Most of us have heard of rosin for violins. But what on earth is it? We know it is applied to the hair of your bow approximately every other time you use it. Some apply it every time. We know that it provides the grip necessary for the bow to create a sound from the strings. Without it, the bow would ‘skate’ across the strings and produce nothing.
So, what is it, and what are the Best Violin Rosins?
Rosin is very much like a tree sap that is hardened. It is a form of resin that, like sap, comes from the tree. A very sticky material. It is often used to make vanishes and some glazes. And of course, Rosin.
Rosin for the violin is manufactured by heating the liquid until it becomes solidified. It becomes almost glass-like, with shades of orange and has a smell resembling pine trees.
It is very brittle as a substance. Don’t drop it, like glass; it will shatter. An interesting substance and one vital to the bow and how it reacts with the violin.
So, let’s take a look at the best rosins currently on the market and find the perfect one for your bow…
Top 10 Best Violin Rosins On The Market Reviews
1 D’Addario Kaplan Premium Rosin with Case – Best Value for the Money Rosin
Anyone who goes anywhere near a musical instrument with strings will know the name D’Addario. A renowned string-maker from Italy originally founded in the 1880s. This is a Rosin that uses the same formula as the respected Ladislav Kaplan.
This is dark rosin, which some will prefer against the lighter. Dark rosin is softer to the touch and is much stickier than the lighter Rosin.
Likewise, this tends to be not so sticky and much harder to the touch. It does make a difference to the sound of the strings when the bow is played across them.
The darker rosin feels different to the player due to its denser profile. It is often said that darker rosin is better suited to larger orchestral instruments. Especially the cello or the bass. However, many violinists prefer its characteristic sound and feel. Especially those that do a lot of violin solo work.
A quality Rosin that is popular among many orchestral and solo players. Set at a reasonable price point, it is a quality product.
- Stored in a well-designed box.
- Taken from a formula developed by Ladislav Kaplan.
- Some will prefer a lighter rosin.
2 Jade L’Opera JADE Rosin for Violin – Most Durable Violin Rosin
This is a Rosin for violin, viola, and cello bows that is made in France. In making this Rosin, they are using traditional recipes that are centuries old.
It provides a superlative grip for the bow on the strings. It does this without producing an excess of dust, which can often be the case.
The grip will last for several hours without any noticeable signs of deterioration in performance. That makes this worth consideration as one of the best Rosins.
The feel of the bow on the strings is, therefore, smooth and silky and not harsh. It helps to produce a warm and rich sound. That was also extended to lesser quality strings.
Enhances low-quality bows…
Even budget strings also saw an increase in performance when this Rosin was applied to the bow. The lack of excess reduces the risk of scratching on a valuable instrument.
But there is an added feature with this Rosin over and above the quality of its performance. It comes in a carved wooden box. This is a lovely touch and so typically French. It is elegant yet durable and is shaped in a similar style to a Stradivarius. There is also a velvet cloth to wrap the Rosin to protect it.
A well-made Rosin with an added extra that makes it special. Suitable for all levels of performance, ensemble and solo. It may not be the cheapest, but it could well be the best Rosin on the market.
- Well packaged and presented in an elegant box with velvet cloth for protection.
- Nearly dust-free.
- Produces a rich, warm sound.
- Some may think it expensive.
3 Pirastro Goldflex Rosin For Violin – Best Quality Violin Rosin
Pirastro has a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest makers of orchestral strings and associated products. Rosin, of course, is one of them. Founded in Italy in the late 1700s, soon after they relocated to Germany. The business is still family-run.
Committed to quality…
They have become one of, if not the, biggest seller of orchestral strings in the world. Their strings, as with all their products, are focused on quality. This Rosin is an excellent product that must be considered as one of the best.
Made for violins…
This is a Rosin that is particularly suitable for the bows for violin, viola, and cello. In the manufacturing process, very small flecks of gold are included in the mixing of the Rosin.
This is not for visual effect. Adding the gold flecks gives an even smoother grip of the bow on the strings.
Enhanced sound quality…
Furthermore, the gold flecks create a warmer tone that also has an increased brightness. Therefore, it produces a better sound across all ranges of quality of string. As a result, even low-grade strings will perform at a higher level with this Rosin.
This particular Rosin is used by violinists of all levels, including professionals. It comes in a lace-like material that gives it just enough protection. Therefore, it will be the safest inside your violin case.
An excellent product from an esteemed company with an attractive price point. Easily one of the Best Violin Rosins you can buy.
- Well made with gold flecks to add to the response of the strings with the bow.
- A warm and bright sound.
- Attractive price point.
- Possibly a harder case would have been better than material, but that is being a bit picky.
4 Jade L’Opera JADE Rosin for Violin, Viola, and Cello (Original Version) – Best Sounding Violin Rosin
Back to Jade once again for another quality product. This is a Rosin manufactured for bows for violin, viola, and cello. It is one of their original recipes that has become a firm favorite with so many musicians.
The professional’s choice…
There are several reasons for that. When applied to the bow, it creates a warm and rich tone from the strings of the instrument. It has just the right balance of materials to not be too sticky.
Likewise, it allows even the quietest of notes to maintain maximum sustain. The level of dust is also reduced to a minimum.
Dust and scratch protection…
So even though it promotes a firm group on the strings, the number of particles released is very low. This will protect your valued instrument from a build-up of dust or any surface or the scratching that could occur.
Furthermore, the profile content of the rosin makes it suitable for both summer and winter use.
A history of quality…
It comes in velvet cloth wrap for protection and is delivered in a box that is crush-proof for further protection. The recipe used for this Rosin is centuries old. And it is still used in the manufacturing process in France.
Superior quality at a very cost-effective price. Another one of the Best Violin Rosins.
- A centuries-old recipe used by musicians all over the world.
- Warm and bright sounds are created at an attractive price.
5 Super Sensitive Light Violin Rosin – Best Beginner Violin Rosin
This is a light Rosin that fills a very needed niche in the market. When a young starter has their first violin, it is best to try and keep costs down if you can. Rosin is not the most expensive part of the cost equation.
Additionally, it can help to buy a special Rosin for a young player. But, it has to be decent quality. A poor quality Rosin won’t work on the strings. As a result, it will make playing more difficult for beginners.
Built for beginners…
This Rosin is made for those starting on the violin. It is not the highest quality. Yet, for beginners, young or old, we would have to say it a suitable option.
This because it is well-made and doesn’t stain the bowstrings. The dust it creates is very light and fine and easy to wipe away.
East to use and great value…
For a new player, it is a good buy. It is not expensive, and it does its job well. Therefore, this Rosin is more than adequate for the up and coming young violinist.
In addition to excellent value, it comes in a hardwood block. There is also a sliding box, so it is easy to use and keep safe from damage. As we say, a good buy for a new player at an attractive price point.
- Designed for the new player.
- A decent quality alternative to more expensive Rosin’s.
- It is only really suitable for starters, and some will need a higher quality.
6 Yeanling Big Black Violin Shaped Rosin for Violin Viola Cello – Best Budget Violin Rosin
This is another Rosin that is ideally suited to a starter player. It is very much a budget product and, as such, is less expensive than most of its competitors. Having said that, the quality is quite good. It will suffice for a new player.
Not affected by temperature…
This Rosin is suitable for the Violin, Viola, and the Cello. It has quite a hard exterior but is easy to apply and has a low dust output. Sometimes Rosin can soften in hot weather, which will cause problems. Fortunately, this Rosin has no such problems.
The result is a consistency that is not affected by the temperature. It is suitable for both horsehair and synthetic hair bows. It is made using only all-natural ingredients.
Clear and detailed tone…
The tone it helps to produce is clear and quite pleasant. This makes it ideal for a new player who is still learning the instrument. It comes in a nicely made violin shaped box. As we have said, it is a very cost-effective Rosin.
- A decent level of quality for a budget price.
- A very nice violin-shaped box.
- Some will need a higher quality Rosin.
7 Andrea Solo Violin Rosin 1/2 Cake – Best Solo Violin Rosin
This is very dark rosin that can be a little sticky, especially in the summer. Nevertheless, it does encourage a nice warm tone from the bow, and it is low on dust.
Not the average Rosin…
You should be aware that this is known as a half cake Rosin. That means it is half the size of the usual Rosin you will find. You do get two in a pack at this price point. As a result, it is quite expensive when compared with other Rosin brands.
It comes in a plastic jar. We would recommend you take care of the jar because if you drop, it is likely to shatter.
A good Rosin but not a cheap option.
- Dark and sticky and produces a nice tone.
- Quite expensive.
8 LIEBENZELLER Gold II Violin/Viola Rosin Soft – Best Handmade Violin Rosin
Liebenzeller has been making their Rosin in a small German town for nearly 50 years. It is made by hand using resin from the Larch tree with a few other ingredients.
Therefore, it has a rather unique sound, which encourages a smooth tone. It brings with it plenty of sustain even on quieter notes.
Balanced and responsive…
An even response across the strings is vital for the sound of the violin. This Rosin is designed to ensure you get that conformity while playing. The full warm sound that is nicely balanced makes this one of the best Rosins out there.
Clear and bright tone…
A great feature of this Rosin is that the high notes remain light to the ear and not shrill. It also helps to reduce any ambient noise caused by the bow on the strings.
This is because of the softness of the Rosin. Likewise, it is not as hard as the others and has a lighter feel.
Well-respected by experienced violinists…
This is one of the best Rosins around. So, it has a good reputation among both novice and experienced players. It comes in a round storage jar for protection. Not cheap but very good quality.
- A soft, handmade Rosin that creates warm tones.
- Creates an even sound from the bow on the strings.
- Rather expensive for some.
9 Hill Dark Rosin for Violin, Viola & Cello – Best Performing Violin Rosin
Hills have been making Rosin for many years and produce a variety of products. They are most noted for their light and dark Rosins and the different features they produce from the bow. This is the Dark Rosin for Violin, Cello, and Viola.
Soft but with an amazing grip…
This is a slightly softer Rosin than Hill Light one. Therefore, it is a little stickier. Furthermore, it is not as hard in its composition.
The softer feel gives the bow a bit more grip on the strings. This is appreciated by very experienced players.
Not made for amateurs…
It can be a little awkward to play with and is probably not a good Rosin for a beginner. The sound it helps to produce is very powerful from the bow, but it does need controlling.
It can have a rough edge to it and can produce a rather crunchy sound if used by a novice.
Dustier than most…
It also produces its fair share of dust. Due to its dark sticker content, it lays heavier on the bowstrings.
If you are someone affected by Rosin dust, then this might not be the best choice from Hill. The lighter Rosin, which has a little less dust, may be better for you.
Nevertheless, this is a good Rosin that creates a warm and rich sound. However, it is not particularly cheap.
- A much darker and sticky Rosin creates a big sound.
- It gives the bow plenty of group on the strings.
- Creates quite a lot of dust.
10 Melos Light Violin Rosin – Best Natural Violin Rosin
One of the better-known companies that produce quality Rosin, their products are used by players at all levels. This is a Rosin for the violin made with a light, soft texture.
This particular Rosin produces a very robust sound. As a result, it lifts the violin out of group instrumentation. This is sometimes a good feature for ensembles and chamber music.
Like all darker Rosins, it has a warm and smooth sound and yet is still dominant.
It is made from pure ingredients and does not include any extra chemicals. This is made from pine trees from Greece, and being a lighter Rosin is harder in texture. Ideal for playing in the summer.
Certainly, an excellent Rosin and must be considered as one of the top brands. As usual, with better products, it is not cheap when compared with some others.
- A quality Rosin made from green pine trees.
- Lighter and harder texture.
- Quite expensive.
Best Violin Rosins Buying Guide
A good Rosin will make a difference to the way the bow helps to make the sound. If the hair on the bow lacks a sticky feel, it won’t grip the strings. There will be no real contact between the bow and the strings. In other words, the strings won’t vibrate and won’t produce very much sound.
Investing in the best Rosin you can afford is always a good idea. A cheap Rosin can ruin the sound of your violin. It will also leave an excess of dust. Having said that, a lower grade for an early learner is not a bad idea.
What are the options?
There are three principal kinds of Rosin. Dark, Amber, and Light.
So what is the difference? You can define them, but there is sometimes a little bit of an overlap, and because of the way they are manufactured by individual companies, the definitions can become blurred.
Light Rosin is much harder. It is sometimes known as the “Rosin for summer.” However, this is a slight misnomer. It doesn’t melt easily, so that’s why the description has stuck.
Light Rosin is not as sticky as the other varieties, so it leaves less on the bow. This, in turn, makes it easier to clean the violin after use. Light Rosin is often best for players new to the instrument, though, of course, that isn’t always the case.
This is known as “Rosin for winter” because it can melt in hot temperatures. Dark Rosin tends to be used by experienced and professional players.
It is stickier and will give a much richer tone from the bow. You do tend to get a bit more dust than Light Rosin. This can be a consideration for players who might be affected by dust in the air.
Amber Rosin sits in the middle, as the name implies. Experienced players down to fresh-faced amateurs use it and recognize the benefits.
What is in this stuff?
We have already mentioned the main composite. Resin from certain trees. Some companies add extra materials and who claim a ‘unique recipe.’ Some of those additions are spectacular and work well.
For example, some makers add gold flakes to give it a warmer sound. You may also find silver added, which gives the strings an extra brightness. A rare addition is copper, which adds extra depth.
Stick to the natural stuff…
Be aware, though, that some of the lesser manufacturers add some extra stuff you don’t need. This usually includes some unnatural ingredients. Not good.
Stick to the guys that have been producing it from age-old ‘recipes like grandma used to make. They do tend to know what they are doing.
Boxed or Cake Rosin?
It usually comes in two forms, in a cake or just boxed. Cake form is often easier to use, but it has little in the way of protection.
Boxed is literally that. It is in a box to offer protection from damage. Boxed Rosin tends to be better if you’re using a bow with a synthetic string.
And remember that Rosin might look hard, but it can shatter if it is not protected.
So what to choose?
The budget will play a part, but it is more about what level the players are at.
Generally speaking, it is wise to pay for the best Rosin you can afford. Nevertheless, always ensure it is going to suit the level of the player. If you are unsure and you have lessons, your tutor can advise you.
Do you need some strings or a new bow to go with your Rosin?
If so, have a look at our reviews of the Best Violin Strings and Best Violin Bows. Or, if you’re in the market for a new case, check out our Best Violin Cases review. Lastly, if you are a violin beginner or have children learning the violin, take a look at our reviews of the Best Student Violins and the Best Violin For Kids you can buy in 2021.
What are the Best Violin Rosins?
We are going to be very traditional with our choice. We are going with one of the makers who use old recipes that have been respected for years. In which case, our choice is the…
A very well made Rosin that will suit a range of styles and levels. Plus, it comes in a great wooden box that also helps protect the Rosin.
Thanks for sticking around. Now go enjoy making some music.