It’s difficult to determine the minimum amount of tension in an instrument bow, so there are several factors to consider before deciding on the appropriate amount of bow pressure to apply. Generally speaking, a lower tension is desired because a bow will be used with less force, resulting in better intonation.
Many beginners and experienced performers have found that they can achieve higher performance with a higher bow pressure rather than lower. There is also less stress (and therefore potential to break) in less than an inch of force. This is also the reason that the best bow pressure for beginners is around 6 or 8 pounds. At those tension levels, even a very thin string (like those used in violins or violas) should sustain good intonation. In addition, with a bit of practice, we can expect to achieve better intonation, too.
One last note on bow tension: the bow should be adjusted to achieve your desired tension. Always try to set the bow bow at about half its full length to get the desired tension, because of the potential to break. Also, if you can feel the bow beginning to loosen up as it is stringed up, this might be an indication that your strings need adjustment. A little adjustment can go a long way.
Ampere resistance is an interesting measurement that affects the vibration produced from a string. Most people think of resistance in terms of the voltage on the end of a string, which is measured in ohms, but that is only part of the story. An ampere (ohm, or one thousandth of a volt) is actually a measure of how many times the electric resistance of a wire can be decreased by changing the amount of resistance, as shown on the following diagram.
So what happens if we make a measurement just for the resistance of an electric wire (that is, the resistance of the wire itself)? The resistance (hereafter called the ampere) of an electric wire is measured in amperes (1 ampere equals 6,000 volts). The voltage across the wire is then divided by the resistance of the wire, and the result is the current flowing through the wire as it is energized. This current is the ampere resistance.
What exactly happens if a length of length (a string) is cut from a length of wire? We have established in an earlier chapter that the voltage across the wire can be reduced by adding the Ampere Resistance (R) to
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