Bow Tension

May 30, 2004 at 01:27 AM · I got a new violin bow. I adjust the tension and start playing, and after 10 minutes the bow tension is too tight, after 30 minutes if I don't adjust it, it could shoot an arrow. I tried marking the screw, and it is not moving. Has anyone else had this problem with a new bow?

Replies (15)

May 30, 2004 at 05:40 AM · A dry room/area will make the hair shrink.A humid same will make the hair stretch out a bit. If you live in a dry clime, or play in an air-conditioned space(also dry), the hair needs to be a bit longer than an outright humid place.The hair length will change with the dry to damp ratio in the air.I have to keep an eye on my bows when it gets dry.Some with hair a bit short, I store with the adjuster off (so as to let the stick rest).

May 30, 2004 at 03:35 PM · My bow, about 1 year old, is doing the same thing. It may be due to the temperature change from bowing. I suspect the rosin is playing a role. The extent may depend on how tight the bow starts with. Try let it alone for a while, when it is tightened from bowing next time.

May 30, 2004 at 07:22 PM · Thomas has it right. I don't think the hair will really change all that much due to any temperature changes. It has everything to do with humidity.


May 30, 2004 at 08:42 PM · I have seen a stick snap in half right in the case overnight (probably wasn't loosened), a victim of winter furnace dryness/ temp changes.


June 1, 2004 at 03:02 AM · i am pretty sure humidity isn't the problem as the room is always within 48-55% humidity, and I haven't taken the violin anywhere. I will try leaving it alone when it gets taught and see what happens.

June 1, 2004 at 03:29 AM · Greetings,

Beverly, that is good for your violin but it is a -fairly - dry room. That would tighten the hairs on my bows because I have to take them out in prehearsals where the humidity is around 70%.

I wonder if it is possible that the hair has not been prepared probably, but this is not my field of expertize so that is just idel speculation,



June 1, 2004 at 06:16 AM · The problem is low humidity, with hair that is a bit too short for the weather.

June 1, 2004 at 06:31 AM · Greting,

but i have the latter problem whatever the humidity,



June 1, 2004 at 06:38 AM · Ancient Samurai hairstyle? To live in Japan is to know humidity...

June 1, 2004 at 01:51 PM · The hair temperature in bowing increases by > ~30F quickly (in milliseconds, don't have the link with me), resulting in drying the hair.


June 1, 2004 at 05:48 PM · for me its heat, my bow is cool in its case and as it warms up it gets tighter.

June 1, 2004 at 06:13 PM · Dry heat.

June 1, 2004 at 10:40 PM · Well, it must mean that my bow is good if all of your bows do this too. My old bow (cheapest in the store) didn't get tighter even if I took it out into a different room. We keep the music room humidified, but the other rooms are usually 20-30% humidity.

June 2, 2004 at 12:22 AM · it tends to be pretty dry here

June 3, 2004 at 01:43 AM · Link:

"One might be surprised to learn that, as a result of friction, the temperature at the point of contact between string and hair can increase by 25 to 30 F in a matter of milliseconds." The increased temperature drys the bow hair.


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