Having high quality cotton and rosin is key to getting a good sound. Make sure you have high quality materials from the below lists, then learn how to use them properly. An easy way to learn is the monthly, online GurdyWorld Maintenance & Adjustment Workshop. Show up to learn everything there is to know about adjusting your instrument!
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We always advise to get advice from your instruments luthier on which rosin to use. If you are unsure, it is strongly encouraged to use a light rosin. There are several that many luthiers recommend and these are listed below:
You can often buy cotton locally at yarn or spinning stores. It is important for it to have long, smooth fibers without tangles, knots, or blemishes. Make sure it is free of oils as well.
Another option for hurdy-gurdy cotton is synthetic materials like rayon or viscose. Different materials will cause the instrument to sound slightly different, it is best to try multiple materials and see what you like the best. Synthetic materials can also be more durable and require less changing.
- Rayon (Cellucotton Beauty Coil 100% Rayon): Available on Amazon
- Cotton (Long Staple Cotton Silver, unbleached): Available on Amazon
- Cotton (Natural Cotton with Long Fibers): Magic Wick – you can go to a local vape shop and get long fiber wick cotton easily.
Liquid rosin application
Liquid rosin is usually stored in a glass or plastic dropper bottle, for easy application onto a cloth to rub onto the wheel or strings of your instrument. An alternative to using a cloth if an empty acrylic Marker, this makes application as easy as holding a small paint brush to the wheel while cranking, and the width of the marker means you don’t have to move back and forth like with solid rosin.
You can find an amazon link here – or possibly find one in a local crafts shop.