Welcome to our forum. A Message To Our New and Prospective Members . Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

Check out the “Let it Snow” Xmas 2020 Group youtube project!”

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Bow Tension
How tight should the bow screw be tightened?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
July 20, 2021 - 2:29 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 382
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Searched this forum and others, plus looked at introductory videos here and at Violaman's site and the only thing I found on bow tension was @Mouse's post stating a pencil width between hairs and bow at narrowest portion is recommended. My bow is already that distance when the screw is out enough to the loosened position. 

So do I need a new bow, or is there some other way to determine proper tension. I normally tighten the screw 2-3 twists, each of which is about a third of a complete turn. Too much? Too little?

I also posted this in my blog, but got no answers, thus the double post!

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
Mark
Members

Regulars
July 20, 2021 - 4:12 pm
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 1235
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

John, I have to tighten my bow tighter than a pencil, I have to use my pinky to pass through or I get a lot of unwanted bow bounce. 

Most likely the hair we just to short when installed on the bow, on a non expensive bow I don't think I would worry to much about it.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
July 20, 2021 - 5:09 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 382
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Mark - Thanks, guess I'll just keep with my 2-3 twists for now!

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
July 20, 2021 - 9:42 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 1208
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Pencil width is a decent rule of thumb for an average bow, but the right amount of hair tension for your bow may vary with the stiffness of the bow or the type of music being played. Also, your bow hair will expand and contract with changes in humidity, so you may have to adjust for the seasons. It mostly comes down to how it feels to play, and how much of a bounce you want.

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
July 20, 2021 - 10:14 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 382
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

So, more tension will give less bounce?

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
July 20, 2021 - 10:55 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 2298
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@JohnG -

It's like Andrew said. 

Now, my bow is pretty darn flexible, so here's how I adjust my tension: 

  1. Place your bow on your strings 
  2. then put some weight on the bow... like if you get excited to play a strong, loud note or passage.  
  3. Observe the clearance between bow & hair
  4. I look for about ⅛" of space  - WHILE you have your loud-playing pressure applied.
  5. If your stick & hair & strings are ALL touching when you do that , then tighten your bow a half turn until right. 
  6. Check after each adjustment. 
  7. On the other hand, if you dig into playing a note loud and have more than an ⅛" of clearance between bow & hair - I'd loosen the tension by a half turn until right. 
  8. Check after each adjustment. 

giphy.gif

 

You can decide down the road, if you want to buy a more or less flexible bow - you're probably going to want to just keep working on your bow grip for a bit, first (we all need that). 😊 

- Emily

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
July 20, 2021 - 11:03 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 382
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@ELCBK - Thanks, I'll try that, too. Looks like a repeatable, relatively easy way to do it!

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
July 20, 2021 - 11:27 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 2298
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@JohnG -

Guess I should've probably mentioned it's good to start my above, 'fine tuning', test with your bow tension at what YOU would consider 'normal'. 😊 

...and bounce can be several factors all at once. 

Christian Howes - "showing you how elite players stop bow skip and play with a Smooth Change & Strong Sound on violin or viola." 

Bow Bouncing Help

Good luck - hopefully this helps.

Avatar
Mark
Members

Regulars
July 20, 2021 - 11:51 pm
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 1235
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

JohnG,

So, more tension will give less bounce?

 

Seems counter intuitive,  when my teacher told that I looked at her like a 3 headed alien, and tried for weeks to disprove her for weeks but for me and my bow (eats crow) she was right.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 696
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 68
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming MaceCRO, knpjdad, EJ-Kisz, laserbrainz, Poke, DeeLight41, Ken Knapp, EricBluegrassFiddle, microcell, Zippo, iamnotanoctopus, tesfalcon, Skittles, Ty Pierce, jacarino, Jonand
Top Posters:
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2680
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
ELCBK: 2298
damfino: 1992
Kevin M.: 1971
cdennyb: 1815
TerryT: 1728
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 27507
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 76
Topics: 9110
Posts: 113490
Newest Members:
iogles, Devoted, SolomonH, fosar, deano67, GwinithGamba
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 15484, KindaScratchy: 1757, coolpinkone: 4180, BillyG: 3589, MrsFiddlerman: 2, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, Mouse: 3161