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How to Care for Your Violin Bow

Published on 21/08/2012

  • How to Care for Your Violin Bow

If you want to prolong the life of your violin bow, then you need to know how to maintain it correctly. Violin bows are fragile and need to be treated with care. The bow hair is from the tail of a horse and needs to be kept in good condition.

Loosen the Bow When Not in Use
After playing, the violin bow should always be loosened before storing in the violin case by turning it anti-clockwise. Remember to tighten to play, loosen to put away. When tightening the bow this will mean that the hairs will be 4 - 6 mm clear of the stick somewhere around the middle.

Try and ensure that your bow remains clean and free from rosin build-up. If you use too much rosin, you can use a quickly evaporating spirit. Be careful not to get this onto the stick. Combing the bow will also remove excess rosin.

Occasionally one or two strands of hair will break. Cut the broken hair off as close to the bow as you can, do not pull the hair out of the bow.

Your bow will get to a stage where it needs re-hairing. With entry-level student bows it is more economical to throw the bow away and replace it with a new one. Crescendo Music offers a re-hairing service as well as selling new bows. 

Often the bow won't tighten because the thread in the tightening screw has seized up. Crescendo Music will be able to help you with this.