Using violin rosin is simple and to the point. The key is to find quality rosin and to apply it correctly so that the bow stays attached to the string at all times while playing. If you don’t apply enough rosin or if your rosin is of low quality, chances are you will end up playing with a weak, flimsy sound that will bounce off the string without creating any real definition. To use violin rosin properly and apply it well enough that your sound stays firm, here are some basic pointers you need to follow.
First off, keep to dark violin rosin. Dark rosin is a lot more effective when it comes to keeping the bow on the string than light rosin. Light rosin will often not stick very well and will have to be reapplied very often. With light violin rosin, you also have to scratch the rosin in order to get enough rosin out of it, which can shorten the lifespan of the rosin by causing it to wear and crack. For this reason, keep to cloth wrapped dark rosin and you will get a lot more out of your rosin. Just remember, rosin doesn’t cost much, but a single piece of rosin will likely last you several years, so don’t go for the cheap stuff!
Next, to apply the violin rosin, run the bow up and french violin bows down the rosin like you are playing the rosin itself. This light friction will break apart the delicate rosin particles and cause them to be dispersed onto the bow. Do this for 30 seconds to a minute at a time to insure that you have enough rosin on the bow for it to stick well to the string.
And be sure you are applying a little bit too much violin rosin when you first start! When applying violin rosin, the bow will naturally have a tendency to lose whatever rosin it cannot naturally carry with it while playing. In other words, if you have too much violin rosin on your bow and start playing, your bow will shed it in the form of dust and only retain as much as it needs to stick to the string.
The opposite obviously will not happen with rosin if you don’t apply enough! Keep a little bit too much violin rosin on the bow and it will keep your bow flowing smoothly and definitely across the string for every note.
One final word of advice more important than rosin, if you are serious about playing violin, you need more than just good rosin! Get yourself a good teacher! Having a teacher who knows more than you makes all the difference in the world and I highly recommend it.