Simply for Strings stocks a wide range of accessories for viola. Our huge range of accessories covers shoulder rests, music stands, rosins, mutes, humidifiers, Bow Hold Buddies and more. Make your choice from accessories manufactured by Pirastro, Melos, Kun, Everest, Manhasset, Hercules, Things 4 Strings and many more. We proudly keep our range of popular accessories for viola well-stocked with same-day shipping* Australia wide.
What is rosin?
Rosin is a solid form of tree resin that’s obtained from pines and other conifers. It’s semi-transparent and varies in colour from yellow to black. It’s used by musicians and luthiers to improve the sound quality of a stringed instrument. Rosin creates friction between the bow hair and the strings, as well as helping the bow grip the strings to produce the sound. If you don’t use enough rosin on the bow, your instrument will have an airy or scratchy sound when you play.
How do I apply rosin to the bow?
It’s important to ensure you don’t put too much or too little rosin on your bow. To make sure you get the right amount, first tighten your bow and press down the bow hair onto the rosin. The movement you need to use is straight up and down. If the bow is brand new, you'll need between 10-20 strokes up and down the full length of the bow to ensure there is enough friction created. If your bow is pre-rosined, you should only require 2-3 strokes per practice session. Lots of dust on your instrument indicates there is too much rosin.
Should I use light or dark rosin on my viola bow?
Light rosins are used in high temperatures (summer), for smooth solo play or if you’re playing your instrument in chamber music. The light ones are most commonly used by violin and viola players. On the other hand, dark rosins are used in low temperatures (winter) for playing your instrument in an orchestra or for full-tone playing. This one is most commonly used by cello and double bass players. One of the biggest differences when you use rosin is that darker rosins are heavier and stickier. This makes them better for maintaining your strings of larger instruments. Light rosins are lighter in color, density and stickiness therefore more suited for maintaining your strings of smaller instruments. We recommend trialling both types to find the sound you prefer best.
Why is there a big price difference between different rosins?
Generally, as you pay more for a rosin, the grain of the powder from the rosin will be much finer. This means that more expensive rosins will be less scratchy and have a smoother sound. Some rosins also have special additives to them that will effect the sound such as the Larica Gold rosin has gold particles in the rosin, while others are designed to work better with certain sets of strings such as Pirastro's line of rosins. One of our most popular professional level rosins, the Leatherwood rosin is a bespoke rosin handmade in Australia. This rosin is specifically designed to work best with Australia's climate and humidity whereas most other rosins were designed with European or American climates in mind.
What student rosin would you recommend?
We would recommend looking at the Hidersine Junior and Hidersine Deluxe rosins for the beginner player. These are rosins that most schools have suggested their students get and were on the majority of their book packs. For the highschool/intermediate player, we would suggest looking at the Gustave Bernardel or the Melos rosins. These rosins are the next level up and are excellent in terms of price vs quality.