This is an interesting question. The answer is, often. Rehair your bow when you’ve had too many mistakes. Rehair your bow more frequently than you’re comfortable with, when you notice that you’re starting to get a little rusty. I like to do the first one after every break in, because that way you are getting it in in a reasonable period of time. I tend to re-learn at least one or two different methods of rehairning before I go home to re-learn another.
Where should I practice?
I believe that for most beginner violinists, the best place is to practice in the studio. The reason is that it’s more relaxed, the way a violinist’s mind will think when they are playing in the studio. But, it may take you a while to figure out the proper technique.
It can take as long as two or three days before you realize your bow is feeling very loose. In fact, it may take all day to realize when you’ve got all the wrong parts of your bow moving at the same time. This is true because the parts of your bow have different tensions. The main part of your bow will have a greater tension, but it will usually have smaller, “floppy” parts that can move a lot as the strings bend. Your violin can feel loose or tense very quickly because these parts tend to push out as they bend. If your bow moves all the way into a very stiff position, it may be that it’s just not working with the bow you are using. This can be frustrating.
Once you’re more confident, I recommend that you practice with a good, solid violin bow and practice for a couple of hours a day for at least ten to twenty three days. Don’t play for more than five to ten minutes at a time unless you are very, very tired. When you start to feel some control over your bow, you can usually take your next couple of hours off, so you can rest up.
When should I change my string gauge?
This is an important question. The reasons for choosing which string size to use are the same reasons for picking the right string tension to suit your particular instrument. Some people need a tighter, more aggressive or longer string in order to play with a tighter sound. Some people find that the string they have chosen doesn’t give them the right feel. This can be the result of the tension being stretched too far or having a very high string tension (the
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