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paganiniboy

Scratching new rosin? ummmm.......?

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The more I think about rosin, and our relationship to our beloved rosins, the weirder it all is.  :blink:

1.  Rosin is cheap.  Even though it is essential, it lasts forever because you don't need very much.  It will dry up before you ever use it up.  If you are feeling especially frugal you can melt bits and pieces together and make yourself a new bar (even if it will then be of questionable 'fresheness' and quality).

2. Yet...we won't sand the surface of a new cake...we will 'gently breath' on it instead, but once started we will either happily make a groove in it, or happily rotate the bar so there are no grooves.  Or, we will hack away at it with a coin (which actually does do some damage...chipping etc, makes for a rough surface - might catch and break a bow hair...).

3.  There definitely is a difference between rosins.  But, is there THAT big a difference?  I don't think so.

So...pick a rosin...use it...don't overthink it...^_^

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11 minutes ago, Rue said:

There definitely is a difference between rosins.  But, is there THAT big a difference?  I don't think so.

I cannot agree. I work a lot with colophony, which is the basis for the rosin, but there is a long way from the colophony to the rosin cake. In that way, various materials are incorporated in the final product. There are the differences in the basis (the colophony itself) and in the additives. There is a space for huge differences.

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Some people are allergic to rosin dust.  Brands of rosin vary in how much dust they produce when you are playing.  If you are allergic to rosin dust, look for a brand that makes little dust. Super-sensitive Clarity rosin is claimed to be hypo-allergenic and I've found that Andrea Bang rosin (expensive!) makes less dust.

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Yes.  I had to go to a less-dusty brand myself...Kaplan.

So?  What are the 'real' differences between rosins?

Level of dust and level of stickiness.

That accounts for 2 variables.

We can...and do...wax poetic about the rest.  I've read/heard about everything from improved musicality to improved physical health.  Someone's shoulder injuries magically dissappeared when he started using a new brand of rosin.

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34 minutes ago, Rue said:

2. Yet...we won't sand the surface of a new cake...we will 'gently breath' on it instead...

 

Jeeze! You make it sound like my breathing on a new cake of rosin to allow the hair to "catch" is some sort of fawning ritual!

I've just found that breathing on the new cake (pretty strongly, actually) to fog up the slick surface works well. Quick and neat.

By the way, I doubt any makers apply any "protective coating" to the cake; it's just that they "finish" it by heating it to melt the surface, sometimes with a torch?

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From the point of view of chemist, and talking about of breathing on the cake of rosin, I have to ask you to tell if the Jack Daniels is better that the Balantines in that regard (as a preparation for the cake's ventilation)

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7 minutes ago, franciscus said:

I would add the third one: what the rosin does to the hair and strings?

That would be hard to tell.  If it's too sticky, will it coat the hair too much?  If it's too dusty...will the hair break down faster (wear away).

So we're back to dust and stickiness.  Sticky would be worse I'd think...it would affect playability more.  Or you wear your strings faster.

However...if you play a great deal or professionally, you change your strings regularly and you rehair your bow regularly.  I doubt the rosin would affect the frequency of a string/hair change.  Professionals change strings every 6 weeks to 3 months.  They rehair once or twice a year.

And for the amateur?  Well, they play less...but should still be changing strings at least yearly...and have their bows rehaired as required.  I'd expect to have my bow rehaired every 2-3 years regardless.

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On 9/24/2000 at 7:57 PM, Greta Schmidt said:

Now this is interesting!

When I first started playing, I was told to scratch the surface of the rosin and run the bow over the powder. I've done this for four months now, somewhat baffled by the inconsistant application, but thinking this was the only way. (I also don't like the way the rosin crumbles and seems drier each time).

Recently, I met with a (potential) teacher who had some Coda bows I wanted to try. He was using the Hill rosin (which prompted an earlier post concerning the light or dark kinds of rosins), but I noticed his rosin cake had two crisscrossed grooves and no crumbling stuff. I was so busy pummeling the man with other questions that I didn't ask about this.

I have new Hill rosin on order, so I'm anxious to try the non-scratching method. But a probably stupid/obvious question: do I just run the bow across the rosin cake to coat the hair? is there a way to get it "started" without scratching up the surface? Lymond, how long does it take to break it in?

Thanks!

- Greta

It's better to use really small,  circular motions starting close to the frog, working up to the top when applying rosin. This should take several minutes, not a quick thing. My daughter's professional teacher said that's the best way to rosin, and not the motion of starting at one end and quickly swiping back and forth

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On 4/7/2019 at 4:31 PM, LBaker said:

It's better to use really small,  circular motions starting close to the frog, working up to the top when applying rosin. This should take several minutes, not a quick thing. My daughter's professional teacher said that's the best way to rosin, and not the motion of starting at one end and quickly swiping back and forth

Several minutes?

Your teacher's a loon.

It takes me 10 seconds and that's enough time to do small motions along the whole length of the bow and several long swipes.

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Scratching is unnecessary, especially if you use good rosin. I use Bernadel and a local brand. Scratching isn’t silly, but is one of those myths, like the third finger being weak because it doesn’t have a tendon, that just won’t go away.

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Why not try an experiment and test out both ways? Scratch one side of the cake and rosin the bow. Play it.  Then rosin on the non-scratched side?  I never scratch the surface nor make grooves on my rosin.  Makes no difference in my playing.

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...well, it's been a couple of years so time to reassert my position ^_^:

Little picture -

1. Always sand the top of a new cake lightly to make the rosin available. Do not scratch with keys or coins - that just results in chipping and an uneven surface.

2. Do not wear groves into the cake, rotate and maintain a smooth surface. Why? Eventually groves tend to catch and break bow hairs. Plus, a smooth surface results in less waste (if that matters to you).

3. Rosin bow lightly. Two - three swipes as needed (I think I am rosining once a week, and I play daily for the most part).

You can do little circles too - that's helpful after a rehair to work some rosin in between the hairs. Once the bow is "saturated" though, not neccessary.

Big picture: 

Rosin is cheap. Do whatever you want.:P

Biggest mistake? Over-rosining.

 

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1) Good rosin doesn't need to be scratched.  Cheap rosin is so hard that it doesn't work, and that is where this myth began

2) The "+" sign pattern is not good.  It causes fracture points for the rosin, and if the grooves get deep it can scratch and damage the stick.  Move the cake in a random pattern so that the top remains level, and you can also use the entire cake this way.

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