Light vs. Dark Rosin; Violin, Viola, or Cello

In the world of rosin for bows there are two types of rosin–Light and Dark. Similar in pricing, what’s the difference between the two rosins? I’m so glad you asked. Let’s dive into that a little.

Rosin is, essentially, tree sap–it’s resin collected from pine and conifer trees that, when applied to the bow of an instrument, allow for friction between the bow and strings, which results in the vibration of the strings and sound.

Light rosin is a denser and less sticky, which makes it better for warmer and hotter climates, like the southern United States.

Dark rosin is a less dense rosin, and much stickier than light rosin which makes is great for dry and cold climates like here in New Hampshire!

We would recommend dark rosin if you live up here, but either will work for your instrument. Next time you’re in the store, ask to try some of our sample rosin and feel the difference.

How Does an Electric Guitar Pickup Even Work?

You’ve probably heard an electric guitar unplugged from an amp, and it’s not that exciting. We know we need amplifiers to hear them well, but what’s creating the sound we hear through the amp? What makes and electric guitar electric? Let’s dive in a little and learn!

What Is A Pickup?

At their most basic, pickups are magnets. These magnets have a certain magnetic field in which our signal is picked up (hence the name). 

What are The Pickups Picking Up?

Our strings can be made out of many things, but all strings are magnetic alloys. When we introduce them into the magnetic field, when not moving, they do nothing. But, once we strum we are disrupting that magnetic field at a given frequency. The frequency (or note) that’s appearing in the magnetic field can be changed by us fretting the strings at different points on the neck.

So, That’s What I’m Hearing?

Of course there are many types of pickups; single-coil, humbucker, P90, warm, bright, metallic–the list goes on for awhile–but at their core pickups are magnetic fields that “hear” different frequencies, and put them through our electronics, into our amp, and out for our ears to hear. In an acoustic guitar you’re hearing the amplified vibration of the strings, but on an electric you’re hearing the frequencies that travel through the pickups and our tone/volume circuits. 

I want to go even further…

For more questions about shaping your personal sound via pickups or tone circuits, come on in and talk to me or John! We would love to share our experiences, educate you, and even do some research with you. Creating your electric sound profile is a ton of fun, and a great learning experience. 

For a more scientific dive into how pickups work, checkout Hank Wallace’s post on Atlantic Quality Design’s website.

Elixir Strings – Polyweb vs. Nanoweb

Elixir strings are the long-lasting, coated guitar string that dominates the market. Elixirs boast “a microscopically thin, advanced polymer tube that surrounds the string to protect it from corrosion and dirt without making any contact whatsoever with the critical area between the windings where the “critical zone of tone” is found and each perfect note is born.” But, there are two different “flavors” of Elixir strings; Polyweb or Nanoweb.

Image result for polyweb and nanoweb elixir

The prefix “poly” comes from Ancient Greek, meaning “many,” and “nano” means “extremely small.” These definitions are dead-on. The polyweb strings have multiple coatings of the Elixir Formula, while the nanowebs have only one. Different feel, different tone, and different life spans help decide which string you want to use! Both polyweb and nanoweb strings come in Phosphor Bronze and 80/20 Bronze, allowing you to customize your tone even more.

So, next time you’re changing your strings, give the Elixirs a try! You never know, you might find your new sound!

Essential in Learning; Essential Elements

 

Image result for essential elements

Essential Elements is one of the many method book series we keep in stock here at the store, for many reasons! Checkout this article on how they got started, here.