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Problem with rosin!


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I am having a strange problem with my violin. I have put a set of Evah Pirazzi strings on them, G-E, where they have a superb sound, however, the rosin I use, which is an old (very old - 40 years at least) Piranhito rosin (which should be very good no longer for sale), gives a strange effect on the bow. The bow does not fully attach to the strings, and glides of sometimes, even though I apply a lot of rosin on it. Then I try another old bow, and the same thing happens there. Then I try a new bow, and also the same there.


I wonder, is this the rosin, which is very old, or is this the type of strings?



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Rosin does die.  There is moisture/oils in it that can evaporate out of it, and yeah, you end up with white powder that doesn't stick, which happened to me with a cake that was only about ten years old.  My vote is that your rosin has mummified, and you should try a new cake of something delicious.  I like Cecelia "signature" rosin, myself.

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Is the rosin even getting on the hair? You can test it with a single short wipe of the bow on a dark cloth - that's why I always wear black pants - to test my rosin.

I did have a cake of cello rosin that was well used when I acquired it in 1949 (indications were that it might have been 20 years old at that time) and it was still useful when we used it on my granddaughter's violin bow in 2001. Then it was lost. The fact that this brand of Thomastik rosin was protected in a plastic case might account for its survival.

Piranito rosin is still for sale - it is an inexpensive rosin.

Cecilia Signature Formula is very good rosin - not inexpensive, right in the good zone, pricewise.


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Perhaps you would do better with a lighter gauge string?  When I was experimenting with Tricolore, I found that on some violins the middle weight was just too difficult to get to respond.  This was particularly true on the A and D, and was fixed by moving to light (weich) gauge.  Not so on a del Gesu model for some reason, which might explain why Heifetz liked the medium gauge.

There are also some bows that grab strings more effectively, perhaps by helping your right hand relax.  

Still, the least expensive solution to all of this is to try new or different rosin.  Apart from being fresh, the correct choice might end up being toward the soft end of the spectrum, but that is worth experimentation. (Piranito is a hard formula.)

The Andrea/Cecilia Solo is a good default option, but there are others.  Guillaume, Bernardel, Leatherwood ($$$!), and so on.  And, of course, Pirastro has a softer formula they insist is perfect for EP Green.


Then, if you're working with a teacher, see if your right hand would do better if it let the bow do its own thing and not get too tense.

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