1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

How Often Should One Need To Apply Rosin?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by phlybass, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. phlybass


    Dec 18, 2003
    Greetings fellow listmates.

    I am new (about 4 months) to arco playing, and recently got a new carbow, German with black hair, and am having trouble getting it to stay "rosined". I've tried both Carlsons and Pop's. With either one, the bow seems to lose it's grip on the strings after only about 10 to 15 minutes. I am located in the four corners area of NM, an area of low humidity and warm temperatures. Any suggetstions or links to previous threads or messages regarding this problem would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance, Alex

    It's really a hoot being in the intermediate summer strings program here at the local community college with junior high students who've been playing a year or so... a contrast between overall life and musical experience and actual arco time and skill.... I'm having a ball!
  2. Read this thread. It might offer some insight into a potential reason for your problem.
  3. I play german bow, with white hair. I usually use carlson, but I use nymans when it's really hot out and sometimes for solo work too. I like to apply a little bit of rosin more often, rather than a bunch at a time. What I'll usually do is before a rehersal or gog I'll play for a bit to get what rosin is allready on there softened up, then add a couple quick swipes if I need it. If I'm going to be playing say... a bruckner symphony I might give it an extra swipe just because. From what you're describing, you might want to get that bow rehaired; I think a lot of new bows don't come with very great hair on them. Also, new bow hair can take a good deal of playing and rosin to get 'normal'. I'd say talk to your teacher and see what he thinks... he can probably reccomend someone to get you some good new hair if you need it too.
  4. Is the hair horsehair, or a synthetic?
    Another possibility is that there's nothing wrong with your bow or rosin, but that your bass strings are not appropriate for arco. We need a little more info to help you.
  5. phlybass


    Dec 18, 2003
    Thanks to Steve, toman, and Don who replied to my original post. Here is more info on the situation.

    The bow is a Carbow brand, German style I purchased from Robinsons in Albuquerque. I can't imagine they would sell a bow of that quality with other than genuine horsehair.

    The strings,I have been told, are "Orchestras" G,D,A, and I don't remember what the E is. I'm having trouble ID-ing them on Quin's page, perhaps because of my input of what color is where in the pecking order of base, spiral, ring, etc. I've tried just about every interpretation and combination of my perception of the colors I can come up with.

    The G, D and A are, starting at the ball end, yellow or gold with a dark blue or dark purple with a thin yellow or gold spiral going up to more yellow or gold. The peg ends are primarily red, yellow/gold and black, GDA respectively, with a short bit of blue towards the nut enr of the wrapping. The E ball end is red with a black thin spiral winding toward a small bit of black toward the bridge. the peg end is a blue-green or turquiose.

    I have a set of Thomastic Dominants I haven't tried yet, but might now that I have some down time from playing obligations for August.

    The Bass is a fully carved German Willhelm Klier, circa 1998, and I am the third owner.

    Thanks in advance for the information and replies.

  6. Alex, I can certainly understand your problem ID-ing the stings with the new Quinn string identifier search. Fortunately, I made a PDF copy of the old "list" version of the Quinn string identifier which (for me) was a lot easier to use. It's over a year old and may not have some of the newer strings in it, but if anyone wants a copy, send me an email and I'll send it to you as an (1.63mb) attachment. I'm pretty sure that your strings are D'Addario Helicore Orchestra medium tension strings
  7. Zach Edmands

    Zach Edmands

    Jan 24, 2003
    Is your hair tightened appropiatley? I find that when my hair is tightened just enough so that it doesn't touch the bow when I push down, my rosin lasts longer and and the bow grips much easier than if it were tighter. Playing like this, I find myself applying rosin about every other day; I play about 3 hours a day, usually. Hope this helps.
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Once you've discounted extra-player factors (bad hair, difficult strings), what it sounds like it might be to me is this: If your hand is tight on the bow and you're using a lot of pressure and iffy bow speed on the strings, then a lot of rosin is your friend in makingup for less-than-exemplary technique. If a lot of goop is what is getting it for you and you're 'out of rosin' after a few minutes then I think I might be pretty close on this.

    Long tones are your surest way out of this sort of thing. When you get more accustomed to the stick you'll find that you need almost no pressure and bow speed is critical. Don't read that as there is only one bow speed, but with bow speed, the amount of hair you put on the string, where on the string you put the bow, etc, etc, you have an enormous amount of possibilty for different timbres and dynamics. Spend a good 10-15 minutes a day with long tones (under the guidance of a good teacher, right?) both on open strings and stopped notes. A good place to start is about 100bpm and take 8 clicks to a stroke. Look for a free open, warm sound. Practice in front of a mirror and make sure that your bow is perpendicular to the string and isn't wandering north and south as you go from one end of the bow to the other.
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Oh, and I apply a small amount of rosin about once or twice a week with a lot of daily playing...