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Rosin - part of the Double Bass Accessories - from the doublebass specialists The Contrabass Shoppe for doublebasses (double basses) musical instruments

Petz No 3 Medium Rosin

Petz No. 3 Rosin - Click on the image for a larger view.

Petz Rosin

Tell me about Petz Rosin.

In 1912 after many years of experimentation - Ernst Petzka - a musician who lived in Vienna - established Petz Kolophonium. It was received by musicians all over the world to great acclaim.

Today production is still made by hand - piece by piece - using raw materials of the highest quality.

How is the rosin packaged?

The bass rosin is cast in an aluminium container and packaged in a distinctive green tub with the logo of a bear playing a double bass in front of a pine forest. If the name Petz doesn't stick in the memory too well - the green tub and logo certainly does. This cleaver piece of marketing - whether by accident or design - has helped establish the brand as a firm favourite amongst bass players all over the world.

How many grades are there?

We would describe Petz as a "soft-rosin" or for want of a better word - the more "sticky" type of formulation. There are three grades available. No 2 is soft, No 3 is Medium and No 4 is hard. Here at The Contrabass Shoppe we find No3 - Medium is absolutely perfect for most users - however should you live in a region with a generally colder climate then the No 2 - the softest in the range can be easily applied to the surface of the bow hair in just the right amounts. For those of you in a hotter than average climate - the No 4 - the hardest in the range will produce a good, consistent performance with just the right amounts of grip.

Can I mix the different grades?

Yes indeed. Many pro-players will carry a tub of each grade around in their bass cover so as to be prepared for every eventuality or for that extra "special" performance.

What sort of eventuality are you talking about?

Many musicians do touring work and can find themselves performing in a cold country one week and in a hot country the following week. In really cold, dry countries such as Norway or Finland a Hard or Medium rosin will perform almost like a powder rosin. For those of you who demand the more instant, grippy response from your bow - the lack of attack or bite from a powder-like rosin will completely frustrate your playing. Should you only have your soft No 2 rosin when on stage in a hot, humid country such as Greece, Spain or Italy in August- well you'll be even more frustrated. The rosin will start to clog up the entire length of your bow in such a way that it will almost cease to produce any sound at all. During your rehearsal - you'll find that you start to "pick-and-flick" at the "slicks" of rosin on the hair - especially at the frog end - which of course is the end you use the most - and in the performance you start to loose your concentration. Things get even worse when you loose your place and the conductor starts to glare at you. Oh hell - you curse at your bow - but its not the bow and in the back of your mind you know full well that it's the wrong grade of rosin. Unfortunately its all far too late now - for the hair is completely messed up. It will certainly need a good rehair when you get home. And how much will that be? Much more than a couple of blocks of rosin - and that's for sure.

What about at home (the UK and similar temperate climates)? Are there any situations where it would be useful to have a different grade of rosin with me?

Yes certainly. Sometimes a musician can find himself doing some recording work in a freezing cold church in the morning and afternoon followed by an evening show in a hot stick theatre pit. Don't tell me - I know what you're thinking. Why is this lucky person doing a three session day when I'm only doing the one? Well - its only a possible scenario to demonstrate that in having a selection of rosin grades at your disposal - it may just get you out of - err... shall we say a "sticky" or "not-so-sticky" situation?

What about that "extra-special" performance that you mentioned?

Oh yes - I nearly forgot that one. Just imagine the scenario. The Royal Albert Hall - doing Bruckner 7 at the Proms and you're on trial for the principal position. You need to make a huge impression and a huge sound - so you simply open up a new block of the No2 - soft - and use sparingly. Brilliant - it could have just got you the job.

Any more scenarios?

Yes plenty. Imagine this one. You're doing your first recital at college and you need to be absolutely sure that the fast passages in the first movement of the Bottesini No2 Concerto will be controlled, precise and fluid. You use Petz No 4. Brilliant move - the recital goes absolutely fantastic. What a relief. Celebrating at the student-union bar in the evening - you even get chatted up by the leggy blond harpist who came especially to hear you. What a result!

Besides guaranteeing exactly the right amount of grip - what other advantages are there in purchasing a tub of Petz?

In terms of longevity - a tub of Petz rosin just seems to last and last and last. This coupled with the fact that the quality of the rosin doesn’t seem to deteriorate as you get further down to the bottom of the block make Petz rosin a particularly good investment.

Are there any more positives ?

Yes - the rosin doesn’t produce that much dust. Even with a larger than average application - this means that there shouldn't be too much string and table dusting and cleaning to do after the gig.

Does Petz rosin produce much "secondary" or "surface" noise?

No - In comparison to other soft-formulations rosins - bow hair noise - often referred to as "secondary or "surface" noise is quite minimal.

How do I get into the rosin itself?

You first need to remove a narrow ribbon of the aluminium foil from the top of the cup. We would describe a narrow ribbon as being between 5 - 8mm. Use a knife or something similar to carefully cut into it. You'll find that the foil is quite soft and the "operation" is quick and easy to do. Try not to cut into the rosin block itself or otherwise a flake or chunk may split off. Once you have removed the ribbon - you may find that the new top edge of the aluminium cup is sharp or protruding from having pulled the foil away - so smooth it down with the handle of the knife. Job done.

How do I apply the rosin?

Applying the rosin is simply a matter of stroking the bow hair over the rosin until the hair has absorbed the required amount.

So what is the required amount?

It's the amount that you need to get the grip that you need. You'll soon find out.

Time for a summary

Petz is a well recognised and popular rosin. It is available in three different grades. The green tub with a bear on the top.

Stats:

Type: Soft
Grades: No2 - soft, No3 - medium, No4 - hard
Colour: Amber
Block Type: Round in aluminium foil cup
Weight of Block: 44.0gm (average)
Diameter of Block: 45.0mm (average)
Depth of Block: 28.5mm (average)
Container: Green plastic tub

Petz Rosin No2 Soft Price: UK £11.43 Buy Now

Petz Rosin No3 Medium - SOLD OUT

Petz Rosin No4 Hard Price: UK £11.43 Buy Now

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