Bow Woes

| posted in: practice 

Last night will adding some rosin to my bow just prior to starting my practice session, the wedge holding the bow hairs in place at the tip of the bow came out. One second I’m gliding the bow across the rosin cake and the next there’s bow hair laying loose in my lap and bits of rosin and the wedge bouncing around on the floor.


Last spring I had my bow re-haired and ever since then the wedge at the tip as been slightly loose. After an hour’s practice I could, when the hair was loose, press on the tip and move the wedge back into place. It never moved very far, and it was easy enough to “tighten”, so I choose not to return it to the local shop and have it looked at. Apparently I hadn’t paid enough attention to how loose it was last night, and it popped out.

I’m not sure why the rosin cake chipped, but I suspect I hit it against the bow stick when the hairs let go.

I was able to find the wedge on the floor, amidst the bits of rosin that had chipped off the cake, and after a few false starts I figured out how it, and the knot at the tip end of the bow hairs, went together and fit into the top of the bow. I had to remove the knob so as to take the frog off the bow to allow enough slack to get the tip assembled, but, fortunately, it all went back together perfectly. I actually think, after using the bow for an hour, that the wedge is in tighter now than it has been since the bow was re-haired.

I was luck that I found the wedge on the floor (it isn’t very big) and that I was able to put things to right. Since I only have one bow I was motivated to get it working again so I could practice. So I guess there are two morals to this story. First, if the bow isn’t 100% right after it’s been re-haired - take it back immediately and have it addressed. Secondly, I should have a second bow on hand for when the first bow is out of commission for some reason or another.

This gives me a good excuse to take my cello to the nearest string store (125 miles) and spend some money.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Mastodon.