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Clean the rosin from your strings?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by deepfreq, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. deepfreq


    Jan 13, 2003
    I was wondering what the consensus was on cleaning the rosin off your strings after you are done playing. My teacher has always recommended cleaning the residue from the strings while my bass repairman said to leave it on. What do you guys think?
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Everybody has his own preferences and methods.

    I'll just wipe them off with a rag, when I remember. Occasionally I'll moisten a piece of paper towel with a little Zippo lighter fluid and wipe the rosin off. I'm not sure if this is recommended for gut strings or not.

    Some folks let that stuff cake up for years.
  3. This isn't quite up there with the Oak Rosin thread, but what the hell.

    I use an abrasive pad to clean the rosin build up at least twice a rehearsal or concert. Before we start and at break or intermission. For what it's worth, I usually only rosin my bow once. I have found that keeping the rosin off the strings and on the bow where it belongs allows for a cleaner sound.

    My teacher was once repremanded by his director for not keeping his bass as clean as the director thought it should be. Being the good union thug that he is, he didn't clean it for two years. I'm not sure how it affected his play but the rosin deposits in the varnish were impossible to remove and the finger board and strings looked terrible.
  4. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    That's a good story about your teacher. Reminds of the line in the film, "Standing in the Shadow of Motown" where James Jamerson's son is interviewed playing his dad's old URB. The son points out the filthy fingerboard, and says his dad made a point of never cleaning it, claiming, "The funk is in the dirt."

    I also clean my strings after every playing session. I have metal strings, and I use a copper scouring pad ("Chore Boy" brand, no soap in it), because my teacher says a steel scouring pad will abrade the strings.

    One other thing pointed out by my teacher: rosin will build up in your bow hair, and periodically it's a good idea to vacuum the hair to get the old rosin residue out. Give it a try -- carefully.

  5. 2dawghouse


    Mar 4, 2004
    There is a great product on the market called a "Blitz" cloth. Unfortunately, not many stores carry them. The company is based out of Jeffersonville, IN and is distributed by Kaman, I think.

    Personally, I think it's important to wipe down metal strings after EACH use, whether you play pizz or arco. Blitz is great at removing rosin without damaging your strings. I don't think that there's any benefit to leaving junk on your strings, unless you like 'em dead and unresponsive. I don't believe I would use it on gut strings, though.

    Jamerson was a brilliant bassist, but I think there is a point of diminishing return with leaving the "funk" on your bass.