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Author Topic: How often should you rosin the bow?  (Read 8412 times)

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Offline baldgeezer

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How often should you rosin the bow?
« on: Oct 06, 2003, 03:04:11 PM »
If this has already been discussed somewhere then please point me in the right direction!

If not, then.....

When should you rosin the bow? My old teacher always used to tell me to hold the bow up and point it at a light whilst looking along the hair - if it was shiny then it needed more rosin. This always meant I used to re-rosin far to often and ended up in my own little dust cloud! (hey - no need to stage smoke then!  :smile2:).

So, when do you guys rosin your bows - what makes you do it or do just religiously do it as part of a ritual?

-Dave

Offline Bob

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 06, 2003, 03:26:06 PM »
Ummmm.... its a matter of judgement. Whenever the bow stops pulling as it should - or sliding easily. Rosin increases the differential between the forces that make it both stick and slide - meaning it sticks to the string better but also slides along it easier. If that makes sense of course! Sliding easier makes for less bow noise - so merely keep an eye (or ear) on the sound and the feel of the bow.

Offline alwyswinn

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 07, 2003, 12:32:39 AM »
I agree with Bob.  I usually rosin when I start squeaking usually this is a good indicator for me to rosin normally I stop squeaking afterward could be the rosin could be mental conditioning on my part.  It does come down to a feeling in the way the bow plays too.  Obviously when you have clouds of rosin about this is too much it may have to do with the frequency of rosining or the amount each time.  I would guess I rosin about every 2-3 hours of playing time hope this helps.

Offline xania

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 07, 2003, 01:48:03 AM »
I have just been thinking about this very subject!

I would only rosin the bow about once a week, and I would play for about 2 hours a day. Occasionally I can't quite make the week, but usually I do.

I've got a theory-tell me what you think....

The bow is harder to handle with less rosin,-to get good tone and to keep a straight bow, you really need to work hard.
Thus, my theory is that it improves ones bowing to 'fight' for good bow contol and tone by the end of the week.

Well, what do you think? ::)

Offline Pilgrum

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 07, 2003, 03:59:52 AM »
Thus, my theory is that it improves ones bowing to 'fight' for good bow contol and tone by the end of the week.

Well, what do you think? ::)
Two thoughts, first, does this mean the first year player and the tenth year player understand "fight" on equal term?  Second, I'm not sure "fight" is ever the right word or way of going.
I now use much less rosin that I used last year. Will I have differant thoughts in two years, maybe, maybe not.  But I never like the word or thought regarding "fight," yet I think I understand what you are trying to state, and that thought I feel ok with.  My thought today however, give in and rosing one day earlier, cost of rosin is still very cheap.  Just my thoughts.

Offline Tom S

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 07, 2003, 05:03:14 PM »
I  can usually go three or four days, about 8 hours with out having to apply rosin.  When my A and E strings start to sound thin and reedy its time but it sort of varies  with temp and humidity also.  I recently had one of my pet bows rehaired and for about a month I was lucky to get an hour out of it now it is holding rosin pretty well and I have another old bow that is like the energizer bunny it just keeps going and going.   So like I said just listen to your fiddle.
Praise Him with stringed instruments.

Offline fidla

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 08, 2003, 02:59:48 PM »
I think the amount of rosin I use has a lot to do with the kind of hair on my bow.  I use a coarser, more grippy hair than standard Mongolian stock.  So I don't need to re-rosin as much.

Offline fiddlebob

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 09, 2003, 05:29:11 PM »
I usually rosin a bit just as a ritual every time I play.  If I get a rough or "growl" sound i hit the bow against my let and knock some rosin off.  If I squeek, I add a little more.  I probably err by using more than I really need.

Fiddlebob

Offline Martin

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #8 on: Oct 14, 2003, 10:36:17 AM »
May I put a slightly different twist on this by asking the more experienced players how long a single block of rosin lasts them, specifying make?

I played for several years as a boy, and do not recall ever starting a new block of rosin. Judging on the blocks I am currently using, I don't anticipate needing a new block for a couple of years.

If a block of rosin lasts as long as that, does it much matter if the original cost is 5 or 10?

Offline simon

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #9 on: Oct 14, 2003, 11:07:30 AM »
I can't remember wearing out a block when I was a kid. The block of Hidersine light I'm currently using, I've had for about eight playing years. It's kind of on its last legs - big X shaped grooves in it, but there's still lots of it left. With the next block I'm going to take some advice I read on one of the strings boards on the net, and keep a flat top on the rosin rather than rubbing deep grooves into it. I might treat myself to some of that fancy gold-flecked stuff, seeing as it's probably going to last me into my dotage. :)

Offline Richard

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #10 on: Oct 14, 2003, 12:43:38 PM »
I am proud to say I recently wore my block of rosin away to virtually nothing and replaced with some other stuff which is good but cannot remember what it is called. The small fragment remaining was given away to a friend in need of emergency rosin - still perfectly usable but a little delicate and due to break anytime. I think my last block has lasted me 3 or 4 years with variable useage in that time. I also try for flat top but lazyness usually erodes this to the X Simon mentioned. My new one is in a little red bag thing and looks very tidy and is currently evenly worn on the top.

My philosophy with stuff that lasts is to get the right stuff first then not spend years struggling till it wears out. My Berghaus rucksack (I know its not a violin item) has lasted me 13 years so far but in same time could have bought a dozen or more cheaper ones and paid more. I learned that cheap is not always best so I get good rather than cheap. If good is cheap then I get that anyway and eat/drink well in celebration of finding a  bargain. Money spent is same either way - block of rosin lasts longer than a curry & pint anyway.

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Offline Jack002

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #11 on: Oct 15, 2003, 05:34:02 PM »
Man, its great reading all this. I've been playing since 1999 and I now know what 'too much' rosin is. I learned a lot from Rob at Fiddle Hell about it. I've been rosining too much, and clouds come off it if you hit it. Since then I've found that for me, I can't seem to ever play the rosin off it. I still play kind "wimpy" but not as much. ;) I've seen other fiddlers that seem to pile it on there, so I guess its somewhat a personal preference. I know for me, I 'don't worry if I forget to take a cake to a jam now, I'm good to go for days and days. ;)

Jack

Offline Richard

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #12 on: Oct 17, 2003, 12:29:17 PM »
I used to get clouds of rosin but after figuring that it was not needed, I find a gentle sweep of rosin each time does not really give a large buildup and I just re-do when it is needed. I find that us use the bow reasonably evenly but every now and then I find some spots with more than others and need to re rosin 2/3 of the bow and not at the heel end.
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Offline fidla

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #13 on: Nov 17, 2003, 07:01:36 PM »
Depends on the type of hair I'm using.  Fiddler's hair requires less rosin, (I use Tartini symphony), so I put some on at the beginning of the week (mine begins on Monday because I have rehearsals then) and that's about it.  If I have a gig on the weekend, I might give the bow a few strokes before the gig - more out of nervousness than necessity I guess.  The hair really doesn't need it.  

My good pernambuco bow is haired with Soloist's hair, so it's the same.  Not too much rosin, about once a week.

I've noticed that some of the carbon sticks from China are haired with cheap bleached southern hair that's been shampooed and conditioned.  This kind of hair is so slick that rosin falls right away from it.  I recommend to all my buds who purchase Chinese bows to get their bows rehaired right away - it saves on the aggravation.  Also you lose less hair when you have a gig...

In the UK you can get Fiddler's Hair from Bob - at Judicael.  In the US you can go into any of the top violin shops and ask for it by name.

Offline fiddlefactor

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #14 on: Mar 10, 2004, 08:48:26 PM »
When you put on rosin, do you rub the bow backwards and forwards or do you do it from bottom to top or vice versa.

What is 'Fiddler's Hair'?  Is it horse hair, a synthetic substitute, human hair or perhaps something else?

Offline ThunderFingers

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #15 on: Mar 10, 2004, 10:00:29 PM »
I go back and forth when I rosin my bow.

as for the fiddlers hair?  I don't know
« Last Edit: Mar 10, 2004, 10:06:28 PM by ThunderFingers »

Offline Pilgrum

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #16 on: Mar 11, 2004, 03:22:23 AM »
What is 'Fiddler's Hair'?  Is it horse hair, a synthetic substitute, human hair or perhaps something else?
Until arsweet get back to do the details, I believe its a brand name.

Offline alwyswinn

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #17 on: Mar 11, 2004, 05:51:56 AM »
Fiddlers hair is mongolian horsehair a bit coarser than what one would use for a violin bow normally.  Similiar to hair used on cello and bass bows.  I had some on one of my bows and it worked well.  i'm not sure but you may still be able to get a free sample from arsweet ot pioneer valley

Offline fidla

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Re:How often should you rosin the bow?
« Reply #18 on: Mar 13, 2004, 04:04:38 PM »
If I am using Fiddler's Hair, I hardly rosin the bow at all.  It doesn't need it.  Otherwise, I rosin the bow each time I remove it from my case.  I use Tartini Rosin exclusively on all of my bows.  It goes on smoothly, lasts a long time and doesn't need to be "Started".

For all you luthiers and bow makers:  The company I work for makes a proprietary starter rosin that was especially formulated to work with our brand of bow hair.  It supports the natural functions of the hair, doesn't work against them, is easy to apply and comes in a small metal canister making it easy to apply with a brush or applicator.  IM me if you are interested.

 




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