Violin Basics

The Best 10 Accessories & Equipment All Violin Players Need

String instruments like the violin are delicate and require proper care to maintain sound quality and integrity. As a violin player, you may have already invested in a high-quality instrument, but the more you progress in your musical journey, the more you may want to upgrade your current setup. 

This comprehensive guide of 10 violin accessories and equipment, suitable for all skill levels from beginners to professional violinists, will help elevate your playing experience, protect your musical instrument, and refine your performance.

You’ll also learn how Trala, a revolutionary violin learning platform, can enhance your practice sessions and overall musicianship.

1. Music stand

A music stand is the perfect accessory for practicing and performing. You’ve probably seen it in orchestra concerts or music classes at school.

It holds your sheet music or books at eye level, allowing you to read and play without straining your neck and eyes. It also keeps your sheet music organized and prevents it from falling off your lap or getting lost. 

A high-quality music stand provides stability and durability, making it a long-term investment that will save you from replacing a flimsy stand every few months. Look for a music stand with:

  • An adjustable height and angle to accommodate different playing positions
  • A wide base for stability
  • A sturdy construction that can withstand the weight of your music books, pencils, tuner, and other accessories

You can choose from a foldable, full-size (the standard for orchestras), or tabletop music stand, depending on your needs and space availability. Some music stands also have extra features like a built-in light or storage tray for accessories.

2. Tuner

A violin tuner is a device that helps you tune your instrument accurately. It detects and displays the pitch of each string and guides you in adjusting the pegs to achieve the correct notes.

A well-tuned violin produces a beautiful and harmonious sound essential for playing in tune with others and developing your musical ear. Tuning by ear can be challenging, especially for beginners, as it takes a lot of practice to develop.

A tuner makes tuning faster and more precise, allowing you to focus on practicing and improving your skills instead of constantly adjusting your strings. As such, you must invest in a high-quality tuner to ensure accuracy and avoid frustrations during practice or performances.

Cheap or low-quality tuners can give inaccurate readings, leading to an out-of-tune instrument and a less enjoyable playing experience. Tuners come in different forms, such as clip-ons, tuning forks, or apps.

Trala’s app tuner (available for iOS and Android) is an excellent option for beginners as it provides real-time feedback and tips to help you tune accurately and efficiently. It uses advanced technology to analyze the sound of your violin and provides visual cues for precise tuning. You can conveniently access it on the go or during lessons without carrying a separate device.

3. Metronome

You may have heard your music teacher mention the word “metronome” during lessons or seen one in a music store. A metronome is a small device (or app) that produces a steady beat or audible click at a specific tempo (speed). It helps violin students develop a sense of rhythm and timing by providing a consistent beat to play along with. 

Practicing with a metronome is essential for building precision and accuracy, crucial when playing with others or performing in front of an audience. A high-quality metronome offers a wide range of tempos and time signatures to suit different styles of music and practice needs. 

It also allows for customization, such as accenting certain beats or changing the volume and tone of the click. Technology has made metronomes more accessible and convenient, with many apps offering features like:

  • Visual cues
  • Different sounds
  • Practice modes

4. Practice journal

A violin practice journal is a notebook or planner designed explicitly for violin players to track their progress, set goals, and plan out their practice sessions. It allows students to document what they have been working on, identify areas for improvement, and reflect on their practice habits. 

A good quality practice journal provides a structured format for goal setting and progress tracking, making it easier to stay motivated and organized in your violin studies. You can use it to:

  • Record your lesson notes.
  • Track practice time.
  • Set achievable goals for each session.

A dedicated practice journal also helps you stay accountable and consistent in your practice routine, leading to faster progress and development as a musician. You can find many options for violin practice journals online or in music stores, so choose one that fits your style and needs.

5. Duster cloth

A duster cloth may seem like a simple and insignificant accessory, but it is essential in maintaining your new violin’s cleanliness and longevity. Playing the violin produces rosin dust, which accumulates on the instrument’s body, strings, fingerboard, and bow. Over time, this build-up can affect your violin’s sound quality and appearance if not cleaned regularly. 

Using a polishing cloth to wipe away any excess rosin after playing helps keep your violin in its best condition. A high-quality duster cloth is made of soft and non-abrasive material that won’t scratch or damage the delicate varnish of your instrument. It also removes dirt and oils without leaving residue or lint behind.

6. Violin case

A violin case is a crucial accessory for any player. It protects your instrument from damage and keeps it safe during travel and storage, ensuring it stays pristine.

A good quality case should have a sturdy exterior, soft interior lining, and a compartment to hold your bow,  rosin, spare strings, and cleaning cloth. When choosing a violin case:

Make sure it is the right size

The case should fit your violin snugly to avoid any movement that could cause damage. Check the size of your violin and compare it to the case’s specifications before purchasing.

Choose a style

Violin cases come in different types, like oblong, shaped, or ultralight:

  • An oblong case is rectangular and spacious enough to hold accessories and sheet music.
  • A shaped case is compact and takes up less space, making it perfect for students and musicians with smaller instruments.
  • An ultralight case is the most compact and lightweight option, suitable for players who travel often. Most ultralight cases are made of carbon fiber.

Consider portability

Once you start practicing, it’ll be hard to leave your violin behind. You want to wow your audience with beautiful music wherever you go, so look for a case with comfortable shoulder straps or backpack straps for easy transportation.

See if there are extra features

Some cases come with additional features like a humidifier to maintain the correct humidity level for your violin, a built-in hygrometer to monitor internal temperature and humidity, and a locking mechanism for added security.

At Trala, we understand the importance of a reliable and secure violin case, which is why we have partnered with reputable brands like StringWorks and Fiddlershop to provide our students with high-quality cases like the Trala Basic Violin Outfit, which comes with a lightweight and durable oblong case.

7. Shoulder rest

A shoulder rest holds your violin in place and helps distribute the weight of the instrument across your shoulder, making it more comfortable to play. It also raises the height of the violin, allowing for better posture and technique.

You may or may not need a shoulder rest, depending on your instructor’s preference and your own comfort level. However, for beginner violinists, a violin shoulder rest is highly recommended as it can help:

  • Reduce discomfort and prevent strain on your neck and shoulders caused by holding the violin for extended periods
  • Ensure proper posture and hand positioning, which is essential for developing good technique and producing a beautiful sound
  • Improve sound quality by allowing the violin to resonate freely without being held too tightly against your body

Finding the right fit for your shoulder rest may require trial and error. Look for one with adjustable feet and comfortable padding to avoid discomfort. Your teacher can also guide you in choosing the right shoulder rest for your body and playing style.

8. Rosin

Violin rosin is a sticky substance made from pine resin applied to the bow hair. It helps create friction between the violin bow and strings, producing a vibrant sound when the bow is drawn across them. Without rosin, the bow will slide over the strings without producing any sound. It’s critical to invest in a high-quality rosin. 

Low-quality rosins can make your sound scratchy or dull, hindering your progress as a musician. You can find rosin in different types, such as dark or light, which affects the grip and tone produced. Experiment with different types of rosin to find the one that suits your playing style and instrument best. Trala’s instrument bundles come with premium quality rosin, ensuring our students get the best sound possible.

9. Extra strings

Violin strings are the heart and soul of your instrument. They create the sound that captivates audiences, and without them, your violin is just a beautifully crafted piece of wood. It is crucial to invest in high-quality strings as they affect the tone, volume, and overall sound quality of your violin. 

Low-quality strings can create a dull or unpleasant sound, making it difficult to achieve the desired tone. Strings from D’Addario, Thomastik-Infeld, or Pirastro are more durable and hold their tuning better, allowing for greater performances and more enjoyable practice sessions. 

You should change violin strings every 6-8 months, depending on how often you play and the quality of the strings. Having an extra set of strings on hand is always a good idea, as they can break unexpectedly; it’s best to have a backup for uninterrupted practice or performance.

10. Peg compound

Over time, the pegs on your violin can become loose and difficult to turn, affecting the instrument’s tuning stability. Peg compound is a specially formulated wax applied to the pegs to help them turn smoothly and hold their position better. 

Keep peg compound handy to maintain the proper tension and tune of your strings. Apply a small amount around the pegs and turn them to distribute the wax evenly. Your pegs will turn more easily, and your violin will stay in tune longer.

Learn the importance of violin care with Trala’s help

Violin accessories and equipment make playing the instrument easier and more enjoyable and help you develop your skills faster. From tuners to practice journals, each item serves a specific purpose and contributes to your overall progress as a musician. 

Keeping your violin clean, regularly checking for any damage or wear on its parts, and proper storage are all essential maintenance practices that will extend the life of your instrument.

Don’t let neglect or improper maintenance hinder your progress — learn more about violin maintenance best practices with Trala’s helpful guide, and keep your violin in top condition.

Get started with Trala

Find a teacher