Everyone can learn how to play the violin. All it takes is a few lessons online. These lessons teach you how to hold and position the violin during practice and how to use different violin accessories.
The violin was invented in the sixteenth century; it can be used to pay a variety of songs in different genres. Violins are mostly used in orchestras, bands, and solo performances. Over the years, the violin has undergone different forms of modifications.
The changes introduced to the violin are mainly targeted at helping musicians perform better with the instrument. With every bright idea, there is a new accessory added to the violin.
Violin accessories have been invented to help musicians improve their performances with the musical instrument. The use of accessories when playing violins has also made it possible for both beginners and intermediate players to learn new skills while improving old techniques during practice.
Currently, there are about sixteen notable violin accessories. These accessories have become quite popular because of their value to violinists and other fans of the musical instrument. In the coming years, we expect that more accessories will be invented to further improve every violinist’s experience as well as the audience listening to the beautiful sounds produced by the musical instrument.
While learning how to play the violin, it is common to find out that instructors have added some targeted lessons to teach their students about different violin accessories. These lessons help students to recognize the different violin accessories and how they can be used during practice sessions.
To get the best results while using violin accessories, it is important that every violinist should know how these products are used. The wrong use of an accessory can greatly influence the type of sounds produced when playing the violin.
The accessories for a violin are not very complex; they are also mostly lightweight. This means it is easy to clean and keep violin accessories immediately after using them for practice or performance. Regarding the weight of violins, which can be a burden on the shoulders while it is in use, there are accessories that can be used to cushion the effect of a violin on the performer’s shoulder. This is just a simple example of how the use of violin accessories can help the performers enjoy using the musical instrument.
Here are some commonly used violin accessories and their functions.
16 Best Cool and Essential Violin Accessories
1) The Bow
The bow is one of the significant violin accessories. It is used to produce the sounds we enjoy hearing by moving it across the strings. The bow is made up of five parts which function together; it holds the hair, which is moved over the strings of the violin.
There are different types of bows for violins, but they essentially function the same way. The hair attached to violin bows is usually extracted from horses. To get the best effect while using the bow, it is important that the hair is properly fixed and held in position with the screw. Fixing the bow hair too tight may cause some issues while playing the violin.
Another factor that affects the sounds produced when using the bow is the pressure you put on the strings during practice. Over time, following an expert violinist’s instructions, you should learn the pressure that should be used when bowing.
2) Case and gig bag
The case and gig bags are those high-quality carriers used to store the violin and its accessories. Cases for violins come in different designs. You can find cases for violins that have different features to make it easier to store your favorite musical instrument.
Depending on what you want, you can decide to choose a case and gig bag depending on the features you see on it. For people who travel a lot to perform gigs, it is necessary to use case and gig bags that can accommodate the violin and all its essential accessories. For example, you can find case and gig bags that have compartments to store more than one violin bow.
These cases for violins also make it very easy to carry the violin from one place to another if you need to travel. You also need them to protect your violin from harsh weather because they are mostly made with water proof lining to prevent moisture from ruining the musical instrument.
3) Chin rest
The chin rest provides a comfortable cushion for placing your chin while playing the violin. It is attached to the violin. The chin rest is one of the violin accessories that was invented over time after the violin became one of the most commonly used musical instruments in entertainment.
The need to invent a chin rest for the violin became necessary when it was discovered that playing violins for long hours can be quite a burden because of the strain on the chin. To avoid this sore experience, chin rests were accepted by the music community and implemented in the violin’s design.
The chin rest is also helpful when you need to play vigorous passages in music. This is usually the case when violins are played in rock bands or during the creation of instrumentals for action-packed movies. There are different types of chin rests for violins, but they all fit perfectly over the tailpiece of the musical instrument.
4) Maintenance kits
The maintenance kits for violins are lightweight carrier bags which hold the essential products used to keep the violin clean and in a perfect functional condition. The common items found in a violin maintenance kit include organic cleaners (which are safe for the environment), cleaning cloths, polishing products and rosins which are used to keep the bow hairs in a good working condition.
Elements such as dust, moisture, or heat can ruin the violin. The items found in maintenance kits can be used to prevent this from happening. For example, the surface of the violin can be protected from the harmful effects of moisture by polishing with a good waxing product for wood surfaces. Using the products found in this kit is easy; the manufacturers also attach user instructions to guide you.
5) Pickups and preamps
The pickup and preamps are violin accessories used to manage the signals during practice sessions or live performances. With the help of these accessories, you can ensure the right pitch is amplified to boost your sound.
While playing the violin, you may notice the production of sounds that have low signals. These sounds produced from the pickups can alter your performance. The solution is to use a preamp to boost the low signals to an acceptable level.
Pickups and preamps can also be used to improve the quality of signals from the amplifiers. There are settings that can be used to achieve this function. The volume controls and equalizer tabs on the accessory can be used to get the best quality signals when playing the violin.
Pickup and preamps are connected directly to the amplifiers. Their functionalities include the volume control, equalizer functions for bass, treble, and mid sounds, balancing the phases while playing the violin and eliminating disruptive noise during violin practice.
Pickups and preamps are also used to harmonize multiple signals sent through the amplifier. These signals are combined to create one signal. However, this function will be only available if the preamp you have can handle multiple channels.
6) Violin Rosin
Rosins are used to maintain the bow hairs of the violin. They are resin materials which have highly frictional surfaces. The rosins come in different brands which function in a similar way.
During a performance with the violin, it is common to find out that the bow hairs slip off the violin strings. The result is a distorted sound; only experienced violinists can overcome this issue without having a bad performance.
The rosins are used to prevent such a situation from happening. They are rubbed on the bow hair to improve friction. After using rosins on the violin bow hair, you will notice that it is easier to achieve a firmer grip on the strings while playing the violin.
Rosins help violinists to achieve the level of vibration needed while playing the violin. Rosins are easy to use, and it is necessary for brand new violins bows to be prepped with rosins before the first use.
7) Shoulder Rests
The shoulder rests are essential violin accessories that were invented out of necessity. The older composers found out it was really stressful to play the violin for long hours because of the strain on their shoulders.
Shoulder rests provide a cushion that can help you feel more comfortable while playing the violin. These accessories are made from plastic materials, fiber, or wood. They have contours that can accommodate your shoulders comfortably.
To find the best shoulder rest, you may need to try the different types to know which offers more comfort. Shoulder rests are secured to the violin with screws; they are made with adjustable features, this means adults and young children can use them without any problems.
8) Violin string
New violins come with strings from the manufacturer. However, you may need to have extra violin strings which can be stored in your case and gig bag until they are needed. The violin strings can last for many years; however, they have different features which are why you may need to have multiple strings over time.
The different features of violin strings explain why they produce varying pitch when played with a bow. Some simple features of the string you can easily observe are the material it has been made from, its tension core material, gauge and capacity, and the material that has been used to coat the string.
Some violin strings sold by reputable brands have been labeled. This makes it easy for you to find the information to know the type of pitch you should expect when using the string. Your choice of string is going to be based on the type of pitch you need to create.
The tailpiece is the part of a violin that secures one end of the string, holding it firmly in place. The tailpiece also influences the quality of pitch produced by the violin when it is played. The position of a tailpiece can also be adjusted to correct errors in the sounds and vibration.
You can use the tailpiece to play the right notes to achieve a perfect harmony for your tune. The tailpiece can also be used to improve resonance which has a positive effect on the sounds. It is common to find violinists with more than one tailpiece in their case and gig bags. This happens when they discover particular tailpieces that are most suitable for orchestra, solo performances or when playing rock music.
Tailpieces are made from wood; they are also exquisitely designed to make the violin look beautiful. The weight of a tailpiece is also a factor that influences the sound. Lighter tailpieces can hinder you from getting the right level of vibrations when playing the violin. You can also modulate the tones produced when playing your violin by choosing a tailpiece with a suitable length.
10) Tuning peg and fitting
The tuning pegs and fitting are violin accessories used to hold the strings and create the right tension before playing the musical instrument. Tuning pegs are adjustable; however, their usage procedures can be tricky when handled by beginners.
The tuning pegs hold the strings; they are used to make them tighter or loosened when necessary. The pegs have tapered ends which hold the strings firm. Tuning the violin is done by turning the tuning pegs or moving them accordingly.
The fitting process helps to ensure the strings are properly stretched and placed in the violin bridge. During this process, maintaining the right tension is important to avoid distorting the tones produced while playing your violin.
On the violin, we have the A, D, E, and G strings. These are the strings that are adjusted to get the right tension using the tuning pegs. To avoid issues when using tuning pegs, it is important to keep the pegs lubricated before use. While tuning the strings, you can maintain a steady balance with the tuning pegs by using a good peg paste.
11) Violin Bridge
The violin bridge is the part of the musical instrument that holds the strings. It serves many functions which are collectively aimed at helping you get the right tones while playing the violin. The violin bridge is made of wood, and it has different shapes.
The upper part of the bridge is arched. One part of this arch is higher than the other; they are used to hold the G and E strings. It would be best if you placed the G string in the higher side of the bridge, and the E string goes into the lower arched part.
The bridge helps to transmit the vibrations created by the bow hairs through the soundboard, and this is what we hear as violin sounds. The pressure of the strings passed through the bridge holds it in place while the musical instrument is in use. To prevent a loss of vibration, it is important to use high-quality Violin Bridge to prevent the string from entering into the wood.
12) Violin Mute
The mute is one of the essential violin accessories everyone needs. It is used to lower the pitch produced by the violin when it is played in a public place. The mute lowers the violins pitch to avoid disturbing people around. However, you can still hear the pitch to ensure you are getting the right notes while practicing.
There are different types of mutes; they are basically differentiated by the materials the mutes have been made from. You should attach your mute to the bridge of your violin. Beginners are advised to start with rubber mutes to avoid damaging the bridge.
To fix the mute on the violin bridge, there is no need to remove the strings. You can simply place it over the bridge with the rubber tubing facing upwards. Ensure the notch is secured over the bridge to prevent your mute from falling off while you practice with the violin.
The violin tuner is one of the common accessories is often used before practice sessions. It is used to tune the strings of the violin to get the right notes. The violin tuner adjusts the violin strings, G, D, A, and E, to match the songs or musical performance you want to create.
The turners are mostly used after the tuning pegs have been used to adjust the strings. Its function is to fine tune the strings as much as possible. To avoid breaking the strings, it is important to make minor adjustments while using the tuner. If the right tune is not achieved, you can make another minor change until you get it right.
You can also follow the usage instructions when using the tuner to get the best pitch.
14) Stand and hanger
The stand and hanger for violins are used to conveniently hold the musical instrument in place when you need to take a break during practice. The stands are used to support the violin while you can place your bow on the hanger.
There are different types of stands and hangers. If you are practicing in a group, you can choose the models of this accessory that can hold two or more violins. Some of these accessories come with holders for sheet music.
Stand and hangers are built to have a solid base; this means the chances of coming back to find your violin on the ground is very slim. For beginners, using stands with a holder for sheet music helps during practice sessions. You can place your sheet music on the holder at an angle that is convenient and visible while playing the violin. The sheet music holder should also be adjustable so it can be used by adults and younger children.
15) Fingerboard and Tapes
The fingerboard is a common accessory found with musical instruments such as the violin that are played using bows. It is made from wood; fingerboards support the violin strings which run over it from one end of the musical instrument to the other.
To get the best results, fingerboards should have a smooth surface without cracks or dents. It should be easy to slide your fingers from one end of the board to the other while playing your violin. On the fingerboard, there is a concave impression. This provision makes it possible for the vibrations to occur while playing bowing.
Fingerboards come in varying lengths; you will find shorter versions on violins made for younger children. However, they have the same principle of operation.
16) Violin humidifiers
These essential accessories keep the humidity around your violin and the bows stable when they are in storage. The humidifiers are placed in your case and gig bags or a room where you store your violin. You should use the violin humidifiers during transit or a long storage. With the violin humidifiers, half of your job is done; you will not need to monitor humid conditions to keep your violin in perfect shape.
If you live in areas with dry weather, it is important to use the violin humidifiers at least every two weeks. The standard humid condition for a violin is about 50% when using a hygrometer for measurement; if you can maintain this condition, your violin will not crack.
Humid conditions can be unpredictable so using a violin humidifier is important. Some models of this accessory do not need any monitoring during use in the case or violin gig bags.
Choosing the Best Violin Parts
In the markets, there are so many brands of violin accessories. It may be tricky when you have to choose among these brands. However, if they have been around for a while, you can find reviews from previous users online. One thing is certain, the different violin accessories you will be advised to buy have been designed to improve your experience while playing the musical instrument.
Thankfully, some of these violin accessories are made from sturdy materials. For example, you can use the shoulder rests, gig bags, and bows for many years before you need to change them. However, depending on your needs, you may need to buy multiple accessories. This is usually the case where the accessories for your violin have different features that make the musical instrument produce varying sounds. For example, the violin strings can produce different pitches depending on their core and materials.
The main violin accessories are easy to use; it gets even better when you are learning how to play the violin from an online course. You can take lessons that teach about these accessories.