Please feel free to share. “The Little Drummer Boy Project”
I just rosined my bow with Hidersine 6V (very dark violin rosin) after not bothering for 4 or 5 days, and it sounds horrible. Too gritty and crunchy. Do people find that initially, maybe if you put too much rosin on, you need to work off the excess?
I shall be keen to see how it wears off, and I'll wonder about using a more medium amber rosin instead, like the 3V.
I've had a problem myself with not knowing if I use too much or too little rosin. I think it's both. For a long while lately I've had a very crunchy sound that I've absolutely hated. Been thinking it's me who just can't produce a good clean tone.
The other day when i was rosining I noticed that it felt like it dragged a bit in the middle of the bow and decided to take a cloth and wipe it all off real well. Wiped all rosin off and kept wiping it until it felt like it had the same even friction the entire bow. I tried it straight after and was still making sound, and it was a lot better. Reapplied some and still sound a lot better. (I still don't feel it's a good sound though lol) So I will probably be wiping my bow completely clean from time to time from now on.
It's was intimidating when I first tried but brought terrific results. I felt like I was rosining a freshly rehaired bow afterwards.
Tip One: After the 3 baths (I used isopropyl alcohol, not acetone) and 5 minutes drying time, the hairs were a bit stiff and sticking together. I combed them gently with a soft toothbrush and was delighted with the final result.
Tip Two (obvious): Keep the alcohol or acetone away from anything on your bow that's not the bow hair! 🙂
Using solvents sounds a bit heavy-handed to me. I've got some acetone - I used it to get some glue from a label off a tape-measure the other day - the first 4" of that tape measure is now blank, white fibre-glass, lol!
As @Fiddlerman says, too much rosin quickly wears off with playing, and I'll use a dry cloth if I want to remove excess even quicker.
@bocaholly I'm not game to start taking my bow apart. I'm sure it's easy but with my luck I'd break something. And I think you were right with using isopropyl alcohol instead of acetone. The bottle he has look like Gripen Aceton which comes in 2 versions, one of them contains oil. So I sure hope he used the one without LOL
I think i'll stick to cloths and maybe try toothbrush at some point and leave the solvents for desperate times!
In my whole (long, long) life, I have never bathed my bow hair. I haven't even heard of a professional violinist who has done it.
It’s on the Internet. And as you know, the Internet is a wealth of misinformation. LOL!!!
Anyone who is considering this, or any method of care for your instrument... I have only this advise... talk to a professional before attempting anything you are not sure of or have not already gone over with your luthier or violin shop. This is your instrument. It is not an arbitrary object to experiment a new cleaning method on, with chemicals and home remedies that could harm the instrument or the finish.
Personally, I put too much money and care into my violin to start trying out internet solutions on it.
- Pete -
I try out internet solutions all the time 🙂 Question of attraction to risk, I guess
In the case of giving my bow hair an alcohol bath, I figured the worst that would happen is that I'd have to get it prematurely re-haired. It's a carbon fiber bow, though, so no danger of ruining the wooden stick. By the way, it's not just one nut on the web discussing this method.
Some just use lint free swipes (alternating swipes drenched in alcohol and dry swipes 4 to 5 times consecutively.) One violin maker suggested warm, soapy water baths (but you really have to avoid getting the tip and frog wet and expect longer drying time than with alcohol.)
OK, done beating my dead horse
I find too much rosin to be as bad as too little (perhaps worse, since it's easier to add rosin than to remove it). Coupled to quite dry air, my sound almost drove me crazy several times, to the point of making me stop playing altogether a few days and consider stopping forever (i'm extreme like that 😀 )…
I tried (carefully) swiping the hair with alcohol to remove the excess rosin once. It sure is effective, it didn't damage anything, I'd do it again if absolutely needed, but I'd rather not if I can avoid it.
Two things. Picture restorers never use anything but distilled water, afaik. (just a caveat)
And 30 years ago I did a lot of oil painting and stuff and I was with a friend once and we had given a large wash to a piece of paper, and she used a bristle brush to paint neat bleach onto the paper. After about a minute the brush's bristles had completely dissolved.
Hair is a natural substance and chemicals don't necessarily agree with it.
Oh, a third thing - alcohol dissolves protein.
@Fiddlerman , How can one over rosin a bow? synthetics might be different, but if your drawing across a wound string, that would pull excess rosin from the bow hair. If a person believed they had over rosined, wouldn't it be easier to just pluck the hairs on the backside of the bow hair and let the rosin powder fall off?
Before you think I may be enlightened, my 76 year old fiddle playing uncle is up from Mississippi saying very colorfully that you can't over rosin a bow. Sometimes, you want to change from a light to a dark rosin depending on where you're at or what the weather is doing and you pluck at the strings and just wipe at it with a cloth diaper. that it doesn't have to be perfect, just has to be.
Also said to tell you he really likes this Legend. Sounds good for new wood.
Many fiddle styles actually want the crunchy sound that classical players avoid. It's a stylistic choice.
At least for me as a violist using dark rosin, the rosin doesn't come off the bow hairs without physical contact with something, and when it does, it builds up on the strings. If I feel my sound is too gritty, I wipe the strings and the bow hairs with a dry cloth. Also, plucking at the bow hairs is inadvisable because the oils on your fingers need to stay off the hair. Oily bow hair doesn't hold rosin at all.