The general rule for determining how much to tighten the bow is as follows:
If you’re using a small bow, start about 1/8th of the way up the string.
If your bow has a large bend, you might want to start slightly higher, as long as your bow is tight and does not bend. Be sure to check the bow’s tuning on both sides – if it’s not in tune, don’t try to play the string over it.
If your bow is too short, it’s not really worth tightening. Start with 1/16th of the way up the string, then lower the bow by 1/8th as the bow gets tighter and tighter, until it becomes a perfect bend. For larger bows, this can take a lot of practice – it’s best if you loosen the bow a bit every time you play a note.
If your bow is too long, it may be very difficult to tighten because it’s more difficult for the string to bend when tightened. Start by tightening the string slightly to about 1/8th of its original length. It’s best to start very close to the desired length, then lower the bow in increments until it becomes perfect. For larger bows, the process can take a while, and can take a long time if your bow has very thick bow strings.
For other bows, you may want to try moving your bow closer to its pitch when you begin tightening the bow – this may take a bit of practice to work out.
For larger strings, when you hear the wood vibrating above the pitch you want, take the bow’s tuning off to help it to vibrate better. If the bow still doesn’t bend correctly, or only bends up to a point, don’t worry about tightening the bow – play the note over the bow. You can also adjust the bow’s tuning, but it’s more difficult and can result in more of a problem.
For smaller bows, it’s much easier to remove the bow’s tuning tuning from the bow itself.
If you know how to adjust your bow, and it is difficult to adjust for a large bow, or small bow, please contact us with your question and we’ll work it out for you – we can make sure your bow bends as close to its original pitch as possible!
What size bow do I need?
The bow you want to play on any instrument is determined most often by the shape of the neck or how the
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