If you are totally new to music or you are just about to dabble in the affairs of music as a means of pursuing an interest or a hobby, it’s possible that you may have no idea of the important tools and equipment you will need in learning how to play the violin.
It is important to know that, not only do you need to have a violin that suits your level, it’s also important you know how to take proper care of the violin.
Since you will be required to practice the violin during your violin lessons, it’s advisable that your choice of instrument i.e. music stand and metronome should be standard and not one that will make your practice cumbersome. Having the right instruments to practice with, will make your music practice a less tedious one, and a more productive one.
You should also keep in mind that learning a musical instrument isn’t limited to being equipped with how to play great melodies and read music notes. It is also about you being able to easily direct your musical efforts through your equipment.
One way to achieve this is for you to work with equipment that you are comfortable with, and it is always possible to get this equipment.
Interested in reading a guide to help you make the best choices of equipment before you start out on learning how to play the violin?
Fundamental of Learning Violin
By now, it is no news to you that having a violin and a bow is crucial to your violin learning process.
Given the circumstances, you can either choose to buy or rent a violin for your lessons – whatever works for you.
Whatever choice you make, keep in mind that when you purchase or rent from a musical instrument shop, you will most likely meet musical professionals who can advise you on which instrument is right for you, based on your learning level.
Why you need their advice is because violins are not-one-size-fits-all, they differ in sizes because of the height of who is playing it.
So, whether you are purchasing or renting a violin, it’s important you get a size that is the right fit for you. If not, it may tamper with your ability to play the violin with the ease needed.
When you visit a store to purchase or rent a violin – whichever the case maybe – you meet experts that will assist you to choose the right fit. You will need to try out different sizes of violin by resting the violin on your collarbone while holding its fiddle in the palm of your left hand. That way, you can tell which one you feel comfortable handling.
In the same vein, the experts will also demonstrate the functions of your violin, from handling the bow to the rosin. The good thing is, it is possible for you to get a hang of how to handle your bow after they have shown you how at the music store.
You might be wondering what rosin is, right?
Apart from rosin being one of the important and basic tools that should be included in your violin case, the object is made from stiffened tree sap. It is what makes a sound to emit from the violin when you glide the bow across the violin strings.
In essence, the most important things you need to begin your violin lessons are; a right fit violin with a bow, and rosin.
Read more on everything you need to know about learning violin.
How To Be Comfortable While Takin Violin Lessons
If you are new to playing the violin or handling the instrument, you may not be at ease with it after some time.
Due to the fact that it is a posture you are not used to and you are kind of new to it. Placing your violin in the right position for playing can be quite exhausting. This could be because doing so will require your physical effort to hold your instrument in place, and you can get tired.
On a positive note, it is possible to get a piece of equipment that will make your violin learning process comfier.
To start with, a shoulder rest for your violin is one equipment that can put your shoulder at ease and you make you feel less uneasy while playing your violin.
How to use it? Fasten the shoulder rest to the lower bout of the violin. That way, it cushions your collarbone, supports your violin and reduces the risk of you having muscle strain in either of your neck or shoulder.
Padding between your collarbone and your violin instrument is always advisable for newbie violinists, because of the advantage of allowing them to hold and play their violin in the right posture.
A chair is also a piece of good equipment you can also invest in for your violin playing. It will make playing the violin more comfortable for you.
However, this may counter what is usually recommended (that a violinist should stand while playing during violin practice), but sitting while playing is more comfortable, especially when your practice will take a longer time.
Advisably, go for armless, and sturdy chair that fits your size, as they are suitable for playing the violin. This option will also make it easy for you to keep a good posture while sitting and playing your violin.
Efficient Equipment for Your Violin Practice
There are a number of resourceful equipment and accessories that can aid one’s violin practice, below are the ones mostly used:
Violin tuner app
Whether you are a beginner or you have been in the violin playing game for a while, the first thing that is mostly done before playing is tuning the strings of the violin.
This is achieved by adjusting the fine turners at the tailpiece of the violin. Keep in mind that you will need something, say another musical instrument that’s not a violin, as a yardstick to tune your violin correctly.
If you use an IOS or an Android device, then it’s your lucky charm as you can download free violin tuning apps that are very useful, even more than using...say a piano. These apps can tell you whether the note you are playing is sharp or flat when you employ their use.
The good thing about music stands is that there are options for collapsible music stands, and this means they are flexible enough to be taken anywhere.
The use of a music stand is not just for your sheet music while you play, but to help you be comfortable during playing.
In order to keep a good balance while you practice your violin, it’s important your sheet music is to your eye-level.
Used for maintaining the pace of a piece of music, metronomes can come in soft or hard copy, that is, you can download an e-copy online on your device or get one at a music store.
A metronome can help you maintain the right pace from the start of your piece till the very end, and as well help you start well.
Scale and arpeggio books
Do you intend to take professional violin exams during the course of your lessons?
Then it’s important you learn and know a particular set of violin scales and arpeggios.
The violin scales and arpeggio books are books that contain and teach notes of a key and notes of a chord.
Taking advantage of these books to practice can improve your overall violin playing skills, while you progress in your intonation, music ear training, fingering, bowing and pizzicato.
You can purchase the one that’s tailored to a level or get the one that contains every scale.
It’s not enough that you attend regular lessons to improve your violin playing prowess, it is also important that you practice some pieces as well.
You should expect that your violin tutor or instructor will recommend to you some pieces based on your musical objectives and your level of progress. It is however left to you the learner to get these materials.
It is possible that your tutor will recommend official ABRSM exam pieces and scores if you intend to write music exams, as the exams you will write will most likely be taken from these pieces.
To supplement the materials you will be needing for the exams, you can opt for another violin sheet music you love playing.
You can visit music shops to get music sheets from there as they usually have violinist. These sheet music are arranged according to genre or style. You can come across compiled movie hits which more often than not usually come together with a CD.
In addition, you can also download and print out violin sheet music online. so, if you are tired of playing the same thing over and over again, you can always choose other pieces from an array of pieces that are available.
The good thing about this is that it is less of a financial burden, and lessens the time you will spend learning how to play with a tutor.
You might be wondering of what use is a pencil to learning how to play the violin, but you might be surprised to what extent the importance is.
If you are taking private violin lessons, or you are going for a symphony orchestra rehearsal, having a pencil in your violin case is required for any musician.
Of all the reasons why this is important, here are three main ones:
- Unlike using a pen, it’s easy and possible for you to erase pencil markings you made on a music sheet . It is highly frowned upon for musicians to make use of pen, particularly during practice in a group.
- Another use is to mark and make reference to what you should remember as you are playing. Things like mistakes and important markings.
- A person conducting an orchestra or rehearsals usually direct players to note the particular features in the parts they will take. This is a way to ensure the band sounds organized and the conductor’s purpose of the piece is achieved
Interestingly, the more you improve in your knowledge of music, the more you will come to appreciate the use of the pencil.
Violin practice mute
Even though the sound of a violin could be magical to the ears, it might put you or others off after some time.
The bright side of this is that you can employ the use of a practice mute to overcome this.
There is an accessory called mute which you can fix to the bridge of your violin to quieten the sound generated from the instrument. This will allow you to play without irritating anyone with the sound of your violin.
Caring for Your Violin
The importance of taking proper care, maintaining your violin and all the accessories that comes with it cannot be overemphasized.
Adhering to this advice will make sure that your musical instrument doesn’t break and it generates the right sound.
One of the ways of caring for your equipment is to ensure you rid your strings and the body of your violin of excess rosin after each practice and before you put them in the case. Using a dry cloth to wipe away the excess rosin is advisable.
Also, you should adopt a regular routine of wiping the dust from your violin in order to avoid accumulated rosin. Accumulated rosin on the violin may tamper with the quality of sound generated from the violin.
Another thing that is advised to students is to change the strings on their violin yearly. This will make sure that you maintain a violin that emits bright and pleasant sound.
If you are thinking of where you change your strings, you can do that at music stores for a token.
You can also service your instrument to make sure all the parts are thoroughly examined and fixed.
As you cannot do this yourself, you should employ the service of music stores that specializes in stringed instruments.
Caring adequately for your equipment is also a huge part of being a reliable musician. Doing this will ensure that you reap the optimum potential of your instrument.
Although everything comes with a price, supplementing some equipment you will usually spend money to buy with an app - i.e. metronome, sheet music - can ensure you spend less, in the same way, there are available ways for you to spend less on your violin lessons in Nigeria.
After all you have learnt here, if your next step is to find prices of violin lessons in Nigeria, Superprof has got all the details you need.
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