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Bow question. Would appreciate another imput.
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LucilleLelant
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September 16, 2018 - 12:29 am
Member Since: September 15, 2018
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I don't have the greatest violin, but it was worth around $300 (I got it in a sale for much less). My bow is $50 new. I can't upgrade my violin for a few years, I've been playing 6 months. But looking at bow re-hairs it is not worth rehairing my bow when it's time. I considered getting the Fiddlerman CF bow for Christmas, but honestly I'm going to have the same issue when this needs rehairing. I am thinking about saving and getting something nicer. I've only lost 2 hairs on my bow since I got it. What can I do to make it last as long as possible? I always clean the stick, loosen it after use and I never touch the hair. I recently switched rosin but removed as much of the old one that I could before use. Is there some kind of maintenance I can do to keep it working well until I can save for a better bow?

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Andrew Fryer
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September 16, 2018 - 1:46 am
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I read somewhere that at a certain price point (obviously it won't work for a Strad!), the bow should cost a third of what the violin is worth. Some spend more than that on the bow. If that were true, you could consider spending between $100 and $150. Or you could spend even more if you think you'll get a violin upgrade one day.

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

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LucilleLelant
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September 16, 2018 - 2:32 am
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Andrew said
I read somewhere that at a certain price point (obviously it won't work for a Strad!), the bow should cost a third of what the violin is worth. Some spend more than that on the bow. If that were true, you could consider spending between $100 and $150. Or you could spend even more if you think you'll get a violin upgrade one day.  

Thank you, I do plan to upgrade in the future. When I finish college I'll be able to get a better job so I'll be looking at a violin around the $1-2k mark. I like the look of the Coda bows but they are more than my violin outfit was. I'm still looking at bows at the moment. I really want to go to a store though and try them in person before deciding.

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Andrew Fryer
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September 16, 2018 - 3:27 am
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LucilleLelant said

Thank you, I do plan to upgrade in the future. When I finish college I'll be able to get a better job so I'll be looking at a violin around the $1-2k mark. I like the look of the Coda bows but they are more than my violin outfit was. I'm still looking at bows at the moment. I really want to go to a store though and try them in person before deciding.  

I've heard of people spending more on the bow than on the violin, even if temporarily.

I'd do the same. If I knew I was aiming at $2,000, I'd buy something like Coda's best immediately, but it's personal choice.

As it is, I'm aiming at $1,000 and I'm thinking of buying Coda's best to go with it, but I don't know the full story of wooden bows yet.

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 16, 2018 - 3:34 am
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Hi @LucilleLelant - @andrew makes a good point regarding the relative costs of the instrument and bow.

But when it comes to starter-instruments and bows, the loss of a couple of hairs especially in the early days of use (you say 6 months) is hardly a cause for concern. 

It is not at all uncommon for a few hairs to come loose at the ferrule end where the strands are effectively "glued together" and clamped in, especially on a new and relatively cheap bow, and I wouldn't concern yourself overmuch about that.   

One of the reasons this can happen is that on cheaper bows the hairs may not be graded to a close tolerance by weight and thickness, and a poorly glued and gripped-by the clamp hair can just work free.  Of course, if it's really bad, too many will come loose, leading to there being less gripping pressure on the rest at the ferrule - and more and more will come free....  🙂  If that happens, then it's probably not worth re-hairing anyway, just dump the bow !

[ I've been discussing hair coming free at the frog-end - the hair is retained in a similar manner at the tip - but generally if the problem is due to poorly glued and clamped ends, then, there is always much more bow pressure and weight during playing at the frog end as compared to the tip, and if the hair is going to slip out, it will most likely be from under the ferrule at the frog.]  

Personally, I would not hesitate considering the FiddlerMan CF bow as a Christmas gift to yourself!    I have 2 and I play a lot, and 3 years on I (at my playing level and awareness of the sound production and general "feel") cannot reasonably yet say "they need a rehair".   Other and better players than I with better awareness may disagree of course.   On one of these bows, I have had probably 3 or at most four hairs break (as distinct from coming free at the frog) - and that was probably down to me being aggressively over-enthusiastic on some fortississimo ( fff+++) playing while attempting some hard-rock on my electric violin facepalm

Even for the FM CF bow, when you DO eventually feel it needs replacing, I guess a professional rehair would cost as much as a new CF bow. 

There is an interesting discussion regarding the need (or-not) to rehair here - http://stringsmagazine.com/how-to-tell-if-you-need-a-rehair/

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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