Getting the right rosin is actually one of the most important factors in ensuring you get the best out of your instrument in terms of tone.
Rosins can vary in colour from light to dark, violinists tend to prefer lighter coloured rosin whereas cellists prefer darker coloured rosin. This is however a generalisation and you don’t need to stick with this, lighter rosins tend to produce a smoother sound compared to the grittier/bigger or richer colour produced by dark rosins. Bass players tend to use their own type of rosin, this is because their strings are thicker and they need a better grip.
Other factors to consider are; Sound projection, which rosin will work better with bright sounding instruments, which with darker sounding instruments. The effects of humidity and which works best in a cold or hot climate. In a humid climate rosin gets stickier so you may want to choose a lighter rosin, in a dry climate a dark rosin may be preferred. Experienced players may use softer rosin in the studio and harder rosin in the concert hall. For a young player you may want to choose a rosin that is easy to hold, for those with allergies there are hypo-allergenic rosins available.
Some manufacturers produce rosin’s which are designed to work best with a specific brand of string e.g. Pirastro make a string called Evah Pirazzi Gold and a rosin to match called Evah Pirazzi Gold rosin.
Rosin is essentially made from pine and fir tree resin. Pieces of resin are heated up in a boiler in order to evaporate water from them, at the same time impure components within the liquified resin sink towards the bottom, the pure liquid resin is skimmed off and cooled down. In a successive stage the pure resin is heated up, oil and other materials are added such as simple plant extracts to fusing with various metals such as gold to increase the resin’s density and this is what we know as rosin.
The important thing to remember is that different rosin brands can produce quite different results.
When trying a new rosin it is highly recommended to do so only after fitting new hair to your bow.
Although this is by no means definitive, here is a list some consider to be 7 of the best rosin brands around at the moment:
1. D’Addario Kaplan Artcraft Rosin, Light or Dark
If you would describe yourself as a violin student then you may be looking for a great value brand in terms of performance and price. Not as smooth perhaps as some of the high end brands, D’Addario Kaplan Artcraft Rosin is still very effective and it shouldn’t leave lots of residue behind.
2. Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold
Seductive and inspiring sound, a perfectly matching rosin to Evah Pirazzi strings. It brings to the fore the full sound spectrum, powerful projection and excellent bow response of these strings.
3. J et M Poullot
The J & M Poullot Violin Rosin is a premium quality handmade rosin. It is made in France by the prestigious bow makers Jacques and Monique Poullot. Offering exceptional grip.
4. Gustave Bernadel
A reasonably priced and widely used French rosin that is favoured for its quality and the smooth tone that it helps you to produce. It has a reputation for leaving less dust than other brands and offering “just the right amount of bite”.
5. Jade L’Opera
Another high quality French rosin that won’t break the bank. It gives a lovely clear but smooth tone. This rosin is also kind to your bow hairs and leaves only a very fine dust.
6. Liebenzeller and Larica
The Liebenzeller Metal Rosin is produced by dedicated handwork on the basis of pure larch resin, to which selected metals are added in a special process under consideration of cosmic rhythms (anthroposophic). This rosin is capable of increasing the tone and volume considerably.
7. Andrea Solo
This rosin allows you to achieve a really great tone with almost no effort. It has the highest dynamic range and it is ideal for solo playing, especially in large halls.
Visit the ‘Accessories/Rosin‘ section on this website to see the rosins that we currently have in stock.