Not sure if it's the strings or the bow?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Gideon, Aug 17, 2001.

  1. I'm having a problem with my bowing lately. The bow seems to slide on the strings without grabbing. This happens no matter how much rosin I apply (Carlsson). Although it seems to go away when I first apply massive quantities of rosin. I can envision 3 possibilities. 1) the bow needs to be re-haired 2) it's hot and the rosin is gunking up the bow hair causing the bow to slide or 3) the Obligatos are entering some state where they are frictionless. It's become incredibly irritating and I'm looking for suggestions. Let me say that I was able to get a consistent tone until a few weeks or so ago. Now, I'm off to practice.
  2. You don't describe your bow. Is the hair synthetic or genuine horsehair? And there are varying quality levels of horsehair.
    No matter what it is, if it worked well once and is now deteriorating, my first guess is that you need new hair. You can get that from one of the finest bowmakers in the USA, with top quality horsehair, for about $45. Use FedEx and get 48 hour turnaround.
    The Obligatos wear out sooner than most strings. Hold the string between your thumb and finger and see if it is loose around the core. However, even if it is, the string does not lose its ability to provide friction. I've played worn strings without a problem.
    Your heat theory is actually backwards. The warmer, the stickier. When I rehearse under stage lights, I don't apply rosin at all. The residual rosin in the bow hair and on the strings heats up and does the job.
    Carlsson's is one of the the best rosins around, and is not the culprit.
    If you want a contact for rehair, e-mail me.

    I know very active players who get 3 or 4 rehairs in a year. For average use, once a year (?). Horse hair will lose its properties over time, even if it is never used. And an unused bow can need periodic rehairing.
  3. I've had my bow rehaired twice this year. The first time by a reputable Luthier here in the Twin Cities last spring. I was not overly impressed with the hair but being a relative novice, I didn't know if it was the hair or my abilities. I sent it out to Barrie Kolstein two weeks ago. What a difference it made.

  4. Twice? Wow, I'm behind the curve here. I haven't re-haired in probably 2 years. I'll get on it. I've been calling the locals and seeing what's available before ringing outside Oregon.
    Thanks Don and Mark,