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Freezing Fiddling
Is playing in the cold hurting my instrument?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
February 10, 2014 - 3:58 pm
Member Since: January 9, 2014
Forum Posts: 17
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Hi again,

I related in another post that my best option for getting in some practice time is to practice at work, and that I practice outside since my violin with mutes is too loud for an office environment.

Plus I'm not ready to debut Damon's 5th Scheechophany in D.

Today I noticed that while I was playing my bow hair was right up against the bow while I was bowing. I thought maybe I didn't tighten it quite enough and re-tightened it. After the re-tighten I was playing better for a bit, then noticed after another 5 minutes or so that the hair was back against the bow.


After a web search I see that rapid temperature changes might cause this, and could also damage the bow. My question to the group is does anyone have first hand experience with damage caused by this sort of thing? Also, if I want to play outside should I leave my violin in the car so it gets acclimated, or would that be more harmful?





February 10, 2014 - 4:56 pm
Member Since: February 28, 2011
Forum Posts: 2439
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My money says that your horse hair is slipping down at the tip and you may soon have a bald bow. 

This advice may be wrong but it is also free!

I think there is a wedge holding the hair at the tip (or trying to hold the hair)


When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Colorado, USA

February 11, 2014 - 1:13 am
Member Since: November 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 342
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I haven't actually experienced this, so I'm just making a wild guess.

Is the screw you turn to tighten the hair loose?

Maybe it's somehow turning back on it's own from the tension. 

My other thought, which I have had happen, is the wood wedge piece that holds the hair at the frog end has slipped out of it's slot a little bit.

Meanwhile, I'm sure someone with better knowledge will come along to offer some guidance.

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown


February 11, 2014 - 11:56 am
Member Since: January 9, 2014
Forum Posts: 17
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It was my Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber bow. Everything seems to be in good shape.


I played for around 15min indoors last night and it held just fine



Strange...I guess it just really wanted to go back into its nice warm case and that was its way of telling me.



Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city

February 11, 2014 - 3:15 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2011
Forum Posts: 2849
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My guess is humidity! Always happens when i play outside. With any bow. But much less wit the CF one - 'cause on the CF bow humidity affects only the hairs, on wooden bow - affects both stick and hairs =/

Fort Lauderdale
February 12, 2014 - 10:19 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11590

Humidity and dryness will change the tension of the bow tremendously. I've experienced it thousands of times. If you live up north especially, keep a good eye on the bow for the tension. Re-check from time to time.

Some examples of the damage that can be caused from an overtightened bow are a warped bow and the plug popping out of the frog. Even though the warped part is less likely with a carbon fiber bow, it does happen as well.
Problem with playing with a bow that is too loose is that the hair will wear against the stick.
It is a good idea to let your instrument acclimate before opening the case. It's SLIGHTLY less of a shock. I used to do that in Sweden. I would bring in my fiddle and let it sit on the packing table while I grabbed a cup of coffee then I went downstairs to warm-up. Later I just bought a practice violin for home. <--- much easier. 🙂

BTW: Damon's 5th Scheechophany in D. ROFL

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

Michigan, USA

February 12, 2014 - 10:34 am
Member Since: January 21, 2012
Forum Posts: 2637
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I had a bow rehaired by a luthier a couple years ago. The next day I noticed the hair was really taunt, I didn't even have to tighten it to play. I unscrewed the frog and it was still tight so I drove back to the luthier, walked in and showed him what the problem was. He asked what the humidity was in my home, I told him what I thought it was, but within 5 minute's the hair was completely relaxed again. 

Like Pierre / Fiddlerman, humidity definately plays he~~ on the bow.

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