Caring for Your Bow

Bows are strong yet fragile implements and should always be handled gently. In wooden bows, the tip is particularly vulnerable to cracking. A bow belongs in a case when not being used, and most importantly, always loosen the hair of the bow when it is not in use, so that the stick is touching the hair.

The bow should not be used on anything or for anything other than the strings of a stringed instrument (ie. don’t tap your music stand with it). If the bow falls on the tip when it is tightened there is a very good chance the head will break. Even if it falls on the endscrew and the bow is tight the bow can break. Breaks in a bow are much more difficult to repair than cracks in a violin and often times impossible to repair.

Do not over-tighten the hair. Usually about 1/4 of an inch distance from the low point of the curve to the hair is ideal. For some it is more and some it is less depending on how the player plays.

It is important to monitor the condition of your bow on an ongoing basis and seek professional assistance when needed.

Basic Bow Maintenance
When cleaning the bow stick, take a moment to wipe off any metal appointments on the frog, button, tip, etc. which will prevent tarnishing.

Over time the bow hair may develop dark spots from rosin and other substances. Since bows should be re-haired periodically that will solve that problem; there is no type of “cleaning” that will not do damage to the hair.