String instruments are among the more demanding set of instruments in terms of accessory requirements. You need a wide range of accessories to play them well and correctly.
Learning the necessary accessories for your instrument of choice can mean the difference between succeeding and failing. Whether you’ve been learning a string instrument for a while or just getting started, here are some must-have tools that should make your journey easier.
Must-have Accessories for String Players
Without these essential accessories, string instruments can be a headache to play. Instead, it would make for a learning process with all sorts of frustrations for the student. Keep the following items handy to save yourself from undue stress down the road.
An initial purchase of a string instrument often comes with a block of rosin, though it won’t be anything of high quality. More often than not, rosin packaged in a square box isn’t as high quality as those packaged in a rectangular container.
Then again, low-quality rosin shouldn’t be all that bad for beginners either. What matters more is how correctly you apply the substance on the bow hairs.
Still, you’ll want to acquire higher-quality rosin as soon as possible. Nothing gives quite the amount of friction as grade-A rosin applied properly. Quality rosins come in all sorts of fun designs, so feel free to take your pick and choose one that better aids in the learning process.
To keep string instruments perfectly tuned, one needs a metronome. This handy digital tuner comes in many different models and relatively affordable price points. Generally not costing over $40, you shouldn’t have too much trouble securing this item.
Choose software versions over hardware, as they’re more convenient, have a broader range of features, and have higher precision. Plus, all you’d need to tune your instrument is your phone, which you aren’t likely to forget or leave behind.
A pencil functions mainly for notch lubrication on the bridge, but it also lets you take notes on your music. Note that while you can use a pen for the latter, it’s ill-advised for you to do so for the former.
You can’t not purchase a music stand, especially if you’re a student. A music stand lends to good posture, which string players need to develop early on. Laying sheet music on a coffee table or desk won’t do, as that’s only going to hurt your back and keep you from playing properly.
Poor posture doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it will eventually result in injuries down the road if not corrected. As much as possible, corrections should be done early on because a habit ingrained is a difficult one to break.
Stands shouldn’t cost you much. They range from $20 to $30 apiece and contribute to the creation of good music. Make sure to include a couple of large paper clips with your purchase to help secure the stand in an outdoor practice area.
Rosin buildup is common in string instruments, so it’s important for players to keep a clean, dry cloth handy to deal with this matter. A microfiber towel is preferable, but an ordinary towel should do as well.
Either should be ideal for removing excess rosin and oils that have made their way from your body to the instrument. These oils can be damaging, so make sure to wipe them off your instrument right away.
There’s quite a variety of these available, but the in-case humidifier is arguably the best option for a string instrument. This accessory preserves both your instrument and the sounds it makes through months of extreme weather. It ensures consistent humidity, preventing cracks and other similar damages to the structure.
Accessories for Intermediate and Advanced String Players
If you’ve been a string player for a while, consider getting the following accessories outside of the basics to aid in both practice and performance:
A set of superior strings can lend to some superior playing. These would be the Belcanto for the double bass, Versum for the cello, Dominant or Peter Infeld for the violin and viola, and many others.
A great set of strings may not make much difference for beginners. However, it should boost a seasoned player’s performance level significantly.
Carbon Fiber Bow
A bow is one thing, but a carbon fiber bow is an entirely different animal. It offers advantages that not even the renowned aluminum and Brazilwood bows can deliver. In particular, composite bows are robust and should last years. They can range anywhere between $50 and $200, depending on their material.
Get Those Accessories Ready!
Playing a string instrument becomes much more fulfilling when you have all the accessories necessary for playing it well and properly. Beginner or seasoned, a player should make sure these items are ready before practicing or taking to the stage.