Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Tight Re-hair


Guy_Gallo
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 59
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I'm curious to know, when a bow is stored away or put to rest (controlled environment, OK)do the majority of you let off the tension to floppy loose or slight tension? Slight tension is what I was taught at the age of 10. Slight tension is what I notice on other peoples bows, in person and in photos.

Scott

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too tight and too loose seem to be defined differently.

Scott

Ok, I'll preface this post with the obligatory "In my opinion", since I forsee some shadows forming on the horizon here.

I think there is a normal range here too. Anyone who wants something outside of a typical rehair, like, with the hair tight enough to play, with the frog in the full forward position, cannot really be called typical.

There are fairly standard expectations with regard to what a "too tight" or "too loose" rehair would be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are fairly standard expectations with regard to what a "too tight" or "too loose" rehair would be.

I my opinion also, it would fall into the range of "special request", when a player requests more tension on either side of the ribbon, for any reason.

Some players also request more hair on one side or the other (a slightly different request than more tension), or even where the hair is partially up the playing side of the spread wedge.

But in my experience, although such requests are made, it is well under 1%...

Whereas people requesting "more hair" (equally unworkable, in my opinion - but if its what they want I'll go ahead) range around 25 - 30%.

Unequal tension disrupts the playing quality, as does too much hair.

But again, that's just me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tension isn't a spec, but takes many things into consideration. Back when I was doing rehairs, there were some bows which were so strong, that they couldn't reach zero tension, and also be tightened to playing tension. One or the other.

...the bows of Sammy Mayes... I remember those...:)

Perhaps I'm not reading this correctly.

How can a "strong bow" not reach zero tension? (by virtue of its strength)

It's not a logical premiss.

Zero tension is entirely dictated by the length of the ribbon, and the position of the last knot (in the frog or in the tip, depending on how you start and how you end up.)

Zero tension would simply depend on there being enough slack in the ribbon, so that the frog in its full forward position - will allow zero tension.

The only real characteristic of strong or overly stiff bows, is that they tend not to straighten out quite as easily as you draw the frog back into to playing tension. In my opinion, that can often be a plus, if you like a lively bow.

Perhaps the bows had exaggeratedly or cripplingly short mortises (sp?) without enough travel - which would be the only readily available explanation I can come up with, of why a bow (any bow) at zero tension would not also reach playing tension - and where the strength of the bow wouldn't really be a factor - ?

In effect, it would simply have to be an incorrectly made bow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A good stick should not loose camber from this amount of tension.

For comparison, think about the number of hours in a day a stick will be fully tensioned for professional use/practice.

I agree with you to a degree, but...

To point, ideally if the player is infact playing, then the tension/action on the bow is dynamic. Static tension on a bow is worse.

Kids sometimes -automatically - tighten the bow "x" number of times, not realizing the bow's was tightness/hair tension. This and a dry rehearsal hall may lead to tears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In effect, it would simply have to be an incorrectly made bow.

In particular - with a strong or stiff bow.

Well.. no... Sammy's bows were pretty nice. Very strong, however. Combined with his playing style, we'd need to rehair the bow so that there was some tension on the stick (in the "relaxed" position) or Sammy would just stretch the hair out so quickly he wouldn't get much playing time out of it. He rotated his bows (had couple being rehaired while he played a couple others) as I recall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tension on the hair should favor the playing side. The reason being is that the player will inevitably lean the bow towards the playing side (i.e. thumb side for cello/bass and finger side for violin/viola), rarely (if ever) is a bow played exactly perpendicular to the string, so even tension is unnecessary. Tension on the playing side acts as a counterweight to anticipate this lean, thus the bow remains straighter while in action.

Hi Skywalker,

Does this unequal tension eventually stretch out and become more equal? Does the higher tension on the playing side increase hair breakage? Thanks,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well.. no... Sammy's bows were pretty nice. Very strong, however. Combined with his playing style, we'd need to rehair the bow so that there was some tension on the stick (in the "relaxed" position) or Sammy would just stretch the hair out so quickly he wouldn't get much playing time out of it. He rotated his bows (had couple being rehaired while he played a couple others) as I recall.

Ahh. This is starting to make some sense.

At least, within this limited context.

I've had customers who would break so many hairs while performing (think Doug Kershaw style) that they would need a rehair after every performance.

On one song he goes through two bows...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kawlpwQDiOE&feature=related

Does anyone have that guys number?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Skywalker,

Does this unequal tension eventually stretch out and become more equal? Does the higher tension on the playing side increase hair breakage? Thanks,

No.

We rehair with the tension of the hair favoring the playing side in order to compensate for the player leaning the bow in that direction. It should be noted that the tension is slight and fades across the ribbon evenly; It is not overly tight on the playing side and overly loose on the non-playing side. This method is used to anticipate the uneven stress applied to the bow while playing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And not just the current humidity. Any anticipated change in humidity, caused by things like travel plans or seasonal fluctuations, should be taken into consideration.

The reference to humidity compels me to ask whether any of the synthetic hairs do better with humidity changes, and if they loose something in tone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm curious to know, when a bow is stored away or put to rest (controlled environment, OK)do the majority of you let off the tension to floppy loose or slight tension? Slight tension is what I was taught at the age of 10. Slight tension is what I notice on other peoples bows, in person and in photos.

Scott

The orientation of the bow at rest might matter for some situations/price. For inexpensive bows, leave it out in a bright area for a day outside of direct sunlight, lightly rosin to ferrule (then wipe most off), and slight tension helps keep the bits in place, and then bag/seal before returning to case.

In a controlled environment, there shouldn't be very much shrinkage of the wedges. I'm not sure any tension is necessary. I back out the screw, prep it and leave it off (because most bows in storage are not in a controlled environment). Wipe the stick and check for any excess reactive materials or dirty cracks. I would store, but generally don't own "unplayed" or collectible bows, hair down.

I would recommend taking the bow to a fine shop for the "once over" before a long sleep. I'm sure the charge would be nominal. They might catch something the owner might not.

One serious collector keeps the sticks and frogs/screws in seperate cases. It might have started as an anti-theft thing but he swears that he enjoys looking at these parts. I do too. With out the prominent lines of the stick and the hair, a frog can have has many interesting details. It's pretty cool to take a peak inside a frog.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Synthetic hair is not affected by humidity.

This is not true, at least for the Herco brand that I used a few times in the past. It is affected about the same as horse hair. I have a Glasser bow or two with their synthetic but I haven't had them in varied conditions. Don't know about other brands, except I believe Incredibow "hair" is nylon and probably is not affected.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

D. Kershaw was punk before punk was invented.

Sorry CT, Last time I looked, he was in the violin business on the internet. Anyway, I've got a feeling he rigs his own bows. He looks like a succesful DIY kind of guy to me.

I have a cute story for you.

My fiddle teacher, back when I lived in the LA area, played classical violin all her life. From the time she learned as a child - into adulthood. One day, she went to hear Doug Kershaw play, and she says she had a shocking realization that playing the violin could be fun.

She immediately gave up her classical violin playing job, and started playing cajun style music and she joined/formed a nightclub style country band...

That is what she was doing when I knew her, and started lessons.

She says that she doesn't remember Mr Kershaw playing a single note in tune, but that it didn't matter, what she did remember, was the energy and the music.

In an interesting twist - she was a disciplinarian with regard to classical bow grip and left hand position, and would not let her students play sharp or flat or with poor posture even...

And even with this, her fiddleing (cajun style) was superb.

I'm guessing that the moral of the story is - Teach what you know!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CT:

Great story! I can certainly relate to that story in many ways.

I know for a fact that Mark O'Connor also started playing fiddle because of Doug Kershaw too. As a kid, Mark played classical/flamenco guitar already but when he saw DK on tv and the joy and fun he exuded, he says he just had to learn fiddle.

Not to digress too far from the thread topic....BUT....another concept this brought up for me was seeing an interview of a successful musician who started in the punk movement. Long story short: He wasn't a good player but ended up doing so much more than all his friends who, at the time, were practicing Hendrix and Clapton in their bedrooms till they were "good enough" because he took risks. In his case the risks were throwing himself out into a field he knew little about and allowing himself to be big in a visual theatrical way. The D Kershaw video has both of these elements.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No need to add "in my opinion," Craig. We'd have to start adding that to every single post. More importantly, I thought your point was clear. What I don't understand is the statement "???!" Does that mean lack of understanding, disagreement, or ??!

Richard

I agree. But since nothing verbal or concrete was ever offered, other than indicative punctuation, I had no idea what the guy was attempting to say either, really.

This exchange sort of stuck in my craw a bit though. And I have given some thought to attempting to understand the exchange.

Probably because altough nothing was even said - still, some implications are there. Not to mention some "odd" emotional reactions.

When people whose opinions I do trust, started chiming in and backing up even a non-verbal comment from this guy - I started thinking about what might be up. And since the posts backing this "comment" weren't really exactly to the point either, but mainly claiming a sort of trust or kinship or emotional bond - I realized that we were likely talking about a very competent, or trusted practitioner, who doesn't want to, or have to, back up a specific point of disagreement.

I don't know, as I've never met the man. Apparently many people here have, and seem to know him well.

I finally realized that the "??!" comment was very likely simply a matter of a minor philosophical difference in how we approach the task.

Some people apparently routinely rehair with a slight bias towards the playing side - and some rehairers don't

Does it sound like I have now figured out the interpretation of this "exchange" correctly to you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah Doug Kershaw...the "ragein cajun". He used to keep a pale full of bows nearby. As the measures an tunes went by the bow hair would break and he would reach for another.

There was a violin summit with Perlman, Ponty, and Kershaw years ago on PBS. I would love to see that again. Quite a spectacle!

Wow, what a combination of stellar performers! If you see it, please post about it.

I used to go to The Golden Bear, in Long Beach and be *blown away* by Ponty.

I think he must have played The Golden Bear at least a million times... Unfortunately I nnever did see Kershaw live.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...