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Can you rosin the bow too much?

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pict 13 Jun 02 - 09:36 AM
Sorcha 13 Jun 02 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Sharon G 13 Jun 02 - 09:44 AM
Skipjack K8 13 Jun 02 - 10:04 AM
kendall 13 Jun 02 - 10:04 AM
pict 13 Jun 02 - 10:08 AM
English Jon 13 Jun 02 - 10:14 AM
JenEllen 13 Jun 02 - 11:20 AM
Sorcha 13 Jun 02 - 11:29 AM
English Jon 13 Jun 02 - 11:48 AM
Sorcha 13 Jun 02 - 11:50 AM
JenEllen 13 Jun 02 - 12:13 PM
Sorcha 13 Jun 02 - 12:17 PM
Bruce 13 Jun 02 - 12:25 PM
English Jon 13 Jun 02 - 12:52 PM
Sorcha 13 Jun 02 - 01:09 PM
JenEllen 13 Jun 02 - 01:11 PM
kendall 13 Jun 02 - 02:39 PM
Bruce 13 Jun 02 - 04:55 PM
michaelr 13 Jun 02 - 07:27 PM
Sorcha 13 Jun 02 - 07:55 PM
Jeri 13 Jun 02 - 09:13 PM
NicoleC 13 Jun 02 - 09:57 PM
GUEST,petr 13 Jun 02 - 10:10 PM
katlaughing 13 Jun 02 - 11:09 PM
JenEllen 13 Jun 02 - 11:49 PM
NicoleC 14 Jun 02 - 09:46 PM
katlaughing 14 Jun 02 - 10:13 PM
Catherine Jayne 15 Jun 02 - 04:34 AM
JohnInKansas 15 Jun 02 - 07:00 AM
InOBU 15 Jun 02 - 10:54 AM
InOBU 15 Jun 02 - 11:00 AM
Mr Happy 24 Nov 07 - 11:01 AM
Blowzabella 24 Nov 07 - 12:09 PM
katlaughing 24 Nov 07 - 12:09 PM
Big-Aggy 27 Nov 07 - 08:49 AM
wysiwyg 27 Nov 07 - 09:38 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 27 Nov 07 - 02:17 PM
The Sandman 27 Nov 07 - 06:08 PM
The Sandman 27 Nov 07 - 06:11 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Nov 07 - 06:35 PM
s&r 27 Nov 07 - 07:00 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Nov 07 - 08:58 PM
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Subject: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: pict
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 09:36 AM

A question to fiddlers.Can you put too much rosin on the bow?If so what adverse effects can you expect from doing so?


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 09:42 AM

Oh yes! It will make a mess of the fiddle, cause too much "dragging" and generally gum up the works. It will build up on the strings and cause them to not resonate as they should. A little often is better than lots at once.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: GUEST,Sharon G
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 09:44 AM

Yes, it's easy to do.

The bow hairs can stick together, or it's just cranky and doesn't seem to sound right. I'm sure you'll get a better description than that.

Solutions- One possibility (I've never done this with a good bow- just a cheapy Glasser bow I had for my kids)

You can loosen the bow and take the frog off of the stick, then very carefully wash the hair with a gentle soap and water. On the other hand, it might just be time to get the bow rehaired. When the bow isn't behaving, and you keep putting rosin on, it might be that the rosin doesn't stick anymore. A bow rehair costs about $30 here.

I'll be interested to hear what other people say.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 10:04 AM

When I started, I applied rosin like it was skill, until my hand actually got stuck to the bow. The fiddle sounded like shoite, and I felt the same.

So I did what Sharon suggests, but got the bow hair into a Gordian knot, and spent an age untangling it.

Then I soaped the strings down, as I was amazed how much gunk was clotted on them, as Sorch says.

The result was amazing, so now I clean the strings regularly, and only bung the cake down the horsehair once a week (playing every day).

Skipjack


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: kendall
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 10:04 AM

I thought this was going to be about...well...


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: pict
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 10:08 AM

tut tut;)


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: English Jon
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 10:14 AM

No. Absolutely not. If you haven't got loads of powdered rosin all over your trousers the you're not doing it right, and shouldn't be allowed within fifty feet of a fiddle. The same goes for valve grease.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: JenEllen
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 11:20 AM

I've had good luck washing bowhairs with Ivory detergent--rinses out clean and relatively quickly, with no added residue.
~J


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 11:29 AM

You can clean the strings with rubbing alcohol, but DON'T GET IT ON THE WOOD!!


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: English Jon
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 11:48 AM

More to the point, don't get it on the varnish.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 11:50 AM

Or the fingerboard, or the pegs or anything!!


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: JenEllen
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 12:13 PM

Why would you choose alcohol, Scorch? Just wondering though, seems extreme considering.
All said, rinse-rinse-rinse....life of the bowhairs can be considerably shortened when you have solvent residue built under and over layers of rosin.
~J


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 12:17 PM

Not the bow hair, Jen, the strings. Gets the rosin build up off them.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Bruce
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 12:25 PM

Since the discussion has evolved from how much rosin to use, to how to clean bow and strings, I'd like to ask what folks do to clean rosin from the fiddle itelf. I have been using a soft cloth and warm water, but don't think that it does a very good job.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: English Jon
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 12:52 PM

Instrument conservators reccomend a solution of amylase enzyme for general cleaning work. I.E. spit on it and rub it with your finger.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 01:09 PM

A good furniture polish should work. I don't put water or spit on my Maggie.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: JenEllen
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 01:11 PM

Thanks Sorch...might help if I actually read..jeeze...


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: kendall
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 02:39 PM

I have a Brother who tends to over react. His guitar was quite grimey, so, he put it in the kitchen sink and scrubbed it with detergent. It came out like new.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Bruce
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 04:55 PM

kendall ... fiddle is in the sink, bubbles no longer coming out of the f holes ... but the top seems to be getting a bit loose ... do you think it is clean yet??

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: michaelr
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 07:27 PM

I'm not a fiddler, but I play with one onstage... Curious: What, exactly, is this substance called rosin?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 07:55 PM

Basically, pine tree sap purified and in a cake. Rub it on the bow and it causes friction between the bow hair and strings.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 09:13 PM

I see some people like to leave a big cake of dead rosin on the fiddle. I've heard talk of "the old-timers' fiddles looked like that." Well, they looked that way because the old timers were too damned lazy to clean the stuff off!

It's made out of tree sap. Turpentine's made out of tree sap as well, I believe. The rosin can act like a solvent and will eat the varnish.

I'd think wiping the bow with a dry cloth ought to get the excess rosin off. You don't want to take it all off. Washing it might work, but in my opinion, it's overkill. Works better for cleaning the hair when someone gets hand-slime on it because they don't know not to touch the hair, or spills some of their greasy dinner (or Guinness!!) on it.

I've noticed that rosin sometimes starts clumping (minutely) and makes the bow sound grainy. I've scraped the stuff off with a blade. I don't know that this is such a good idea because it's possible to shave off the little barbs on the hair that cause the rosin to stick in the first place. I haven't had any problems doing it, though.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: NicoleC
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 09:57 PM

Sorcha -- furniture polish? Really? Wouldn't that dull the tone and cause worse buildup than rosin? Unless you're talking about something citrus oil... I'm just picturing Lemon Pledge :)

EJ -- my luthier told me the same thing :)


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 10:10 PM

My luthier said never to use furniture polish as well as it can take off some of the finish and affect the tone.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 11:09 PM

I have a very soft old hanky which I've always rubbed the fiddle down with and the strings. My dad never said to do anything else but that and the fiddle is over 100 years and still sounds good, as does the one he plays.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: JenEllen
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 11:49 PM

EJ/Nicole: I've heard the same thing, but have yet to come up with an effective way of explaining to a youth orchestra of 8-10yr old kids that it's okay to spit....or at least an explanation that won't be followed by "haraaach-ptooey.....But you said...." and legions of kids trying to 'help each other clean up their act'.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: NicoleC
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 09:46 PM

All this talk of furniture polish has made me wonder about wood conditioners instead of polishes, like Howard's Orange Oil or Wax & Feed. It does wonders for wood furniture if you live in a really dry climate -- I'm wondering if it would help the tone in a dried out instrument. Unlike polishes, there's nothing abrasive in them to wear off the finish, but it IS oil...


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Jun 02 - 10:13 PM

Spaw would know...


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 04:34 AM

I've always removed the frog and GENTLY washed the bow hair with mild washing up liquid and water. However I found that you can only do this so many times before the bow needs to be rehaired. My fiddle tends to be wiped down with a soft cloth after I play to remove and rosin from the varnish. I use wax furniture polish in a tub not a spray and a soft cloth to polish the fiddle. My fiddle is over 100 years old and this has worked fine. When I was in youth orchestra we were told to spit, but this with a large group of children often lead to children spitting at children and all over the floor!!!

I was told to use alcohol on the strings either that or some perfume.......one that doesn't smell too strong, remember you have the fiddle under your chin and you don't want to pass out in mid session!!! Just don't get it on the varnish, finger board etc, strings only!!!!!

Have fun

Cat x


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 07:00 AM

Caveat - I'm not a fiddler, but I have seen the "recommendation" that a bow that won't "take" rosin can be wiped down with a very small bit of alcohol on a soft cloth - on the hair only. The solvent will soften the rosin, so that rubbing gently takes off the "clumps," and the small amount left on the hair will dissolve some of the rosin and "spread" it on the hair as it evaporates, to provide a little "tooth" to pick up subsequent applications.

One luthier(?) was quoted in a recent magazine article (which unfortunately I didn't save) as saying that he "primes" bows this way when he does a re-hair - although I got the impression he used a lot more synthetic fiber "hair" on student bows than real hair on good bows.

Note that the varnish on most good - and especially most good old - fiddles is little more than rosin dissolved in alcohol or turpentine. (Plus, of course a few "magic" ingredients known only to the maker.) Anything that will dissolve, or even soften, the rosin should be considered a "hazardous substance" anywhere remotely near a fine instrument. (Based on personal experience with a few "garage sale" $10 instruments.)

John


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 10:54 AM

If you saw your fiddle in half while playing it... you have used too much rosin. Cheers and be careful. Larry


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 11:00 AM

I know some of you think that the above is an unlikely senario... that the sound of the strings poping, as well as the suddun lack of noise eminating from your fiddler, followed by the smell of smoke would tip one off that one is sawing through one's fiddle.
Well, there are a few sessions to which you have not been... between the large number of bodhran players, smokers and loud fellows at the bar, shrill virgins and drunks... the signs that you are sawing through your fiddler may escape you, espcially if you have your eyes closed due to the huge headache you have and the general uglyness of your fellow players...
Larry


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Nov 07 - 11:01 AM

If you forget/mislay your rosin, here's a good tips page:

http://www.stringsmagazine.com/issues/strings98/rosin.html


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 24 Nov 07 - 12:09 PM

Doesn't too much rosinning of the bow make you short-sighted ?????


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Nov 07 - 12:09 PM

What a great article and photos. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: Big-Aggy
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 08:49 AM

The rosin is used to generally give the bow "bite" when being played (being a "strathspey" player, i like my bite!!) and i find it just trial and error on how much rosin to use. I was once told to keep looking at the hairs.. if they got rather white, you have enough on... but then it started to sound quite odd and very sticky. I have had a lot of experience through watching my tutor, Paul Anderson, when he's getting ready to play the fiddle. He always flicks the bow down, and you can see the excess rosin coming off the hair. I do this also, and the sound is much better.

When it comes to my strings, I only clean them with a clean duster every so often.. usually once a week (depending on how much I'm playing!) I'm odd about my fiddle rituals hahaha.

Aggy


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 09:38 AM

Over time, most fiddlers learn how often to rosin-up for the amount of playing they're doing. Rosin enough to get good tone. When the tone goes, rosin again, trying a bit more rosin than last time. It all works out as you experiment and try different rosins. Follow the other fiddlers in a session-- re-rosin when they do.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 02:17 PM

Re Jeri's post above (all of five years ago), I've been told that fiddlers would allow a dusting of rosin to accumulate so that, periodically, they could re-use that by passing their bow (with the horse-hair loosened) under the strings and gathering up the dust....


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 06:08 PM

if you rosin your bow too much,your arrows wont fly straight and true,every archer including cupid knows this.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 06:11 PM

An old fiddler once told me,that if you were short of Rosin sugar was a very good substitute.Do you get a lovely sweet tone, said I.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 06:35 PM

" fiddlers would allow a dusting of rosin to accumulate so that, periodically, they could re-use that"

That doesn't work - the rosin welds itself to the varnish, becoming very difficult to remove, and possibly negatively affecting the tone.

It's really called 'laziness'...


With regard to oil for the body of the instrument - a good luthier told me - buy fresh walnuts form the store (they are several months old, having been dried anyway), good fresh ones you would want to eat yourself, take a few pieces of the meat, crush it, and use that oil to gently polish with a soft cloth.


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: s&r
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 07:00 PM

This stuff's wonderful

Stu


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Subject: RE: Can you rosin the bow too much?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Nov 07 - 08:58 PM

"Can you rosin the bow too much?"

Looks like nobodys tried this tack yet...

If you play that damn tune too much, I'd say yes.... :-P



Bye now!

Running away!


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