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how often do i apply rosin?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Jay, Mar 10, 2001.

  1. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    Hi ya'll. I'm from up thar (don't hurt me)...I play EB but first and foremost I am a musician. Now that we have that outta the way...

    I am getting into violin now and someday, when I can afford it, double bass. My question today is: How often should I apply rosin to my bow? And what kind...Swedish, Pops, etc...? I live in SE Texas where it's hot and 110% humidity. I've heard that this would affect the rosin to use. And just in case, I do plan on getting a teacher this summer. Thank you.
  2. The amount of rosin to use is really a personal preference issue. It really depends on how much grip you want - and that can change depending on the kinds of pieces you are playing.

    In general, I tend to use quite a bit of rosin - that way I can really relax my bow arm and know that the hair will grip the string well. I find in order to get the most sound (when required), it is important for me to really back off in order to let the bass be free to vibrate fully. I find when I don't have enough rosin, I tend to try to 'force' the bow to grip the string, which of course doesn't work very well.
  3. Are you asking about violin rosin or Double Bass Rosin? There is a difference, and many variables,
    personal preference being the first. I've seen guys who use so much rosin you could actually see chunks on the hair :eek: and then I've seen players who don't use any. Remember, more rosin does not=
    Better sound.I use just enough so that I don't have to work too hard to get a good sound. Violin rosin is very hard, so you don't really need to worry about that melting, But based on where you are, I would recommend a harder bass Rosin. Kolsteins All-Weather comes to mind, or maybe one of the harder grades of Pirastro.
  4. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    There's only one hard and fast rule on rosin:
    NEVER leave it in your car on a hot day.

    As for how much, there's no right or wrong. The proper amount is whatever you need to get the sound you want. There's a tendency among newer players to use too much, because it does get the string moving with great ease. How much is required will also vary with temperature and humidity throughout the year. We get our share of heat here, and I've been happy with the Swedish rosins - Nyman, or Carlson. Anyway, you're going to be playing indoors most of the time.

    I've been experimenting with using less rosin to soften the tone. But nothing happens in a vacuum: with less rosin, in order to get more contact with the string I put less tension on the bow hair, to get a little more 'wrap' on the string (I saw this done by one of the great players in the area). The consequence of that is that your bow angles have to be dead-on. (I'm known as the king of double-stops)

    But like Rob says, it's your choice.
  5. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    Thanks ya'll...sorry if my reply is a bit late, I've been in Austin and just got back a few minutes ago. Reedo, to clarify, violin rosin. I figured ya'll could help me with that and if it's that much different, that someone here played violin as well as DB. Thanks for the advice. :)
  6. Georgia Watt

    Georgia Watt Guest

    Mar 2, 2002
    Rosin is quite a personal choice, but I play violin as well so I'll try and help.

    To simplify the science of rosin there are generally two types. You have your light, toffee-like in colour rosin, and the richer, darker rosin.

    The toffee coloured is what you'd find packaged with most entry level student violins. I personally prefer to use the darker stuff. The darker rosin is stickier and thicker in texture, meaning I don't have to use as much elbow grease to get a larger sound. But keep in mind that I'm a light bower. The lighter rosin is great for beginners because it doesn't grip the hair as much, and hence, reduces the 'gritty' sound from over bowing.

    Ultimately, what it comes down to is how heavy handed you are with the bow, and obviously, what sound you're after.

    If you need any further help, with brands or whatever, just ask. Remember though, it's just a matter of taste, and keep an interest in the colour of the rosin, rather than the name.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    So how does it taste? :)
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    "Mmmm...this rosin is bursting with country fresh flavor!"....
  9. Georgia Watt

    Georgia Watt Guest

    Mar 2, 2002
    Bloody terrible! (TRUST ME)
    And it's not so nice in the eyes either.
  10. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Ahem. Am I going to have to start Moderating here?
  11. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Let it run for a while first. I want to see where it goes.

    <deafening silence>
  12. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Applying rosin to your bow before playing is like salting your food before you taste it. Play first, and apply rosin if gauge it to be necessary.

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