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For a while now, I thought I was just a crappy player. Well, okay to be fair, I am pretty bad (hello, beginner ) but I'd been moving along pretty nicely, I just couldn't get my bow technique down.
Basically, I couldn't make my violin sound good to save my LIFE!
When I brought my violin into the luthier for something unrelated, he asked me if I wanted to rehair my bow while I was at it. His anecdotes, plus the fact that I'd never done it before, convinced me to try it. What the heck, it's only $35 in the life I'd had the bow (three years now).
Long story short, I got it back today, put it to my violin.... HOLY CRAP. The difference is incrediballs!!! Originally the bow had quite a bit more hair than what the luthier added; I'm not sure if it's going to play differently now (not that I'm skilled enough to tell the difference, let's be honest), but holy hannah it just grips so much more evenly. I didn't realize there was even a problem; strings weren't breaking, nothing was discolored or looked out of place. But, wow. Just wow.
So. If you've got a bow you've had for years learning with, and can't quite get that awesome sound you've been working toward, look into getting a rehair. (And yes, spellcheck, I'm typing "rehair" NOT freaking "repair"...although, in this instance they'd kind of work interchangeably) It's cheap insurance that can make a huge difference, and is much less expensive than getting a new bow.
It'll be a while until I need to rehair, but my teacher was showing me the bows she just got rehaired, which don't have any rosin yet. She has the guy put fiddler hair on her bows, which she said is unbleached and I guess naturally has more grip because of that. That intrigued me, and I want to try that hair out someday.
World's Okayest Fiddler
LOL, yeah, I just looked on the wall and that particular is still hanging there. I guess it was two other bow's I had done.
I've watched Mark (my luthier) do a lot of them and I could probably do them myself now, but all my bow's are in good shape so no need.
It's a cheap bow anyway, so it can hang till h*ll freezes over now, I have 8 bows.