Light Rosin VS Dark Rosin

Rosin- Light Vs Dark


When choosing a string instrument to play such as violin, viola, cello or even double bass, there are a few things to know before getting into it. For example, the violin and viola require a shoulder rest, a cleaning cloth which will make sense in a bit and some rosin. The big question that everyone asks what is rosin? Rosin pronounced “ro-sin” comes from resin which is a sticky substance that is extracted from trees. Resin is different to tree sap, sap is used for making syrup and medicines, resin on the other hand is used to make things like varnish and glazes. Resin is then heated to high temperatures, and it eventually solidifies into an orange-coloured block. Once in this form, it can be very brittle and an accident bump of drop of it can cause it to break and shatter into pieces. Therefore, one needs to be very careful with the now rosin. Now that we know what rosin is and where it comes from another question one could ask is, what is the purpose of rosin? When playing a cello, violin, or viola, it is easy to pick up the instrument and start playing. Or is it? When pulling the bow across the strings ideally, you want to produce a sound. This is not possible without rosin. Therefore, you need to apply rosin to your bow, whether you are a cellist, violinist, violist, or a double bassist, you will need rosin for your bow. Applying rosin to your bow creates friction between the bow and the string, this means that the bow can grip better on the strings and therefore, produce a sound. Rosin should be applied to your bow before you start playing and after your playing, a cloth should be used to wipe the excess rosin off of your instrument, as it leaves a dust like residue which can be damaging to your instrument if not cleaned off often.

In reading so far, one has learnt the following: what rosin is, where it comes from and why one needs it. Now that we know rosin is crucial to a string player, we now can look into the different types of rosin. One can get two types of rosin which are light and dark rosin. It is not as complicated as it seems. The difference between the two are simple. Light rosin is well lighter in perception, hard and less sticky. It is ideal for warmer climates and areas with high humidity levels. Light rosin is best suited for violins and violas and creates less dust. Dark rosin is darker in colour, softer and stickier than light rosin. It is best used in cooler climates and in dry areas. Dark rosin is best suited for cellos and doubles basses and creates more dust. With this being said, it is not to say that a violinist cannot use dark rosin at all or that a cellist cannot use light rosin at all. One could use light rosin in the summer and dark rosin in the winter or which ever is best suited to the player.

When buying rosin often people would state that the person needs to roughen up the rosin with sandpaper to make application easier. This is the worst thing you could do to your rosin, as it makes it more likely to crack or break. To apply a decent amount of rosin onto your bow, you need to put a bit of elbow grease into it and rub your bow vigorously with rosin until you can see a thin layer of rosin built up on the bow hair and then you are all set to play.

In conclusion to this article, we have learnt the following: what rosin is, where it comes from and why one needs it, what it does, the different types of rosin and the differences between them. Rosin needs to be handled with care and stored safely in one’s case so that you always have rosin with you wherever you go.

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