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How to apply rosin to your bow

by Bows for Strings on

Rosin is a key ingredient for getting the most out of your bow and instrument. What new players are often surprised to learn, is that without rosin a bow will produce little to no sound at all.

Rosin is sticky and creates friction between the hair of the bow and your strings, causing the strings to vibrate and make sound.

In the short video below Myles explains the purpose of rosin and how to correctly apply it to your bow.

In particular Myles demonstrates how to apply rosin to a brand new bow (and what a new bow without rosin sounds like), and provides a basic guide to follow as to how much rosin you should apply once you have started using your bow.

Applying too much rosin to your bow will show rosin dust on and beneath the strings on your violin. While getting rosin on your strings in small amounts is unavoidable, rosin on your violin should be carefully removed often with a craft cloth specific to the task (look out for our upcoming cleaning video!).

Tips for new bows:

  • Aim for an even application across the length of the bow
  • Work the rosin on in a short back and forth motion to apply a consistent amount of rosin to the new bow
  • 10-15 seconds for a new bow should be sufficient to apply the correct amount of rosin
  • If you apply too much rosin, don't be alarmed, it will wear off through playing. Rosin dust should be wiped away carefully with a craft cloth.

Tips for applying rosin to a bow that has already had rosin applied to it:

  • Use long strokes along the full length of the bow
  • A basic guide to follow is that for every hour's worth of practice, apply 10 even strokes to your bow
  • Other methods could be to rosin your bow once a week, or a little bit every time you play. Finding the correct amount will take some time, based on how much you are playing your instrument!

Lastly, it's important to remember that whilst rosin looks like toffee, it definitely doesn’t taste like toffee (the mistake has been made before)!

As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give our team of musicians a call on 03 8802 7905 or chat to us online.

You can view our range of violin, double bass, viola and cello rosins here, and our range of bows here.

When purchasing a new bow online we don't rosin the bow prior to sending it to you as often players will have a preference for the rosin they use. However if you would prefer us to rosin your bow please just let us know in the notes section as we are always happy to do this (it is free of course).

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