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Best Violin Rosin 2024: 10+ Rosins For ULTIMATE Friction!!

What kind of rosin is best for violin? Does violin rosin make a difference? We investigate...

Choosing the best violin rosin – that’s tough!

Tougher than fighting a man-eating crocodile with your bear hands… no joke. That’s because for any fanatical violinist, rosins are arguably the key ingredient to a good sound. You can have the best violin in the world + a bow that retails in the £100s, BUT if your rosin isn’t on point – then forget it. All that £$€, time & effort may as well be flushed down the drain. Because…

A violin rosin is what gives a violin its signature tone; without a rosin, your violin bow would be VERY quiet! To the point that (in a moment of madness) you may even think that your bow is broken. The best way to think of a violin rosin is a way of conditioning your sound. Rosin is substance (usually made of pine tree resin) that you apply to your bow in order to increase the level of friction between its hair & the violin strings. It’s this friction that gives the violin its melancholic deep-throat sound that manages to conjure raw emotion right out of your very soul.

Okay, that may have been a bit over the top – but you get the gist. Without violin rosin, the violin would be nothing, & making sure you’re well equipped to find the best violin rosin first time round is just common sense. So with that, what type of rosin is best for violin? & how often should violin rosin be replaced? We reveal all…

After something specific about how violin rosin makes a difference? Or just curious what we consider to be the best violin rosin? Jump into the menu below to get all your answers in 1 click…

NOTE: Curious about more than the best violin rosins? Jump into our Review Of The Best Violin Bows + our Breakdown Of What Violin Rosin Actually Is.

SPOILER: Violin rosin isn’t exactly ‘one-size-fits-all’.

See, aside from the fact that some violins rosins are made from 100% tree resin, others come mixed with beeswax & even certain types of metals; it’s said that adding metal to a violin rosin can really enhance the character of your tone! Team that with how there’s also light rosin & dark rosin + the fact that there’s a whole host of different rosin manufacturers, & you can soon see why buying the best violin rosin can get SO incredibly confusing!!

Add that to how you then have to work out which rosins work best with your chosen violin/ string setup, & yep – to go in for the ‘lucky dip’ wouldn’t be the wisest idea. Thankfully though you don’t have to, because we’ve done 90% of the hard work for you. Simply read on & we’ll reveal what we believe to be the best violin rosins on sale today…


1: Jade L’Opera

2: Pirastro Goldflex (includes golden fleck!)

3: Super Sensitive dark rosin

4: Pirastro Obligato

5: Punk transparent rosin cake

6: Melos dark rosin

7: Pirastro Gold rosin

8: The Original Bernardel Rosin

9: Larsen Rosin

If you’re after some serious stick, then a dark violin rosin may be the way to go.

See, the real difference here is friction. With a light rosin, you’ll achieve a moderate amount of friction & the application process should be a LOT more beginner friendly. Whereas with darker rosins, this is where you need to be careful. A dark rosin is not only considerably more sticky than its lighter cousin, but it’s also harder to clean off & more susceptible to damage when there’s a change in temperature.

However, many professionals do claim that dark rosins do (arguably) offer the best sound. & as far as we can tell from our tests, they’re not lying! So providing you can live with the ‘quirks’ that come with darker rosins, here’s the best dark violin rosin we could find…

10: D’Addario Premium Dark Rosin (with Case)

Beginners – if you’re not sure where to start, then LISTEN UP…

If you’ve never laid hands on a violin rosin before, then we’d always advise you stick with something light. Aside from being more beginner-friendly in terms of application, they’ll also be tougher & last longer too. Neither do they tend be as £$€, so should anything happen, you’re not that much out of pocket. Heck, even some professionals maintain that for certain bows, a lighter rosin (like those used by beginners) can offer the best sound.

Exactly why when we tried this rosin, we just couldn’t help ourselves. Application was SO easy (& stress-free) that we just had to label it the best violin rosin for beginners…

11: D’Addario Light Natural Rosin

If you’re using the incredibly popular Dominant strings on your violin, then chances are you’re after a rosin that’s a little different. One that gives you a bit of extra UMPH!!

See, with the dominants being one of the most neutral strings you can buy, a quality rosin can really do a lot to level-up your sound & make it feel that bit more distinctive. Let’s face it, as much as Thomastik Dominant makes a great reference string (there’s VERY little discolouration with these strings), out of the box you could say they’re a bit… vanilla.

A term you will NOT be using once you’ve teamed them with a rosin like this. After an affordable way to spruce up your sound? (no pine pun intended). Here’s what in our experience, is the best rosin for Dominant strings…

12: Cecilia Andrea Rosin

Enjoy this review of the best violin rosin & eager for more? Jump into all the latest advice on Caring For Musical Instruments, as well as our extensive Knowledge Of Musical Instruments. Recently we also did a rundown of the Top Beginner Violins + another on the Best Violins For Professionals, which may also be a good read!

Or if you’ve still trying to decide what violin bow is best for you, keep reading & we’ll answer more of your burning questions…

Choosing the best violin rosin is no easy task!

In fact, if you don’t do the proper research you could end up with a rosin that’s ANYTHING but good for your sound!! Remember: it’s your rosin that determines how your bow interacts with your violin strings – an incredibly important job. Hence why choosing the wrong rosin can cost you more than just the RRP… when buying a rosin your sound is also at stake too!

So to help you track down the best violin rosin for your instrument/ style of play, here’s 3 things to look for when choosing a violin rosin…

  • Shade of rosin – The first thing to consider when choosing a violin rosin is the shade of rosin that works best for you. Lighter rosins tend to be less sticky & more suited to hotter climates – ideal for most beginners! Whereas darker rosins can be more tricky to apply (i.e. require a more delicate application) + not be the most long-lasting in those more humid climates. A detail to bear in mind, especially if you’re a beginner.
  • Impact on sound – With rosins (to a large extent) governing the relationship between your bow & your strings, using a different rosin can be a nifty way to improve your sound. On the flip-side, it can also work against you, so BEWARE! Hence why we advise you pay particular attention to their formulation; the ingredients in a rosin can do a lot to shape their sound. For instance, some manufacturers even include fragments of metals (copper, silver & even gold) to add that extra bit of metallic warmth.
  • Overall popularity – As always when buying anything online, you’d be wise to weigh up what others think before placing your order. An easy way to do so would be to dive into product reviews (like this one), plus understand the thoughts of other violinists & the impact a rosin has had on their sound. And while we don’t suggest you simply ‘follow the crowd’, if you’re at all unsure about buying a rosin or just want to get a feel for using one, choosing a rosin that’s popular can in many ways double as a safe bet. Good to know!

Hate to say it, but… there’s no straight answer to that.

You’d be right to replace a violin rosin when it:

  • Cracks or shatters
  • Dries up & looses its adhesive properties
  • You want to change up your sound

All things that you can’t really predict. Look after a rosin & keep it well-protected in a case, & it could be still worth using after a couple of years. More expensive darker rosins in particular, tend to last that bit longer when properly cared for & stored at room temperature. Whereas, with lighter rosins being less moist, they tend to be more liable to dry out & shatter when dropped.

Equally, there’s also your usage to consider too. As you’d expect, frequent usage can very easily see you go through a lot of rosin pretty darn fast. Hence why if you ask us, ‘sell-by-dates’ for rosins are to be taken more as a rough guide than anything.

In the end, it all comes back to (A) how you treat your violin rosin, (B) how often you use it & (C) what you want from it sound-wise. On average, rosins tend to last around-about a year at best – 6 months for a regular player. But we’d suggest checking in with yours every couple of weeks to ensure it remains in tip-top condition. A small price to pay, to know that you’re upping your chances of achieving the best possible sound.

From our experience it is best to scratch up your rosin eve so slightly before use. However, how you do so will depend on the type of rosin you have.

Lighter rosins are typically the ones most in need of scratching, due to their increased hardness. So by being scratched, the adhesion is increased when presented with your bow. Saying that though, there are a few dos & don’ts when it comes to scratching your rosin.

  1. Be gentle about it – rosins, especially those for violins, are incredibly delicate! So delicate in fact that over-scratching them could easily make the rosin more liable to break or actually make the surface too rough for it to properly adhere to your bow. When scratching a rosin, apply light pressure, just so that you take the glossy sheen off the top surface.
  2. Make sure it’s even – To maximise the lifespan of your rosin + how evenly it adheres to your bow, you’d be wise not to concentrate your scratches in a certain spot. The last thing you want is deep trench beginning to form in the centre of your rosin. Hence why we suggest instead of using something pointy like a pen or scissors, you instead use a piece of fine grit sandpaper.

NOTE: Not all rosins need scratching up. Some softer rosins (usually dark) may actually be sticky enough to apply straight onto your bow. Equally, if you’re in a humid climate (California, for instance), then you may also not need to go through such precautions. However, if you’re like us (in the chilly & damp, UK) then we’d highly suggest it.

Rosin all the way.

See, while wax has been used as a substitute, we wouldn’t advise it. The main reason being that wax is significantly less sticky – more greasy than anything. If you’ve ever compared tree sap to beeswax, you’ll know what we mean. All of which can severely impact your sound! Hence why rosin formulations often contain a percentage of wax, but are NOT made up solely of wax themselves.

Tree resin is FAR more sticky & thus better for magnifying sound. Something you need to cause long-lasting friction between the bow hair & your strings. Plus, there’s also the cleanliness side of using wax; using wax in place of violin rosin is nowhere near as clean. Apply too much & you’ll find yourself using the phrase “my violin is SO gunked up” all too often.

If you want to use wax on your violin, we’d say keep it away from the strings & use it as a polish to rejuvenate & condition your wood.

After a decent amount of time playing the violin, it’s inevitable that rosin will begin to build up.

And that’s exactly what’s causing this squeaking/ scratching noise. In our experience the most common offender is the E string, but this can happen with any string on your violin. Thankfully though, to solve this squeak is actually pretty simple.

Get yourself a microfibre & wipe your strings down after use. Soaking the cloth in soapy water will usually suffice, although if the rosin has been left on for a significant amount of time, applying a bit of rubbing alcohol may be necessary to loosen any rosin that’s really caked on.

Afraid not.

Just like olive oil to Jamie Oliver & Rosemary to Gordon Ramsey – rosin is the secret ingredient to any good-sounding violin. Without it, a violin bow will simply make a low-pitched hissing sound as it’s hair is dragged across the strings of the violin. That’s it.

Any violin player – be they a beginner or seasoned pro – needs to rosin their bow without fail. Don’t believe us? If not, then you could end up sounding like this…

YouTube video

While famous violinists can (& do) use all sorts of rosins depending on how they play, they typically tend to favour those made by Melos or Pirastro.

Two of the most highly-regarded violin rosin brands out there today. The real appeal of Melos rosin are its greek origins – this rosin is sourced from some of the best pine trees the world has to offer & is known industry-wide for its impressive traction. Plus, each Melos rosin is even made fresh to order! All characteristics which professionals believe make it the best violin rosin out there today.

And as for Pirastro, their appeal to professionals comes back to something slightly different; Pirastro rosins come in hordes of different formulations, including those with metal fleck to enhance sound! What’s more, there’s pretty much a Pirastro rosin for every setup, be that steel or synthetic strings of a particular tension. Pirastro even do rosins for low dust too!