If you are new to violins, you may wonder why my violin does not make sound when I play? I did tune my violin to the correct notes and play use a bow? Why it does not work? Is the violin defective…. These questions sound silly but actually happen more than often to violin newbies, if your violin is not making sound, it is most probably missing a key ingredient —- Rosin!

Why Rosin: 

  • New violin bows often do not produce any sound because they need rosin.
  • Rosin is extremely important because it provides the bow hair with friction in order to produce a sound when the bow is pulled across violin strings.
  • Without rosin, when you slide the bow across violin strings, all you can hear is a faint whisper sound.(or no sound at all)
  • Rosin usually comes in hard, round or oblong “cakes” of resin.

How to Apply Rosin:

  • Before applying rosin, remember to tighten the bow gently by tuning the screw at the end of the bow, a good way to measure the proper tension is when the separation between bow stick and width will be about the width of a pencil.
  • Place the bow hairs flat on the rosin close to bow frog, gently rub the bow hair up and down a few times.Then, draw the bow hairs straight across the rosin until the tip of the bow is reached. Repeat the same gentle scrubbing motion at the tip of the bow, and pull the flat bow hairs back to the frog again.
  • Repeat this process across the full length of the bow several times.
  • After each playing session, use a soft, dry cloth to remove rosin dust from the strings and body of the instrument.


For the first time use, we usually recommend players to apply rosin for at least 10 minutes, until rosin cake melt to powder and you can see rosin particles attached to the bow.

When you are uncertain if your bow needs rosin, a simple test will help: Using the back or your thumbnail, and pull it sideways across the hair of the bow (under the bow hair, near the frog). If a small pull of rosin can be seen, the bow has enough rosin.

Remember, do not use your fingers to touch bow hair if the bow has enough rosin, or the natural oil from your finger will get on the hair and make the bow slide even more.