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Expert Advice: What is Rosin?
Rosin is a translucent, amber- to black-colored, brittle, friable resin that is obtained by chemical means from the wood of pine trees. It is the solid residue left after the oil has been distilled off of turpentine. Rosin is soluble in alcohol, ether and turpentine.
Rosin is applied to the hair on instrument bows (violin, viola, cello and bass) to increase friction. When the bow hair is drawn across the string, the rosin causes the hair to alternately grip and release the string rapidly. This vibration produces sound. In order for your rosin to work correctly, your bow hair must be in good shape as well — for best results, rehair your bow as needed. A strong-playing professional may need a rehair approximately every 3 months, while more average players will be fine with new hair every six months to a year.
Rosin is classified as either "soft", "medium" or "hard". A hard rosin will produce a more brilliant sound, while a softer rosin tends toward a warmer tone. Generally hard rosins are lighter in color — in the golden to amber range — and soft rosins are often dark brown or black. A softer rosin will also have more gripping power on the strings. The rosin for Cello and Bass strings is usually softest, to provide better traction on the longer and heavier strings of these instruments.
There are many brands available that produce different kinds of sound, each varying slightly from the basic formula of this product. Please visit our rosin page, call or email us so that we may advise you regarding the best rosin for your needs.