The violin bow is a wooden stick (or sometimes fiberglass stick), that has a horse hair attached to it at a stretch tautly. This is used for playing tunes over the violin instrument. When the hair of the violin bow comes in contact with the taut strings of the violin instrument, beautiful melodies and musical tunes are produced. The hair of the bow is made from white horsehair, and is applied with rosin to make the smooth hair sticky so that it produces friction against the string of the violin instrument and create the sound. It is the stickiness creates the sounds from the violin. The notion of producing musical tunes with a violin bow with a horsehair fitted into it goes back to over a thousand years, and linked to the nomadic horse cultures of Central Asia. The modern violin bow was designed later in the mid 1700’s. Having such a rich history, the violin box has an intricate and fascinating design and it is composed with the finest materials. This makes it require special craftsmanship in replacing or repairing it.
Although the bow hair can last years with proper care, there may unfortunately come a time when it needs replacement. To learn how to re-hair a violin bow, follow the instructions given below:
- Clean the violin and all its parts properly. You will have to take it apart for cleaning, and you must ensure to be careful at the hardwood plugs when cleaning.
- Buy a good quality horsehair from a music store. Choose a hair with 150 strands.
- With a sharp pair of scissors, cut the horsehair at an appropriate level of tension, ensuring there is enough spring in the tension. Trim the hair carefully.
- String the hair to the bow carefully. You will need a jig for this, where the frog and tip holder will aid in hairing the violin bow. 32 gauge wire is needed or you can use carpet thread around the hair to keep it tied. All this you get in a violin bow re-hair kit.
- Apply rosin to the hair to create soft sounds while playing the violin.
Try to keep the bow hairs tight evenly while the bow is tensions, and also check that all the hairs are aligned neatly. To maintain the condition of the bow, never tighten the bow hair too much and loosen the bow hair after every playing session. Clean the bow stick with a soft cloth after every use to remove the rosin dust. Get the violin and the bow checked regularly at a Luther so that any minor flaws or wear of screws can be repaired before major damage.
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