So, your child has made the exciting choice to learn to play the violin. You have bought the instrument, but what do you need to do next? There are some important violin accessories that they will need to make the enjoyable journey into the world of the violin.
These accessories should help their learning to go smoothly and keep their instrument in good, working order. Below is a list of essential violin accessories your child will need to enable them to pick up the violin and play.
A violin bow should generally come with the child’s violin when you buy it, as part of the package. This can then be upgraded as and when your child or teacher feels it necessary. The bow is the device that is pulled across the violin strings in order to make them vibrate and emit sound. If you don’t purchase a package, the bow will need to be purchased separately before your child steps foot in the classroom.
Rosin is a solid form of resin which is obtained from tree sap. It is sold in a solid form called a cake or a block. Your child will need to rub the rosin on their bow hair before playing their violin. This enables the hair to grip the strings, thus producing sound. Without rosin, bow hair is naturally slippery and does not make a sound on its own.
There are many different types of rosin to choose from and sometimes it may be necessary to try out a few before finding a favorite.
It can be worth spending a little more on a good quality rosin because it will last for years and is an important violin accessory to have. However, a word of warning…..too much rosin is not good either as it can build up, causing too much residue on the strings, which can produce an unpleasant squeaky, scratchy sound.
Musical instruments can be extremely fragile and are very precious. Therefore they must have a case to protect them. The decision you will need to make is whether to purchase a hard or a soft case, there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
If your child is younger, a soft case would be lighter than the hard case, making it easier for them to carry their violin when traveling with it. It is also cheaper than a hard case and with the rapid advances in technology, soft cases are generally padded sufficiently nowadays to provide a high level of protection to your violin. However, hard shell cases are often more popular with musicians because of their durability, but they tend to be more expensive and are of course heavier than a soft case. If your child has to travel much with their violin, then a good quality, hard case could be the right investment, as opposed to mending or replacing a damaged violin.
Whilst a practice mute is not necessarily an essential violin accessory, it may well be if you live in an apartment with thin walls! Other people, and indeed some family members, might not appreciate your child’s practicing quite so much as you do.
The mute can cut the sound down, making it easier on everyone’s ears. A violin mute is small and relatively inexpensive. You attach it to the bridge of the violin. There are quite a few different types of mutes available to buy, however the rubber mutes will not damage the strings.
A beginners violin music book is also very helpful for your child to have. How exciting to play actual music! Your child’s violin teacher will probably recommend several books that are at the appropriate level that they prefer their students to use. As well as including easy songs to learn, many beginner books also include pictures demonstrating how to hold the violin correctly and how to position the bow.
If you don’t want your child to have posture and technique problems then they must not practice with their music flat on a table, as this can make them hunch their shoulders. A music stand will make practicing far easier and more comfortable and is a valuable violin accessory to have.
A music stand can also give you a convenient place to keep your sheet music and books and will only take up a small amount of floor space. Some stands will even fold up for easy storage when not in use.
Is a shoulder rest an essential violin accessory? There are many people who would say no to this question. However, whilst it isn’t essential, it can certainly help your child to rest their violin at a comfortable location on their shoulder and can prevent the violin from slipping.
One final violin accessory that is an essential item for all violin players, not just beginners, is a spare set of strings. The violin is set up with four strings and unfortunately there are times when one or more of these strings will break or wear out and has to be replaced. This will nearly always happen at the worst possible moment, when going to the music store is simply not an option, so having a spare set of strings is an essential violin accessory.
Shop Violin Accessories at Music & Arts
Boasting one of the largest product offerings in the world, Music and Arts is the unofficial home of music education. From bows and strings to the violin itself, we have every piece of gear your child needs to be the best violinist they can possibly be. Whether you’re renting or in the market to buy a violin, we can help with both. Find your local store today!