I bought a new violin, but I have a problem when I rosin my bow. I rosin for a while until powder comes off, but when I play it does not sound good.

I observe some videos and websites that suggested I might need more rosin, So I tried that, but it keeps making the same sound. Can somebody explain what else I should do.

I don't know anyone proficient i could ask.

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    Do you know roughly how old the bow is? – Jdawg 2043 Nov 27 '16 at 20:15

You need a teacher, or at least an experienced violinist who can tell you whether the hair on the bow is dead, or the strings are dead, and suggest a reasonable level of rosining. The appearance of dust is more a function of the particular rosin than of the amount on the bow.


If you are new with violin, your tone will be awful. That's not something that rosin can fix (in fact, it will more likely than not worsen it in the amounts you appear to apply) but is due to a lack of technique. Maintaining consistent light pressure throughout the bow length in spite of its weight and the widely varying leverage is hard, and maintaining consistent position between bridge and finger board is hard.

Rosin makes the difference between a correctly played bow slipping without making a sound and it sounding. Beyond that, its helpfulness is moderate at best, and it's also worth making sure that the rosin is comparatively fresh and that you don't have a lot of old dusty residues on strings and bow (which will make the sound scratchier rather than smoother).

This is not chalk.

How does your instrument sound in the hands of an experienced player?


If it's a new bow it might take a while for the rosin to adhere properly. Then again I've used a new bow straight away and it was fine! Too much rosin can sound bad. Violin For Dummies recommends just 2 or 3 runs with the rosin along the full length of the bow as being sufficient. Having said that, I've seen some fiddle player friends rubbing on what I think is way too much, and then sounding great. If you're new to violin/fiddle, it's most likely inexperience that has you sounding bad - it's a brute of an instrument to get to grips with in the early days, but it comes with time. In my case, the first 20 years were the worst! Too much rosin on the strings is bad too. About once a month I clean it off with turpentine and a rag.Slip a piece of card under the strings so you don't harm the finish on the finger board.

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    Turpentine is a VeryBadIdea. First, as you note, it can damage the instrument. Second, if any part of the string is nonmetallic, you'll damage the string. Third, a wound string will retain some fluid & drip onto the instrument body later. Clean strings only with a soft cloth immediately after playing, and occasionally with one of those "plastic steel wool" pads. – Carl Witthoft Nov 28 '16 at 14:45
  • Just a little turps on a rag folks. I'd argue it's a good idea as it's the natural solvent for rosin. And dripping out of the string winding later? How much would it take to do that Carl? Moderation in all things! – bigalguitarpicker Dec 7 '16 at 12:11
  • I've talked with luthiers and my highly experienced teachers (professional cellists). They all agree that use of solvent is a VBI – Carl Witthoft Dec 7 '16 at 12:46

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