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Author Topic: Official Rosin Topic  (Read 7733 times)

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Offline violin_kid

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Official Rosin Topic
« on: Nov 19, 2006, 10:12:40 AM »
Hi, I couldn't find a topic where rosins were explained real well so i decided to make this one.
Tell me your favourite rosin and why you like it. I will update this thread with all the brands and a description of them shortly.

Rhys
« Last Edit: Nov 19, 2006, 01:57:52 PM by madfiddler »

Offline sandoval

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #1 on: Nov 23, 2006, 03:58:57 AM »
I like motrya gold becalse of the big, clear, smooth and focused tone.  The only rosin I know of that comes close is tartini solo. 

Offline awildman2384

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #2 on: Nov 24, 2006, 05:01:37 PM »
Knilling dark.  I like it because it came free with my fiddle and is sticky.

Clarity hypoallergenic.  Clear.  Don't like it because it does not grip very well.  LIke it because it doesn't make me sneeze.  Probably give it away at some point.

Offline fiddleandstrum

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #3 on: Nov 24, 2006, 08:40:10 PM »
Tartini Solo - got it because it was recommended with the Incredibow - now use it on my Coda aswell - seems to work for me,.

Offline Steve_W

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #4 on: Nov 24, 2006, 11:47:25 PM »
I'm using the "old" Tartini Silkier Solo.  Nice smooth rosin, not too grabby and seems to work really well in all seasons here.  Very nice for the sort of music I play; classically-influenced Scottish fiddle.

Offline frodopogo

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #5 on: Nov 25, 2006, 04:13:41 AM »
Hill Dark is my current favorite,
as it was back in the '70s when I got started.
I find it is somehow grabby and smooth at the same time.
Grabby as far as producing lots of tone,
smooth as far as the feel for my bowing arm.
I liked the Knilling light that came with my fiddle pretty well,
but it came into contact with the plastic cover of my Knilling pitchpipe,
and got softened by some reaction with it, and has not been the same since.
I sometimes roughen up the surface of a rosin block with an emery board,
and that seems to help.
I bought a block of Sherman's, but I'm not liking it as well as the Hill.

Michael

Offline Emg

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #6 on: Nov 25, 2006, 12:24:08 PM »
I have NO idea what rosin I'm using.   I just bought a new cake of some medium colored stuff that at first I was impressed with how well it seemed to grip the strings...but as I was playing I noticed the bow starting to slip.  I'm thinking it's finicky stuff that perhaps does better with less rather than more...  dunno !

I'm new to all of this so I havn't yet learned the pluses or minuses of rosins and their many different varieties.  Not to mention, I think my bow needs a rehair.  It's an old sartory and I'm a little hesitant to bring it just anywhere...I wouldn't want it to "disappear" on me...

I'll be interested to read all your posts and start learning about rosins.  I'm at a point in my playing where I can start focusing on stuff like that instead of just worrying about where my fingers and arms are and proper bowing and all....lol.....dang !...that all too elusive vibrato !!!    :D

Offline fidla

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #7 on: Nov 25, 2006, 02:56:25 PM »
Fiddler's Green Rosin - 1/4 the price of Tartini (old or new), just as grippy.  I used G. Bernadel for 13 years, Tartini for 4 and switched to FGR two years ago.  It works equally well on my CG fiddler's bow as my 300 year old pernambuco bow.  Great for classical, bluegrass and Celtic playing.

Offline bwzuk

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #8 on: Nov 26, 2006, 12:36:43 PM »
I had real trouble with Tartini rosin. I don't know if I had a bad batch or not but I never really got a great sound, and it was really easy to get the bow completely gunked up with the stuff. I tried it with all of my bows and wasn't happy with how it sounded on any of them. This doesn't seem to match with other people's experience so I guess I was just unlucky. I've now moved on to Hill's Dark, which takes much longer to rosin a bow with but seems much more consistent.

Offline Steve_W

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #9 on: Nov 27, 2006, 11:27:56 PM »
I had real trouble with Tartini rosin. I don't know if I had a bad batch or not but I never really got a great sound, and it was really easy to get the bow completely gunked up with the stuff. I tried it with all of my bows and wasn't happy with how it sounded on any of them. This doesn't seem to match with other people's experience so I guess I was just unlucky. I've now moved on to Hill's Dark, which takes much longer to rosin a bow with but seems much more consistent.

Could you have been applying too much rosin?  Tartini does have a tendency to "gunk up" if you overdo it.  In my experience it works best when applied lightly, just a few strokes across the cake.  Also Tartini doesn't do well when applied on top of other rosin; I wonder if it could have been reacting badly with whatever you had on previously. 

Offline bwzuk

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #10 on: Nov 28, 2006, 01:23:54 PM »
It wasn't down to mixing as I tried it on a new bow. The gunking may have been down to putting too much of the stuff on. I'm pretty careful when rosining up, particularly a new bow and I always take it slowly and try the bow regularly to make sure I don't over apply. The trouble was I never got a good tone with the stuff. I'd read much about this wonder rosin on the web, how people could rosin up a bow from scratch with a few swipes and how it would grab strings effortlessly. I never experienced this, infact it had a detrimental effect on my playing as I'd end up applying too much pressure on the bow just to get some sound out of the strings. Maybe there was just something with my playing style or maybe it was just a bad batch (as someone said on another thread, Rosin is a natural product and prone to variation). In the end though I really couldn't be bothered to analyse it futher so I just swapped to Hill for a hassle free rosin.

I may give Fiddlers Green a go though.

Offline fiddlejen

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #11 on: Nov 28, 2006, 11:55:13 PM »
I got a block of Paganini rosin when I first started.  I've been pretty happy with it, most of the time.  The green stuff is pretty good, but I actually like my Paganini block a little better. (sorry Adam!)  However they both seem to vary with the weather (very variable here in New England). 

Just recently I tried someone's dark rosin and liked it a lot, on a day when my own rosins weren't doing their job.  I may get a block of the dark stuff to use on days when these two won't working right. 
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Offline fidla

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #12 on: Dec 02, 2006, 04:01:29 PM »
huh my posts on this topic were all deleted.

I'll try again

I've been playing since I was 4 years old and I'm 44 now.  The first 20 years or so I didn't care much about my rosin or the bow hair.  Whatever old crusty chunk of sticky stuff I had in the case was fine as long as it made the bow stick.

The older you get the more you care about minute details.  I think I started caring about it when I was consulting for Stamell Stringed Instruments back in the early 90s.  Before that, I had been using Gustav Bernadel not because the rosin was particularly great (it's not), but because I liked the little blue sued pouch with the gold writing.  It kept the rosin dust out of my case and was soft in my hand.  Pretty silly, eh?  So while at Stamell, I started trying out the different rosins to see which I liked best on which bow and I came up with a formula that I use today:

Bows I use for Celtic music - Fiddler's Green (RDM)
Bows I use for Bluegrass - Tartini Solo (old formula - I think the new formula is not as good)
Bows I use for Classical - Tartini Symphony (old formula)

When I run out of Tartini (in the year 2020?), I will probably switch to Hill Dark unless something better comes along

Offline fiddlejen

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #13 on: Dec 11, 2006, 02:40:08 AM »
So I got myself my chunk of dark stuff -- Hill Dark.  Wow I really do like this stuff much better than anything else so far!  I think I'm a convert...

(Although... I don't like the little foam wrapper very much.  Thinking of pulling it off, & getting a different, nicer piece of cloth to stick to the back of it ;) ...
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Offline Steve_W

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #14 on: Dec 11, 2006, 07:04:35 PM »
So I got myself my chunk of dark stuff -- Hill Dark.  Wow I really do like this stuff much better than anything else so far!  I think I'm a convert...

(Although... I don't like the little foam wrapper very much.  Thinking of pulling it off, & getting a different, nicer piece of cloth to stick to the back of it ;) ...

The foam breaks down over time and turns into sticky goo!  When that happened to me, when I still had most of the cake left, I just replaced it by hot-gluing on a scrap of felt I had laying around.  Hill used to use felt for the wrapper but I suppose they switched to save a few pennies...

Offline museyroom

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #15 on: Dec 21, 2006, 09:42:22 AM »
I've never been happy with my rosin (can't even remember what it is - something dark!) - it seems to be VERY sensitive the atmospheric conditions, so that some days the bow won't stick for love nor money.

On order is some Salchow dark - don't know if anyone's tried it?? Word on the street is it's a premium rosin chosen by professionals - which sounds a bit like marketing hype but never mind. Also might try Dominant rosin - any thoughts??

Offline quinnt01

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #16 on: Dec 23, 2006, 01:35:33 AM »
All rosins are affected by temperature, and all but the Clarity series from Supersensitive are affected by humidity.  Rosin can absorb so much moisture from the air that it will foam when heated.

There is no such thing as better rosins, only differnet rosins, and what works for one musician may not work for another.  And you're right that there's a lot of marketing hype.  Rosins are hard to distinguish from one another so manufacturers go to great lengths to put them in various decorative boxes, add precious metal fillers, etc. to make them seem special.  You can't go by price either.  The price of neat rosin has about doubled over the last year to roughly 80 cents/lb so the cost of the rosin in a cake is very small.  The packaging and product positioning strategy determine the price.

Offline transport

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #17 on: Dec 23, 2006, 04:20:58 AM »
Thats my type of post Quinnt ^^

I worked for twenty years working in a test lab "objectively" testing stuff, and after a short stint at my job the first thing you learn't to ignore was the brand name LOL. These days its even more critical as there is so much "rebadging" goes on.

Anyway a short while ago I bought a Sojung EV outfit, just because I wanted to see what it was like and it went for a ridiculous price on Ebay LOL. Funny thing is The standard little plastic container type rosin I got in the outfit really works well for me, I have tried many rosins and none have impressed me so far like the rosin I got with that EV. Its not branded at all so I doubt I could by it on its own.

I think in the end it comes down to rosins suit the occasion .... violin/bow/player/playing style/weather etc. But biggest thing in that little chain is me ie. I will probably get tired of the sound/feel etc. of that rosin in a few months time and use another predominantly. But hey that may be the weather influencing the selection more too.


Another funny note on the marketing thing .... Looking at the bottom of my Sojung violin is a sticker.....

I know its not the world's best violin, and the consumer's perception seems to indicate that, but hey manufacturer's should have more confidence in their product than that!! LOL I could well have paid the price I paid for the whole outfit, just for the rosin! ... if it was packaged differently!!!

Offline biovioz

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #18 on: Dec 29, 2006, 06:31:17 AM »
im still in search of a rosin i like, i mite go for the Hill Dark next sinse iv heard nice stuff of it, but the rosin im using now:

Pirastro Evah Oliv

dark rosin, ment to be sticker, i dunno, this rosin is like.....ARR, ever sinse i used it (i bought it to match with my evah strings) it has jsut poisened my bow, im gettin a new one beause my bow can like no longer make a nice sound, its all scratchy and loves to produce eww sounds, but then my bow is old so i dunno which its the culprit, but i havent had a nice experience with em.

before the pirastro i used OTTO gold rosin, i cant really remember my impressions on it but i guess it made an alright tone, pretty clear and smooth.

Offline Joyful noise

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #19 on: Dec 29, 2006, 08:28:16 AM »
Pirastro olive....just lovely stuff   :)
...and I can use if on my baroque bow and violin too which is great! Best all rounder I have ever used. Hubbie uses the cello version on his bass viol too.

Offline fiddlejen

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #20 on: Dec 31, 2006, 07:26:37 AM »
The foam breaks down over time and turns into sticky goo!  When that happened to me, when I still had most of the cake left, I just replaced it by hot-gluing on a scrap of felt I had laying around.  Hill used to use felt for the wrapper but I suppose they switched to save a few pennies...

Thank you for the suggestion!  I pulled off the foam and replaced it with a nice piece of flannel.  I took the little elastic from the foam and attached that too.  Much nicer looking!

But... now I'm not quite happy with any rosin now.  :/  I think there's a weather-change thing going on.  The Hill Dark is getting a rather scratchy sound I don't like a whole lot.  On the other hand, I like it's grabby-ness.  I tried to change back to my previous rosin, and it didn't seem to have enough hold.  I can play faster with the dark stuff. 

Well not sure just what I want to do rosin-wise right now.  I suspect that eventually I may settle on some combination of different rosins at different seasons.  (We do have significant weather variations here in New England!)
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Offline rcc

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #21 on: Jan 02, 2007, 01:58:06 AM »
Tartini Symphony.

I was using the Liebenzeller Gold III but the Tartini worked better (fewer E string squeaks).

It grips very nicely without being too grippy.

I apply the Tartini *very* sparingly.  A few slow swipes every now and then.  At a fiddle camp, I may use it once a day, twice if I'm feeling anxious.  Otherwise, once every 1/2 a dozen practice sessions or so.

Note that the Tartini does ok mixed with Liebenzeller Gold III.

- Ray

Offline Matt1898

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #22 on: Feb 02, 2007, 04:21:40 AM »
Tartini Silkier Solo. Love the stuff. Seems to work well with the helicors and my old french fiddle. Real smooth, real mellow tone. Really like it for more "contest"' style playing.

Offline foose4string

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #23 on: Feb 02, 2007, 09:50:18 PM »
Hill dark works.  Been using for it years.  Good rosin for the price.

Offline biovioz

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #24 on: Feb 03, 2007, 03:50:55 AM »
been using the pirasto goldflex.

a nice big sound but not much stick..and i think the big sound dies like.......20 mins after it is applied.....maybe my bow is still a little new but so far its ok.

Offline frodopogo

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #25 on: Apr 26, 2007, 09:40:58 PM »
About a month and a half ago, I bought a cake of Kaplan Artcraft Dark.
Not too expensive, 8 or 9 bucks, I think in the local store.
Very grippy.  I like it.  Works best on my lighter bow
and gives it more volume.

I bought it because one of the violin teachers at the shop
said she feels it gives the performance of the high priced rosins
without the high price.
Nice flannel backing <and> a flannel bag!

On the heavier bow, I still prefer Hill Dark.

I suppose that foam stuff on the Hill would help protect
it against shattering if it fell out of the case.
<IF> you had wrapped it up securely, that is.
 Hill is <very> brittle stuff! Always getting chipped somehow.

Michael

Offline beeswing

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #26 on: Apr 26, 2007, 09:57:08 PM »
Quote from: frodopogo
...I suppose that foam stuff on the Hill would help protect it against shattering if it fell out of the case.

Maybe if it fell onto a pillow...  :P I've seen a block of Hill dark turn to glassy chunks from being dropped two or three feet onto a carpet, closed up in the foam "flannel" wrapper. Not mine-- it was being given to a kid brand-new, and the presenter was the one what dropped it.  :'( Had to get another one to make up for it.

Anybody use Pirastro Schwartz?

_Bill
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Offline frodopogo

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #27 on: Apr 26, 2007, 11:08:37 PM »
Maybe if it fell onto a pillow...  :P
LOL!
Quote
I've seen a block of Hill dark turn to glassy chunks from being dropped two or three feet onto a carpet, closed up in the foam "flannel" wrapper. Not mine-- it was being given to a kid brand-new, and the presenter was the one what dropped it.  :'( Had to get another one to make up for it.
Wow... I said it was <very> brittle stuff, but that's even more brittle
than I thought!


Anybody use Pirastro Schwartz?

Can't help you there, sorry!

Michael

Offline sreizes

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #28 on: Apr 26, 2007, 11:48:12 PM »
I've got Salchow, but not the dark, the "regular".  I like it.  It generally does well in the climate here and is lasting well.  I also have an Evah/Olive cake, it's ok, but I think the weather here is too warm for it, tends to a "grunchyness" sometimes, got to be careful.  I also have an ancient cake of Hill Dark, the sponge disintegrated some time in the 1980s, and I wrapped it in a small square of old shirt, it has since stuck itself to the cloth.  It's old and therefore oxidized, works ok, kind of dusty though.
;D

Offline Krugwaffle

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2007, 06:10:38 PM »
Hill is brittle.  Ever once in a while, I'll accidentally bump the cake against the ferrule or the tip of the bow and it will invariably knock a chip out of the edge.  No biggie.  It still works.

I've noticed two stages to the rosining process.  I've had to rosin several brand new bows or replaced bow hair now and I've found that there are two levels of rosin.

First there's the dusting stage.  This is the white flaky fine dust that strips off of the cake and attaches itself to the bow by static charge or just by being tacky.  Get enough on the hair to cover it and you have a real scratchy, sometimes weak sound that can be sluggish to attack and grip the strings.  The flakes themselves can be knocked off to float around and land on your fiddle or get sniffed up your nose.

The next level of rosin is what I call "the smear state."  This is rosin that was rubbed off of a cake and attached to the hair and at some point received enough pressure and friction to melt it on to the hair.  It's no longer a flake but a thin coating covering a microscopic portion of one of the hairs on the bow.  This coating takes forever to build up on new hair and the bow never seems to work well until it does. 

Once you've got a good "smear" coating on the hair, you can use compressed air to blow off all the loose dust and play without the sneezing powder problem.  The smear coat will eventually wear off so it's a good idea to keep some powder on so it will replenish itself as you play.

I'm trying to figure out some way to convert the dust to smear quicker as it seems to take me about four months to play in a real good smooth smear coat.  Maybe rub the hair real fast back and forth over a heated polished glass edge or something.  I even thought about applying the rosin in a liquid form but that would make all the hairs stick together.  Not good.

So when it comes to rosining fresh hair, it's not just a matter of getting enough rosin on by rubbing a cake.  The bow needs to be played in to convert the rough powder to smooth smeared on rosin coating. 

Just my own observations. 

Offline frodopogo

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2007, 07:20:39 PM »
Krugwaffle,
Would this work, perhap?

Loosen frog,
powder hair with rosin powder,
then apply medium heat from blow dryer,
keeping heat away from stick?

(you could hold the bow horizontally,
and then let the frog pull the hair down at
a right angle.)

I think your observations are correct-
they also correspond to the way rosin dust
behaves on the top of the fiddle.

In <that> case, the rosin eventually glues itself
to the top, just by being left in contact with it,
and faster in warm weather.
So maybe if you rosined the bow, and didn't play it,
but stored it at 95 degrees Fahrenheit for a week?

(Note: the above ideas are untested suggestions,
use at your own risk!)

Michael

Offline Don Stackhouse

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Re: Official Rosin Topic
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2007, 01:07:17 PM »
...I've noticed two stages to the rosining process....The next level of rosin is what I call "the smear state."  This is rosin that was rubbed off of a cake and attached to the hair and at some point received enough pressure and friction to melt it on to the hair.  It's no longer a flake but a thin coating covering a microscopic portion of one of the hairs on the bow.  This coating takes forever to build up on new hair and the bow never seems to work well until it does....I'm trying to figure out some way to convert the dust to smear quicker as it seems to take me about four months to play in a real good smooth smear coat....

Not too difficult.

First, clean the hair with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl, NOT ethanol!). Use a pad of folded-up tissue (plain tissue, not the kind with facial cream in it), liberally dampened (but not dripping, even when squeezed a little) then fold it around the hair and wipe the hair from one end to the other. Refold pad to expose a clean surface and repeat. Keep doing this till the pad comes up clean.

Avoid getting alcohol on the stick, but if you do, don't panic, just let it evaporate. Ethanol ("denatured" alcohol) will attack varnish, but rubbing alcohol is much better behaved in this respect.

At this point, the hair will still be damp with alcohol. Let it dry a little, but start rosining it while the hair is still a bit damp. The residual alcohol will dissolve the rosin, giving the cake a glassy surface. The melted rosin will coat the hair. If you timed it just right, the coating on the hairs will be microscopic. Rub the rosin cake around in small circles as you rub it along the hair, to work the dissolved rosin up between the hairs and deep into the bundle.

The amount of alcohol in the hair is a little bit critical. Too wet, and the coating will be thicker, which will turn into a thick, pasty, gummy coating that glues the hairs to each other, then breaks up and flakes off in little tubular shards when you let it dry and then rap the tip of the bow on the heel of your palm. If it's acting too wet, just stop for a minute and let the excess alcohol evaporate. If you make too much of a mess, clean the hair again and start over. Not a big deal.

As you rub the rosin on the hair, the remaining alcohol will evaporate, and eventually (only a minute or less) the rosin cake will start to take on a frosty appearance again, and you will feel vibration and friction as you rub it against the hair, just like applying rosin to well broken-in bow hair. Rap the back of the tip on the heel of your palm occasionally to help distribute the rosin, then play it fairly hard for a bit to stabilize everything. Some excess rosin will come off on the strings and the top of the fiddle. Clean that off with a dry piece of pantyhose.

At this point your bow hair should be all set to go!
« Last Edit: May 04, 2007, 07:05:06 PM by Don Stackhouse »

 




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