5 Best Violin Rosins On The Market (Dark & Light)

If you’ve been hustling online for the perfect violin rosin, I’m glad to say I’ve got you covered.

Maybe yours just cracked so you need a replacement, or maybe you just fancy something new to spruce up your practice time.

Either way, I’ve found the 5 best violin rosins and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Buying a new violin is a huge investment but picking up new rosin is a great way to upgrade without spending so much cash!

So, let’s find you the perfect violin rosin to add a little va-va-voom to your playing.

Snapshot: 5 Best Violin Rosins

  1. D’Addario Kaplan Premium Rosin
  2. The Original Bernardel Rosin For Violin – Viola – Cello
  3. Salchow Medium-Dark Rosin For Violin – Viola – Cello
  4. Sound Harbor Natural Rosin
  5. Jade L’Opera JADE Rosin for Violin, Viola, and Cello (Original Version)

Choosing a Great Violin Rosin

Best Violin Rosin

You may have been surprised by the variety in rosin out there, I know I certainly was back in the day.

I’d just been given a rosin cake from my violin teacher and was told to use it before every practice session. I did what I was told, of course, but I had no idea why I was doing it!

Rosin is what gives the bow for your violin the grip it needs to create friction with your violin strings in order to make a sound. You can get some really fancy rosins that claim all sorts of things but, in my mind, there are just two different types.

You’ve got light rosin and dark rosin. Light rosin is harder and not quite so sticky, whereas dark rosin is much softer and stickier.

Which one you choose really just comes down to personal preference so I’ve made sure to include plenty of both!

The Best Violin Rosins in 2020

1. D’Addario Kaplan Premium Rosin

This D’Addario Kaplan Premium Rosin is a classic. It’s dark rosin so if you live in a hot climate be careful it doesn’t melt. The last thing you want is sticky rosin all over your violin case (trust me, I’ve been there).

Packaging & Protection

It comes in a hard case, which is great because it gives you a bit of added protection. I don’t know about you but I always used to forget to put my rosin back in its box after I’d used it. Then, of course, the next thing I knew I had little pieces of smashed rosin and dust all over my case.

Now, that was some clean-up job, let me tell ya. If you’re like me and you lose things pretty easily, you’ll probably find this D’Addario rosin really handy. The rosin itself stays stuck to the case so there’s no way you could lose it (then again, I’d probably find a way). The only negative I’ve found with this one is that by the time you’re down to the last bits of rosin, it’s not very easy to use.

The sides of the case can get in the way a little bit, which makes the fact that it lasts longer without smashing a little irrelevant because you can’t really use all of it.

Grip & Playability

Most violinists prefer lighter rosin because there’s this general rule of thumb that dark rosin is for bigger instruments. However,  I prefer using a dark rosin because you don’t have to sit for ages lathering up your bow (is lather the right word?). This D’Addario rosin grips to your bow so easily and helps to really ring out the sound of your violin. As I said, this one’s not ideal for warmer climates as you may find that it clumps up a little bit. Also, like most dark rosins, this one does stain your bow and it’s harder to clean off of your violin.

Sound

This D’Addario rosin is great for pulling out really precise intonation. I first tried this one because I was having trouble with a whistling E string. I thought it was just the angle of my bow at first, then a friend recommended this rosin and it did the trick!

Pros

  • Hard case for extra protection
  • Precise sound
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Great for emphasizing the lower strings

Cons

  • Not good for hot climates
  • The case can get in the way when the rosin starts to run out
  • May stain your bow

Final Thoughts on the D’Addario Kaplan Premium Rosin

This rosin is definitely one of the best violin rosins. It’s great if you’ve got quite a light bowing hand as it offers that extra grip. Plus, I love the case but maybe that’s just because I’m so disaster-prone.

Lovely dark rosin for a purer tone with a hard case to prevent it from breaking

2. The Original Bernardel Rosin For Violin – Viola – Cello

This lovely light-medium rosin is perfect if you’ve got a bit more of a heavy hand. Of course, it’s a little bit dustier because it’s not quite so sticky. So, get your cloths out, guys!

Packaging & Protection

The Original Bernardel Rosin comes with more traditional protection if you will (this french rosin is really bringing out my posh side). It’s stuck to a little bit of fabric, which I sort of prefer because it means you can use every last bit. However, I know the main problem people have with rosin is the whole smashing situation.

If you are prone to dropping things, this may not be the one for you. However, it does come with a little pouch, so you don’t have to store it naked! Plus, I like bunching up the fabric behind the rosin cake to make a little handle while I use it. Maybe I’m just a fan of living on the edge…

Grip & Playability

You won’t get quite so much grip with this rosin as you would with a darker one. However, it does create quite a bit of friction. It’s not quite a light rosin, so it’s not super dusty either. No rosin is completely dust-free though. This one is definitely better for people who play with a heavy to medium pressure.

If you want to figure out what your playing style is like. Just start bowing really lightly and get heavier and heavier until you’re happy with how it sounds. If you just do one to three bows, you’ve probably got a light hand; if you do between three and five you use medium weight and anything more than that you’ve most likely got a heavy hand! I hope that helps…

Sound

The Original Bernardel Rosin will give you a really clean, bright tone. If you’re looking for a bit of extra color in your life – this one’s for you. It’s really nice for brightening up a more mellow violin.

Pros

  • Comes with a pouch for protection whiles stored
  • Produces a clear, bright tone
  • Packaging allows you to use it all up

Cons

  • Protective pouch isn’t attached – could smash from dropping
  • A little dustier than dark rosin

Final Thoughts on the Original Bernardel Rosin For Violin – Viola – Cello

I love this rosin for more mellow violins. It’s also great if you’ve got a bit of a heavier hand. Plus, it’s way less dusty than light rosin and it’s good value for money because you can use it all up (as long as you don’t accidentally smash it).

Great color and excellent for mellow violins

3. Salchow Medium-Dark Rosin For Violin – Viola – Cello

Oooh, posh! I treated myself to this rosin once just because I thought it looked fancy. We all know how much I love expensive-looking things! This medium-dark violin rosin definitely one of the best.

Packaging & Protection

I love the blue fabric, but I do think it gets dustier a lot quicker than the usual beige-colored fabric. This rosin doesn’t come with a case or a pouch so there’s a chance of it smashing. However, the only time I’ve smashed rosin cakes is when I’ve dropped them, so I guess that’s my fault. This one does come with quite a lot of fabric to protect it so as long as you keep it tied shut you’ll probably be pretty safe.

Grip & Playability

If you play folk music, you’ll love this rosin. It’s got the perfect balance of stickiness (that sounds so weird but you know what I mean). Darker rosin like this is perfect for fiddlists (folk players) because tend to play a lot quicker and use more than one string at once so they need that extra grip. However, really dark rosin can sometimes cause a little bit too much friction and get in the way of flying between the strings. It’s all about finding a balance!

Sound

Using this rosin will make staccato playing that bit more lively. Although it’s ideal for folk players, it would also work well for classical players. The Salchow Medium-Dark Rosin really brings out the natural tone of your violin and gives you a bit of extra volume.

Pros

  • Great for fiddlists and staccato playing
  • Packaging allows you to use it all up
  • Not too sticky, not too hard – the perfect balance

Cons

  • The packaging isn’t very protective
  • Blue cloth gets quite dusty

Final Thoughts on the Salchow Medium-Dark Rosin For Violin – Viola – Cello

I think this is a great rosin for fiddlists. I’m a folk gal myself and it’s definitely one of my personal favorites. It pulls out the natural tone of your violin and really emphasizes it’s sound with extra volume.

The perfect medium-dark rosin for fiddlists that emphasizes your instrument’s natural tone

4. Sound Harbor Natural Rosin

Rosin Violin Rosin 2 pack Big size Rosin Low Dust Natural Rosin for Violin Cello Viola Bows (Yellow)
  • ✔ [ BIG SIZE ROSIN ] - Bigger than most rosin on the market. More affordable price, better choice for beginners and practitioners.

I know violin rosin isn’t exactly expensive but I wanted to add in a slightly cheaper option anyway. This Sound Harbor Natural Rosin is a really good light violin rosin. Plus, it comes in a pack of two. I mean, you can’t argue with a bargain!

Packaging & Protection

I love how affordable this one is, but it is a little bit harder to use. This light rosin comes in a plastic box which, of course, is great for stopping dust from spilling everywhere. These boxed rosins are usually cheaper than caked rosins. However, I actually think bundled up fabric does a better job of protecting the rosin itself.

Normal circular rosin cakes can be used at any angle but you can only use this one vertically (fitting your bow in between its plastic casing). It’s not the worst thing in the world but it can split my bow-hairs if I’m not careful.

Grip & Playability

The Sound Harbor Natural Rosin would be great for players with a heavier hand. It would also be great for beginners because the rosin itself is much harder, so they won’t accidentally use too much. If you use too much rosin, you’ll probably find that your violin starts to lose its smoothness.

Don’t worry, you can fix this by stripping your bow and cleaning your strings. You should try to avoid having to strip your bow though as it can damage the hairs if done too often (I learned that the hard way).

Sound

As I said earlier, a lot of violinists prefer light rosin. Personally, I think it comes down to your own preference. Experimenting to find out what you like and don’t like is always a good idea. This Sound Harbor Rosin is great if you just want the extra grip but don’t necessarily want to change the tone of your violin. It really just creates more friction rather than a different sound.

Pros

  • Plastic case stops dust from getting everywhere
  • Affordable
  • Great if you don’t want to change the tone of your violin
  • Harder texture stops you using too much

Cons

  • Trickier to use than a rosin cake
  • Could damage your bow as you get further down the box

Final Thoughts on the Sound Harbor Natural Rosin

I think this is a great boxed violin rosin for students. It’s difficult to use too much and it doesn’t really change the tone of your violin. Plus, it’s cheap and cheerful!

A really affordable boxed violin rosin, perfect for students

5. Jade L’Opera Rosin for Violin, Viola, and Cello (Original Version)

This rosin cake is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a lovely jade color so it’s pretty unique looking and it’s perfect for getting extra grip without the build-up of product.

Packaging & Protection

The Jade L’Opera Rosin comes with lovely velvet fabric and a plastic box to keep it safe. The combination of having both a box and the fabric as a cushion is pretty fail-safe, I’d say. You can make the most of your money by using every last bit as well, which I love. This was my teacher’s favorite rosin and I can definitely see why!

Grip & Playability

The best thing about this rosin is that it gives you so much grip without building up much residue on your strings and bow. It certainly makes cleaning your violin a heck of a lot easier! Sometimes darker rosins can sort of make your bow feel like its dragging on the strings but this one doesn’t do that. The Jade L’Opera Rosin is honestly the best rosin I’ve ever used. However, I know the fact that it doesn’t come with a hard case could put people straight off!

Sound

The Jade L’Opera Rosin doesn’t really change the tone of your violin. It just gives you that extra friction without compromising the playability of your bow. If you’re not used to using more expensive rosin, you’ll probably notice a massive difference in the volume, though.

Pros

  • Gives grip without the build-up of product
  • Offers really smooth playability
  • Packaging allows you to use it all up
  • Plastic box prevents smashing

Cons

  • A little pricier than the other options

Final Thoughts on the Jade L’Opera Rosin

If you haven’t tried this Jade L’Opera Rosin yet, you’ve got to give it a go. It’s definitely one of my favorites and I always have it in my violin case. If you’re struggling to find a violin rosin that gives you grip without compromising your sound and playability – this is it!

The perfect violin rosin for extra grip without building up product or compromising playability.

Experiment With Your Violin Rosin!

There are so many arguments as to whether rosin actually changes the sound of your violin. Personally, I’d have to say it does.

Some lighter rosins are really just designed to give you extra grip but some darker rosins can really change the way you play.

Remember to take your playing style into consideration.

If you play really fast folk music with a light hand, you’re better off with something darker like the Jade L’Opera Rosin. On the other hand, if you’re pretty heavy-handed and find that your bow makes a scraping noise sometimes then you’re probably better off with a lighter one.

I hope this list of the best violin rosin has helped you decide which one would work best for you. If you’re still spoilt for choice, the best thing you can do is experiment with different types.

Happy music making!

Further Reading: