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A lot of the Cajun fiddlers I know will sit there & rosin their bows for at least a minute or two before a gig! Myself, I usually give my bow 4 or 5 swipes before a gig, and I almost never rosin the bow between gigs when I practice or play for my own entertainment.

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Not just Cajun fiddlers.

Many orchestral players are equally ignorant and only feel secure if clouds of rosin dust billow from the bow before every practice session.

They are taught to do this by misguided teachers who expect pupils to show up with a good covering of rosin dust on the violin as proof that the student has been practicing.

This runs deep.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I teach and am constantly selling new rosin cakes to students who have dropped (Shattered) or lost theirs. I throw all the pieces I collect into a jam jar and when I have enough I melt them down and pour it into a mould.

Then I remove it from the mould and heat the bottom with a candle and stick it to a suitable piece of cloth.

This provides me with free rosin and yes it is a mixture of light, dark, soft and hard and also a mix of brands!

Works fine for me and it's free!

Now this will produce a torrent of replies!! AND NO! I AM NOT MEAN! Just devious.

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Those who think there is little if any difference among rosins might get an eye- (or ear-) opener by reading the recent thread on the Pegbox, "Cremonese versus the rest." It's about what makes an instrument great. Just because a particular player or listener can't detect any difference, doesn't mean that another player or listener won't notice a difference. Experience, lots and lots of experience, educates the palate, whichever metaphorical palate we refer to.

When it comes to selecting a rosin, if it makes no difference to you, you can buy anything, even the cheapest rosin in the catalog, and be just as well off. If, on the other hand, you can detect a difference, then you'll have to evaluate the choices yourself. I suspect the desired "feel" and sound is going to vary with the individual player. I doubt that anyone is going to be able to choose the "best" rosin by taking advice from this board. The best we can all offer is our personal experience with rosins.

Here's my (very personal) experience with a couple of the rosins mentioned above. Motrya Gold was great when it was fresh, in the spring and summer in (humid) Minnesota. When it got a little older, about a year and a half later, and when we'd gone into the heating season, it seemed to lack initial grab, and tone through the length of the bow became a little shallow, a little lacking in color. For *me*, that is. However, it worked far better for a student of mine than his own Hidersine, or whatever it was. Something at the low price point, it was, with which his sound was always airy-fairy. I loaned him the cake and ordered him a new one of his own.

Tartini Solo works best for me, year round. I get the clearest attacks, without harshness, with this. Tartini Symphony doesn't give as clear an attack. Tartini Green feels just about identical to Symphony; maybe with just a little more attack than Symphony, but not as much cling through the length of a stroke as Solo. I usually evaluate rosins on Bach sonatas and partitas, where clarity in speedy passages and chords as well as ability to sustain tone quality through long bows are critical.

I loaned my Tartini Solo to a colleague who plays on Eudoxa strings (gut core). She was having trouble hearing herself in orchestra. She decided she needed her own.

I know "they" are not making Tartini rosins anymore, but maybe you can still find some if you're interested. Or maybe the new Andrea brand is similar. I bought an extra cake of Tartini Solo and sealed it up in a couple of freezer bags and store it in the pantry, just in case. I figure I can hold out for at least 10 years, if the rosin longevity issue doesn't bite me, by which time maybe I will have retired. (Though I doubt it.)



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