Gut strings and new rosin?

Edited: May 31, 2018, 9:22 AM · Hi everyone. I recently posted a thread searching for a new set of warm strings to help me with my headaches, but since then, I've got some new questions. For those who didn't read it, I've got a cheap violin (Yamaha V5) wich I will upgrade when my technique improves a bit (maybe in a year or so). It's currently strung with regular Dominants and a Wondertone solo E. So, please help me a bit with the following:

1. I'm considering the option of using Eudoxa strings with it as I want softer and sweeter sound. I asked my teacher today and he said that they would be great strings for my problem and that their sound is amazing. But he also told me that he probably wouldn't string a violin like mine with such a good set of strings. He let me decide and do what I want. So, what would you do in my situation?

2. My (also cheap) Pirastro Piranito rosin fell to the floor and broke in a thousand pieces. I need a new rosin (and I want it to be better). Which one should I get?

Thank you very much. I love this forum.

Replies (15)

May 31, 2018, 10:07 AM · Dominants are already decent strings. If they need replacing, replace them.

There are many rosins out there, many of which will do OK. At this point, anything your shop recommends will be better than nothing. But if you don't want to go very top dollar, Bernadel, Salchow, and a few others will get you where you need to be.

May 31, 2018, 10:15 AM · I'd stick with your existing combo of strings. They're popular and economical and sound decent. (Lots of top soloists still string their violins with exactly that combo.)

There are tons of excellent rosins for $10 or less. See the other recent thread about when beginners should replace their rosin.

May 31, 2018, 10:16 AM · Pirastro recommend their Eudoxa rosin, specially formulated for Eudoxa strings.
Edited: May 31, 2018, 10:27 AM · Thank you everyone.

Lydia : Would you mind pointing me to the thread you mentioned? I can't find it combining the words "beginner"/"rosin" and sorting by date. Maybe I'm doing something wrong...

May 31, 2018, 11:33 AM · You could always put on Pirastro Chorda (uncovered gut A and D) if you need a change owing to headaches. Relatively cheap. Soft sound. People may tell you that playing on gut strings is harder and not suitable for a beginner. Yes, the D is a bit harder to make sound. When I was a kid most of us were started on plain gut because it is all we could afford. In my mind it is not a big deal, for practicing at any rate, and is arguably an advantage. Though if teacher says different, I suppose that an end of the matter!
May 31, 2018, 12:42 PM · is the thread Lydia is referring to.
I would probably upgrade the violin, and use a dark and sticky rosin for Eudoxa, as gut can be hard to get a good attack to get the vibrations started.
May 31, 2018, 1:02 PM · Eudoxas aren't that much more than Dominants now. They last at least as long as long as you don't live in a really dry climate (and don't humidify).

As for rosins, get a cake of Andrea Solo and a cake of Vienna's Best. By mixing the two you can have the perfect grip for any climatic conditions and any quality violin or strings.

May 31, 2018, 7:56 PM · I think that the Eudoxas are a good idea. They are not significantly more expensive that Dominants and I find them more satisfactory in tone than Dominants.
They also last (to me) longer than Dominants.
They have the two well known weaknesses compared to Dominants: They have to be retuned often and they require a lighter and more precise bowing. Both things can become eventually very good things for a practicing student.

Re: Rosin, and also in my experience, look for the one more appropiate to your climate (humidity and temperature), rather than the strings. For reference I use Bernardel and have used it for all strings and weather. If for any reason I need louder sound, I give just one pass of Andrea Solo on top of the average 3 passes of Bernardel.

Edited: June 1, 2018, 3:19 AM · Carlos : Which is the rule of thumb for choosing a rosin based on the climate? Should I choose a dark one or a bright one? Should it be sticky or harder? I'm a bit lost on this.

Some raw data : I live in a place where winter is wetter than summer although not very wet (21.5 inches of precipitation on a whole year). The average lower temperature during winter is 30 ºF with some snowy days, and the average high temperature in summer is 82 ºF.

Thank you everyone.

Edited: June 1, 2018, 3:42 AM · You can choose any rosin you like :-)

I just wanted to suggest that you don't need to adapt your rosin to your strings. That said: Rosin can be hard or soft (usually the soft is dark, and the hard is light-amber. There are exceptions. Pirastro Schwarz is completely black and is the hardest of Pirastro's. Bernardel is light, but stickier than some dark ones). The soft one is more sticky and has more bite, which is good unless it's too much. High heat and high humidity can make the rosin to be that too much sticky.
The light one on the other hand is harder and you need more passes of it to the bow to have enough grip on the strings. This one in cold and dry weather can be too hard and have little or not grasp.

But this difference is subtle. Noticeable, especially by the player, but it's not mindblowing.
From what you describe, your place has more issues with dry cold weather than hot humid one, so I think you would be better with a dark one. You may look for reviews for "best dark rosin" but anticipating answers, Hill Dark and Jade L'Opera have both lots of fans in all levels of playing.

June 1, 2018, 3:52 AM · Thank you very much for your explanation. I'll probably go later to the music shop, ask which rosins do they have and choose one among the darker/softer ones. Given the reasonable prices and the duration of rosins (if you don't let them fall to the floor), it's not something one needs to over-think about.

Regarding the eudoxas, I'll definitely try them in a future. The only think I know is that someday I want to try gut strings after what my teacher told me about them. And if, as a beginner, I can benefit from them, as you said... I don't know. Maybe I'll wait for when I get a better violin and a better bow. Or maybe not. Who knows...?

June 1, 2018, 4:08 AM · If you are able to go to a music shop maybe they have some strings for you to try the dark mellow ones you are looking for.

Be warned that using finetuners with gut is not recommended, so if your tailpiece has finetuners you should take that into account. Eudoxas is wound gut, so I guess there would be no problem, but I am just reading you the manual about that...

June 1, 2018, 4:23 AM · Well, then I guess I'll definitely wait to get a better violin to try Eudoxas, as the one I have is intended for beginners and has a finetuner on each string. The funny thing is that I don't use them anymore, except for the E and sometimes the A. I wanted to learn how to tune a "good" violin, and I mostly tune by using the pegs now.

The violin is just that. A beginner violin which sounds loud, a bit shrill, but has a good build quality considering its price (€400 including a case, a bow and the rosin I smashed yesterday). I'm saving a bit, looking forward to upgrade to a better violin around €2000-2500 and a decent bow. Maybe the bow comes earlier. The one I have is clearly worse equipment than the violin, which can produce a decent (not exactly beautiful) sound when my teacher plays it.

June 1, 2018, 8:28 AM · For the record, I'm still using as violin rosin a cake of dark cello rosin that I bought in the 1990s. It's getting a bit thin now, so I look after it.
June 1, 2018, 12:35 PM · I went to the shop and asked for rosin. They had the same "Piranito" boxes I had, some other pirastro rosins (Schwartz, Obligato, Tonica and Oliv) and some Andrea cakes, which were more expensive. I finally purchased the Pirastro Obligato. I hope it's good. And I'm sure it will be better than what I previously had. Thanks for helping.

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