For people who play violin/cello... HOW DO YOU APPLY ROSIN TO A BOW?

#1
(not the best forum for this, but there isn't really one)

Hello. I wanted to try playing bowed guitar, mostly for the effect of enriching recordings. I bought on eBay a pretty cheap Chinese bow (but it was said to be fairly good for the price on other websites) and I got a D'Addario VR200 light rosin.

First thing first - the bow doesn't make ANY sound on my electric and acoustic guitars as it is. I saw on some "how to" tutorials for the violin that in actuality it does create some sound, but it's rather faint on the high strings. Perhaps the guitar strings are somewhat different? I do use Elixirs for my electric guitars.

Now, I tried applying the rosin, but I'm not sure anything gets onto the bow hairs. One tutorial suggested to scrub a new rosin with some sandpaper in order to "break it in". I tried that but I'm still not sure anything gets applied. There's still no sound being produced. Should I be able to see the color of the rosin on the bow hairs after applying it?

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by TLGuitar at Jun 15, 2017,
#2
Have you tried scrubbing your pen0r on it?
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#3
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Have you tried scrubbing your pen0r on it?

I lost my pen0r to cancer. I hope you'll beat the one you have in your brain!
#4
Quote by TLGuitar
I lost my pen0r to cancer. I hope you'll beat the one you have in your brain!


That didnt really answer the question.


So have you?
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#5
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
That didnt really answer the question.


So have you?

... YES! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? MY DlCK PLAYS THE VIOLIN BETTER THAN A BOW.
#6
Coated strings may prove difficult. Bows work because they catch and release the string as you drag them across, so maybe the coating makes them too slippery?
#7
Quote by TLGuitar
... YES! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? MY DlCK PLAYS THE VIOLIN BETTER THAN A BOW.


Well why not use your dick then since it seems to work?


Your welcome. Problem solved.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#8
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Coated strings may prove difficult. Bows work because they catch and release the string as you drag them across, so maybe the coating makes them too slippery?

Well, I did try it on an acoustic which has "regular strings" as well (don't remember which brand, though; it's an old guitar that I haven't used in years).
#10
Gently but firmly "scrub" the rosin at one end of the horse hair for a few seconds and then run it along the entire course of the bow a couple times. Don't overdo it.
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#11
Don't buy a cheap Chinese bow from ebay?  
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#12
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Have you tried scrubbing your pen0r on it?

Dickie bow
#13
Quote by StewieSwan
Gently but firmly "scrub" the rosin at one end of the horse hair for a few seconds and then run it along the entire course of the bow a couple times. Don't overdo it.

Well, I did it some more after scratching the hell out of the rosin bar. Probably enough has latched on by now and I am able to get a sound, but it works rather strangely and I'm not sure what's the physics at play (probably something to do with overtone positions, but it still seems strange):

I'm currently testing it on my Gibson, which has quite a flat fingerboard, so it pretty much impossible to play any string individually other than the E's (I know that's usually how it is when bowing guitars, but there are models with shorter fingerboard radius), but this is what's happening with the E's:
The high E can only be bowed right next to the bridge or else it sounds like a dying cat scratching a chalkboard.
The low E can only be decently bowed somewhere between the neck and bridge pickups, and it's even more difficult to get it right than it is with the high E.

What gives?
Also, the Gibson's shape seems rather problematic for this. It seems like I'm shaving off some of its paint as I need an angle large enough to only hit the E.
#14
you either put way too much rosin or you're bowing way too hard
Check out my band Disturbed
#15
Guitars aren't made to be played with a bow, that's your first problem.


"Every day I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about."
#16
Quote by StewieSwan
you either put way too much rosin or you're bowing way too hard

Have you tried bowing a guitar before? Does it not showing the same issues I'm describing? And is it similar in effect to how a violin's strings react to the bow?
#17
Quote by TLGuitar
Have you tried bowing a guitar before? Does it not showing the same issues I'm describing? And is it similar in effect to how a violin's strings react to the bow?
it doesn't sound or work the same at all. Strings are coated, they're all parallel, etc


"Every day I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about."
#18
Quote by seanlang01
Guitars aren't made to be played with a bow, that's your first problem.

Yeah, but several known musicians have used this technique to a certain level of performance.
#19
They used it as a cheap stunt and it sound horrible.


"Every day I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about."
#20
It sounds better when you're mashed on heroin like the people who played guitar with bows. 
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My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#21
Quote by TLGuitar
Have you tried bowing a guitar before? Does it not showing the same issues I'm describing? And is it similar in effect to how a violin's strings react to the bow?


No. I bow actual bowed instruments.

Quote by seanlang01
They used it as a cheap stunt and it sound horrible.


actually if you do it right it's a cool sound

my friend do it good
Check out my band Disturbed
Last edited by StewieSwan at Jun 15, 2017,
#22
E-bows exist in 2017 btw.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#23
Quote by seanlang01
They used it as a cheap stunt and it sound horrible.

Perhaps. I thought of getting an electric violin at first, but I didn't find enough that have been demoed online (there seem to be very little such offering where I live), and of those that were - I didn't like their tone all that much (at least the way they were demoed). What more, it seems to be a consensus that if you want to get a truly usable (as in recording/performance) electric violin, you should spend $1,000 and more. Seems like an excessively inflated price range for rather small electric instrument that uses very little material.

Also, I imagined it would be possible the bow entire chords on the guitar because its string profile is rather flat, but it doesn't seem to be working much... Maybe flatwound strings are better suited for this?
#24
Quote by StewieSwan
No. I bow actual bowed instruments.


actually if you do it right it's a cool sound

my friend do it good


Not really my style, but it definitely sounds better than my tortured guitar sounds. But I meant if you have ever tried it on the guitar? If not than obviously you wouldn't have the reference.

But on that note... Are you familiar with electric violins? Is there anything inexpensive you'd might recommend?
#26
I think you can spend about $100 for an e-bow if you want the effect

I'm not too knowledgeable about guitar strings (coated or not), but I have been a violin player for over a decade, so I'll offer my advice:

I use professional grade rosin for my violin's bow (because the cheap student kind is nasty sounding and sticky, and looking back at my older bows growing up using the student kind of rosin, the bow hair at the tip and frog ends have sort of hardened, looks nasty and makes it more difficult to play),

When applying rosin, I first start by scrubbing (don't shove the bow onto the rosin, but don't just gloss it over the rosin) the part near the frog (the frog is where the hand and fingers are resting near) scrub a few times, then pull the bow to the tip side and scrub a bit, then for the mid-section, do whole sweeps from tip to frog and back to tip. 

Bow hair color:
Normally (with the exception of black bow haired bows) bow hairs look sort of yellowish without the rosin, after applying the rosin following the paragraph above, the bow should be looking near white (but not extremely white. You can tell if you hit the bow and a bunch of powder comes off looking like white smoke, you've put too much).

Also, just as a cleanliness measure, make sure to wipe off the rosin on the strings and under the strings after playing otherwise the rosin ends up sticking to the strings and the guitar's body (below the strings), which then makes it really annoying when playing normally because the strings are kinda sticky.. (also it looks nasty)

The reason that you can only either play the high/low E or all the strings on the guitar is because guitars are set up in a way where all strings are laid in a straight line. Whereas on a violin, the bridge (that wooden thing between the fingerboard and tailpiece, often is the lightest color thing on the whole violin, its the thing perpendicular to the strings) holds the strings in an arch sort of shape, so you can play 1, 2, or 3 strings at the same time depending on how you angle your bow (3 strings at a time are tricky because you sort of have to "slam" or apply pressure to make all three ring at the same time)

I hope I've helped you somewhat, if you still have questions, let me know, I'll do my best to answer them
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Last edited by Parac at Jun 15, 2017,
#27
Quote by Parac
The reason that you can only either play the high/low E or all the strings on the guitar is because guitars are set up in a way where all strings are laid in a straight line. Whereas on a violin, the bridge (that wooden thing between the fingerboard and tailpiece, often is the lightest color thing on the whole violin, its the thing perpendicular to the strings) holds the strings in an arch sort of shape, so you can play 1, 2, or 3 strings at the same time depending on how you angle your bow (3 strings at a time are tricky because you sort of have to "slam" or apply pressure to make all three ring at the same time)


Oh, I know that. I actually mentioned fingerboard radius here. But what I said is that I actually can't get all strings to play together. I was imagining that the upside of bowing a flat instrument like the guitar would be being able to bow big chords, which is great for ambient effects, but it doesn't seem to work like that with my guitar! The strings only generate clear sound when bowed at specific points, and it's not the same for all strings (at least the high and low E's, I can't clearly tell for the middle ones as I can't bow and listen to them individually). It seems really weird. What happens when you bow your violin at different points? Does it sound bad and "scratchy" at some points of bowing?

Regarding the E-Bow, I remember watching some demos of it in the past. It sounds pretty cool, but it doesn't give the same effect as a bow.

And I did say I was also considering at one point getting an electric violin. If you have any knowledge about these and what might be a good affordable option, that could be helpful.

Thanks!
#28
Quote by TLGuitar
Oh, I know that. I actually mentioned fingerboard radius here. But what I said is that I actually can't get all strings to play together. I was imagining that the upside of bowing a flat instrument like the guitar would be being able to bow big chords, which is great for ambient effects, but it doesn't seem to work like that with my guitar! The strings only generate clear sound when bowed at specific points, and it's not the same for all strings (at least the high and low E's, I can't clearly tell for the middle ones as I can't bow and listen to them individually). It seems really weird.

1. What happens when you bow your violin at different points? Does it sound bad and "scratchy" at some points of bowing?

Regarding the E-Bow, I remember watching some demos of it in the past. It sounds pretty cool, but it doesn't give the same effect as a bow.

2. And I did say I was also considering at one point getting an electric violin. If you have any knowledge about these and what might be a good affordable option, that could be helpful.

Thanks!


1. Where you bow is similar to where you strum on guitar. On a violin, if you strum closer to the fretboard, it sounds a bit softer than if you played near the bridge (which sounds louder), at the same time, if you aren't careful, playing near the bridge gives off a scratchy sort of tone if you press hard enough. The more bow hair you have on the string, the louder (and potentially scratchier) it will be (which is why most players play with their bow slightly tilted). 

2. While I have played electric violins before, I don't own one. The difference between electric and normal violins is similar to the difference between Acoustic and Electric guitars (so if you understand the differences, the comparison between violins is similar). 
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#29
Quote by Parac
1. Where you bow is similar to where you strum on guitar. On a violin, if you strum closer to the fretboard, it sounds a bit softer than if you played near the bridge (which sounds louder), at the same time, if you aren't careful, playing near the bridge gives off a scratchy sort of tone if you press hard enough. The more bow hair you have on the string, the louder (and potentially scratchier) it will be (which is why most players play with their bow slightly tilted). 

2. While I have played electric violins before, I don't own one. The difference between electric and normal violins is similar to the difference between Acoustic and Electric guitars (so if you understand the differences, the comparison between violins is similar). 


Actually, as I suggested, the physics in play do seem to be different when comparing the creation of sound through bowing a string and through picking a string. Here's an article I've found which I assume refers to some of the issues I have encountered:
http://plus.maths.org/issue31/features/woodhouse/index.html

When you pluck a string closer to or further from the bridge it changes the ratio between the harmonics and the fundamential so the tone is affected, but the basic behavior of the string's vibration remains the same.

To problem is that this unwanted effect seems very pronounced when bowing my guitar; it's possibly more so than it is with a violin due to differences in the string and the guitar's construction. The main issue is that, as I said, the strings on my guitar react well to bowing on different points so making bowed 6 string chords doesn't seem possible in my case.

Regarding the electric violin, well, I was looking to hear some recommendations. It's hard to find decent information about this subject.
#30
1. plucking or pizzicato, not picking; guitar terminology need not apply (strumming is understandable - I think of stuff like this)
2. violas and double basses exist
3. I've only seen a few cases of bows on guitars, and it definitely has something to do with instrument construction

This is mostly to get a specific sound profile (feedback)

Bass strings only, and it's meant to achieve a non-fretted sound

When thinking about electric violins, I think I played a Yamaha silent violin before, but the first real memories were of TSO performing (Mark Wood, Anna Phoebe were the two most distinctive when I watched them live), so looking for related brands might help. However, playing the violin and playing the guitar are not directly related skills, so YMMV.
#31
NeoMvsEu I didn't say you pick a string on the violin, but the scientific article talked about picking a string (as on the guitar) and bowing one.

What about violas and double basses?
#32
TLGuitar

Not synonymous.
Fingerstyle guitar is plucking strings with your fingers; adding any type of pick (including nails) makes it picking.

There are electric versions of all instruments used in a string orchestra:

Two violins, one viola, one cello

#33
NeoMvsEuI've already read the entire article, I know what it was saying.
"The guitar player can vary the mixture of amplitudes of the various modes, by plucking at different points on the string or using a different plectrum". And plucking and picking are actually verbs bearing the same meaning, and I suspect the similarity between "plectrum" (which is another word for instrument pick) and "plucking" point to similar origins. What more, one of the Merriam Webster definitions for "pluck" reads "to play by sounding the strings with the fingers or a pick".

Either way, your nitpicking is entirely removed from the point, because the article inspecting the physics of string playing makes a distinction between playing a string by striking it once and letting it keep on vibrating, which could be either using a finger or a plectrum, and playing a string by bowing it, which involves the continuous transfer of energy into the string.

And when did I say there aren't electric versions of other orchestral string instruments?
#34
TLGuitar, the smiley meant it was mostly tongue-in-cheek about orchestral instruments... (however, I own a viola, so generalizing further could help in the future )

Plucking and picking are not both transferable concepts when applied to the bowed string instruments. On the orchestral instruments, only plucking would refer specifically to pizzicato, a common technique. Using any method to start a string's vibration and then let it continue ringing can produce similar /results/; however, results and the method do not match, and it would give more credence to the article to keep consistent - comparing two techniques on a single instrument and its techniques is more effective than comparing apples and pears; they're a bit more similar than oranges, but there are still differences that make the comparison less rigorous than it could be.

Either way, if you're trying to bow only one middle string on a guitar, an e-bow would work best, since the geometry of the guitar strings blocks the effect from functioning in a similar way as on a traditional bowed instrument
#35
NeoMvsEuBut, AGAIN, the article referred to picking a string as you would on a guitar. What's so hard to understand? They didn't say everything discussed in the article refers to techniques only as performed on the violin. They were interested in showing how two completely different ways of initiating a strings' (of whatever instrument) movement cause the string to physically behave differently.
#36
TLGuitar, we're speaking at cross purposes, and there is no reason to get so agitated.

I already said
Using any method to start a string's vibration and then let it continue ringing can produce similar /results/

The results being
striking it once and letting it keep on vibrating

This is the point I think you're trying to make, regardless of instrument focus.

I was critiquing the article's use of examples to show that the two string vibration methods were different and required different skills.

Either way, to stop pulling the thread off topic, take a look at this and think of why bows may sound better on a traditional bowed instrument than on a flatter-radius guitar:

#37
NeoMvsEuYou created a supposed point of confusion when there was none.

And regarding the bow hairs' tightness, perhaps that's also an issue when attempting to bow the entire six strings, but a guitar's fingerboard is much narrower than the length of a bow (and I bought a viola bow) so you can still have all six string fairly away from the absolute edges of the bow. I think the main issue is still that the strings require a different point of bowing for the good sound to come out.

It isn't explicitly stated in the article, by I assume it's also the case with the violin/voila/etc? Perhaps not as pronounced as with what I'm experiencing with my guitar's Elixir strings, though.
#38
TLGuitar, the entire conversation was off topic, and confusion takes two Assigning blame is not productive; move along.

The issue I was getting at is that the bow hairs have the tendency to curve regardless of tension, which works with the bowed string instruments, as they either have the curvature or a reduced amount of strings to compensate. Meanwhile, the flat multi-string guitar offers none of these compensatory attributes. Guitars are not going to lend itself to playing multiple strings at once by nature of their construction.

The bow is not designed to play all strings at once; check 1:05. Two strings, then shift the bow to make contact with the other two strings. dannyalcatraz can probably confirm
#39
As someone that experimented with this crap in high school, the only thing I remember (and am not entirely certain of being true and not just coincidence) is that higher strong tensions tend to make bowing easier and clearer
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#40
NeoMvsEu

Yep.

The arc of the fingerboard and bridge also preclude contacting more than 2 strings simultaneously as well.
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