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How to Prepare a Violin Bow

Learn how to prepare a violin bow from musician Julie Artzt Becker in this Howcast video.

Transcript

So now I'm going to teach you how to loosen and tighten your bow properly, and then also how to rosin your bow. When you're loosening and tightening your bow, this is the screw that you use. And when you loosen your bow, you want it to be about that loose. Not too loose. I'll loosen it a lot. See, that's too much, because then when you put it back in your case, some of the hairs could fall out or, you know, break. So about this loose, right there, where they're sort of wiggly, but not too wiggly. And to loosen it, you turn the screw counter-clockwise, and to tighten it, you turn the screw clockwise.

Now when you tighten the bow and you're getting ready to play, you want it to be not too tight and not too loose. You can see if it's too tight or too loose by using a pencil as a guide.

Okay. At the tip of the bow, the pencil should not touch either the stick or the hair. That's correct. As you get to the middle of the bow, it should touch. But it's not touching, as you can see. So this is too tight. And then as you come out, it should not touch again, which is correct. So now let me show you the proper bow tightening. So I'm loosening it, I'm turning it counter-clockwise, and now let's see if it will work. It does not touch anything over here. Then, when you bring the pencil to the middle, it is touching both the hair and the stick. That's good. And then as you come out it does not touch, and that's good as well. So that's how you loosen and tighten the screws of your bow for the optimal sound on your instrument.

Now, rosin, R-O-S-I-N, this is rosin. It comes in all different shades. Green, this is green. It's sort of a sticky rosin, but there's also lighter ones that are not as sticky. I tend to like this even more. This gives you the sound on the hairs. Without rosin, you're not going to hear anything.

However, you don't want to put too much rosin on. When you take your violin out everyday, and your bow, you just put a little bit at the frog and then you drag it, so watch, like so. A little bit at the frog, then you drag it up to the tip, and do a little bit at the tip, then you go back to the frog, a little bit at the frog, and then you go back to the tip, a little bit to the tip, and that's it. You don't want to do too much.

Now you have a perfectly rosined bow. And that's how you rosin your bow.

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