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My Search For The Best Violin Rosin in the World Over More Than a Decade of Playing

Updated on August 25, 2021
Thomas Cherickal profile image

I have been a violinist for 20 years, but with 3 two-year gaps. I now play in three churches and three prayer meetings in Chennai, India.

My First Violin Rosin

Indian Rosin
Indian Rosin

Learning the Rosining Procedure As a Beginner

This was my first rosin, Golden color, bundled along with my student violin. I had received different instructions as to how much to put on. Later I realized that once a bow has its basic rosin seasoning, a little at a time was enough. Before that, I used to rosin so much that 'smoke' (white rosin powder) would come off the bow as I played. And my first two violins had rosin coats on their bodies because I didn't know a peculiarity of rosin - as a drop of powder, rosin melts and sticks to the wood of the violin. I have seen many professional violinists with rosin marks on the top of the fingerboards near the playing area. For them, it was not a problem.

Pirastro Schwarz (Black) Rosin

My First Effective Imported Rosin

A very senior professional informed me about black rosin .He spoke about how effective it was and how it was better than the gold. So I bought one for around 1300 INR. It was everything Jerry Fernandes had told me and more. It was sticky, left very little powder, and seasoning my violin bows became much easier and much quicker. I used it from 2006-2011. It was an excellent buy and I would recommend it to any violinist at any level.

D'Addario Light Rosin

About par.
About par.

Rosin's That Didn't Match Me

Each violinist is different. Each violin is different. Each violin string is different in different weather conditions. So with such a wide variation, you sometimes have to search for a good pick that matches your style of play. I tried this D'Addario student rosin(450 INR) for a short time and it didn't suit me. And I then tried Pirastro Goldflex(2600 INR) rosin that was recommended in every source on the Internet, yet it didn't suit my style either! I get my best results from dark rosins.

Pirastro Goldflex Rosin

D'Addario Dark Rosin

Suitable!
Suitable!

This rosin was good for its price (400 INR) but was not up to the level of the Pirastro Schwarz. However, I did use it for around six months then went back to Pirastro. However, my entire idea of what good rosin can do for your playing was about to change.

Gustave Bernadel Rosin

Awesome!
Awesome!

Top-Quality!

Most of my rosins so far had been dark, but on a trip to Kuala Lumpur a violinist told me that this was very good rosin and that I should buy it (3200 INR). I was skeptical but purchased it anyway. And wow. Just wow. Pirastro Dark Rosin made my playing smoother. But the Bernardel rosin made my tone richer. It was as if I had suddenly purchased a new violin! I bought just one piece and I lost it during the practice for a concert by Jesus Youth Tamil Nadu in Pondicherry. During the short time I had it, I absolutely fell in love with it. It made me sound rich and deep. Highly recommended.

The Best Rosin I've Played So Far

And the final winner is:
And the final winner is:

Jade Rosin (Dark and Rich)

JADE Rosin
JADE Rosin

The Best Rosin I've Ever Used.

This rosin was as much an improvement on the Bernardel as the Bernardel was to the Pirastro. Very little rosin is required. You can season a new bow in hours! And some people have stated that one piece can last for fifteen years! Whatever be the bow tension, whatever the climate, and whatever the string set, this rosin is dark, rich, deep, mellow, and smooth as silk. A little at a time goes a long way. And it leaves almost zero rosin dust on your violin. It is so sticky that the rosin almost sticks in your hand, and is very easy to start rosining (no cuts or scratches required). Yes, it is difficult to hold on to because the sides are slippery. However, I've been using them since 2015 and I've yet to drop one on the floor (God forbid). This rosin has also been recommended by numerous teachers online. It will suit any climate. And at 2300 INR, it is a reminder that the best does not have to mean the most expensive. Winner hands down, I'm still using it from 2018 onwards, and I see no change likely in the near future. If you want the best rosin - go for JADE. I highly recommend it to every violinist I know at all levels. Just don't drop it, be careful while holding it!

How to Rosin your Violin Bow

The best way is by example and you can find numerous example videos on YouTube. I'm linking to the famous The Online Violin and Piano Tutor YouTube channel because I have a surprise candidate for the award of the best rosin in the world (I believe it's the one she uses now).

How to Rosin Your Bow - The Online Piano and Violin Tutor

The Sartory Peccatte French Rosin

This choice of the Online Piano and Violin Tutor, Allison Sparrow.
This choice of the Online Piano and Violin Tutor, Allison Sparrow.
I've never used it, but she used JADE earlier. Now, this is the only one she uses. I encourage you to go ahead and try it out!
I've never used it, but she used JADE earlier. Now, this is the only one she uses. I encourage you to go ahead and try it out!

Why are the Prices So High?

If you're wondering why I have to pay such high prices for these rosins, it's because I live in India and the local music shops have to import their rosins from abroad, thus increasing the price. But I've played with rosin sold in the USA and rosin sold in India, and I now prefer to play with Rosins bought abroad in countries like the UK or the USA or even Malaysia. There is a massive quality difference. If in doubt of which one to use, go for JADE. It will be the cheapest option in the long run (just don't drop it!).

The Violin - Not Just an Instrument But A Way of Life

Violinists are different.
Violinists are different.

Conclusion

Every violinist plays differently. Every violinist has a unique hand, and thus a unique vibrato. Advanced violinists can be distinguished by just listening to the audio. As an extreme case, even I, a very junior and very amateur violinist, can recognize Jascha Heifetz (a legendary violinist) by just listening to the pieces. The violin demands a level of commitment that most people cannot make. Scales are played daily - no two ways about it. The violin will get tougher as you progress into higher techniques. But the end result is worth it. To know more about the violin, I strongly recommend the YouTube channel TwoSetViolin (link given below). All glory be to God for His grace and His gifts.

My Favorite YouTube Violin Channel.
My Favorite YouTube Violin Channel.

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