."
Has anyone else played your bows on your violin(s) and got the same result?
Yes. Today by a woman player in a symphony orchestra. She said it was fine. So I can only assume that is my hearing. I forgot to mention my poor hearing in my other discussions. I use 2 aids. My wife has told me that it sounds fine. I still don't know why I only notice it on the A string. It must be somehow related to my hearing. So I will just carry on as long it is ok to others. My wife is very musical; plays piano and had a handbell choir for 25 years. They were very good. "Always listens to your wife"!. That was a good question Andrew. Finally thought of it today, even before I read your reply. So I guess I just saved $70.
Using alcohol to clean your bow dissolves the rosin and spreads it all over the hair which is not ideal, the best thing to use to clean bow hair is warm soapy water, no risk of dissolving the varnish on your bow. As long as there is enough hair cleaning your bow hair should extend its life indefinitely. Hair doesn't really wear out, at least that's what I have been told, it does get dirty, though.
Lyndon, Of course you are correct about alcohol and soap-and-water cleaning of bow hair. But there is a risk of getting moisture into the wedges at the tip and frog and that can lead to catastrophic damage to the bow. Also, cleaning with water is going to put your bow out of commission for a long time until the water absorbed by the hair evaporates.
Using water and soap, it only takes a few hours to dry, and you get absolutely no sound when you bow it until you re rosin, it removes all the rosin, alcohol just spreads it around and makes hairs more likely to stick together.
Unless you wipe the dissolved rosin off between each application of the alcohol. But I do concede your point.
Andrew. Do you have any more comments?
Have you tried cleaning the hair yet, as I talked about?? Could potentially save getting the rehair.
Lyndon wrote, "Alcohol just spreads [rosin] around and makes hairs more likely to stick together."
Why would you want to risk damaging the finish on the bow with alcohol when you can use soapy water and get just as good a result, beats me???
The first time I used alcohol to clean bow hair I gave it some thought - I lived in the middle of the Mojave Desert, 150 miles from North Hollywood, CA (where I first got my work done after moving to CA) and I figured the worst that could happen was that I would still need to have the bow rehaired.
I never tried cleaning my bow hair with alcohol, as I don’t really see the point.
From what I have been told, That is not true, there are no microscopic things on the hair that grab the string, the things that grab the string are microscopic particles of rosin attached to the hair.
I haven't rosined one of my bows for 2 months now and it's been 3 years since I purchased it (Or my mom did) and I haven't had it rehaired yet because I'm too lazy. But contrary to what everyone else says, my bow is still fine, and works just like my new one.
Lyndon I agree with you about the mythical "scales." There are pictures of such things, but they're electron-microscope images that are not relevant on the physical scale of bow-to-string contact. It is interesting, however, to ask what there is about the surface of the hair that causes it to take rosin so well. Is it chemical or morphological or both?
You should have you bow re-haired once a year.
"You should have you bow re-haired once a year." Yes that's what "everyone says." My question is, "Why?" How does bow hair wear? On the other hand I can easily see why you would want to do this if you don't clean it ever.