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Hair Tightness?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by tplyons, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'm afraid my hair is very VERY loose when I loosen the bow, and when it's tight, it's not even that tight compared to other bows. Could this be a problem? Just the type of hair or what?

    I'm using one of Bob Gollihur's Brazilwood Bows.
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    It ought to be very loose when loosened. Enough to completely take the pressure off the bow.

    When tightened for playing, it is a matter of personal preference. I prefer to play with the bow hair having as little tension as possible and still be able to play. My measure is that with the highest amount of bow pressure I will ever apply, the hair barely has enough tension to keep from bottoming out on the bow. I look for a space of 1/8" or less.

    I have found in my limited experience that the looser the hair, the less rosin you use. The sound is smoother. I also think the bow grabs better as there is more hair on the string.

    With me, too much tension on the bow tends to result in the bow "slipping" on the string.
  3. ditto

    Nylons: The problem here might be that the hair is so old and stretched that it can't be taken up enough. Are you in need of a rehair?
  4. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I used to like my bowhair loose too, especially when I was starting out using the bow and wanted to draw a good sound. After I logged in extra experience, slowed down the speed of my strokes, and started working on bouncing bow stuff, I began to slowly tighten my bowhair more and more. Now I'd say my bowhair is tight, and the bonus is my E string gets to start immediately when I play it rather than giving me a delayed response. I use a German bow and my thumb is not weak.

    YMMV, so don't give up experimenting and discovering if you're not satisfied. You won't hurt anything except your savings account by getting a rehair as Don may be suggesting.
  5. doomchild2


    Apr 30, 2004
    I've only been playing double for about a year and I've found that playing with a tighter bow helps me to make more acurate down beats while providing stong tone on my bass. I play Frence I dont know if its much different with the german but I like the bow tight.

    You might want to try a lesson my double teacher has me do. Play open strings in tempo in curcualr motion doing all down bowing. So you play lets say open E for two beats at like 90 tempo in 4/4 in that excersize I found that having a tighter bow helped me make the attacks cleaner. Check it out