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New Violin, Yay......


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Hiya, I just picked up my latest violin this weekend, an english

baroque instrument with a lion head scroll.  It dates from

about 1790, and i love it!!  Thing is, its strung with gut

strings which I've never played before but love the tone of.

 Just wondered if anyone could share their experiences with

gut strings, in particular what rosin do you all use?  Is it

better to use darker rosin, or does it matter really?

I find that the strings are clogging up quite quickly when i play,

I'm using Hills dark rosin at the moment.

Reading previous thread you all seem to think that Eudoxas need

constant tuning - boy you were all right!!!!


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If it is indeed made in 1790 it's more of a 'transitional' setup, FWIW.

Try using less rosin--i.e. use rosin as-needed rather than rosining a certain amount 'by prescription'. I've been using Hill dark also, I'm not best pleased with it and am looking for alternatives myself--I just wrote to a shop in London that specializes in baroque setups to see if they'll tell me what the UK baroque people are using.

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Andres, thanks for the replies there.  Yes the violin is

transitional I guess, but its been set up as original as


Glad to hear your recommendations for rosin, i try to only use it

as and when required but its still clogging up my strings.

 Think a trip to my music stores on the cards at the


Thanks again for your input.

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thanks to everyone for all the comments to far.  Well, I

bought some of the Eudoxa rosin at the weekend, and have to say its

nice to use.  I've put it on a bow thats just been rehaired,

so I could try it without any effects from older rosins.  Its

somewhat lighter in colour than i expected, but soft and sticky,

seems so "grip" the gut strings better than the Hills dark, which i

too found a bit "gritty" Andres.

Im still feeling a bit of a novice on these gut strings, so i think

its a case of wait and see before i decide!!

Thanks again

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Lara, I had the pleasure of auditing a master class given by Rachel Podger last year. She said that with gut strings you really have to sink into them when you play. With regard to using a baroque bow she had people do the 'paintbrush' exercise, she really stressed that movement and flexibility in the wrist and fingers.

There are some interesting comments in a thread on gut strings over at violinist.com.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi LaraKitten, I Tried Heard that Gut Strings are Hard To Tune on Wood Instruments Without Perfection Pegs because the core is different. I recommend staying with these strings becuase a baroque violin's sound quality is better with strings that break in with the violin.

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Hiya Unstrung, thanks for taking the time to reply to me!!

The strings are breaking in nicely now, about a fortnight after

putting them on.  They do need constant tuning however, and a

slightly different bowing technique (guess it would be described as

needing to "dig" into the string a little more), but the sound

makes it all worthwhile!!


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I grew up playing on Eudoxas (pre-synthetics! I date myself), along with all the other adults in groups I played in, and never thought anything of tuning all the time. It was just one of those things we did. Our pegs weren't any more perfect than pegs are now. We just did it. You get used to it. It's only tough when other people you play with don't have to tune very often, and don't give you time to do it.

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