Choosing the right violin accessories:
The purpose of this page discusses violin accessories which includes various types of strings and rosin. As a violin student advances, it is my hope that this information is helpful to the student. The more informed the student is, the better decisions he/she will make with regard to selecting strings and rosin.
The following article explains the types of violin strings a player might use on his/her violin: https://stringsmagazine.com/a-guide-to-choosing-the-right-violin-strings/
The last point of the essay discusses when to change strings. According to the article, a string may sound “dull” over time. As a string is played, it will become less resonant over time. Sometimes overtones will become less prevalent which will impact the sound of a violin.
Occasionally a violin string will start to unravel and feel rough to the touch. Whenever a string feels rough, many times the string(s) will break shortly. This is another sign that the string should be replaced.
If you are wondering what string is on your violin, here is a string identification chart: https://www.violinstringreview.com/string-color-id.html
Other topics of interest the article mentions includes the following:
There are many types of strings a player may use. They include gut core, steel core and synthetic core strings.How do we know what type of string to use?
The type of string a violinist uses depends on the type of sound he/she desires. Different types of sound that may be appealing to violinists include sweet and brighter sounding violins to name a few. The previous link and the following link gives insight into strings that may be satisfying to some players under the quick reference section: https://www.violinstringreview.com/quick-reference.html
Just as there are different violin strings to choose from, various types of rosin are available. More different kinds of rosin are becoming available with each passing year.
A few things to consider when selecting a rosin to use include the cost of rosin, the durability of it, the amount of dust it leaves (important for those people more sensitive to rosin dust) and the tone the rosin creates. This essay explains all of the previous points in more detail: https://fiddlersguide.com/reviews/best-violin-rosin/
The following article discusses types of rosin to use at various times of the year.
For more information on how various types of rosin influences the sound of the violin, see https://stringsmagazine.com/the-differences-between-dark-and-amber-rosin/
Violin chinrests come in various shapes and sizes. A chinrest that may be suitable for one person may not be suitable for another.
The shape of a chinrest a player might use depends on the shape of his/her face as explained in this article: https://www.connollymusic.com/stringovation/choosing-chin-rest-for-violin-viola
When most violinists play, their chin naturally ends up on the tailpiece which is located underneath the chinrest. Since the player’s chin sits on the tailpiece, it stands to reason that most violinists are more comfortable with a center mount chinrest than one off to the side.
Here is an article that gives more in depth information on chinrests: https://stringsmagazine.com/how-to-select-the-right-chin-rest-for-violin-or-viola/
As a violin teacher, one of the things I see most often with transfer students are players holding the violin with inadequate support for the player’s head. The inadequate support is reflected by a student’s head that is crooked when he/she plays. This leads to sore muscles which not only make it uncomfortable for the player but causes physical problems. Lack of chinrest height can also make it hard for people to play violin for any length of time without getting a sore neck.
Since muscles on the human body are connected with each other, a sore neck may also cause sore shoulders. So how should a person find the right chinrest for him/her?
- Make sure that the neck is straight when playing.
- Another thing to consider is that the violin does not move around when the student takes his/her hand away when holding the violin with the head and chin.
- The third thing I look for when a student plays is that he/she can hold the violin and move play notes in higher positions without the violin moving around. This is important as a student plays more advanced music.