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Nov 18, 2019 - 4:58:34 AM
10 posts since 12/23/2015

Hi all,
The new violin and practice are proceeding well. The violin came with rosin but I opted to get my own higher quality rosin. Having tree pollen allergy and being a little nuts (I’m sure I’d be fine with normal rosin) I bought “Clarity Spectrum Hypo-Allergenic Violin / Viola Rosin Purple”

Thing is, I notice a ton of dust on under the strings and white build up on the strings after only an hours worth of practice.

Now I maybe over doing the rosin application but it goes from the bow making no noise at all, to leaving dust. There really isn’t much of a middle, and not getting great tone for must of the length of the bow.

I do what i think is standard, running the bow over the cake about 20 times before I play, usually an hour practice session.

User error? Bad rosin? Both?

Nov 18, 2019 - 7:15:03 AM

2168 posts since 10/1/2008

Hmmm ... opinions differ on "how much" is good. How much is needed is a matter you can decide for yourself. Rosin your bow when it starts to skate on the strings. That is when your bow is not grabbing the strings as much as you want. Putting rosin on your bow each time you pick up your fiddle with twenty strokes on the cake is a bit much. IMO a great deal more than necessary. There will always be rosin dust. You need to keep it cleaned off the instrument as overtime is is tough on the finish. Different rosins have a different "grab". What rosin to use is as personal a choice as which strings to use. Do keep the strings free of rosin build up. A wine cork , natural cork not polymer, will remove the build up on the strings. I use an alcohol wipe on metal core strings myself. I keep a few in my case to use as needed. Enjoy the journey. R/

Nov 18, 2019 - 9:35:33 AM

10 posts since 12/23/2015

Thanks U.P., I'll try some other brands of rosin maybe and also cut down on my use if possible.
Good tips on keeping it clean, I was using a rag to wipe it all down (strings included) but an alcohol wipe might be better.

While have 0 experience, this setup doesn't have the "catch" on the bow I would expect. Might just need more time playing to really get a feel but by applying more I clearly see a tonal difference in the same note/string. It will go from very muted, to muffled almost scratchy to clear and loud.

Frustrating for sure, because I sound bad enough as it is. I totally underestimated how much instrument prep alone there is in the violin.

Nov 18, 2019 - 9:51:05 AM
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4311 posts since 9/26/2008

There has been much discussion on cleaning your strings and science says don't use alcohol unless you are trying to melt the rosin into the micro grooves the string's windings. Just wipe them with a clean cloth and probably use less rosin. I don't know which thread has the link but up close photos showed the potential damage done by the various 'cleaning methods' people use. Beginners always overdo rosin. I rosin before a dance, play for several hours at the dance, play a few more hours in the week. MAYBE rosin again before the next dance a week later. Two swipes and done. Depending on the weather conditions, I might only use the rosin once a month. 

Edited by - ChickenMan on 11/18/2019 09:54:14

Nov 18, 2019 - 10:03:55 AM

10 posts since 12/23/2015

Thanks ChickenMan, if you’re using that little I am waaay over doing it. Thanks for the insight, lol I should be rosined for the next year seems like.

I’ll try to find that thread on cleaning strings and stick to cloth for now.

Thanks guys !

Nov 18, 2019 - 10:57:38 AM
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DougD

USA

9295 posts since 12/2/2007
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If your bow has been properly prepared, you're way overdoing it. Too much rosin on the strings can cause the bow to skitter worse than too little. I'll let others comment on how to prepare the bow initially, since I've never had to do it. Playing around the house, I might swipe two or three times, if at all.
I think the photos Billy is thinking of came from a string manufacturer, but I couldn't find them today. They showed how alcohol penetrates the string windings carrying with it the partially dissolved rosin, which deadens the vibrations. In any case, if you do use alcohol be very careful not to get any on the violin or bow - it will dissolve the finish.

Nov 18, 2019 - 10:57:56 AM
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Tyler94

USA

33 posts since 7/21/2019
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If I rosin twice in a few days I usually find I overdid it and have to clean some off the strings. When I rosin I usually do 2 swipes, 3 max. Sometimes I'll also clean my bow hairs by just wiping them on a dry paper towel. How hard you have to wipe to get it off feels bad for the hairs so I kind of stopped doing this. I would ask a luthier if it's on OK method before doing it again.

Nov 18, 2019 - 12:27:09 PM
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boxbow

USA

2417 posts since 2/3/2011

A pair of swipes in each direction. Moderate to minimal pressure, favoring the minimal. Slow enough not to leave a smoking trail. Every 4-6 hours of playing.

I can never remember what brand I've been using, but it's still good after at least ten years, and I've dropped it a few times with no major fracturing. The label implies that it contains gold. Sure. It's probably a low dust brand, and it's certainly less dusty than others I've used.

Part of my woodshedding time is buffing the fiddle body with an old ragg wool sock, paying extra attention to the rosin areas. The sock also wipes the strings effectively without that awful shrieking, very important for us tinnitus sufferers. Throw it in the laundry periodically.  No, not the fiddle, the rag!

Edited by - boxbow on 11/18/2019 12:27:47

Nov 18, 2019 - 2:16:23 PM

36 posts since 9/16/2010

I've been fiddling for almost 45 years and never use more than 3 or 4 swipes. This will usually get me through a couple of gigs. I get little to no rosin buildup on the strings or the fiddle belly. I wipe the fiddle and strings down with a dry cloth rag every few months.

Dave Leonard

Nov 18, 2019 - 4:07 PM

10 posts since 12/23/2015

DougD, good point too. I think I was under the assumption I had to build up a coat of rosin on the bow as it's brand new, and eventually would have to apply less "maintenance" coats. 

I'll let it roll for now, not applying more. Should have enough on there to last me a few years laughlaugh
 

Nov 18, 2019 - 5:56:54 PM

7712 posts since 3/19/2009

Don't overlook the availability of Pumpkin Spice Rosin..!! The holiday is coming..and you want to treat your bow with respect..wink (JK)

Check this out..https://www.wqxr.org/story/what-does-rosin-actually-do-violin-bows/

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 11/18/2019 18:02:43

Nov 18, 2019 - 9:01:45 PM

2447 posts since 10/6/2008

I just skimmed so I might have missed mention of this, but a piece of cork does a pretty good job of cleaning strings. Someone mentioned it on the Hangout long ago.

Nov 19, 2019 - 4:31:39 AM

83 posts since 11/28/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Stampede


Now I maybe over doing the rosin application but it goes from the bow making no noise at all, to leaving dust. There really isn’t much of a middle, and not getting great tone for must of the length of the bow.


Peter, another thing to consider is how much pressure you apply to the strings with the bow. When I was first learning I didn't use enough bow pressure to get a quality sound. To compensate for the thin scratchy sound I would add more rosin.

Edited by - Woodcutter on 11/19/2019 04:37:33

Nov 19, 2019 - 9:46:30 AM

36 posts since 9/16/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Woodcutter

Peter, another thing to consider is how much pressure you apply to the strings with the bow. When I was first learning I didn't use enough bow pressure to get a quality sound. To compensate for the thin scratchy sound I would add more rosin.


I did the same. I think this may be a common mistake for beginners.

Dave

Nov 20, 2019 - 4:29:59 AM
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kjb

USA

676 posts since 6/8/2013

one article I read the master said , the bow hand is more difficult to learn then the fingering , I am starting to understand the statement now

Nov 20, 2019 - 9:58:59 AM

10 posts since 12/23/2015

Yea, the bow is a whole new world for sure. I think you're spot on Woodcutter, I was worried about bowing too hard and ruining it. Rosin may have been the response to make the level of pressure applied work.

I will have to test this out during my next practice session.

Nov 21, 2019 - 7:34:38 AM

26 posts since 4/15/2019

I agree with Usually Pickin. You're always going to have rosin dust. In fact, in my opinion if you don't see some dust on the strings and fiddle, you are not using enough rosin. I keep a soft cloth nearby when I am playing and just give a quick wipe on the strings when I begin to see too much build up.

Nov 21, 2019 - 11:41:09 AM
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DougD

USA

9295 posts since 12/2/2007
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"Dusty" Rosin - Wasn't he a sidekick in some of those 1930's cowboy movies? Or maybe the chuckwagon cook?

Nov 21, 2019 - 3:45:34 PM
Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2417 posts since 2/3/2011

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

"Dusty" Rosin - Wasn't he a sidekick in some of those 1930's cowboy movies? Or maybe the chuckwagon cook?


You must mean "Dusty" Backside, the failed rodeo rider.

Nov 21, 2019 - 4:41:49 PM
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4311 posts since 9/26/2008

Dusty Bottoms was one of the original Three Amigos. I think possibly played my Chevy Chase.

Nov 21, 2019 - 4:59:25 PM

DougD

USA

9295 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

The East Tennessee PBS station has a show featuring old B westerns: easttennesseepbs.org/programs/...hal-andy/
Its Saturday morning, which is the same time as when a friend and I would go to her grandmother's house (who had a TV) to watch the same movies in the early 1950's.
For years the steel player in Marshal Andy's band was "Little Roy" Wiggins, and every show was a little tutorial in traditional lap steel guitar playing.

Nov 22, 2019 - 2:50:50 AM
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26 posts since 4/15/2019

It just does not make sense to me to be worrying about cleaning the bow. Unless you are wanting to change to a different type of rosin. Even then I wouldn't be too concerned about it. What really drives me crazy is these guys that leave the rosin on their fiddles! It looks like they never clean them! The finish on their fiddles is being ruined. I try to play some everyday and I always wipe my fiddle clean at the end of the day and sometimes in between. I have a Martin guitar that I play and I clean and polish it regularly. I love the beauty of these instruments too much to let them go like that.

Nov 22, 2019 - 4:44:31 AM

kjb

USA

676 posts since 6/8/2013

there are some ideas on cleaning the bow, I just did mine for the first time , not sure what was going on but I was not getting the grip , it did solve the problem.
if you get a new bow you can grind up some old rosin to a powder and put it on some wood and get your bow started that way, it is a technique used by some bow rehairers .

Nov 22, 2019 - 4:58:14 AM
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1650 posts since 10/22/2007

If one is from the School of Long Slow Bows, one should be able to feel when rosin is needed. To me it ain't so much the tone, but the bow seems to skate a bit. But one has to know the difference between a true skate and a lapse in technique.
Secondly, i try never to add rosin on those critical days, like gigs or jams. Rather add during practice so the rosin can get played in. Or maybe the excces played off. Happiness is four stripes on one's pant leg. They should be there every day.
Lastly, i don't clean bow hair. I play the rosin off. I do wipe the stick, however.

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