Violin Accessory Guide Quiz Time 🧠

Put the following Violin accessories in order of how many units were sold at Normans between April 2017-18. (No prize but pride.)

Violin Accessory quiz

 

If you put Strings at the top of your list, you are correct, with a total of 2,667 sold. These were closely followed by Rosin with an impressive 1,935 units out the door.

And if you put the surgically demanding ‘ball & socket’ joint last, you are right.  0 sold.  Unfortunately, I had design issues as I didn’t know my ‘Stradivarius from my Elbow’…

All the above accessories are a necessity to ensure good music making.  In the majority of circumstances your Violin will not function without them, and your performance will suffer severely.

STRINGS

Strings are the most common violin accessory, and a necessity. You should carry spares with you at all times: They do break you know

Normans Musical Instruments stock a large range of quality replacement Violin strings, to suit all sizes of violin, and all budgets.

At the student and intermediate level, we offer the amazing value-for-money Forenza Violin String Sets for under £10!  Constructed from a steel core that is durable & not affected by changes in humidity & temperature, unlike gut core strings, they produce a warm sound and provide good bow response. Available in Full – 3/4 size, 1/2 – 1/4 size, and 1/8th size.

Also in this level, we have the popular Dogal Strings. These have two or more separate windings over the steel core, which give them their unique qualities of tone and durability

In the ‘excellence’ level of Violin strings, I strongly recommend the ever-popular, high quality, synthetic core Violin String Set from Dominant. These give a reliable and consistent natural sound and feel, and a tone that is neither too rich nor too mellow, projecting well without sounding metallic and harsh! Also available in 3/4 and 1/2 size.

For professional and aspiring Violinists who expect nothing but the best, we stock the outstanding Pirastro Eudoxa Gut Strings. These top-quality gut strings offer a lovely projected sound which is warm and soft. Ideal for live performances.

ROSIN

A much needed, yet inexpensive accessory. 1,935 customers are proof. Rosin will give your bow the correct level of adhesiveness to ensure accurate articulation and response. Our most popular brand, is the Forenza Violin Rosin, due to its quality and price of under £3.

Other options that we stock are the Hidersine 3V and Hidersine Junior Violin Rosin. Both are extremely competent and affordable accessories.

Again, catering for professional and dedicated Violinists, the Pirastro Rosin. The epitome of German engineering – just like an Audi… but cheaper – and sounds better with Einaudi. This dark coloured Violin rosin by Pirastro is generally of a softer nature, thus being more adhesive and providing greater grip for a violinist.

Top-Tip: Always sand down a little of any new rosin blocks to help adhesion. Plus don’t press too hard and rip the hairs from your bow.

BOWS

Accessory? No, necessity! Without one you are Senza Arco and on the Pizz!

Due to breakages and hair loss (like me!) a new bow might be on the cards. More often than not, re-hairing a bow is not financially viable. Not when it is cheaper to actually buy a new one from our extremely affordable replacement bow range.

At under £20 we can provide a good quality violin bow in any size required, from either Forenza or the excellent Stentor companies.

At the higher level of bow manufacture, sits the Stentor Enhanced Violin Bow. With its seasoned wood and a full mounted ebony frog with Parisienne eye it’s a sound choice.

For the purists who do not want anything but the best, the Stentor Octagonal Violin Bow. This Stentor bow is made of high quality Brazilwood and has an octagonal stick. The full mounted ebony frog with abalone inlay, and simulated whalebone lapping, make this bow both great value and ideal for producing pure quality tones and articulation.

SHOULDER RESTS

The 4th most popular Violin accessory sold at Normans Musical Instruments.  Obviously shoulder rests make your whole performance and practice technique a more comfortable activity… and lessen the signs of a visible double-chin(s)!

The Forenza Shoulder Rest is our highly recommended model, due to its ergo dynamic design, comfortable padded area. Also, it retails at under £7 and is available in 4/4 and 3/4 size. This is closely followed by the Antoni rest, available in 1/4 – 1/2, and 3/4 – 4/4 sizes.

Our prestige range of shoulder rests consist of the Wolf and the Kun. The first has rubber padded legs for protection, and is adjustable so that you can find the position that is most comfortable for you. The latter has crescent shaped and fully adjustable for height, width and pitch, and is foam padded for additional comfort.

 

TUNERS

Unless you play Bag Pipes or un-tuned percussion, being in tune is paramount to a great performance.

As you develop as a musician, your hearing and ability to tune your instrument will improve and benefit those around you, as well as your audience.  When you first start out, having a portable tuner is a great way to get a ‘Concert A’ easily (don’t get me started on be it 444 or 442!)

Our bestselling Violin Tuner is the Rocket Digital Clip-On Violin Tuner. This Rocket clip-on electronic tuner makes the ideal purchase for a Violin player. Tuning is made easy and comfortable with its rotating clip. It has a tuning accuracy feature that helps ensure you can tune your 4 strings quickly and perfectly, and the string indicator allows you to tune each string to the note you need.

CASES

Obviously, your beloved Violin came with a case, but sometimes they can be damaged or zips break etc. and you require a suitable replacement. We stock a wide range of cases, with each of our brands offering options on shape (square or violin-body shaped), colour, and size (1/4 up to 4/4 full size.)

After a Forenza, Stagg, Stentor or a Tom & Will case? Good, that’s what we stock.  All of these cases will give your Violin excellent protection, with solid designs and build quality, fur-lined interiors, double-stitched zips and seams, and handy carrying handles and straps.

Choose your size. Choose your shape. Do you want a stylish Pink case? We can do that as well.

TAIL PIECES, BRIDGES & CHIN RESTS

As you can probably guess, we can cater for all your demands when it comes to accessories, plus we also provide spare parts. Bridges, Tail Pieces and Chin Rests do surprisingly get lost, or broken?

We can supply a replacement bridge for any size Violin.  These are made by the always-reliable Stentor factory, yet will fit any make of violin, and come either filed or unfiled (the groove where the string would be seated). At under £4, it really isn’t worth fretting over if yours breaks or gets damaged.

The same can be said with tail pieces. If a violin is dropped, more often than not, the body and fingerboard survive, to the detriment of the bridge and tailpiece. For such an event we stock replacement tail pieces, produced either by Forenza, our value for money brand, or Wittner, again, in a variety of sizes to fit all violins.

Finally, chin rests.  As with the previous spare parts, chin rests do get lost and occasionally broken. This isn’t the end of the world! At under £4 we can provide a high-quality chin rest in your desired size, manufactured by either Forenza, Dresden or Teka.  They all consist of a comfortable ergo dynamic chin plate and non-scratching attachment jaws.

So, if you are fortunate enough to play a wonderful Violin provided by Normans Musical Instruments, please let us keep your instrument in perfect working condition with our vast range of accessories.

And, if you are unfortunate enough to have a ‘little accident’ with your Violin, don’t panic!

Keep the mantra of Bob the Builder in mind: ‘Can we Fix it?’

‘Yes We Can’

 

About the author

Nick joined the Normans Sales Team after a musical career spanning 35 years; firstly as a principal trombonist in Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Band Service for 24 years, performing around the UK and worldwide, including on the Royal Yacht Britannia, and then within the education sector teaching GCSE and A Level Music and Music Technology. He is a keen Big Band, Jazz performer and Hi-Fi enthusiast.

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