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stretching bow hair?


robert
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I recently realized that bow hair tends to get loose

after some play. I guess this is due to stretching

of hair, perhaps because of the heat generated by the

friction between hair and strings. As a result the

distance between the wood of the bow and the strings

becomes short and therefore buzzing sound (due to the

vibration of wood) is generated. I would appreciate

any comments or suggestions for this problem.

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Hello:

Yep, bow hair stretches with use....just due to being under tension. That is one reason the hair should be almost loose when the bow is in the case. Frequent rehairings are needed to keep the hair the right length. Time between new hair jobs depends on the amount of use. There is no average time...some players rehair every two months, others every six months, some once a year or so. There are other reasons for the hair to get long. These include loose plugs in the frog or tip, poor tie-offs and sloppy rehairing jobs. Some players roll up a small piece of cardboard and put it between the hair and the ivory face...under the hair. This temporarily gives shorter hair. Another reason for long hair is seasonal change. In the summer, high humidity causes the hair to lengthen. In the winter, low humidity causes the hair to shorten. A rehair job done in the summer will generally become too short in the winter....and if done in the winter, the hair will be way too long in the summer. Most rehair persons compensate for the seasonal changes in hair length....so, in my opinion, the hair should be replaced at least twice per year.

Good luck,

Al

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I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but if you mean that the hair on your bow seems to lengthen within a single practice session, then it seems to me that it could well be from the increased heat generated by bowing, as you have suggested. Another possibility is an increase in humidity in the room where you're practicing--I have essentially watched the hair on my bow grow when I once took my violin from a dry climate to a humid one, opened the case, and started to play. Regardless, it's the nature of the hair--the only thing you can really do is to either start with more tension on the bow or add tension at various points while you're playing. I always find myself doing one of those two during my playing sessions.

Victor

: I recently realized that bow hair tends to get loose

: after some play. I guess this is due to stretching

: of hair, perhaps because of the heat generated by the

: friction between hair and strings. As a result the

: distance between the wood of the bow and the strings

: becomes short and therefore buzzing sound (due to the

: vibration of wood) is generated. I would appreciate

: any comments or suggestions for this problem.

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