How To Rosin Your Violin or Viola Bow

by | Jun 19, 2014 | Maintenance | 8 comments

This video is about how to rosin your bow.

It’s personal how often and how much you rosin your bow. Some people rosin a little, but often. Some people rosin a lot when they do, but they don’t rosin often. Some people (like me) like to rosin just a little bit, others like to have a lot of rosin on their bow.

There are some things that are important when rosining your bow:

  • Lots of people play most of the time in the middle of the bow, but they mostly rosin the extreme tip and the extreme frog. Rosin the part of the bow with which you play the most.
  • Rosin against your thumb when rosining at the frog, so the rosin will not break when it hits the frog.
  • Don’t forget to rosin the sides of the hair. This will come in handy as you play with your bow a little pivoted.
  • Rosin with little strokes and smooth it out with some long strokes in the end.
  • You can see how much rosin there is on your bow hair as the hair becomes white.

Just try out what effect a different way of rosining has on the response of the bow and the sound you make. I’d like to use as little rosin as possible as long as the response of my bow is ok. Using a lot or too much rosin makes your violin sound shrill. Besides that the rosin gets on your strings a lot and you will hear the scraping sound of rosin over rosin.

Now I’d like to hear from you!

What’s your favorite brand and type of rosin? My personal favorite is Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold. It gives a good sound, is fine, doesn’t need much rosining and is relatively soft.

Do you have additional tips on how to rosin your bow?

Share them in the comments!



PS: Do you have questions or struggles on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to and I might dedicate a Violin Lounge TV episode to answering your question!



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  1. Dick

    Good video on rosining the bow. I never thought to put rosin on the side hairs. Now I do. Thanks, Dick Behrens

  2. Anneli

    Hi Zlata!
    I have a very old childrens violin that i changed the strings on. I’ve tried to play it even though I’ve never played violin before. I have trouble with the E string. It doesn’t make any sound when I play it. I’ve tried to rosin the bow, which I suspect havent been rosined in many years. It doesnt help. What should I do?

    • Violinist Zlata

      Hi Anneli, lots of beginners have difficulty getting a good sound out of the E string. First make sure that the violin is tuned, rosin some (or a lot) more and make sure you bow straight. Hope this helps!

  3. Sherrie

    I never knew to rosin the sides……and the thumb above the frog tip was excellent! How about a video on different types of rosin- light,dark,green,(I use Jade rosin a lot) I prefer dark rosin…have no idea why tho.

    • Violinist Zlata

      Thanks, Sherrie! Well… I haven’t tested all types of rosin. The difference between dark and light is that dark is softer and light is harder. For viola dark is a good choice, as it’s a bit stickier. I use Vienna’s Best myself and I like that. Also I found that the difference in sound between different types of rosin isn’t that shocking.

  4. Nestor J. Russell

    I love Pirastro dark rosin. I use to not get a good grab on the string, and scratchy sound. as I grow, this rosin seem to settle well with me! 🙂

    Great tip on rosining the bow! I have noticed that I am starting to play pivoted a bit. Thank you!

    • Violinist Zlata

      Thanks for sharing, Nestor. My favorite rosin is Vienna’s Best by Petz.



  1. About Rosin | Violin & Viola TV #208 - Zlata Brouwer Violin & Viola - […] Click here to my dedicated video about how to rosin your bow. In this week’s video I will just show…

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