Rosin Problems!

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Nov 23, 2005, 9:51:46 PM11/23/05
to The Classical Double Bassist
When I put on rosin, there is almost always too much on my bow. Now,
on EVERY single bass (except my own, of course) I've played, this seems
to give it a louder, fuller tone that I enjoy for certain types of
playing. However on my bass, it only gunks up the G-string. Now you
may ask why do I not apply rosin more sparingly? Now, again on EVERY
single bass, the tone is still rich and full. But on MY bass
( conveinient, is it not?) there is almost no tone with any
less than too much rosin.

Any suggestions? Do you think this is a rosin problem, bass problem,
or bow problem? I use the same rosin, so I'm starting to think it's my
bow. It's an unbleached, real horse hair, rosewood bow.


Nov 24, 2005, 1:54:07 PM11/24/05
to The Classical Double Bassist
I have to say, I find this question kind of mystifying - how could it
possibly be your bow when no other bass responds in this way? Or do you
not use your own bow when you try different basses? And is the problem
only on the G-string, which you say is gunked up, or on every string?

More to the point, what is your definition of "too much rosin"? To my
way of thinking, the right amount of rosin is as much as you need to
produce a clear, articulate, quality sound, too much is the amount that
causes things to feel sticky and uncomfortable. This is all based on
feel, obviously, and thus completely subjective and personal. If you're
saying that you think you sound better when your bow feels sticky and
uncomfortable, at least on basses other than your own, I'm not sure
what to tell you - maybe this is a perceptual problem? Or a
psychological problem?

Anyway, happy Thanksgiving, and may your tone be rich and full, no
matter how sticky your bow hair!



Nov 24, 2005, 3:59:58 PM11/24/05
to The Classical Double Bassist
I'm not sure. When I use the same bow on a different bass, it has a
good tone. When I use the another bow on my bass, it has good tone.
But when I use my bow on my bass, the g-string sounds weak without too
much rosin. When I say too much rosin, I mean WAY too much. You know,
when it seems like the rosin is caked on and it "flakes."

Thanks. (and hope you're enjoying your day too!)

Nov 25, 2005, 1:43:28 AM11/25/05
to The Classical Double Bassist
Sorry I wrote such a snarky reply, Bran! Honestly, sometimes I think we
just develop a complex about how our own instruments sound, we obsess
over the tiniest flaws until they seem like enormous catastrophes. It
sounds like your case is an equipment and/or set-up issue, though, so
please excuse my 'psychological' comment, that was uncalled for.

My answer would be to try different strings, different rosin, and keep
experimenting with different bows and basses. A lot of the time there
is no single magic bullet, you just have to find a combination that
works through trial and error. I'm sure many bassists are much more
knowledgable about these matters than I, though, and would have more
tricks you could try.

Best of luck!


Joe Lewis

Nov 26, 2005, 1:44:52 PM11/26/05
to The Classical Double Bassist
I can agree to Matt's suggestions. Different combinations of bass, bow,
string, hair, rosin, and technique can produce vastly different
results. In this particular case, my first suspicion would be to try a
few different types of strings. Sometimes if I'm getting a poor tone on
the sol string, I'll use something tighter like a Pirastro, or maybe a
bit more boomy like a Thomastic Spirocore. Sometimes it's the fault of
the bass itself - maybe a simple soundpost adjustment will do the
trick. One tried and true practice is to take the bass to a good
luthier and have them do a setup and tonal adjustment with you present,
so that you can play the bass and hear the effects each adjustment
makes to the soundpost or string setup until you get something you
like. Maybe even see what happens with a few different bow choices.


Joe Lewis

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