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practice with no/very small amount, of rosin?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Edvin, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. Edvin


    Feb 25, 2010
    I love how my bass sound with a really small amount of rosin (still good grip, though). I don't get the full volume as i have with a good swipe with some pop's, but when practicing i love having a very small amount of rosin.

    With the rosin i always think it sound's scratchy, nasally and thin. Doesn't matter if it's old or brand new pop's, Brand new or old Kolstein soft or Nymans.
    Maybe i should try a hard rosin?

    I do put on a good amount when i'm practicing bowing technique, because spiccato and some slur-exercises get's easier. But when i'm done with those exercises i often take the rag and swipe everything off.

    So my question is:
    Should i get used to the rosin and try to make a better sound with it or should i practice my strokes without adding rosin?

    In my hand it's good

    'Cause i can't keep taking it on and off everyday!
  2. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    You should post a sound clip with and without so that your comments can be evaluated in the proper context.
  3. Edvin


    Feb 25, 2010
    That can be arranged!

    My question though was regarding whether it's healthy or unhealthy practicing.
    I've read somewhere here it's good for your technique to
    practice without (if it doesn't make you tense and overdoing movements).
    I'm pretty stable in my opinion of which gives me a better sound (less rosin).
    In orchestra situations i use more rosin though, for better or worse in sound.
  4. mcnaire2004


    Jan 17, 2006
    Practice without it!
  5. Figure out how to get the volume with very little rosin (it can be done... hint: play closer to the bridge and use a bit more weight). Then you won't need more than a tiny amount ever.
  6. I only rosin about once a week, depending on how much im playing. Chances are there's always still a little bit of rosin left over anyways, so you just need to warm it up a little. It's better for your bow hair and technique. I die a little bit on the inside every time someone calls it "technique in a can". It's true to an extent, but you shouldn't rely on it.
  7. Edvin


    Feb 25, 2010
    Thank's guys!
    No rosin today it is!
  8. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    On a related note, anyone change rosins over the summer? I find Pops get real gnarly when it warms up outside.
  9. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    Try picking up some Clarity summer rosin.
  10. Blakewdm


    Jun 17, 2008
    Use lots of rosin if you're talkin orchestral play
  11. jaff


    Jun 7, 2006
    Gary Karr advocates very little rosin. I find that I use a fair amount of rosin when playing in the orchestra probably because I want as much volume as possible a lot of the time. I try to be more sparing when practicing and focus more on intonation.
  12. Edvin


    Feb 25, 2010
    Yeah, i took his advice and now i've taken two loose swipes every three days (~ 4 hours technique and 1-2 hours repertoire practice รก day)
    I think i'm gonna take his advice and try some violin/viola/cello rosin as well. Can't hurt to try!
  13. Dbass926


    Jun 20, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Realistically, you need to practice with varying amounts of rosin for different things. When you are practicing with little, you are learning how to play with little rosin - this is great for solo playing/Bach/tone work, etc.

    You can't then expect that you'll be able to play orchestra repertoire with a lot of rosin and have exactly the sound you want. You'll have to practice using a different amount of rosin to get a different sound.

    By the time we're all developed into the musicians we wish to be, we will most likely have experimented with every different aspect of our playing. There's no right and wrong for any parameter of playing the bass, and rosin is probably going to be a moving target for you.

    Let us know how the upper string rosin mixture works too. I've been curious about setting up a second bow for that...
  14. dtosky


    Jan 4, 2010
    David Finckel on Rosin
    Do note that in my opinion the method of application for bass rosin is different; however, the concepts are the same.
  15. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz
    Depends how much you're playing and practicing, and what you're going for stylistically.

    There are different schools of thought, but you'll typically find that orchestral players nearly universally apply rosin before, and often once more at intermission during a bass-heavy concert.

    I'm sure there are people out there who can get a heavy orchestral stroke without applying rosin before a concert, but in my world, we are trying to move a lot of air, and are trying to make things as efficient as possible to avoid injury.

    FWIW, I have seen world-class players transition between Beethoven excerpts and solo rep and back on the same bow, all with a thick layer of rosin. In the end, it's all about the player.
  16. I rarely apply rosin at home, but rosin a bit before playing a gig. I may be doing it wrong..
  17. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Actually, you will answer your own question on the basis of your own experience. In addition, the answer two years from now will probably not be the same as today.
  18. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Love this guy!
    How would you say rosin applications on a cello are different than a bass?
    Notice that he is doing down and up strokes for rosining. Some here say you only need to do down strokes. Why is that?
  19. User4843936

    User4843936 Guest

    May 9, 2005
    Did you try harder rosin? There are quite a lot of people in the UK who use cello or other brands. Advocated strongly by various people for all different types of playing. You might want to try it out on a spare bow though. Somewhat different technique required too. I started on the hard stuff after being coached in the NYO by some players who used it, but then fell off the wagon and started using the sticky stuff again when I was freelancing after I graduated. Went back to hard rosin more recently and now wondering why I ever strayed. I find it possible to create a warm '3D' sound in a piano dynamic in ways that the softer rosins don't allow. Pirastro goldflex is a good one, Andrea cello rosin is very very grippy but perhaps a bit more difficult to use at first (in my experience)