Best State for Rosin to be in When Applying

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Bin Son of Bin, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Hi all. Another Rosin question here from Das Noob and before someone tells me to "Get a Teacher" I am looking for one as we speak, and before someone says "Do a search of the Forums" I did and didn't find anything. Perhaps my search was not refined enough. Besides, if we just searched the old forum then we'd stop talking about all this now wouldn't we?

    Anyways, on to it.

    I'm currently renting a DB to practice with while I'm saving up for one and I've been applying Rosin to the bow as instructed.

    But what I can't seem to discern is what should the Rosin feel like when it's optimal to apply it?

    For example, should it be moist (does it even get moist?) or should it be as hard as a rock, or slick or dry or......?

    The Rosin I have is Carlsson Bass Rosin and it's as hard as a rock. If I threw it at someone at high speed I think they'd be in a lot of pain.

  2. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    Carlsson is pretty dry rosin, should be hard. if it hasn't been used yet it'll take a bit of use before you get rid of the initial shine and more rosin can stick to the hair.

    I'm curious - is your rosin seeming different at different times? It should pretty much be in the 'optimal' state, as you call it, all the time. I did once have a problem with melting rosin while touring during a very hot summer in a black car, unless you live somewhere very hot in the southern hemisphere that shouldn't be a problem at the moment...
  3. If you're looking for a teacher, fill out your profile and ask people for recommendations.

    Second, I used to use Carlsson, and I liked that stuff. I switched to Royal Oak when I went to gut strings. I digress. Here's the way I apply rosin.

    Make sure the foil is peeled back enough so that you have access to some of the side of the cake.

    Tension the bow like you are going to play.

    Hold the cake in your left hand. I usually put a hankie in my hand so that I don't touch the hair with my skin.

    Hold the bow, with your playing grip, in your right hand.

    Put the cake at the frog, with the bow at a 45 degree angle to the top of the cake.

    Draw the bow along the cake with the same pressure that you would use when playing. Do up to a half-dozen down bows (frog-to-tip). The first few should warm up the rosin right under the bow, then the rosin should feel tacky. Don't over-rosin. You'll get the feel for it.
  4. I find Wyoming to be a nice state in when applying.
  5. Although I found Paul Barsic's reply to be very thoughtfull and ultimately of greater use, I found Servy Jervy's reply to be, if nothing else, diverting and amusing. :)

    So that's it then, I'm getting in the car and heading to Wyoming!


  6. So, if you drag the bow over the rosin, you'll feel it grab at some point once the rosin is up to temperature, and at that point you only need about two or three passes. This helps if it is very cold in the space where you're working, as the amount of friction you have to apply to get to that point will vary with the ambient temperature.
  7. I kid to mask my bowing nosedives.
  8. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Son, I believe you had the question about rosin on new hair. I got my first new bow a few months ago and I thought I'd try the Carlsson's on it (was using Pop's previously). It was hard to get it started w/ Carlsson's. You know, it just didn't seem like the rosin wanted a integrate w/ the hair (after a few days). I switched back to Pop's to get the bow where I wanted it. And now I continue w/ Pop's. I think you'll find that Pop's is very popular. It gets gooey when it's warm. Even when the cake is hard, though, it applies and works okay.
  9. I think i'm going to give it a try. I believe the bow I'm renting is new and previously un-rosened and the Carlsson is just not as you say integrating with the hair.

    Thanks for the tip! So far no-one has hit me with the stick for asking these noob questions nor left me with a frog in the throat. Thanks all!

  10. JDBassist51


    Sep 30, 2012
    Sherman NY
    Rubbing a little powdered violin rosin into new bow hair usually works quite well to get things started, and then you can follow up with regular rosin. You can buy the powder in a small tin, or crush a little piece of regular yourself.

  11. Or you could just score the top of the cake with a key or knife blade.
  12. Thooom


    Apr 18, 2010
    I'm curious as to why you'd want to apply violin rosin to your bass bow. I always ask bow rehair folks to refrain from adding powdered (starter) rosin. I found it makes my bow hair chalky. If you're going to use bass rosin on it long-term anyway, what's the point?

    Really just curious,

  13. JDBassist51


    Sep 30, 2012
    Sherman NY
    I find that it just helps the new bow hair to get a better initial bite on the bass rosin. It doesn't take much. For me, powder works better for solo playing, but not so good for orchestral playing..... To each his/her own.

  14. Usually when you get a new bow or a bow rehaired, the shop will use a little powdered rosin on it as a primer - it definately helps speed the process of getting the bow to take the bass rosin and start to reliably grip. If they don't routinely put it on, you can ask for it. Kolstein's does that for me whenever I rehair.