Rosin for AC room

April 25, 2021, 1:46 PM · Hello,

I was reading about rosin types and looks like for hot and humid climate is supposed to be light and for cold and dry dark rosin.

I couldn't find the specific answer for AC rooms, mine is mostly 24 Celsius and 50 to 70% humidity.

Not sure how much the rosin type influences.

Thank you!

Replies (23)

Edited: April 25, 2021, 3:52 PM · Hardly makes a difference really. I think people's satistaction with rosin is more a reflection of the price and packaging than the actual product. That said, Guillaume really makes my playing so much better and I could never go back to anything else!!

It just comes down to personal preference. Both kinds ("dark"and "light") will work in most climates, although you'll have some trouble in the summer if you're partial to using something like bass rosin.

April 25, 2021, 4:12 PM · That's not too cold, and on the humid side. What you're really asking about is a summer rosin. Keep two around that you like-- one will generally be better than the other on a particular day-- depending on the violin, bow, and strings.
April 25, 2021, 4:53 PM · I'd use a harder "summer" rosin because of the humidity.
April 25, 2021, 6:32 PM · I play in a room similar to yours, and I am currently using Andrea Rosin. I think the fact that they don't make a light and dark variant of every rosin says that it doesn't matter much.
April 25, 2021, 7:55 PM · I use Melos Dark for both summer and winter, indoors and outdoors. Though I also use Eudoxa strings and they generally prefer more grip over less, so even in the hot humid summer I don't have a problem with my rosin becoming overly sticky.
April 26, 2021, 8:11 AM · Thank you all for your replies. I'm currently using Pirastro Schwarz and sometimes the sound gets scratchy (bear in mind I'm still a beginner), it does seem to be low on dust so that's a good point. On the other hand I have a Kaplan Light Rosin and although the sound seems to clean up a bit the grip is not the same.

So maybe someone can suggest something in between? I was thinking about the following options:

1) Melos
2) Pirastro Goldflex
3) Jade
4) Sartory
5) Yumba

I don't mind buying a couple to try.. all last forever!

Edited: April 26, 2021, 8:39 AM · If you look long enough on the site, you'll see hundreds of choices. The Cecilia Solo (ex-Andrea) is a good all-rounder. Their A Piacere and Signature also have fans, deservedly so. Those are a bit more forgiving in response.

For something with a bit more of a boutique-y edge, Deja Rosin (available on is very good, more organic in feel, and on the harder side. Inexpensive. It's not quite Baker's, but it doesn't have a 30 year wait list, either.

If you're a beginner, no need to look at Leatherwood. They have different flavors that could solve your problem full-time, but are very expensive.

Oh-- is you look on Shar's page (and possibly others'), Cecilia formulas can all be had in half-sized cakes. Much more sensible, since you will never wear one out, and in any case you will want something cheaper for experimentation and then discarding after it has gone dry.

April 26, 2021, 9:37 AM · One important point to take note of is that the color of the rosin does not necessarily represent its properties. The Schwarz for instance is a very hard and non-sticky rosin despite being very dark in color, which may contribute to your scratchiness problem since you may be applying too much rosin to compensate for the lack of grip.

Jade and Bernadel are both very good all-weather rosins, very affordable and widely available as well. You can try them first to determine what you really want from your rosin (ie. more grip, finer grains, etc), then refine your search based on your findings. You may even find them entirely satisfactory for your needs, lots of players still swear by these two.

A note on rosin lifespan: they last "forever", but their qualities such as grip and tone production will degrade very slowly over many months to many years. On the bright side, as your techniques improve you will also be able to compensate for the shortcomings of your rosin!

Edited: April 26, 2021, 10:12 AM · I use separate rosins for violin, viola and cello.

LEATHERWOOD rosins (both SUPPLE and CRISP), from Australia, are my favorite, but they are expensive - and still costly at the half-price offer that tempted my purchase. Expensive enough that these rosins never make it into my cases, never leave home. Leatherwood also sells "Bespoke" (i.e., tailor-made) blends (I believe of the Supple and Crisp extremes) for players who want that - of course you can always apply more than one rosin to your bow creating your own blend. ANDREA did this (in a way) shortly before they became CECILIA by selling "ANDREA SANCTUS" which was a large cake of 2 concentric circles, the outer one hard (and light) and the inner one soft (and dark).

I find "CECILIA Signature Formula" a very close second to Leatherwood and it does get into my cases. I consider the smaller cakes of this a medium-price rosin.

Perhaps equal to the CELIA ere the Thomastic PETER INFELD and VISION violin rosins.

In my opinion Pirastro OLIV-EVAH is an equally good medium-price alternative.

Finally I would like to give a shout-out for the MAGIC ROSIN products. They come in a range of "hardness" at about half the price of the medium range rosins. All the MAGIC rosins are colorless and clear.

DEJA rosin is somewhat different, but does the job at an even (slightly) lower price. I found myself to have been the very first purchaser of this rosin from Etsy and I did recommend it. It is the one rosin I found that I had to "score" the surface to get it started on a bow. I thought it ha playing characteristics similar to BAKER'S"

My experience with Baker's rosin was mixed. It gave my bows a wider range of "easy" expressiveness than I have found with other rosins, but that faded quickly as I continued to play and it is very powdery - spreading its "dandruff" over the top of my violin. So many others have praised this rosin that I suspect I may be too much of a rough player to fully appreciate it.

All other rosins (and I have used many of them) fall into a category of which I said until 20 years ago, "rosin is rosin." There are stiil a lot of people who say that.

I have read that the dark and light colors of rosin are additives to help buyers select "hard" or "soft." MAGIC rosins certainly seem to verify this since their full range of hardness is all transparent and clear.

April 26, 2021, 10:31 AM · I just find a healthy looking pine tree and rub my bow against that until I'm satisfied.

If you are a beginner, Damian, then don't waste your time on silver bullets like rosin to do anything meaningful with your playing - It's magical thinking. If you are a pro, then ignore my still correct busybody opinion.

April 26, 2021, 10:41 AM · I switched between rosins depending on the weather. For a long time my pairs were Jade and Millant-Deroux Gold/Silver (same manufacturer as Jade, by the way). Now I switch between Leatherwood Crisp and Supple. I've found the 75/25 blends to work well for me.
April 26, 2021, 10:50 AM · I have 3 rosins, which listeners can tell apart. The dark one I use gives a very scratchy sound at higher humidities. The hardest one gives a bow sliding sound at lower humidities. They really do make a difference. The Hill light seems to be usable at all the humidity levels that occur in my apartment through the year.
April 26, 2021, 12:20 PM · One last thing about rosin - do not allow thick layer to collect on your strings. Wipe them off with a cotton or microfiber cloth - definitely EVERY TIME you put it away after a playing session.

Too much rosin (and/or rosin of the wrong texture) can also collect on your bow hair. Wiping with a microfiber or cotton cloth can also "tame" that.

For more serious rosin cleanups I advice for examining the variety of opinions that have been posted hither, thither and yon!

April 30, 2021, 7:48 AM · Thanks for the advice. I did clean the hair before and what not... the scratchiness always come back, even with two different bows that's why I blame the rosin... let's see what the teacher says next time she comes by.
April 30, 2021, 7:50 AM · Perhaps she will let you borrow 3 microns of her own rosin, to see if there is a difference. You could always swap...
April 30, 2021, 8:39 AM · How long does rosin last?
I read on google searches that it lasts 6 months to 2 years. I sure hope that is wrong. My own experience has been that rosin lasts much longer than that.
A cake of obviously well-used special Thomastik cello rosin appeared in the cello bag that contained the the first decent cello I received in 1949. It had been stored in someone's attic - I don't know how long the cello, bag and rosin had been in that attic, but there was a repair sticker pasted inside the cello from some Baltimore luthier dated 1929. That was the only cello rosin I had at least until I moved to California in 1962. After that I forgot about it. It was interesting rosin, two-sided with medium grade on one side and softer on the other. It is no longer sold, but it was still available in 2001.
I must have worn it down a lot because by the time I found it again in 2001 the medium side was only about 1/16 in thick. My younger 7-year old granddaughter had quit violin after only one month so I returned her 1/2-size rental violin to Ifshin's. She said she wanted to play cello, so I got my son (a professional wood turner) to fashion a wooden peg that I used as an endpin in my 2nd full-size viola and let her have that as an erzatz "cello." I found the old 2-sided Thomastik rosin and added that to the case. The rosin still worked well enough - at least well enough to be picked up on a bow. I know for sure it was more than 50 years old by then and more likely more than 70 years.

If a cake of rosin has trouble coating a bow, just try scoring the surface of the rosin so the bow hair can pick up small crystals of rosin. I don't recall having to do that with that cake, even in 2001.

April 30, 2021, 9:12 AM · Care should be taken in scoring rosin. I never score a brand new cake of rosin because in an amorphous material a scratch is the beginning of a crack. That's why we have rock chips on our amorphous material windshields repaired.
Edited: April 30, 2021, 6:06 PM · The Schwarz rosin sounded very scratchy to me as well. You're not imagining it. It sounded just shockingly bad, except when played on steel strings, which is what Pirastro says it was made for.

You can't go wrong with Hill Light or Guillaume, IMO.

PS: You don't want one of the cheapest quality rosins, but you don't need to spend a fortune on the fancy pants rosins, either.

April 30, 2021, 6:29 PM · Frankly, in 80 years of playing I never scored the surface of a rosin cake. But about a year ago, with my first cake of DEJA rosin, I could not get my bow hair to get any traction so I lightly scored the surface in a square grid. It turned out after that the rosin worked fine.
It was very light scoring. I don't think it will lead to the problems I had with a couple of windshield cracks.
April 30, 2021, 6:47 PM · Andrew, And cracked rosin isn't dangerous either, nor will it lead to a citation by the highway patrol.
May 1, 2021, 12:10 AM · @Amrita, thank you! Maybe that explains it, as it is the rosin I use the most... I'll try to clean the bow and don't use the Pirastro. I have a Daddario light rosin (the cheap one) and Kaplan light... I guess they should do, although I did notice less grip on those maybe I need to apply more.
May 2, 2021, 1:10 PM · Damian, I've got the Kaplan light. For me, at least, it feels slippery. It doesn't draw as nice a sound as Hill light or Guillaume. It's OK, but just OK.

Years ago, I went on a rosin binge just to scratch the itch of curiosity. The Hill light and Guillaume ended up being my favorites. For me, at least, they have "perfect" grip on both steel and synthetics, by which I mean not slippery and not scratchy or gritty. They both bring out the best in my tone. I don't know if it's noticable to anyone else, but I can hear it. For a beginner such as myself, that gives me encouragement.

If you try the Hill light, use it very sparingly. My teacher was using the same cake of Hill light for more than 20 years.

There are much more expensive rosins, but I think that for beginner to intermediate players, and maybe beyond, paying a huge amount of money for the most expensive rosins gets you into an area of diminishing returns.

That's just my opinion.

May 2, 2021, 8:57 PM · Bury a cake of rosin for a million years and it will turn to amber.

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