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Loose bow hairs


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#1 tetrachord

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 09:39

I had a pupil have a first lesson back after a couple of weeks' absence and they were shocked to find lots of bow hairs had come loose.  They have two bows, one of which was apparently a present, and both had had several hairs come out at one end.  I had to reassure them that the bows can be rehaired but wasn't able to answer when they asked why this had happened.  Has anyone heard of anything like this before?


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#2 Violin Hero

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 11:26

Perhaps the hairs got caught/tangled up on something to the point where it almost came away from the rest of the bow?

The culprit probably doesn't want to admit what happened!
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#3 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 12:57

Sounds like someone's being playing at fencing... rofl.gif


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#4 Violin Hero

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 13:08

You could right in that someone has been using the bow for a non intended purpose. An alternative theory is that it has been dropped, although I wouldn't expect that to cause hairs to become loose although I suppose it is possible.


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#5 BadStrad

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 13:49

I've had a couple of hairs come loose at one end before now. I assume they snapped.

 

If lots of hairs on the pupil's bow are loose, I wonder if the bow got put away without slackening it off. The drier summer air would contract the hair slightly, but if it was under tension maybe the hair stretched a little and with the more humid autumn air that would be exacerbated as hair gets longer when it is more humid.


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#6 LoneM

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 14:12

Bow mites?


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#7 tetrachord

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 20:40

I really hope it's not bow mites!eek.gif They might have left their bows too tight I suppose; they had asked me that question but I wasn't sure.  The bow I check didn't feel too tight although there was a bit of tautness there.

 

The pupil in question is an adult so it's unlikely they've been practising fencing or anything else they shouldn't have been doing!tongue.png   I got the impression they'd only just opened the case in my lesson for the first time since going away although I might be wrong.  I'm not sure if it means anything that both bows had problems with bow hair having come loose - I suppose I'm worried this might indicate bow mites if they're both affected...


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#8 earplugs

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 13:41

It bit depends on the quality of the bows.  The kind of bow that is supplied with a beginners outfit can suffer from hairs that are under more pressure (on the"playing edge" if the bow is tilted when bowing ) getting pulled a bit out of the stick relative to the rest of the hairs and hanging loose.  A good quality re-hair will sort it out if the value of the bow is worth the cost of the re-hair (which with cheap outfit bows it usually isn't)


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#9 Misterioso

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 17:22

It bit depends on the quality of the bows.  The kind of bow that is supplied with a beginners outfit can suffer from hairs that are under more pressure (on the"playing edge" if the bow is tilted when bowing ) getting pulled a bit out of the stick relative to the rest of the hairs and hanging loose.  

 

Yes - it's not uncommon with the inexpensive bows to lose a whole clump at once. 

 

I wonder if the case was left open and the cat got at it....?


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#10 BadStrad

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 17:29

 

I wonder if the case was left open and the cat got at it....?

 

Well they do say that violin playing can sound like a cat in pain.  Maybe a kitty rescue was being attempted.  biggrin.png


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#11 JoannaB

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 20:33

I was always told to snap broken hairs off, not to pull them out as eventually the block holding them in will get too loose and then they start coming out even faster. Could this be the case?
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#12 Tenor Viol

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 22:30

Hairs usually break, in which case you just snap off the remaining bit. If they are falling out, it would indicate that the wedge holding them in place isn't tight enough / properly located


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#13 BadStrad

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:24

I cut off the loose hairs on my bow with the nail clippers I keep in my violin case gadget pouch.  I was told trying to snap them (ie. pull them) could loosen other hairs.


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#14 agricola

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 06:37

I have had this happen several times and it was caused by carpet beetle getting into an old beaten-up violin case.  (This assumes the bow was real hair not synthetic of course)  However this shouldn't really happen if the case is opened regularly as like clothes-moth the beetles don't like light.  I also found the damage had been done when I'd been away on holiday. 


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