If you are 5’3″ or taller, you will require a full size violin. Students from age 5 thru 12 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
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 a few times per year. I will show you how this is done at one of your lessons.
One complete set of strings – Thomastik Dominant – Perlon, Pirastro, Corelli or other 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 $65 to $160. Avoid string sets cheaper than $50 since cheaper strings sound very bright and metallic with a nasty lingering ring.
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. EVEREST shoulder rests are one of my favourites since it’s easy to adjust the size & affordable. Others that might work for you are WOLFE or KUN. MACH ONE Wooden Violin shoulder rest with hook is what I use but it’s more expensive: $75. The best advice I can offer is that you start with the cheapest option which is a foam sponge with elastics to secure it in place.
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) ring 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 is to keep track of your homework. You could also use your mobile phone to keep notes.
I recommend playing with the samples at the store. Folding stands are recommended for transporting to gatherings & 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 $35 to $75.
A440 tuning fork is the original way to tune but only if you have a good sense of pitch. 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. The most popular is d’addario violin tuner with an adjustable clamp at approximately $40. Other option is installing a tuner app on your mobile phone.
Not necessary for beginners. Pendulum or digital models are available. Price range: $25 to $70. Other option is installing an app on your mobile phone.