Essential Violin Playing Tools
So you got your Starter Kit, and you are missing a few basic things, or those basic things came with the kit but don't fit with you for whatever reason. Here are a few of my suggestions for great replacements, or good tools for your violin playing
KUN is basically the industry standard for shoulder rests. So I have to include it or look like an amateur. But really, waste of money since the FOM is basically the same thing, maybe slightly lower quality, but since you can get 4 FOMs for the price of one KUN, seems like a no brainer
Like I said, no brainer.
Play on Air
Now HERE'S a reason to spend $23 on a shoulder rest. This is like being at a spa for a violinist. However, just like a water bed or an air mattress it's not everyone's perfect fit. But if you DO like air mattresses, you will be in HEAVEN. Enjoy, sensitive shouldered violin rock stars!
If you have a long neck, then this shoulder rest is for you. I tried it, since I had the misguided idea in my head that I had a long neck. However, this is not the case, and this shoulder rest was NOT for me. But if it is uncomfortable to hold a violin with a regular shoulder rest and the reason is that it feels like you can hardly see it because your neck is so long, then maybe a Wolf is for you!
Regular Folding Stand
These music stands-ARGH! You need them in your life, because they fold up pretty small and come with a nice little bag for toting them around, but they are SO ANNOYING because there is really no such thing as a stand that folds up really small that is also good quality. So this stand can hold up to 20 loose sheets or maybe 2 books. Nothing big.But if you don't have anything big, then you don't have anything to worry about
$17.95 + $5.95 s/h
This is the one I have. It just broke, but that was probably my fault, and I think I've had it for 6 years now. So it lasted pretty well, but it's not indestructible. It's basically string, can hold lots of books and stuff on it, but it's not CRAZY strong. As in, don't hang heavy things off of it. Mine broke because I fell on it. Most people don't fall over their music stands, I think. So this one should be safe for you.
King of Music Stands
The Manhasset stand is by all standards the warhorse of music stands. My stand that I have is a variation on the Manhasset stand-not as good, but similar idea and imitates the strength. But the Manhasset is gold, so if you want a good place to keep all your music books when you're not playing (and want easy access, and are bad at returning things to shelves) here's your winner! (and PS. this is the one I'm buying now.)
For some reason that is beyond me, music notebooks cost money. While if you have a printer, you can print them out for free from great sites like HERE
But if you like the feel of a notebook, or lose lots of loose papers and can't find a 3-ring binder in your country, don't be pretentious and buy the $12 one. This one is fine.
With 50 sheets, and many useful features like "Balanced pH paper ensures high quality and long life" and "to the most stringent quality controls in the industry", with music paper, always go with whatever is the cheapest.
Tuners / Metronomes
There are also Tuner apps that you can easily find on google ( the first one, Online Violin Tuner is fine) for when you are already confident in your ability to tune your violin. However, if you need a tuner that will listen to you and tell you how far off the note is, the best bet that I've seen my students use is a clip on, and one for guitars is fine. So here's a suggestion about that one if you're struggling
Fender FT-004 Chromatic Tuner
Rosin is so cheap, and the bad ones are so bad, that there's only one real option that I or almost anyone else I know has ever used. Industry standard means we either are all sheep or there actually is a reason that it's the good stuff. The truth is, that my students use the cheaper stuff and it has a different sound. And so it's not really worth it, for a 2-3 dollar difference to go with the cheaper stuff.