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Author Topic: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!  (Read 2038 times)

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Offline Dragginthebow

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Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« on: Feb 12, 2015, 06:54:08 AM »
 Hi, I'm a fiddler. :)
Lately, I've been losing up to 15 bow hairs a day. I'm reeeeeeeaaaaaaallllyyyy not sure what's wrong.
-I mostly play Texas style fiddle
-I'm pretty sure I don't have bow bugs, I lose the hairs when I play.
-I believe the humidity in my house is around 20-30%. I use a "Dampit" in my case but I don't put it in the violin (not sure if it's doing anything :P).
-I got my bow re-haired last month. I have to re-hair it already. :o
-My sister had her bow re-haired at the same time, same luthier,  and hers is fine.
So, I've narrowed it down to: Bowing technique?
That's all the info I can think of, can anyone help me out?  ;) Thanks!

Offline awildman2384

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #1 on: Feb 12, 2015, 07:17:11 AM »
Are they breaking or coming loose from the plug?

Offline Joe Gerardi

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #2 on: Feb 12, 2015, 12:08:46 PM »
Bet most are breaking at the bottom, near the frog. It sounds like the plug in the ferrule is bad.

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

Offline Dragginthebow

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #3 on: Feb 12, 2015, 02:54:02 PM »
Hi :) Thanks for replying!
  Yeah they're breaking, not coming loose. No, they aren't breaking near the bottom I don't think. I'll have t go break another one and find out. ;D How close to the bottom would they probably be breaking, right next to the frog?

Offline Joe Gerardi

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #4 on: Feb 12, 2015, 03:16:33 PM »
Right next to the frog is exactly what I'm talking about. That means the wedge holding them into the ferrule is most likely the culprit. If you just had it re-haired, I would return it and show the achetier the issue: he should correct it if it is indeed his workmanship causing the problem.

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

Offline Nick2

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #5 on: Feb 12, 2015, 06:45:36 PM »
If the bow hair loss started suddenly after a re-hair and wasn't happening before, most likely an issue with the wedge.
If it's been an ongoing issue try playing your regular style using your sisters bow (if you dare!) and see if it starts happening with that. If it is, then look at technique. Most likely is a combination of aggressive playing with a combination of strong pressure and the bow hair angled forward steeply. This tends to strip the hair from the front (leaning forward) side of the hair.
 
 I guess some might do it the other way but not common.

When playing aggressively it is better to ensure the hair is flat on the strings, not leaning forward or backward.
I used to do it a lot without realising how angled it actually was.
Now ear this!

Offline awildman2384

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #6 on: Feb 12, 2015, 07:50:04 PM »
I think the trick is to shred the bow hairs, then sell the bow as a souvenir of the performance for a couple hundred quid.  Like Charlie Daniels.

Offline Dragginthebow

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #7 on: Feb 18, 2015, 06:10:23 PM »
If the bow hair loss started suddenly after a re-hair and wasn't happening before, most likely an issue with the wedge.
If it's been an ongoing issue try playing your regular style using your sisters bow (if you dare!) and see if it starts happening with that. If it is, then look at technique. Most likely is a combination of aggressive playing with a combination of strong pressure and the bow hair angled forward steeply. This tends to strip the hair from the front (leaning forward) side of the hair.
 
 I guess some might do it the other way but not common.

When playing aggressively it is better to ensure the hair is flat on the strings, not leaning forward or backward.
I used to do it a lot without realising how angled it actually was.
Yeah it's been going on for a while. I've been having to re-hair it about every 2 or 3 month's the last few months. The luthier who re-haired my bow said I was playing with the hairs too loose. That seemed to make sense but some other fiddlers I know play with the hairs pretty loose and they don't lose nearly so many hairs. So that must narrow it down to technique or the bow?
  I don't lean the bow forward. I know because my bow had a huge gap straight down the middle! ;D I do play pretty aggressive but so do other fiddlers I know...
 The hairs break more in the middle, not near the frog.
I'm so confused... :o

Offline Worldfiddler

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #8 on: Feb 18, 2015, 08:03:22 PM »
Hi Dragginthebow,
Just a few words about technique and your general use of the bow.
Assuming there's nothing wrong with the bow, it's still possible to break hairs with 'aggressive' playing. How aggressive is aggressive? If you're inadvertently forcing the hair to touch the stick, then that's way too much pressure (and maybe the bow is too slack as well). The bow needs enough tension on it so you so can draw out a full clear tone. At the right tension, if you lean too heavily on the bow you'll get nothing but scratch and scrape.
There's a point where maximum pressure is reached in order to get a loud sound - pressure combined with the speed of the bow is what gives the volume. Once you exceed this pressure, all you're doing is wasting energy because you've probably reached the highest volume you're going to get.
Try easing up on the bow pressure and see if that helps.
You're not hitting the violin corners too, are you? A lot of people do, without realizing it. That's death for bow hairs :)
Jim 

Offline Joe Gerardi

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #9 on: Feb 18, 2015, 08:12:29 PM »
Take it from Mr. Jim. He's been coping with losing about 100 hairs a day...

But that's from his head! ;D

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

Offline Worldfiddler

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #10 on: Feb 18, 2015, 08:38:27 PM »
Actually, that's the one area where I out-do folk 20 years my senior. It's inside the head that I'm losing it !

Mr Joe

Offline awildman2384

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #11 on: Feb 18, 2015, 09:45:19 PM »
Hopefully Mr. Jim has overcome the tragic loss of his chest hair.

Offline Worldfiddler

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #12 on: Feb 19, 2015, 08:23:29 AM »
Yes. But, it took thousands of pounds worth of therapy.
Mr Jim

Offline soundboot

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Re: Losing 5-15 bow hairs a day!!
« Reply #13 on: Feb 23, 2015, 12:53:26 AM »
My bow rehair luthier has been trying some new synthetic hair. It's pretty unbreakable and compares well to real hair.
Contact seerystrings.com for more info.

 




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