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Cello Lessons: Rosining & Tightening the Bow

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So, we're gonna get our bow all set up for
playing now.
Earlier, I talked about the screw.
If you turn the screw counter-clockwise,
actually which turns the bow clockwise
It tightens the tension on the hair.
Be careful when you do that.
You don't wanna do it too much.
You will know when it's too
much when the stick of the bow
becomes straight,
as I am almost there right now.
If you tighten it that much,
the bow won't have any flexibility.
And it won't be as effective
when you're playing, so
you wanna loosen it a little bit.
Turn the screw a little bit the other way.
And you can see,
although it's subtle, that the curve,
the concaveness of
the bow has now returned.
I would say this looks about right.
Everybody might have slightly
different preferences.
But if you turn it and
loosen it too much, you'll actually
see that the wood of the bow
ends up touching the hair.
And the hair gets all loose and
disorganized and even the screw comes out
too much, you don't wanna do
that either when you're playing.
If it's too loose,
actually you'll hear the sound of
the stick when you're trying to bow.
I don't know if that comes out in the mic.
the bow stick is actually touching
the string through the hair that way.
So I'm gonna tighten it again,
turning the screw
clockwise to increase
the tension to a moderate level.
And this looks about right.
Maybe I'll tighten it a little bit.
And that will give you both the strength
and the flexibility to be able to
play all sorts of different
kinds of sounds with your bow.
Why don't you find the right tension for
your bow,
and then let's see if you can
drag the bow across the string.
I'll pick the A string.
That's the string all the way to the left.
If by chance you're not getting
any sound from your bow,
yet that's because you
need to rosin the bow.
We always treat the bow with
rosin before we start playing.
Rosin is literally resin
from tree from tree sap.
There are all sorts of
companies that make it.
And you'll rub it on the hair of the bow
and that gives the hair a stickiness.
When the bow hair has stickiness it
will grab the string and create sound.
If there is no rosin on the bow
it actually won't make any sound.
So take the rosin, and
you're just gonna rub it across the hair.
You actually have to kinda do it somewhat
quickly so that it rubs off onto the hair.
If you do it too slowly,
it won't be as effective.
So I'll show you the speed
that I tend to do it at.
Gotta be careful at the tip and the frog.
Actually that you don't whack the rosin
with like the metal tip of the frog.
Sometimes I put my finger here
just as like a little barrier.
And as you saw just earlier,
I kind of rosined to the tip too much, and
even chipped off a bit of the rosin.
That is not uncommon but
you want to avoid it if you can.
One other thing to avoid is dropping your
rosin, because they break very easily.
And they shatter all sorts of sticky
little rosin pieces all over the floor.
So I'm gonna put the rosin
back in the box.
Now that I'm rosined and tightened,
the bow should sound amazing.
So, let's try it again on the A string.
We'll do what's called a down bow.
We're gonna start the bow at the frog,
take the frog and
maybe two inches from the frog,
we're gonna put the bow on the A string.
And when we pull our arm to the right,
that's what we call a down bow.
If you stop the bow at the tip,
and we go to the left,
that's what we call an up bow.
You can try this a couple times.
You're gonna get a lot of practice
as we learn more and more music, but
this is a really important fundamental.
Know that to the right is down [SOUND] and
to the left is up.
Once we get the bow moderately
tightened and rosined effectively,
then we'll be ready to start talking about
how to hold the bow in our next lesson.