6 Violin fittings you should know more about! All the accessories to make your violin complete!
Whether you’re a beginner violinist or a seasoned pro, there are some unmissable violin fittings that can boost yours. These accessories can help you to produce a richer sound or avoid unfortunate damages.
The question now is which violin fittings really do help your instrument? Honestly, there are quite a lot of them out there. Some are really essential, some are considered basic and others wouldn’t hurt having at all.
Violin is a beautiful musical instrument that can bring so much life to the music you hear. Remember, having the right violin fittings could help you maximize your violin playing experience! Enjoy!!
There are some violin fittings your instrument needs for becoming a better version of itself
1. Violin Strings
Choosing the right violin strings can be a very difficult task, especially if you want them to sound great, but don’t know which ones are best. There is a multitude of different brands and types of strings on the market today.
Having the right set can make a massive difference, as you can get different brightness, tonal quality, and tension. Below are some helpful tips for choosing the appropriate strings for your violin.
Define your dream sound
First, it is essential to know what kind of sound/timbre you are looking for. Nowadays, strings manufacturers offer a massive range of possibilities, with characteristics such as bright, dark, warm, clear, etc. The strings have the power to enrich the instrument’s tone.
Set your budget
If you are looking for power and readiness, there are strings with a higher price that will give you this quality and power, but they might have a shorter life cycle, decreasing its cost-benefit. Professionals with extended hours of performance and practice time normally change strings from 1 to 3 months, look for strings that can both fit your budget and deliver the kind of sound you want.
Ask for advice
After many years in the violin-making world, do you want to know how we choose the best strings for our violins? Through musicians’ feedback and advice, and this is also my advice for you. Talk to experienced musicians who have already invested and tried many strings and have already chosen some of their preferences.
Bear in mind that we always have to consider that we are talking about different instruments, and each one has its own peculiarity; however, it can be a much shorter path if the musicians’ experience is added to your research. After all, trial and error will be the best way to find out the best string for you.
Strings manufacturers charts
There are many charts from the strings manufacturers that will help you find the string the way you want. We use them all the time when we need to find the right string for a new model or every time we have a client asking for a specific feature to be highlighted in the instrument sound. Look at this example by Thomastik-Infeld and their Stringfrinder.
Too much tension is not so good
We like to say to our clients not to buy violin strings with a lot of tension because, over time, this can cause the instrument to lose resonance due to excessive pressure on the top. At first, thinking about it, we try to avoid steel strings.
Change one string at a time
Since the set of strings have different diameter, tension and sometimes are made with different materials, the right thing to do if you practice several hours a day is to change one string at a time. G-string usually lasts longer while E-string has a shorter life time.
Keep it clean
Last, an important thing to keep them tidy up and increase their durability is to clean the strings with a dry cloth, wiping the sweat by rubbing the cloth on them every time after practice/performance.
2. Violin Chinrest
Violin chinrest is a relatively new invention. Before they were invented, violinists would simply rest the violin against their collarbones to play it. Of course, this is extremely uncomfortable and puts a lot of strain on the violinist’s body. In order to solve this problem, violinists began using violin chinrests. However, with so many different kinds of chin rests out there, it is hard to choose one that fits your needs. Let us help you make an educated choice so you can play your best!
It’s a personal choice
Choosing a violin chinrest turns out to be a very personal choice and will depend mainly on the shape of your chin. It is also important to choose a chinrest with an appropriate height for your neck. Remember that the chinrest should adapt to you and not you to the chinrest. Therefore you should choose the chinrest as you hold the violin. For example, if you like to keep your chin on top of the tailpiece, you should use a central chinrest so that your chin is not too close to the tailpiece.
Avoid the heavy ones
It is crucial to choose one that is not made of heavy material, as excess weight can interfere with the resonance of the instrument. For the fittings, it would be good to use preferably lightweight and anti-allergenic material, such as titanium.
Rest it as close as possible to the edge
Another important thing not to interfere with the instrument’s resonance is to look at the area where the chinrest touches the violin; its base should not be too large, and it should not advance too far into the central region of the instrument. If that’s your case, ask your luthier to make some adjustments so that the chinrest’s base rests only on the lower block region or as close as possible to the edge.
3. Violin Pegs
The violin pegs are one of the smallest parts of the violin fittings set. But they’re also the most important. Well, that’s not entirely true, but we do spend a lot of time using them! So having the best violin pegs will greatly increase your playing experience. It is also quite confusing as there seem to be so many types and brands available. But which one is the best violin peg for the money? Read on my friend to find out.
Violin pegs are used to secure the strings on your violin. A peg is placed at the far end of the fingerboard, in the head, at the pegbox, which actually holds the strings firmly in place. Depending on your choice, a peg comes in various designs.
Maintain them well adapted
The pegs must be well adapted, otherwise, they won’t hold on tight when you tune your instrument. Over time, the pegs become oval and adhere to only some parts of their orifice, while the ideal position is to embrace it fully.
Set the strings close to the peg box’s cheek
One thing that helps the pegs to stay firm in place, in addition to lubrication, is the positioning of the strings, which must be set very close to the peg box’s cheek. In this way, the strings pull the pegs inward. And why is that so important? Remember, the pegs are conical cylindrical, and the tendency of this cylindrical, when rotated, is to leave the orifice. To this not happen, you need a lock, in this case, the string, which will be coiled and pulling the peg inward. I am sure that half of your tuning problems are solved when you pay attention to this detail.
Pay attention to the model
There are several different models of pegs and materials. Pick those that have the two parts of the handle parallel so that it helps to support the finger for tuning.
Place them in a comfortable positioning for you
Another thing is to position the pegs in a way that facilitates your movement at the time of tuning—in other words, do not leave them in a position that requires you to be a contortionist to be able to tune it. You can simply put the strings in a little more and reposition the peg so that it fits into a comfortable position for you.
Choose a hard material
There are many materials for pegs; the important thing is that they are made of harder materials, such as ebony and boxwood, to not easily deform. There are also mechanical pegs on the market today, which can make tuning a lot easier.
Do you want a beneficial tip? I bet this one you haven’t heard before! Pay close attention to the peg of the A-string; if you always put too much force to put it in place, or if it is poorly adapted, the excess pressure can easily cause a rupture in the pegbox. I assure you that you should make sure that it is correctly set before this break occurs.
4. Violin Shoulder Rest
Violin shoulder rests are meant to rest on the shoulder of the violin player. They help to support the weight of the violin while playing, and most of them also add extra comfort as well.
Having the right violin shoulder rest can be the difference between a bad practice session and a great one. They can alter how you stand behind your instrument as well as the angle of your violin on your shoulder. If you have ever played through changes many times without making any progress, it’s likely because you aren’t using the right shoulder rest for your needs.
It needs to adapt to your body
It must be anatomical in a way that the model adapts to the contour of your shoulder.
It must not be slippery, and the base must be adherent so that the instrument does not slip when played.
Keep holding the violin tight
Another important thing is that it holds on very well to the violin; it should have a system that guarantees that it will not detach from the instrument. There are some models of shoulder rest, with an extra item that ensures that the instrument does not come loose easily.
Pay attention to its height
Also, it must not be too high; it is not made to fill the gap between your chin and your shoulder; it is only made to give you stability, inhibiting the instrument’s movement of rotation. The chin rest must do this compensation between your chin and the violin. It would be best if you never lose contact between the instrument and your collarbone. That’s why many professionals decide to play without shoulder rest as they cannot find an ideal one. This search can become a challenge on your journey, but it can help you in many ways once you find the right violin shoulder rest for you.
5. Violin Tailpiece
Though violins are stunning works of art, their design has remained relatively unchanged for hundreds of years. This is because the design of the violin is just about perfect. However, throughout the centuries, a variety of tailpieces have been used on the violin family of instruments.
Have you ever wondered if its different types can really interfere with the sound of your instrument? well well, I must say yes!
That’s why you should choose the best tailpiece for your specific needs. The choice is fundamental so that the instrument can produce a sound with more colors and harmonics. The one to be chosen should be the one that is more adapted to the instrument, and that responds better to what the musician wants.
Basically, the difference is between its material, each one highlights a special feature.
Here goes the variety we use in our workshop:
Sonowood (walnut, spruce, maple), Dark paper, Boxwood, Ebony, Carbon fiber, and Titanium.
To know more about the different results they bring out, read our dedicated blog on the violin accessories at the bottom of your violin.
6. Violin Fine Tuner
A violin fine tuner is a mechanical device for tuning a violin. It is attached to the tailpiece at the bottom of the violin. As you know, there are many considerations when finding the best violin, and you may also know that violin strings can influence how loud and soft a violin will be.
The choice of a violin fine tuner is equally important because it can affect the pitch of a violin.
Most professionals use a fine tuner only on the E string, first because it is kind of hard to make the tuning on that string only on the peg. The fine tuner is a solution that significantly facilitates the tuning of this string, as it is a steel-string and is not very elastic. Most professionals do not use fine tuners on the other strings because it can interfere with the instrument’s timbre since most fine tuners are made of steel or metal, and metal can somehow add a different tone.
The ideal one
In our view, the ideal fine tuner should be small, easy to rotate, should not be too long, and its start must coincide with the tailpiece’s nut so that it does not change the tuning of the E string after length.
We know that reality is complicated when playing in an orchestra, and often, you need a quick fine-tuning; nowadays, some pegs also play the role of a fine tuner, and they can be the best solution for those who need tuning faster and more accurate.
These are some of the violin fittings that you need to make yours complete. You may already have these but if you are looking for any, buying some is better than none!
If you think that you have all the necessary violin fittings for it, however, you might want to think again. Violin fittings are actually crucial to have if you want to maintain a good quality of sound as well as keep your violin in great condition! talking about that, take a look on our blog about the 11 things you should be doing to look after your violin.