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Looking for a good hard rosin
Rosin Question
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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cid
July 28, 2019 - 3:43 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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Another rosin question.

Have been using dark colored rosins on my cello, viola and violins. I am taking cello lessons now, so I am pretty much only concerned with the cello, for now, although some rosins cross between instruments.

I was given Jade with my rental cello that I used back in 2013. It was also the one my instructor at that time used. So, I was pretty much geared towards it. Rosining was really never discussed, except you have to do it. As I have been doing the cello, and the other instruments, I have become familiar with other rosins but not knowledgable, but still have not had any real explanation as to the differences. I am finding that the Jade and other rosins I have, all dark in color, are gumming up my strings and I have to stop and wipe them off. I have noticed this for a while but brushed it off. I doubt professional players stop during a performance and wipe their strings down to get rid of rosin. Therefore, I have done some research that I find confusing.

I read that the light colored rosins are hard and the darker are softer rosins. It has something to do with additives. Turpentine makes the rosin softer and sticker, and causes it to be dark. The light colored rosin has colophony to make it harder and it also causes it to be lighter. Now, I know some of you are really techy and into details, please do not confuse me with the minute details. It will just confuse my already confused thinking.

I have noticed that the Jade and other dark rosins I have make my fingers sticky. It goes right through that cloth on the rosin. I solved the issue with a piece of lined vinyl from a purse I made. It got me to thinking that my Jade is soft.

My issue is that it seems to me that my rosin is sticking to my strings too easily. I can feel the bow hairs just trying to hold onto the strings, the strings get gunky with rosin, and after that happens the bow just does not seem to work. I wipe the strings and I am fine until they gunk up again. This thread is similar to the one started by another member last week, but that thread got me thinking that my rosin is too soft.

I am looking for a hard rosin. I am confused by the light rosin being hard and dark being soft. That same article contradicted itself in rosin recommendations. It described a light colored rosin as sticky and soft. Well, that is not what that article and other articles said. If that was the only instance of contradiction, not a big deal, but that happened with other articles, or rosin descriptions. I was getting too confused to take the time to copy links or bookmark, so I don’t have any examples.

Can anyone tell me exactly what would be a good hard rosin. I know my Jade, Guillaume, Holstein Premium, and whatever my other dark rosins are, are too soft. What I would like to try is a hard rosin. I was going to order one from Amazon, but it was expensive and the reviews said it was an abnormally small size cake of rosin, others said it arrived broken due to poor packaging. So, I do not think I want to do anything through Amazon.

Any hard rosin recommendations that can be used on cello, and hopefully violin and viola, too?

In the meantime, I will be doing more searching. Pirastro Cellisto is kind of a light colored rosin but seems soft to me. Being the lighter color red, it should be a hard rosin, but it is just as bad. I think, that even with an AC in the window, it might still be warmer and more humid in the house and that could be why they are giving me issues? Weird that my instruments are fine. They stay right in tune.

Thanks.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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GregW
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July 28, 2019 - 3:57 pm
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. I doubt professional players stop during a performance and wipe their strings down to get rid of rosin. 

Actually before my last student concert my instructor had us wipe down the strings and said she does it before performing to get rid of any caked on rosin.

Youre probably onto something about the humidity and temperature.

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Gordon Shumway
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July 29, 2019 - 6:36 am
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When I saw the thread title, I was going to joke, "get some Chinese summer rosin".

Forgive me, I have attention problems, especially online, and, no offence, but your posts are always quite long, CID, but in case I have got the right understanding of what you are asking, if where you live is really hot and humid, then you will maybe want to use the lightest, hardest rosin you can find - it will literally melt in the heat, and that's why it is sometimes disparagingly called "Chinese summer rosin" - it's that little rectangular piece of pale glass you always get in a cheap Chinese violin outfit. If you live somewhere cold and dry, then darker, softer rosins will have similar properties, but will maybe turn nearly to liquid in a Chinese summer.

That's my understanding, so it could be wrong.

I can guess that the rosins on offer from any maker will tend to depend on where they are made and what the climate is there. For example, Hidersine are English, and I guess their rosins are designed for the English climate, where we don't often have Chinese summers (to put it mildly), so they only offer amber and dark (curiously I noticed in the very small print just recently that the dark is mainly intended for steel strings).

Try some Hidersine 1C (amber, C for cello, 1 meaning large cake, I think), and tell me what you think.

Here's an example, but, although it's Amazon, get it from the Fiddlershop if you can, and I apologise for the commercial link, Pierre.

However, I see this link under it, and it's the same price, so it may be as good, and it looks very pale indeed (it seems to be Austrian - I have lived in the Alps, and in the summer it can be very hot and very humid) very pale rosin link. So you could go for the extreme just to see. In fact, from the photos, I can see that it's not intended for cello, but I think if all you want is to try a hard rosin, then it may not matter.

But the idea is, the bigger the strings, the more stickiness is required to get them vibrating, so sticky fingers may be the curse of the cellist, and the double bassist (on re-reading, I think I misunderstood you there. How often do you clean your strings with alcohol? My teacher recommends cheap cologne, about twice a week, I think she said, but use the tiniest amounts on a cloth, so that there's no dripping at all onto varnish or anything).

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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July 29, 2019 - 7:26 am
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This is an aside, as I've edited my first post at least 10 times and I just can't risk making it incoherent!

Gordon Shumway said
However, I see this link under it, and it's the same price, so it may be as good, but I don't know the maker, but it looks very pale indeed (it seems to be Austrian - I have lived in the Alps, and in the summer it can be very hot and very humid).

That link is the first time I have ever seen such pale rosin sold as a round professional cake, rather than as a tiny plastic-encased brick.

"Chinese summer rosin", I have noticed tends to imply it is made in Austria or made to an Austrian recipe, at least. Why would that be? It may be that Austria's climate (like some of Germany's) is very hot and humid in the summer, like some of China's climate, or it may be that Austria has lots of suitable pine trees. Or maybe rosin was invented in Austria? You'll have to Google the history of rosin.

I think you could reasonably infer from all this that rosin made in the USA may be best for you. America seems to have enough trees, lol! Pierre must know the answer to that one and have some good ideas.

Andrew

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cid
July 29, 2019 - 8:24 am
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I am not in an all year round hot humid area. July and August are usually the hottest and most humid. I didn’t start stringed instruments until late Sept or early Oct 2018. We are having a really hot humid streak and it has dawned on me that that is why my rosins I was using are now giving me issues. We have been having thermometer readings of 90 plus and with the humidity it feels like 102 plus. It has been like this almost all of July. It is usually not until the end of July through August. Lots of heat and humidity. August will most likely be worse. I think I need to find a good rosin for Summer and a good rosin for Winter. We have really cold Winters here, therefore the heat is on. 

I didn’t think much of the heat and humidity due to window AC units. I do turn the temp up on them a tad when we go to bed, or when we go somewhere. The air is cool and not humid inside, but maybe it is enough to affect the rosin?

I tried Pirastro Cellisto and it was really gumming things up quickly. I think even hard cello rosin  (light colored from what I read), is softer than hard rosin for violin/viola/cello. But that is based just on Pirastro Cellisto. That was tried in the winter months. So, I steer away from strictly “cello” rosins. That said, I don’t have much experience with it and am going by the conflicting information I read.

I will check out the links you provided, @Gordon Shumway.

I do live in the USA, but not the Southeastern part like Fiddlerman. I was thinking of trying the D’Addario Kaplan rosin. It is not dark. It does not look extremely light, so not sure how hard it would be. Does not look any lighter than my Cellisto. Can’t remember if I read there were two formulas, light and dark, or just the one I was looking at. But I was not positive about how hard it is. I also email queried Fiddlershop last night about one they have. I will hear back soon. Always prompt with responses.

I am trying not to get a big collection of rosins cluttering my house. I have been giving away material for the last three months because I fell into the, “You have to have a stash of material” trap when I started quilting. I am giving up quilting and getting rid of a lot if stuff. I don’t want that issue with rosin, too. 

It would be neat if rosin makers would include climates, or locations, or temperatures/humidity, etc where their rosins work best. Just a little guide.As simple as that sounds, it would actually be a big job and expensive, most likely.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Gordon Shumway
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July 29, 2019 - 8:30 am
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cid said
It would be neat if rosin makers would include climates, or locations, or temperatures/humidity, etc where their rosins work best. 

  

Like ski wax, lol!

Andrew

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cid
July 29, 2019 - 8:32 am
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They do that with ski wax? I don’t ski. Heck, if they can do it with ski wax...

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Gordon Shumway
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July 29, 2019 - 8:40 am
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Ski wax is great fun if you do langlauf/cross-country.

If your skis have scales, then you just put the hardest wax on each end, but you get scaleless, and then you put hard wax on each end, but in the middle you put wax that's just soft enough to grip the snow and ice underfoot when you press your foot down to bring the middle of the ski into contact with the ground. And the grip you get depends on the temperature and snow conditions and the wax has to be matched to them. That's for pros and racers. If you're an amateur, you're best off just getting scales and spray-on hardwax for the ends. I can't remember if you put spraywax on the scales. It was 35 years ago. I do now remember ironing hard wax onto the ends and scraping them for smoothness, so there must be a spray for the scales. Makes sense.

And well done, me, that would easily qualify as tangential/circumstantial in an Asperger's diagnosis!

Andrew

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