Loosen the bow

February 7, 2007 at 03:29 AM · I loosen my bow each time I take a break from practice. Is this excessive? How often to you do so? Only when you put your violin away for the night?

Replies (24)

February 7, 2007 at 03:46 AM · Greetings,

eveytime you take a break. Yes.



February 7, 2007 at 03:48 AM · wow, that's quick and sweet! Thanks Buri!

February 7, 2007 at 04:23 AM · The more accurate question might be: "when do you tighten it?" To which the answer would be: only when you're playing.

February 7, 2007 at 01:08 PM · Hi Yixi,

I often do this too. It's not excessive so don't worry! I do keep it tightened though if my break is only 15 minutes.


February 7, 2007 at 02:57 PM · I loosen my bow when I take a break. Since the household heat is very dry here right now due to low temps outside, I am also checking as I play, and seem to be loosening a bit as time goes on. My case is well-humidified, so hairs are absorbing moisture while stored and losing it when out of the case. Sue

February 8, 2007 at 06:50 AM · how loosen should the hair be? should I keep a small amount of tension on it or do I loosen the hair until it hang w/o any tensions?

February 8, 2007 at 06:59 AM · most of my breaks--but generally every time....

My understanding if correct, that the hair when putting things away for the evening--should be 'very' loose.

February 8, 2007 at 07:26 AM · What about for teaching? I sometimes have to teach several hours in a row without a break. Should I plan to switch bows so that I don't just have my bow sitting there tightened (when I'm not using it in the lesson.) Obviously, it's not practical to loosen and tighten it a bunch during lessons. Would it just be better to get a cheapie bow for teaching? I've been using my backup, but even that one isn't super cheap.


February 8, 2007 at 07:50 AM · I'd just use common sense--if I'm running for coffee or something, I don't--but if I'm jumping over to the 'puter, for a few yes....

So if I were in a 5 minutes between students, probably not, but if we were going to work on theory or counting or something coming up next? yep...

February 8, 2007 at 11:35 AM · Greetings,

I suppose if one is playign an opera for aseaosn the bow is going to be tight many hours in a row again and again. It isn"t going to kill it. I think there may be other reasons for using a cheaper bow in lessons though...



February 8, 2007 at 01:49 PM · not sure why, but at least in winter time, even with some humidifier action, the bow seems to get visually tighter/tauter on its own if left outside the case. not sure if the hair or the stick reacts to the humidity change.

anyway, i am usually more careful in the winter time because of that,,,to make sure to loosen the bow after play.

February 8, 2007 at 07:42 PM · I would definitely use a cheaper bow during lessons. Not just for the tightening/loosening aspect, but for the safety of the bow. Students tend to be hazardous at times and can accidently break things.

It's not always just the student however. Sometimes teachers get excited about particular sections in pieces and do things they shouldn't. This weekend I lifted my bow up too high in a low room and hit a flourescent bulb with my bow. I broke the ivory tip in two and snapped about 1/3 of the tip off. Great Job me!

Fortunately you can get descent bows for cheap. I usually use cheap brazilwoods when teaching, just in case.

February 8, 2007 at 09:26 PM · Haha,

I'm such a kluz, I do stuff like that all the time! I'm glad to know I'm not only person who does that kind of thing. I constantly have bruises because I'm walking into stuff and my poor violin has a couple nicks here and there because of my poor spacial judgement. I'm actually planning on getting one of those carbon fibor Luis and Clark instruments for teaching since at least two thirds of my students are 3-8 years old. Rule number one in my studio that we talk about at the first lesson is that no one but me is allowed to touch my violin and bow, but occasionally some kids do need reminders on that rule because I guess my violin is oh-so-alluring. And then there's findig a safe place for the instrument during group class. Maybe I should add in a coda bow too given my tendancy towards kluziness....


February 8, 2007 at 09:30 PM · Laura--stop being such a klutz!...;)... You might be surprised if you see yourself with better spatial abilities in your mind.

February 8, 2007 at 10:46 PM · Greetings,

Albert is a great human being and an -absolutely atrocious- therapist.



February 9, 2007 at 12:08 AM · uh--the nut don't fall far from the tree buddy..

February 9, 2007 at 01:26 AM · Greetings

you may be the exception. I`ve told you before about sitting in trees.



February 9, 2007 at 01:24 AM · A violin luthier told me it's completely okay to loosen it until it hangs without any tension. If I'm not playing, or am taking a break longer than about 5 minutes I loosen it this way (no tension).

Also it avoids the hair stretching and being too tight in low humidity and then in the summer with high humidity (at least for where I live, NY), have the bow be so loose you can never get it tight enough.

Also, I think not having it too tight for too long prevents some warping issues.

February 9, 2007 at 02:00 AM · Really interesing post to you too! ;).....

Seriously though, I was reading your advice to Karin on teachers from a thread a long way back, and again, though you can't type, and though you abuse the little man (me), and though you personally were solely responsible for the for the depletion of plum tree stock in Japan after 1970, you remain one smart cookie. Now go jump in the milk ....... argh!. With a brain like that, I swear it looks like you'd learn to type.

But with still that said, I'm wondering if anyone completely detaches the hair from the stick during really dry weather.

February 9, 2007 at 04:55 PM · Albert does have a point, despite atrocious therapist abilities. Labling oneself is always a self-fulling prophecy, well unless of course you label yourself as playing like Oistrahk and then proceed to not practice. Unfortunately, that is NOT a self-fulling prophecy.


February 9, 2007 at 08:44 PM · Greetings,

well, putting on weight is not hard.



February 9, 2007 at 09:37 PM · Thank you Laura... Buri's just mad because it's winter in Japan and the exceptionally bad weather has made the price of prunes to go up.

Oistrakh!, is a state of mind... Sheesh I wish. I feel like the football player in "Footloose" trying to learn to dance most days... And uh, 1 and uh 2....

My coach or whatever, was rag-dollin my arms, and I realized--uh,, I'm going to skip my dreams of line-dancin, and just hope to get through violin some.

February 10, 2007 at 04:43 AM · Greetings,

Albert my madness is innate. It is not affected by weather,



February 10, 2007 at 05:46 AM · I believe that Buri... Did it start in your typing?

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