Let’s start things off by briefly explaining what a rosin is…
Rosin, which can also be referred to as a colophon or colophony, is a resin that comes from pines trees. Violinists use it because of its ability to induce friction.
As a violin player, it is very important the hair on the bow is able to ease over the strings gently. This ensures you are able to produce the best possible sound.
The only way to really do this is by rubbing rosin on the bow strings. This makes them sticky so they can gently graze across the strings.
As with all things, there are a lot of different types of rosin on the market. Not only are there different brands, but there are also darker rosins, and lighter rosins.
Darker rosins tend to be soft and thick, while lighter rosins are harder. Harder rosins tend to be easier to clean because they are not as powdery.
The problem is harder rosin doesn’t always produce the sound you want.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the top 10 best violin rosin, based on your needs and taste.
Top 10 Best Violin Rosins
- D’Addario Natural Rosin, Light
- D’Addario Kaplan Artcraft Rosin, Light
- Sherman Violin Rosin: Dark
- The Original Bernardel Rosin For Violin
- Jade L’Opera JADE Rosin
- The Original Hill Dark Rosin For Violin
- Melos Dark Violin Rosin
- Pirastro Goldflex Rosin For Violin – Viola – Cello
- Pirastro Oliv/Evah Rosin For Violin – Viola – Cello
- Andrea Violin Solo Rosin
If you are on a tight budget, but you do not wish to compromise quality, the D’Addario Natural Rosin, Light, is a great option for you.
The easy to use block has a grip on the side which makes it super easy for both beginners and students to use.
All ingredients in this bar are natural, and it can be used on both horsehair, and synthetic bows.
If you don’t mind spending a little extra on your rosin, the D’Addario Kaplan Artcraft Rosin is probably the best value for your money.
It is actually made using the original Kaplan recipe, created by Ladislav Kaplan. It provides a great level of stickiness and produces very little dust.
It's also able to withstand heat quite well. Which by the way is very important.
This rosin is one of the best choices for beginners.
This rosin is great for those who move around a lot with their instrument. It's enclosed in a 2” wooden block with a cover.
This makes it easy to transport from place to place.
This rosin is competitively priced and is a great value for the money. It is actually better than many of the more expensive rosins currently on the market.
And even when it's hot outside, this rosin does not get too soft.
The one big issue you may run into the dust it produces. However, it's not all that much dust, and it can be reduced through careful use and cleaning.
No matter what level violinist you are, the Bernardel Rosin will be a good option.
Its ease of application is attractive to beginners, while its ability to produce great sound is attractive to professionals.
And the best part is it has a very modest price tag.
Though this is a light rosin, it is a lot stickier than other light rosins. It will give your bow the perfect amount of friction to play all your favorite tunes.
This rosin has a harder texture which makes it ideal for those who live in warmer climates.
The Jade L’Opera is one of the more expensive rosins. It is also one of the better quality rosins. Because of its higher quality, you are less likely to scratch your bow.
This rosin also produces less dust, and is much softer than many other rosins on the market.
One application of the Jade L’Opera rosin should last for up to a 2 hour music session.
So while you will initially pay more for this rosin, it will last longer, and thus save you money in the long run.
The Hill brand is one of the more popular rosin brands among professional violin players. The Original Hill is a superior rosin that is soft and light.
It provides a strong grip between the bow and the string which helps produce a high quality sound.
Giving it an even more luxurious feel, is the way the rosin is packaged. This Hill brand rosin comes wrapped in a padded velveteen shell.
And while this rosin is great all year round, it is especially good during the colder months of the year.
Melos is without a doubt one of the most well known Brands in the violin world. Professionals love them because of the world class rosin they produce.
Not only is there rosin completely natural and free of chemicals, but it is 100% handmade.
The Melos Dark rosin is soft and smooth. If you live in a warm environment this rosin is not suitable for you. It is a better option for those in colder climates.
If you play chamber music, you will love the robust sounds this rosin is able to produce.
If you are into a little glamour, you will love the Pirastro Goldflex Rosin. This amber colored rosin has a flex of gold running through it.
And no, this is not just for show. The goldflex has a purpose. It helps create a strong grip between the bow and the strings.
The warm color matches the warm sound that this rosin is able to produce. The sound is very clear and full of depth. It is the very reason so many violinists choose Pirastro rosin.
When it comes to what it takes to get the best sound out of your violin, Pirastro is the best. As one of the leading violin string providers, sound is their specialty.
The Pirastro Oliv/Evah Rosin was specifically formulated to work with the Oliv and Evah Pirazzi strings.
And while this rosin provides a strong grip, it is also a very gentle grip.
Because this rosin is so dark, it can become quite soft. It is therefore best that only the most experienced violin players use this rosin.
When it comes to price, this rosin is on the more expensive side.
This rosin is smooth and powerful. If you are looking for precision, the Andrea Violin Solo Rosin delivers.
Due to the price, this rosin would not be ideal for a student or complete beginner.
If however, you are a professional who plays for large audiences on a regular basis, the extra cost will be well worth it.
Trust us when we say, once you use this rosin, you will never use another one.
Our Final Thoughts
This is a short list of some of the best violin rosin that is available. Do your research and find the one that will work best for your situation.
What Are Others Saying?
hi I'm Liz with daddario and I am here
with Taylor Morris violinist fiddler and
educator and today he's gonna give us a
lesson on rosin yeah so rosin originally
is sap from a pine tree which is a
material called resin today when we make
rosin it's usually a combination of
resin with some other materials like
beeswax and usually rosin comes in a
circular form or it might come in a
rectangle and we call these cakes so you
have a cake we have some cakes of rosin
here and another important thing to know
is that if you're someone who has
allergies to trees and you might be
allergic to the material in rosin there
are also synthetic versions of rosin so
that you don't have any problems with
that that's fantastic so when you have
the rosin cake in front of you and you
add that to the bow and we'll talk about
how that works
um what is going on like why does rosin
do what it does yeah so bow hair by
itself is actually pretty smooth and the
sound on an instrument is created when
we take the bow hair and we use it to
grip the strings and then when you pull
the bow across the strings it's the
sound of the strings snapping back into
place while it's being gripped that
actually creates the pitch so if you
have very very smooth bow hair and you
try to pull the bow across the strings
it's going to give you a really fluffy
tone so once you rise in the bow that
allows the bow to grip the string so
that when you pull the bow across the
we get a very clear tone okay when you
are pulling the bow across the string
with rosin on it yeah that's actually
going on yeah so this is actually a bit
of a science lesson go ahead and put
your hands together for me and I'll rub
them together and you notice that your
hands are heating up because of friction
so when you take the bow and you pull it
across the strings there's friction
that's created from the rubbing of the
bow hair on the string and the heat
that's produced from that friction
temporarily melts the rosin so that it's
stickier and that it grips to the string
and something that's important to know
about the stickiness of rosin is that
there are actually different types of
rosin so rosin sort of exists on a
spectrum on one end we have lighter
rosin and on the other and we have
darker rosin and then bass players have
a whole other type of rosin that's
incredibly sticky so you should only buy
a bass rosin if you're a bass player if
you put bass rosin on a violin bow and
you try to pull it across the violin
it's not gonna make a pleasant sound
well let's talk about how to put the
resin on to the boat yeah great
so the first thing that you need to do
is you need to make sure that your bow
hair is tightened when you put the rosin
on the bow hair you want to go ahead and
do it slowly you want to make sure that
you're not hitting the Frog and ripping
the rosin and you also want to make sure
that when you pull the bow across the
rosin that you're using the rosin on all
of the bow hairs so you want to make
probably three or four passes across the
bow you don't need to put on a lot of
rosin you just need as much as you need
to make a clear sound so if you feel
like your sound is really fluffy and
thin you might need a bit more rosin if
you feel like your sound is pretty
gritty you probably have on too much
rosin you might not need the rosin the
next day when you play your instrument
and before we go do you have any other
tips and tricks for it yeah so a few
things to know about rosin when you
first get rosin it's gonna look like
this it's pretty shiny and then as you
start to use the rosin that shininess is
gonna go away and you're gonna be able
to access that rosin a little bit better
so know that when you first get it and
it looks like this that's totally fine
don't scratch it before you use it the
very first time that can create jagged
surfaces in the rosin and that can break
bow hairs so just use it like you
normally would you might need to use it
a little bit longer to sort of really
get that get to get the rosin ready to
need to do anything extra to it
something else to know about rosin is
that rosin is pretty fragile so if you
drop it it's going to shatter and it's
gonna make a big mess and be really
sticky and you don't want to deal with
that so if you've got a case go ahead
and close that case when you're done
using your rosin if your rosin looks
like this usually it comes in a box go
ahead and put it back in the box if your
rosin comes with a cloth wrapper around
it go ahead and wrap that razzing up so
that it's safe the last and probably
most important thing about using rosin
is that at the end of the day when
you're done practicing and you're
putting your instrument away you want to
make sure that you go ahead and take a
clean cloth to wipe down the strings
wipe down the finger board to prevent
rosin from building up on the strings if
that rosin cakes up over time it can
interfere with the way that the string
is supposed to vibrate and that means
that your string is not necessarily
going to last as long so clean our
strings is going to leave you with the
cleaner sound and strings that last a
bit longer sounds good thanks so much
Taylor thank you