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Bow question - 1 hair broke
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CyndieZ
Maryland
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January 18, 2017 - 1:24 pm
Member Since: December 21, 2016
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I got my FM Artist Outfit at the beginning of January and am loving it. I noticed today that 1 single hair on the bow had broken (at the bottom of the bow). It was still attached at the top. I wasn't sure what to do with it but wound up cutting it so that I could continue practicing. I left a short length of it - maybe an inch or so. 

Is it common for that to happen? If it is not, any thoughts on what caused it. I am just wondering since I've really only been using this bow for a couple of weeks. Also, is cutting it the right way to handle it? 

I don't believe that I am over tightening the bow when I play and I faithfully loosen the tension when I store it. 

CyndieZ semiquaver-1214

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 18, 2017 - 2:06 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11972

It's super common. Even when you get your bow rehaired, to have loose hairs. When a luthier re-hairs your bow, they almost always pull or cut the loose hairs or use a flame to shorten them. When you get it from the luthier, it looks great. Bows are haired with more hair than you need for this reason. They will break as well which is normal and fine. Even the best quality hair breaks.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
January 18, 2017 - 2:49 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
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LOL - yup - me too - even with my limited experience.  On the FM CF bow - I have 2 of them.   One of them - I can't recall exactly how long into using - but not long - a few hairs "slipped out" of the ferrule at the frog end - not normally an issue - it can happen and ain't normally gonna make a difference if the hair has been properly installed and clamped in the ferrule.   As far as I'm aware - on my second CF bow no hairs have ever "slipped out" of the ferrule.

However - on both bows - sure - the occasional hair has broken - not an issue - hair is a natural product and even within "well graded and selected" hair there will be the occasional strand that is marginally thinner overall, or has a thin spot, or is simply weaker etc etc.   "Gentle" playing may never cause such a hair to break.   Thrashing the instrument and bow to within an inch of its life could well do it and separate the wheat from the chaff !

Yeah - and @CyndieZ - if one slips out from the frog-end - just snip it off as close to the tip as you can.  If it breaks "midway" or whatever - do the same - trim it off at both ends - as close as you can get to the tip and the frog ferrule....  not a problem

In my experience, it's generally nothing to worry about - it will "settle down" - unless of course you experience continual slipping-out and shedding of hair - that would be cause for concern because the more that slip out will eventually weaken the hold on the rest of them - THEN I would ask questions and expect a replacement !   LOL

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Elwin
Houston
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January 18, 2017 - 9:28 pm
Member Since: January 3, 2017
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It is pretty common. I have my FM Artist VA outfit, I got it on new years eve of last year, and one hair already broke (Because I mistakenly twisted the bow holder thing that rotates onto the edge of the hair. Shame on me).

One suggestion, if a bow hair does break, it might be better to cut it off, rather than pulling/breaking it off.

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MrYikes
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January 19, 2017 - 6:47 am
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But its okay to just break it off, it won't hurt anything.
a hank of hair has between 120 and 150 hairs and weighs between 5 and 6 grams.  If you want a mind-numbing boring job,,count the hairs on your bow.  I did and won't do it again.  Synthetic hairs are very fine.  Natural hair can be fine or course.  A good luthier picks out the best hairs and keeps the hank all the same either fine or course.  The hair I bought from china was the rejects.   Having more hair does not mean a better sound or playing ability, neither does having less hair.  What I learned last year: if you put the bow hair in bleach and leave it there too long,  the hair melts into a goo.  The more white hair comes from a male, the yellow tinted hair comes from a mare.  I "played-in" a violin last year, being very rough and loud, to the point that I broke either 4 or 6 strings (can't remember) in one day and several more the next day.  I broke a few hairs doing that but not many.  (and by the way, it did not help the violin that much)

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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January 19, 2017 - 11:11 am
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The first time I found loose hair I was careful and cut it off. Then I watched my teacher just rip out/break a loose one on a recently rehaired bow, so now I don't worry and overthink it, and just break them off if no scissors are handy.

Fiddlerman-Amateur-Hour-February-19-1.jpg

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CyndieZ
Maryland
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February 2, 2017 - 2:44 pm
Member Since: December 21, 2016
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Thanks everyone for the info! There is so much to learn and you are all very patient with my questions! I cut the loose hair as was suggested and the world continued to turn! LOL

Cyndie semiquaver-1214

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
February 2, 2017 - 3:27 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1828
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CyndieZ said
Thanks everyone for the info! There is so much to learn and you are all very patient with my questions! I cut the loose hair as was suggested and the world continued to turn! LOL

Cyndie semiquaver-1214  

  I like it - indeedely-doodely - "and the world continued to turn! "     

   Yup - usually - it will be all good unless you actually have a "real problem" with the bow.  Hairs that repeatedly "slip-out" ( as distinct from just breaking ) will possibly loosen the grip ( at the frog end usually ) of the rest of 'em - and eventually - they'll ALL decide to go on holiday...  but then you can use the bow as a fly-swatter - there's always an "up-side" ....  LOL  

  An occasional broken hair is absolutely nothing to worry about! 

Glad you are in a happier-place.... !!!  ^5s

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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