How to Set up and Prepare a Violin Bow
- 04 Dec, 2020
The bow must be tightened and rosined in order to produce a sound with it. To prepare your bow follow the steps below:
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- Use the screw to tighten the frog so that the hair has tautness.
- Be careful to not over tighten your bow. The hair should have a slight bounce to it without touching the stick after placing it on the strings. Usually about 1/4 of an inch distance from the low point of the curve to the hair is ideal. For some it is more and some it is less depending on how the player plays.
- A new rosin cake will be too slick to apply to the hair. To correct this, take a small pocketknife and cut three or four parallel lines in the rosin so that there will be some texture to the cake. You can also roughen the surface of the rosin cake with some sandpaper.
- Slowly draw the hair over the rosin cake from the frog to the tip of the bow. Be careful not to draw the bow too quickly which would cause some friction.
- On a new bow, you may have to repeat this process approximately 5-10 minutes...test the bow to determine if the rosin is adhering to the hair.
- If it is, you'll start to hear a clear pitch emitted as the bow is drawn over the strings.
- Try placing the bow on your strings and play a few notes open.
- If there is no tone or volume emitting from the strings the bow is not grabbing the strings enough to generate a tone, try applying more rosin.
- Follow this process repeatedly until the bow no longer slides on the strings, and you're getting a clear tone.