The Reason For Rosin

You should always use rosin on your bow before you play the saw. Rosin comes from pine trees and other conifers, and it is collected like maple syrup, from small taps in the trees. Each rosin company has it’s own unique recipe and mixes the rosin with other ingredients. The rosin is then sold in small cakes to use on violin bows and other stringed bows. The rosin helps the hairs stick to the blade as they move across the edge of the saw and helps to create friction which creates the sound. You can also put a little rosin on the bowing edge of your saw to help with the friction. There are many types of rosin, and the differences generally have to do with how sticky the rosins are. The darker rosins are usually stickier than the lighter colored rosins.

If you have the round cake type of rosin, be sure to rotate it when you use it so that the top of the cake stays flat and doesn’t end up with uneven sharp edges. Sharp irregular edges on the rosin can damage the hairs on your bow. You can experiment with brands and see what works best for you. I have a cake of Jade L’Opera rosin and a small cake of Super-Sensitive mini rosin, and I like them both. A cake of rosin will last you a very long time.


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Rowena Southard, your blog hostess, is a musical saw enthusiast who lives in California. She loves all kinds of music and has a special fondness for unusual instruments.