String cleaning issues

February 26, 2020, 12:56 PM · There is a related thread but I didn't want to hijack it as my question is a bit different

I've been cleaning my strings daily with a t-shirt swatch and also microfiber. Last summer I installed Vision Solos, which I love. As of Jan I was a few months past a rehair but that has been addressed in an unexpected fashion. Suddenly, however, I've much more rosin accumulated after each session.

I have used a credit card to clean the strings, and have a brand new microfiber cloth to wipe my strings. It takes so much effort to do this that my strings squeal(?) when I'm cleaning them. Rinse/repeat the next day.

I only rosin every couple days, and no more than 2-4 strokes at that. Should I try alcohol pads or are my beloved Vision Solos wearing out? I don't notice a degradation in sound but perhaps I wouldn't if the change is gradual...

Replies (6)

February 26, 2020, 1:21 PM · Catherine,

From what you wrote the re-hair of the bow is probably the culprit. Often times the luthier/architer puts a lot of powdered rosin on the new hair.

Try playing till you don't get much to any effect and then one stroke of rosin for about an hour of playing. It may also be the type of rosin you use. I use Hills dark green (yeah, I a geezer) and have found that one swipe lasts well over an hour of playing and much less rosin buildup on the strings. Like you, I wipe down the entire instrument, including the strings, after each session.

Edited: February 26, 2020, 3:41 PM · Thanks George. It wasn't a rehair, I took it in for that and my violin shop just gave me a brand new CodaBow Prodigy that already had a base layer of rosin. I wasn't so much in love with that bow that I argued about it as there was no cost to the exchange.

My JonPaul Corona should be delivered to my other store by Monday, it will be my first adult experience with a bow that comes to me with no rosin.

February 29, 2020, 5:44 PM · I don't see the problem. Squeal the strings.

I clean my cello strings after every playing session, and they screech under the scrub of the microfibre cloth. But they sound much better than leaving the rosin on.

So, clean the strings. Love the squeal.

February 29, 2020, 5:54 PM · I agree with Graeme. But I don't think alcohol is harmful.
Edited: February 29, 2020, 8:15 PM · "I only rosin every couple days"... and I only rosin maybe once or twice a month (and I play several hours a day including orchestral rehersal once a week)! I don't have a big rosin accumulation :-) Some might say on the under-use side perhaps, but I don't feel a need for much rosin, it doesn't take much.
Edited: February 29, 2020, 8:23 PM · Once I changed bows the squeal disappeared. My new bow plays fine so it has enough rosin and the rosin is no longer caked on the strings, though I do have to apply often right now. The only thing I can think of is the other new bow, the Codabow, that came to me already rosined, had a different rosin from mine, something more sticky.

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