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Rosin: how much?
How much rosin should one apply at each application: what is the sensible limit?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
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Peter
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My violin teacher provided me with a *Rex moment at my first lesson. I showed her my violin, and she examined it and my bow, and then showed me how to rosin the latter.

I have rosined my own bows (I now have 3-1/2) for the past five months of my nascent fiddling career in a way which I considered appropriate; I dress the hair with a regular red rosin cake by wiping it perhaps 3 to six times before each practice session.

My teacher slathered enough rosin on my bow to reconstruct a fair-size pine tree. At the end of the 1/2 hour lesson, my violin looked like something one would see at a really good Irish session, id est filthy with discharged rosin powder.

So, the question is - should I have complained and perhaps sent her the cleaning bill, or have I been too sparing with the rosin? I thought the bows sounded just dandy with my rosining, and they didn't seem to object if I forgot to treat them with fresh stuff.

 

* Rex was (he died) my first motorcycle dealer. I bought a pair of old-fashioned aviator (split-glass) goggles to wear while riding and asked him for some anti-fog spray to treat the inside of the glass with. Rex took the goggles from me with the claw of his prosthetic right hand, spat in them and polished them with his tobacco-stained left.

"There you go, young man."

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Gordon Shumway
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Peter said
the question is - should I have complained and perhaps sent her the cleaning bill, or have I been too sparing with the rosin? 

It certainly sounds like she overdid it. How was the lesson? Did you hear yourself improve during it? Did you feel you were learning and not just paying her for her company?

Here's a link I posted once before - you can use it to find other teachers near you: -

https://estastrings.org.uk/

 

West Sussex violin teachers:

https://estastrings.org.uk/res.....t%20Sussex

Andrew

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Irv
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@Peter and others.  I am liking your teacher, if only for the non-intended laughs.

A couple of things going on here.  The black hair I gave you adheres to rosin much better than the typical white hair (at least in the price range in which the both of us are most comfortable).  I find that a weekly application of rosin is adequate.  Your results may vary.

I am also fond of the use of dark rosin, but you seem to have more humidity than my area so local voice would be the best choice there.

Attention should be given to both surfaces regarding rosin, in that the strings should be occasionally prepped by judgeous scraping with a plastic card (credit card) or a wine cork.

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

It is unpleasant to be thought so uncleverly unclean and capable of poisoning a whole city.—Sir Walter Scott

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Peter
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It is difficult to know how it went, statistically the sample of lessons is n=1. I haven't been in a music lesson in 45 years.

I certainly improved through the lesson and with the worst of reasons: white-coat syndrome. I asked her to start me from the beginning, reasoning that I had most likely developed a whole reistafel of bad habits during my self-instruction. So, I spent the time bowing open strings to a schoolroom book to the stock backing tracks. I kept good time, and made a fair impression of myself and definitely cleaned up as we went along. She wants me to buy the book: I'm unwilling to do so, so instead I've built a list of YouTube recordings of charming young children playing these simple tunes from which I will reproduce the music on paper to practice from. I'll use my telephone metronome. I'm taking this seriously; I'll spend the next fortnight becoming the best four-note violinist I can be. I may choose other notes on those strings if it becomes too maddening.

The teacher is worth her money, even if she suffers from a rosin problem. I have a little block of Hidersine 3V in the gig bag in which I keep the Solid fiddle; I'll take that instead (the wee cake, not the electric) next time.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Peter
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Irv said
... The black hair I gave you adheres to rosin much better than the typical white hair (at least in the price range in which the both of us are most comfortable). 

 

  

The bow we selected was the new one bought in the week. I'd already smarmed it with a good supply of rosin over the last two nights and aggressively played it in.

I did have the black-haired bow with me, but after discussing the two bows (the black-hair has that brass tube repair) it was decided mutually to use the new one.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Peter
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Gordon Shumway said
Here's a link I posted once before - you can use it to find other teachers near you: -

https://estastrings.org.uk/

 

West Sussex violin teachers:

https://estastrings.org.uk/res.....t%20Sussex

  

I caught your edited reply after my first re-reply, Alf.

The ESTA site draws a blank on my postcode. I have three alternatives to run to in Worthing if the young lady proves pedagogically inadequate, but I will give her a second chance in a fortnight. I mean to do as she asks and do those exercises diligently, but I shall keep practising my rep as well because I see the two as quite separate, with the exercises as tributary material and the repertoire as a psychological imperative (I may suffer unless I do).

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Gordon Shumway
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Peter said
I have a little block of Hidersine 3V 

I approve.thumbs-up

The book sounds like a waste of folding. Buy this one psc=1

The ESTA site draws a blank on my postcode. 

My teacher is about an hour away from me. When she moves to Chesham, she'll be 2 hours away, but I'll have my freedom pass by then, and I'll be able to get some reading done on the train!

Andrew

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Peter
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March 1, 2020 - 1:51 pm
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Ooh.

My teacher is two hundred yards west of us, on the same road, the next nearest alternative is a mile away, the next two are three miles away. Take a train into the city (Brighton and Hove), and the options are huge. I feel a little blessed, and I remain hopeful that I'm not wasting my time studying under someone I share streetlights with. Her parents also teach (piano, guitar, wind) in the same large detached bungalow, and they appear very busy.

The O'Leary book looks very comfortable, in the right way. I am indeed finding the children's books a bit of a struggle, in the wrong way. I'll probably get a copy and if it's what I hope it is, I'll impose client's prerogative on the young lady down the road.

While I'm practicing the basic bowing, I've found a way to preserve the collective mental health of the household: a version of guitarist's palm-muting, using the left index finger to damp the strings at the nut:

violin_finger_mute.jpgImage Enlarger

Note the residual rosin on the end of the fingerboard from yesterday's rosin-fest.

I won't need to do this at work in the mornings, as I use the Solid there with its mouse-like voice.

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Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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AndrewH
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I use less rosin, more frequently. Typically 3-4 bow strokes over the rosin cake, which is good for 2-4 hours of playing. Many string players, even very experienced ones, over-rosin.

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Gordon Shumway
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Peter said
I am indeed finding the children's books a bit of a struggle, in the wrong way. 

I found the same thing. Jessica O'Leary and Mary Cohen are both friends of my teacher, but Mary Cohen's books are definitely aimed at young children and were not pleasant for an adult to use.

Andrew

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GregW
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for key of G I'll use double bass rosin for extra low end..key of D and A pirastro obligato/violin for a more light sound.   only keys I worry about by the way..OH  the occasional Dm... for the particularly sad tunes of course.. I'll use the other stuff...whatever it was..

coffee1 tongue

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Peter
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Gordon Shumway said

Peter said

I am indeed finding the children's books a bit of a struggle, in the wrong way. 

I have found the same thing. Jessica O'Leary and Mary Cohen are both friends of my teacher, but Mary Cohen's books are definitely aimed at young children and are not pleasant for an adult to use.

  

I've taken a fresh look at the material downloadable from Fiddlerman's files archive; Sevcik op.2 book 1 page 4 appears to cover far more than the modern introductory books: 12 basic exercises in No.1 and then 84 variations on open strings (including basic double-stops) in No.2 all in one page, not including the 42 extra variations employing the first finger.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Peter
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AndrewH said
I use less rosin, more frequently. Typically 3-4 bow strokes over the rosin cake, which is good for 2-4 hours of playing. Many string players, even very experienced ones, over-rosin.

  

This appears to be the consensus, and echoes my own practice; good to know I'm getting something right.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Gordon Shumway
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Peter said

violin_finger_mute.jpgImage Enlarger

Note the residual rosin on the end of the fingerboard from yesterday's rosin-fest.

What I do note is partly the nice smooth fingerboard, but more importantly it seems to be markedly rounded.

Andrew

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Peter
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Here's another view of it from when I had the violin apart for the crack repairs:

fingerboard_1a.jpgImage Enlarger

There is some wear on it, but I'm unsure about the curvature. It's a lot like the radii I put into the Solid's fingerboard when I made it and those were taken from literature found online.

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Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Gordon Shumway
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I'm not saying there's too much curvature. I wouldn't know. It may be fabulously playable, although fast movement from string to string might require a very agile right arm. Or I may be over-interpreting.

Andrew

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Fiddlerman
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March 2, 2020 - 9:27 am
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Peter said
My violin teacher provided me with a *Rex moment at my first lesson. I showed her my violin, and she examined it and my bow, and then showed me how to rosin the latter.

I have rosined my own bows (I now have 3-1/2) for the past five months of my nascent fiddling career in a way which I considered appropriate; I dress the hair with a regular red rosin cake by wiping it perhaps 3 to six times before each practice session.

My teacher slathered enough rosin on my bow to reconstruct a fair-size pine tree. At the end of the 1/2 hour lesson, my violin looked like something one would see at a really good Irish session, id est filthy with discharged rosin powder.

So, the question is - should I have complained and perhaps sent her the cleaning bill, or have I been too sparing with the rosin? I thought the bows sounded just dandy with my rosining, and they didn't seem to object if I forgot to treat them with fresh stuff.

* Rex was (he died) my first motorcycle dealer. I bought a pair of old-fashioned aviator (split-glass) goggles to wear while riding and asked him for some anti-fog spray to treat the inside of the glass with. Rex took the goggles from me with the claw of his prosthetic right hand, spat in them and polished them with his tobacco-stained left.

"There you go, young man."

I have a feeling that your teacher was completely right. So many students use way too little rosin.  IMO, and I know I'll get a lot of disagreement on this, the biggest disadvantage to too much rosin is the mess that it makes.

I have never felt that the sound is grainier or sandy from too much rosin. I've heard others say that they don't like the sound of a bow with too much rosin.

You don't need to do what your teacher did more than probably that one time. Moving forward, you can rosin your bow when it feels like it slips and doesn't produce the sound that you want and need.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Peter
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Thanks, @Fiddlerman - it's great to get an expert opinion on something so contentious. It also gives me more confidence in my teacher.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Gordon Shumway
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Fiddlerman said
I have never felt that the sound is grainier or sandy from too much rosin. I've heard others say that they don't like the sound of a bow with too much rosin.

Maybe it's because you can hear how it sounds to an audience at a distance, but we less experienced people are still listening close up to the hisses and scratches?

You don't need to do what your teacher did more than probably that one time. 

Agreed.

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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Peter said
Thanks, @Fiddlerman - it's great to get an expert opinion on something so contentious. It also gives me more confidence in my teacher. 

Surreptitiously find out her qualifications some time. I'd only recommend someone with a diploma. Such people will have good technique. Whereas on guitar, you get a lot of self-taught people who are only a few lessons ahead of their pupils.

Andrew

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