It is great you have decided that you want to pursuit your passion in violin, before you are set to go, it is important to know what you need to complete the journey, there are a number of accessories necessary to play the violin properly and comfortably. We will cover what most commonly used below, which include the bow, the case, the shoulder rest, the extra strings, the rosin, the tuner and the mute. Make sure that when you select your new violin, you get the accessories, too!
As we assume you will have a violin already, we won’t spend too much time talking about how to pick a good violin, bottom line is, it should be made of solid wood, not plywood nor plastic, go for ebony pegs if possible, some professional violins may only have one fine tuner, but as beginner player, you wanna make sure all four fine tuners are in place for easy tuning.
Most of the time, a triangular case will be included when you purchase a violin, but that case may only satisfy your most basic need, which is to store the violin. Violins, as with all stringed instruments, are notoriously delicate instruments so it is vital to have a solid case to protect it for day to day practice when in transit. Violin cases typically come in two styles, the oblong case, which fits in a rectangle around the instrument and usually has a lot of room for accessories, and the fitted shape which surrounds the violin snugly. No matter which shape you prefer, there are some features you should be looking for when choosing a case — at lease 2 bow holders, 1-2 accessory compartments, strong handle, backpack straps, blanket. Other than these, it will be nicer for the case to have a hygrometer and extra sheet music pocket. Based on these criteria, we found this SKY 4/4 Full Size Professional Oblong Shape Lightweight Violin an excellent option.
The bow is the most important accessory for violin as without it, the violin could not be played. It is important to buy the right violin bow which has the right weight and feel while remaining within your budget. If you need a refresher on how to buy the right violin, you can read our violin bow buying guide. Most beginner violin outfits come with a violin bow already, but once you get to the intermediate and advanced level, you need to be sure you are using the violin bow that works for you. We recommend trying out several bows to see which one sounds the best with your instrument. For more help on choosing a violin bow, read our guide on how to choose a good violin bow.
We recommend starting with a nice Brazilwood bow that has octagonal stick, ebony frog, which is straight and well balanced.
Though there is considerable debate about the use of a violin shoulder rest, many beginner violinists use the shoulder rest when they are first starting to learn the violin.
The shoulder rest is as the name suggests: it is an accessory that is attached to the body of the violin to support the instrument over the player’s shoulder. Shoulder rests provide comfort to the performer by elevating the violin so that the violin does not need to be held up by the left hand.
Shoulder rests are usually made out of a combination of wood, carbon fiber, plastic, foam, aluminum, leather, and/or sponge. A popular style has rubber-tipped “feet” that attach the shoulder rest to the body of the violin. Foam or sponge rests can either stick right on the violin, or may be attached with elastics. We recommend Kun shoulder rest which is most popular for beginners.
Rosin, the ubiquitous accessory for any stringed-instrument player is actually a bit of a mystery to most musicians. Unlike fretted or plucked instruments, rosin is a key element in making your violin, viola, cello, or double bass ring out its rich sounds.
There are two main types of rosin: amber and dark. Dark rosin provides a softer tone and is better suited to cool, dry climates since in warmer climates it gets too sticky. Dark rosin is generally used by cellists who need a softer rosin to make the cello sing. Lighter, amber rosins tend to be harder and denser, making them a good fit for violin.
If you interested in learn more about rosin, read this article on how to choose a good violin rosin
Extra Set of String
Violin strings have a tendency to break at the wrong time, such as during performance or practice, so it is important to have an extra set of string handy when incident happens. String usually come in three types— steel core, gut core and synthetic core, one thing worth noting is that synthetic core strings are invented by Thomastik-Infeld and they are by far the most popular type of strings, as they have most of the tonal colors of gut strings but much stable than gut strings.
Mutes are used to dampen the sound of a viola both for orchestration purposes (composers require them in certain pieces) and practice sessions so you don’t disturb the neighbors. Mutes are often fairly cheap, with most rubber mutes coming in under $5 on Amazon. You should always keep at least one in your violin case.
When it comes to instruments, none are as wonderful to listen to than the violin. Due to there being no frets on a violin, it tends to make a violin rather difficult to tune accurately, without the aid of a violin tuner. A standard violin tuner is one that you can use anywhere, is often battery powered, and can hear and measure the pitch of your violin, in order to tell you if you’re sharp, flat, or on key.