How to Repair Broken Bow Strings

Written by david sachs
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How to Repair Broken Bow Strings
A violinist will go through many different bow hairs (

You might practice with a furious fervour or happen to clip your bow, and eventually bow strings will break from normal wear and tear. Loose threads billowing about the ends of your bow can make you look and sound sloppy; you must clip these as soon as possible, keeping a clean sound and look.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Bow (violin, viola, cello, bass)
  • Nail clippers (optional)

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    Removing the Unwanted Hair Ends

  1. 1

    Just as with split ends in your hair, extra hairs on your bow must be removed. There are two commonly used ways to achieve this. You must not yank at the ends, as this will pull and disrupt adjacent hairs as well.

  2. 2

    The first way to remove ageing bow hair is to use nail clippers or scissors. Clip the hair as close to the tip or the frog as you can, leaving about a centimetre of hair left attached to the bow. This is the safest way for your bow.

  3. 3

    If clippers are not available, your thumbnail can be just as effective. Using your left thumbnail, apply pressure to the hair against the tip; then, using your right hand pull the hair at a 90 degree angle to your left thumbnail. This will snap the hair in two, divided where your left thumbnail pressed against the bow's tip.

Tips and warnings

  • If you find that half of your bow hair is gone, it may be a good time to replace! Experiment with different styles of hair including bleached, unbleached, black, salt and pepper and a new auburn style!
  • Never simply tug at a loose hair--this will lead to more hair becoming loose!

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