The dumbest question in the world...

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by chrismmc, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. Which is the proper direction to apply rosin?I have been going tip to frog.I have been having problems with the bow "grabbing" the string well enough to produce the right note.I loosened the hairs a bit and that helped,but it still happens-especially on lower range. :confused:
  2. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    check out the newbie links...

    I apply rosin frog to tip., but have witnessed both ways.
    Are you using Bass Rosin? How much are you applying?

    Also, how loose or tight is the hair? What does your teacher say?
  3. I am using Pop's Bass Rosin.
    I have the hairs just loose enough that they don't touch the stick when played.
    I don't think I have discussed it with my teacher-plus he has been away since june,but we are going to resume lessons next week.
    I am applying it at the ends,and then about 2 strokes from tip to frog-sometimes more-just until there is pressure when I put more,or hairs start to break-so the problem is not not enough rosin.
    I have heard both tip to frog and frog to tip as well,just wondering if there is a "proper"way...
  4. Don't know if its pseudo-science or an old wives' tale or what, but I've heard that frog to tip if preferable because it makes the microscopic ridges in the hair stand up, kind of like petting a cat backwards. So, that's the way I apply rosin, so as not to discredit any old wives that might be watching.
  5. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    If you are using Pops and can't get a good grip on the E and A string it is a technique issue. Just bring it up with your teacher next week and you will be good to go from there.
  6. janetreno


    Nov 11, 2004
    Your problems on lower strings may have to do with your actual position and bow pressure.
  7. Everything I've ever heard has been frog to tip. One teacher I had was very specific about the type of stroke to use; you get a good grip right at the frog, and then give it a strong pull all the way down the length of the hair, like the kind of stroke you would use for something from a Mahler symphony. :) If you're having trouble getting you bow to hook up, it's most likely a technique problem, but it could be that you need to get your bow rehaired. Old or just plain crappy bow hair is a real pain, especially if your technique might not be so great anyway...
  8. My teacher has been unavailable for some time now...and will continue to bo until next month,but I think my technique is not too bad-I follow his instructions closely...the problem seem to be on the Estring and a bit on the A.It seems confined to the lower notes in the first 3 positions.
    I find that the problem starts with the attack near the frog-I have to put a lot of rosin at the frog in order for it to grab the note properly-otherwise the pitch is an octave too high,but then drops down when I reach the middle of the stick.I try to attack the string with the edge of the hairs and that seems to help,but then in higher positions(especially thumb)on the Gstring,it produces some pretty bad sounds.
    I would'nt be suprised if it was the hairs.I have had the bow just over a year now without a rehair.Could this be a sign that it is time for a rehair?
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Is almost certainly a technique issue that you'll just have to get a feel for. Of course, having your bow in the best condition possible will certainly help.

    When you drop the arm to play the E string, it definately requires a different feel, as the bow is less over the bass and the weight of the bow itself works less to help the hair hook up. You just have to keep practicing crossing the strings until you get the hang of it.

    I recommend 8-10 hours a day for the next 10-12 months and you'll get there. :)

    You might try a little less hair tension as well. I find the looser the hair, the easier it is for it to hook up. Delicate bow stuff may be a little sloppier, but overall, it's easier to get a better sound.
  10. Ok,thanks!I will keep working on it.
    But it also seems that the rosin in not sticking to the hairs as well as it use to(especially near the frog)...Do you think a rehair is in order as well?(obvisously it's hard to assess in this manner...)but it has been a year..
  11. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Before you rehair, try cleaning the hair as thoroughly as possible with denatured alcohol and a soft cloth or paper towel. IT could be that there is a film of old rosin and other various gunk, dust, skin oils, etc. that is keeping the rosin from properly adhering.

    Just soak the cloth well without enough that it drips and clamp it around the hair with your thumb and forefinger. (wrapping the wood of the bow in plastic wrap is probably a good idea if you want to insure no damage to the finish.)

    Keep up the process until your wipes return clean with no rosin.

    Every two or three wipes, run a toothbrush or mustache comb through the hair to keep it straight and prevent the melting rosin from gluing the hairs solid.

    Lastly, our Bob B. recommends, ( and it has aided in my experience) that you keep a close eye on the hair over the next couple of hours as it dries. The tension will increase a bit as the hair dries. When finished cleaning you want enough tension to keep the hair straight, but not too tight.

    As the bow hair dries, you may need to tighten hair a bit to keep it straight.

    Once you have it clean and dry, apply plenty of fresh rosin and saw away.
  12. tww001


    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    the problem may be the Pops. I've always gotten poor grip from Pops on my bass. I switched to Nyman's in the summer and Carlson's in the winter, and all my grip problems disapeared. Also, like everyone else said, go frog to tip, clean the hair, and try loosening the bow a bit.

    ...just my two sense....

  13. Ben Joella

    Ben Joella

    May 31, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL
    Yeah, pops can create more dust than it's worth in the winter. Have you tried ordering "fresh" Pops. It's like a totally different rosin. I think sells very fresh Pops. Or, nyman's and carlson's are probably a good if not better option anyway.

    Also, running an old toothbrush through the hair seems to knock alot of the dust off of the hair and helps new rosin stck better. I was amazed at how long this technique could ward off a rehair.