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Best Rosin for a Beginner Violin Player

Are you a budding violinist uncertain about which rosin to pick for your bow? Your violin likely came with rosin, but perhaps you lost it, it broke, or you're simply looking for an upgrade. Don't fret! This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about choosing the right rosin as a beginner violin player.

The Role of Skill Level in Choosing Rosin

Firstly, it's important to know that your skill level as a beginner won't be significantly affected by the type of rosin you choose. The violin world offers a vast array of rosins, each with slightly different characteristics. However, unless you've honed your skills to exploit these unique properties, there's no compelling reason to spend a lot on rosin.

Think of it as handing a toddler a race car. The speed and sophistication of the car won't make them drive any faster, and there's a high chance they'll crash it! The same applies to rosins; an expensive or highly-rated rosin won't instantly improve your sound.

Considerations When Buying Rosin

As you embark on your violin journey, there are a few things you should consider when purchasing rosin:

1. Rosin Durability and Handling

More often than not, you'll break the rosin before you've used it all. Therefore, spending a lot on rosin isn't necessary. A rosin encased in a hard container is an excellent choice for beginners as it's less likely to break or crack, and it helps protect your fingers from the sticky rosin residue.

2. Rosin Stickiness and Effect on Sound

Rosin can be generally classified into two types - light and dark.

  • A: Light rosins are less sticky, meaning it takes more effort to apply it to the bow. The general rule of thumb is, the more rosin you apply, the more aggressive your bow will be in creating sound, which might lead to a scratchier sound. As a beginner, one of the challenges is producing a clear, non-scratchy sound, and using a lighter rosin can assist with this.

  • B: Dark rosins, on the other hand, are easier to apply but can lead to excessive rosin dust if too much is used.  However, more advanced players will almost always choose a dark rosin because they tend to apply easier and deal with changing humidity levels better.

Rosin Recommendations

Here are some examples of affordable, decent-quality light rosins that come in hard-sided containers, providing protection and longevity.

  • The Giuliani branded light rosin is a good pick and comes with every student-grade violin we sell.

  • D’Addario's Natural Light rosin is another popular option. It's similar to the Giuliani rosin, with a nice hard exterior and is usually found for around $3-$4.

If you prefer a darker, easier-to-apply rosin, D’Addario's range is a good place to start.

  • Kaplan Artcraft is popular and generally priced around $6-$7. They offer both light and dark versions. Though they don't come with a hard container, they do include a large soft cloth for safe handling.

  • Hill Dark rosins are another excellent choice. They are affordable (around $9-$10), but still offer high quality, with many professionals even using them.

  • The Pirastro company makes various types of rosin with different characteristics, all high-quality, though slightly more expensive (starting at around $16).

There are many other types of rosins out there, some extremely high-end, but as a beginner, it's likely unnecessary to splurge on these. Starting with a decent-quality light rosin in a hard container is a safe bet, and as you progress and maybe lose or break your first rosin, you can consider investing in a higher-grade rosin. Happy playing!