Rosining new bow-hair: Any speed-up tips?

December 19, 2006 at 09:12 PM · I've been meaning to ask this for a while.

Rosining a bow with new hair makes me insane. The Pyramids were built in less time. Are there any tricks for speeding things up?

Replies (21)

December 19, 2006 at 09:12 PM · Have the luthier apply some powdered rosin when you pick up the bow....

December 19, 2006 at 09:13 PM · Another solution is to use a cello rosin. Cello rosin will adhere to the new hair easier. I wouldn't recommend regular use, as it (like most powdered rosin) tends to be a little grittier which can affect sound and it also tends to "dust" the front of your instrument more.

December 20, 2006 at 02:10 AM · Blow on the rosin as if you were trying to fog your glasses to clean them. Then apply rosin to hair...Works great !!!


December 20, 2006 at 03:39 AM · I wonder why my tech DIDN'T use powdered rosin. Is it typical to not do this unless specifically instructed to?

David, that "breathing on the rosin" trick actually works. thanks!

December 23, 2006 at 07:41 PM · Many bowmakers, don't apply rosin dust "by default" since it has some downsides. I've never heard of anyone who doesn't if you ask though, :) (Your sound will be gritty for a while, your instrument will have some dust on top, and it is not a good idea too mix rosin brands on the same hair, so the dust ideally should be out of the same brand you'd have on at home).

December 24, 2006 at 05:54 PM · To speed the process up simply move your hand faster when applying the rosin.

-Richard :).

December 25, 2006 at 09:09 PM · I know the previous guy meant to be entertaining. bit if you rosin FAST, you can end up with a crust of rosin. It's melting point is low enough that the friction of fast and vigorous rosining, especially if the temp is also warm, can melt the rosin onto the hair. Then you have to decide to live with the crusty/scratchy sound until you play enough of the crust off, or get the nice new hair cleaned already. Sue

December 25, 2006 at 10:21 PM · ^^^^^ Have had that happen to me :)... It is minor though and I play with it anyways :)...

December 26, 2006 at 12:45 AM · Mom always told me that if I rosined my bow really hard, constantly, I'd go blind.

(hit me, hit me now, I deserve it ..........)

December 26, 2006 at 12:58 AM · "Mom always told me that if I rosined my bow really hard, constantly, I'd go blind."

That's a myth, but it *is* true that rosining too much will make your sound scratchy. :^)

December 28, 2006 at 01:36 PM · Simply rub a piece of sandpaper or scratcch the surface of your rosin with something sharp. The idea is to create some rosin dust on the surface of the rosin block.

Oded Kishony

December 28, 2006 at 04:25 PM · I had two new bows, which would not take any rosin at first, and I got some tips for dealing with them:

(1) I used shampoo to wash the bow hair (unscrew the frog first) and rinse it thoroughly.

(2) I used a swiss knife to scratch the surface of my Tartini Green (kind of like using sandpaper except you don't waste any grain of the rosin) to make powder.

Both worked, but washing is actually more effective.

December 28, 2006 at 04:50 PM · I never scratch the surface of a new rosin any more. That idea seems to have been around forever. I remember my teacher taking a key to a rosin top, as does the guy where a lot of my school students rent. I told him to STOP or else. Interesting topic, leverage. What most people end up with are chips that stick to the bow or the violin or in the case pocket... or little hair-catching grooves that take forever to wear away. I still say the best is to sit there and spend the annoying time it takes to get a new rosin working or to get enough on new hair to play. Sue

December 28, 2006 at 07:18 PM · Sue,

You might be wrong on this chip things. Nope. I didn't get that. In addition, if you have one bow to use and you have to apply rosin to it without using any "tips", my best wishes to you! You will need it. :-)

December 28, 2006 at 07:20 PM · Well, the breath thing sure works, and no danger of chips. (unless you have lungs like Neptune)

December 28, 2006 at 08:45 PM · I think the breath thing should be tested out after alcohol consumption to be more effective. :-)

December 29, 2006 at 01:22 AM · Couldn't hurt!

December 29, 2006 at 05:21 AM · Is the Shampooing the bow hair thing really safe. I just don't want my new hair falling off or being brittle or something. I am just worrying because my rehair cost me $40. Which really wasn't much but being a teen it is.

December 29, 2006 at 08:12 PM · Other than the dust for the first week after picking up my bows after re-hair, I have no problems with the "pre-dusting" method used my my bow guy. And "mixing rosin" doesn't seem to matter, either, although he says that some customers are concerned about that. I don't notice anything.

I'll have to try the "breathing on the rosin" trick some time if in a position of being the first to put rosin on new bow hair again.

December 29, 2006 at 09:13 PM · Hi Richard,

I tend to think if the pH value is right (neutral at 7 if I remember correctly), I don't think it should affect the hair. I might be wrong, and please correct me if anyone has real facts to back it up.

December 30, 2006 at 06:39 AM · I have found that the first trick is to use quality rosin. If you like dark rosin Salchow in NY makes a great rosin. If you like light, the Bernadel is very nice. If you start at the frog and work the rosin into the hair, you will find,with good rosin, you can bring the rosin out towards the weaker part of the bow. Also, start at the tip and work in as well. It should take no longer than 3 or 4 minutes.

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