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How to Rosin and Tighten a Cello Bow

Tighten Cello Bow

When it comes to cello for beginners, a key step is to learn the proper way to rosin and tighten your bow. This foundational skill can make a world of difference in your sound. Below, ArtistWorks cello master Mike Block reviews the best methods and techniques. 
 

First, here's how to get your bow tightened, setup and ready for playing. 

If you turn the screw on the end of your bow counter-clockwise, it will tighten the tension of the hair — but be careful not to over-tighten. You'll know it’s too tight when the stick of the bow becomes straight, giving it no flexibility. Conversely, if you loosen it too much, you'll end up with the hair touching the stick of the bow, giving it not enough strength to create distinct sound while playing. 
 
Where’s the sweet spot? Tighten it enough to create a slight curve in your bow, giving the hair just the right amount of strength and flexibility. Keep in mind every player may have slightly different preferences.
 
Applying Rosin to Cello
 
Not getting an even sound from your bow? It's probably time to apply rosin. 
 
Always treat your bow with rosin before playing (fun fact: rosin is literally resin from tree!). Rubbing rosin onto the hair of your bow gives it a stickiness that helps it to grab the strings on your cello. Simply put, if there's no rosin on your bow, it won't create any sound. The best way to apply rosin is to do it in a fast, forward and backward motion across the hair. Don’t drop your rosin though, they break very easily. 
 
Now that your bow is rosined and tightened, it should sound amazing. Play on. 
 
Enjoying Mike's course? Continue the learning journey by renewing!

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