A rosin question
When I got my first cheap violin, the shop gave me Pirastro Schwartz rosin. I’ve been doing some research and found that this rosin is recommended for steel strings and since some time with my new violin I’m using dominants or pirastro tónica which are synthetic.
With the rate of my playing (1hr per day) since November, and the cake looks pretty much new (I do put a little every day). At this rate it will last like 10 years.
I’m a beginner playing still Bach at the end of Suzuki book 1 to give a reference, but doing Polo and other tricker exercises) but I do wonder if having a cake made for steel strings is taking anything from me in terms of tone, playability and bow noise ?
Should I just stick with it or is it recommended to change it? If weather has any impact, temp is always with AC at around 24c and humidity 60 to 70%.
I’ve read many post but couldn’t reach any conclusion...
Which rosin to use is a personal choice, but in order to make that choice one has to try many rosins. Over the past year I've tried many different rosins, some I really like, some are pretty good, none I hate.
Thanks for the detailed answer, I guess changing rosin wouldn't be a night and day difference then to justify getting a new one now.
If you do not drop your rosin it can last 20 years or even much longer. The difference between rosons is the grip they give on the string and the degree of dustiness. If you are happy with your Pirastro rosin there is no need to buy anymore or change but It is fun to switch it up occasionally. In the wintertime when the humidity level drops I find some brands work better than others.
Hidersine's dark rosin is supposedly formulated for steel strings, but I use it happily on Dominants, as I do Hill dark, which, afaik, is not formulated for steel strings.
When it reaches 70 or more I notice the violin sound to change for worse. I guess I better practice than looking for rosins ??
I've probably amended my post a couple of times since you last read it.
I like a rosin that grabs the string well during the static friction phase (gripping) but minimizes friction during the sliding phase. I have found that Thomastik Peter Infeld violin rosin does this very well so too does Rostanvo rosin at half the price. I also want minimum dust and maximum endurance (i.e. a rosin that will retain acoustic strength through the duration of a rehearsal or concert). I also want to make sound I can hear in midst of surrounding symphonic sound.
The Pirastro Obligato rosin is a good match for Dominants, very good grip and less metallic tone, fuller sound.
You can stick with it. I like to sand the top of the rosin with a fine grit sandpaper. It creates some powder that I think is helpful when applying rosin. You can switch rosins when you have bow rehaired (once a year at least). Ask the shop what they suggest.
You can score the top of the rosin gently with a knife. A square grid works fine to produce the powder and transfer it to the bow. It won't risk transfering some "sand" to the bow hair. You don't have to wait for a rehair to try different rosins.
Rosin,- being a low-budget musician, I have never tried the very expensive brands of rosin. I suspect that one reason Pirastro has a different rosin for each set of strings is-- to sell more rosin. I use Hidersine Cello rosin, Bernadel, & Melos. I thought Guillaume was rather ordinary. I read somewhere that Heifetz used one of the Hidersine rosins, which was the standard "student-grade" rosin when I was younger. An amusing thought; Heifetz using cheap rosin and $2 Goldbrokat E strings, on a million dollar instrument.
I generally have the same preferences as Andrew Victor: high static friction and low sliding friction. But I haven't tried as many rosins, because I thought for many years that I was fine as long as the rosin was "good enough"; I used only Hill Light on violin and Hill Dark on viola until October 2018. I now use Jade L'Opera on both instruments.
If a rosin meant for steel strings is going to adversely affect your playing on synthetic or gut at all, it is most likely to be when you're trying to play soft or with a flautando tone. You can decide how much this matters at this stage.
I live in Indiana which gets quite humid in the summer. I use Piastro Oliv which seems good for the winter - it's what my violin store suggested at the time - I use Vision Solo strings. I think I should at least try a more amber rosin for the humid summer heat we tend to get here as my small orchestra is returning to masked/social distance rehearsals - any suggestions?
Is the core material of a string relevant to the choice of rosin?
If you are just beginning as a student, I would recommend Gustave Bernardel. It works on every type of violin and it makes beginners sound great. It’s 12-15 dollars and you can probably find it at your local music store or online. It’s pretty popular here in Wisconsin where the humidity stays in the mid/dry range.
Whatever rosin you buy, make sure it has the following features:
We deal with high humidity all year. Melos and Andrea Solo are my little one's favorites. I have a thing for Rosins so we have tried a lot of them (including Baker's...like I said, I have a thing for rosins) but now, she won't switch.
I've been eating my words lately. For years, I believed that expensive rosins were nothing more than a marketing ploy to appeal to people's snobbish need for exclusivity. Was I wrong! I recently splurged on Andrea Solo Rosin (thankfully, it was on sale) and I must admit that it is vastly superior, at least for me, than the rosin that I had been using now for the past 35 years! I'm now a believer. Remember to sugarcoat your words because you may have to eat them someday!
Different doesn't always mean better, but there are, nevertheless, differences.
I beg to differ: different does mean that some are better for some reasons (i.e., music, instrument, bow, temperature/humidity, player, etc., etc.) and, perhaps, others are better for others.
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