Violin and Accessories


If you are an adult of 5’3 or taller, you will require a full size violin. Students from age 5 thru 15 yrs will need to be sized properly. Violin sizes range from 1/16 to full size.

Purchase or rent:

There are a few stores in Vancouver that rent. You can look them up on line, phone them and ask them about their deals.

Long and McQuade

Tom Lee

Violin Accessories:

Bow, Rosin, Case:

These items should be included in your purchase or rental.

Soft cotton cloth, cheese cloth or an old piece of flannel sheet:

This is for cleaning the rosin off the strings and surface of the violin. It is also used for polishing with special violin polish – 2 or 3 times per year. I will show you how this is done at one of your lessons.

Spare strings:

One complete set of strings – Thomastik Dominant - Perlon (the most popular for beginners to intermediate level students – and sound pretty good) or Pirastro, Corelli or good quality German strings would be handy to have since you never know when you’re going to break a string. A set will run anywhere from $35 to $100. I recommend the $45 to $60 range since cheaper strings sound terrible and metallic with a nasty lingering ring.

Shoulder rest:

To avoid straining your neck, a shoulder rest is recommended. I have a few samples at my studio or you can try out a selection at the music stores.  Currently, there is an EVEREST shoulder rest available at Long and McQuade - approx. $30.  Starting with a sponge with elastics is the cheapest option but not so comfortable.


3-ring binder with durable cover:

This binder will be for sheet music that I will supply. Make sure the cover is good quality. No floppy, soft, bending covers, no zippers, no Velcro, no extra pull tabs, no extra locking devices, no bells or whistles. One or two pockets on the inside would be nice for spare sheets. 1” (inch) is best to start with.


I recommend that you avoid the lure of shopping and buying your own music until you are more experienced. I will present and explain a few books when you are at your lesson and I usually have plenty of books in stock for you to purchase.


Most dollar stores are overflowing with simple ring binded notebooks. Look for a book that’s easy to open, easy to close, pages strong enough that they won’t rip or fall out. This notebook will be what I write your homework in…. or if you have notes you want to make to remember your lessons.

Music Stand:

I recommend playing with the samples at the store. Folding stands are recommended for transporting to rehearsals with other people. I like the K&M folding stand. Its knobs and legs are very sturdy with a generous height but the headpiece is a bit finicky to fold. Solid heads with folding legs are the next best option but can be a bit heavy. If you can fold, unfold, lengthen and shorten the same stand 5 times in a row without getting frustrated, then perhaps you’ve found the right stand. Prices will range from $25 to $70.


A440 tuning fork is the old way but a cheap and light way to check if your violin is in tune. A modern approach is the chromatic electronic tuner. There are many models but I recommend the simplest and without a metronome since the double action uses up the battery faster.


Not necessary for beginners. Pendulum or digital models are available. Price range: $25 to $70.