Bow care

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Bow care

Postby southernmiss » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:16 pm

Ken has posted lots of good advice on this subject before, but sometimes it's helpful to post again for newcomers. I don't know much, but several tips may help you. First, loosen the hairs when you're through playing. Second,wipe off the excess rosin (and your BD) after each session. Third, don't pull loose hairs out, but cut them with scissors.

I take group cello lessons, and one lady is constantly pulling loose hairs out of her bow. Now she wonders why the little wooden thing holding the hairs in is starting to come out of the frog. I've advised her to cut instead of pulling, but she still does it.

That's the extent of my knowledge about bow care, but if you do a search here and on boweddulcimerfriends, you'll find Ken's posts about cleaning the hair.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

:D :D :D

Lee
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Re: Bow care

Postby jt3d » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:12 am

Great to post this reminder Lee. Even those of us who have had a BD and bow for a while can tend to forget these things (I had forgotten about the cutting of loose hairs) - there is so much to remember about the care and feeding of your new BD and its bow.

Also, don't forget to store your bow somewhere more out in the open. Storing it for long periods of time in your BD case or something enclosed tends to attract little bow mites that feed off of the bow hair! Do your best not to touch the the hair on your bow as the natural oils in your skin are not good for the hair.
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Re: Bow care

Postby Ken Bloom » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:53 pm

A point of amplification. Touching the bow hair on the playing side with your fingers risks getting oil on the hair. When that happens, the bow will not play in th eoiled area. Rather it will skip over. To fix this you have to clean the hair by soaking it in alcohol, letting it dry and then re-rosining the bow to make it all work again. I can go into detail on the process if anyone is interested. Treating your bow hair with care gets to be a quickly learned habit when you remember that it will cost upwards of $50.00 to get you bow rehaired. I try to get my bow rehaired about once or twice a year. After a year I've worn the hair down so much that it takes way too much rosin to get it to do what it should.

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Re: Bow care

Postby dulcimer52 » Fri May 06, 2011 8:41 am

How often do you need to rosin the bow? Before playing each time? After playing a while, do you need to re-rosin? And I'm always wondering, do I have enough rosin on the bow?
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Re: Bow care

Postby Ken Bloom » Fri May 06, 2011 11:24 pm

How often to rosin your bow is another personal decision. Some people rosin up before they play every time. Some only do it occasionally. When my bow doesn't seem to have the grab that I expect, I go for the rosin. It's all about how it feels to you. As you gain more experience, this is a problem tha twill solve itself. For now, try rosining your bow a couple of swipes before each playing session. Be sure to wipe off the instrument when you're done. Don't le tthe rosin build up on the instrument or the strings. I also wipe down the bow stick when I'm done. Leave the hair alone.

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Re: Bow care

Postby dulcimer52 » Sat May 07, 2011 12:59 pm

A fiddle playing friend of mine, when I commented about "squeaks,' commented "too much rosin." Will that cause squeaks. I'm trying my best to eliminate them!
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Re: Bow care

Postby Ken Bloom » Sat May 07, 2011 1:07 pm

Yes, too much rosin will casue squeaks but for a beginner a more likely cause is problems with pressure or bow speed. Don't be too timid with the bow at first. You can always back off later.

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Re: Bow care

Postby Robin T » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:29 pm

Ken,
Can a bow benefit from a quick cleaning of the hair with those small alcohol pads (used to prep before a medical injection)?

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Re: Bow care

Postby Ken Bloom » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:52 pm

Hi Robin,

Alchohol dissolves rosin. I can see how maybe they would work, but I doubt it woud be as effective as soaking the hair in alchohol the usual way for cleaning. Remember you have to flour the hair afterwards so that it will take the rosin better anyway. I am also wondering if maybe using a wipe would be as effective on the dirt and grease as soaking is. I guess we won't know until you try it. Worst case senario, you go back and clean the hair the old fashion way.

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Re: Bow care

Postby Robin T » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:44 pm

Thanks, Ken! If I use the pads on my CodaBow, I'll report back with results.

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Re: Bow care

Postby frets alot » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:04 pm

Ken,
I once heard that you could put moth balls in the case with a bow to prevent bow mites. It seems to work well in my fiddle case (I use the para moth balls that have far less odor). What are your thoughts on this?
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Re: Bow care

Postby Robin T » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:07 pm

Robin T wrote:Thanks, Ken! If I use the pads on my CodaBow, I'll report back with results.

Robin T


The pads worked okay for a quick job. A thorough cleaning would work better, though.
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