How to Prepare a Violin Bow

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Playing music is delightful, most people who play music actually develop more intelligence. A violin is a very common instrument, which is in the string family. An orchestra is composed of many string players and half of those players or so play the violin. Playing with a bow or "arco" is very important. It is equally important to understand that you just do not play with a bow, you have to prepare it so you can play with it.


  1. Take your bow gently out of the case. A bow is just as fragile as it looks. Take care in handling your violin.
  2. Use the screw or as it is called, the frog to tighten or loosen the bow hair. Be careful not to make it too tight or loose, see "Tips" for a method of checking if the tightness is good.
  3. Spin the screw to the right to make the bow hair tighter. If your hands are sweaty, wet, or it is just hard to spin the screw, try putting your shirt, or a piece of cloth over it. The process should be much easier.
  4. Rosin the bow with the rock like material you keep in the case. This is called the "rosin." Make sure that the surface is rough and grainy. If it is not, then poke it with a pen or pencil.
  5. Use the rosin and rub it onto the bow hair, up and down repeatedly, about 12 times. You are welcome to do more. Some do more than 20. See the effects of different amounts of rosin in the "Tips" section.
  6. Congratulations! You have prepared your bow and now it is time to play that wonderful music!


  • "Righty tighty, lefty loosey." Remember this when you tighten the bow.
  • These are a few ways to check if your bow is at the correct tightness.
    • Look at the string of the bow. If the strings are loosely hanging, or not straight, the bow is too loose.
    • When you think the bow is at the right tightness, place your index finger between the string and the "stick" part of the bow. If your finger fits in smoothly, it is at the right tightness.
    • If the wooden part is bending outward, the bow hair needs to be loosened.
  • There are different effects of different amounts of rosin.
    • Too little rosin will result in a terrible sound. It will be quiet, and rough.
    • A lot of rosin will release extra rosin dust, which may fly into the air, or fall to your violin, as a white powder. It is still sticky. The sound is rich. You can clean the violin by just using a cloth.
    • Just the right amount will make a beautiful sound and will help keep the violin clean.
  • Be gentle with the bow, but play powerfully, if needed. You can do this by adding a little bit more pressure, or put more speed to it.
  • This works with all string family instruments that use a violin bow. This includes a viola, cello, bass, etc.


  • If a hair breaks on the bow, snip it off as close as you can with a nail cutter or small scissors.
  • If the whole set of hair breaks, do not try to put it back together, get the company to fix it, or buy a new bow.
  • Do not poke the rosin too hard, doing so will break the rosin.
  • The rosin is sticky, so do not touch it.
  • Do not touch the bow hair, the oil on your skin coats the rosin, resulting in a small, gravelly sound.
  • Never put the small tip of the bow on the ground. The tip is especially fragile, and can cause damage, if it is not used correctly.

Things You Will Need

  • Rosin
  • Instrument Bow

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