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Touching the bow?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Dharmabum, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. Dharmabum


    Jul 11, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    I've gotten conflicting rules on touching the bow to see if there is enough rosin. My first teacher said "try not to", I've heard "oh lord don't!" and my new teacher says "yea, why not?"

    It might sound trivial, but I was wondering if it really matters. Would the amount of grease on your thumb affect the bow?
  2. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Have you ever touched a nice glossy photo and left a fingerprint on it? You leave behind oil from your skin and it doesn't come off all that easily. Oil and grease attract dirt and dust like crazy. Over time it can add up; especially if you frequently touch your bow to see if it needs rosin. A good rule of thumb is to rosin your bow before you begin playing. If the rosin begins to cake up on the string; wipe it off. If you feel like you need more; use more. You really don't need to touch the bow hair to figure out if you have enough rosin. I'm not even sure if that would be a good indication. Rosin is sticky and you don't want it on your fingers. Hope this helps.

  3. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Just play a few notes. You'll know whether you need more rosin or not.
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I never touch it to see if I need more rosin, but I usually give it a light bounce off of my hand (karate-chop position here, fellas) to see if the hair's tight.
  5. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Why not try the same thing on the string instead of your hand?
  6. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    My thoughts exactly...
    I just play for about a minute or two to warm up and let the rosin soften before I decided whether it needs any. Your rosin works up a much better tack when it is warm, and you'll find yourself using less.
  7. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Laziness? Convenience? I call it "economy of motion."
  8. Johnnythekid

    Johnnythekid Guest

    Dec 20, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I usually bump it into my knee or string to check the tension if I'm not wearing nice pants.
  9. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I've done that too -- the pants thing.
  10. Charles Shores

    Charles Shores Commercial User

    Jul 26, 2005
    I try not to touch the hair, if I do, it's with the back of my hand which is much less oily than the palm.

    I doubt the oils make THAT much of a difference, but I like to keep my gear in good shape.

  11. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    The reason not to touch the hair with your fingers is the oils in your hands. It can dirty the hair, but more importantly, the oil can cause the bow to slip or prevent the rosin from taking to the hair.

    I wouldn't sweat a little touch now and again, but I would not make a habit of it. You can't really tell if you have the right amount of rosin from a touch anyway. As mentioned, you have to play the stick a bit and let it warm up.
  12. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Well said.