- It's best to always have an extra set of strings on hand in case you end up breaking a string.
- The quality of the strings can really make a difference in the sound of the instrument.
- Medium gauge is usually best, unless you are doing specialty playing.
- You will need to check your tuners/tail piece to see if you need ball end or loop end strings. Most student violins take ball end.
- Make sure to choose strings that are the correct size for your violin.
- Students should bring their strings to the teacher to install unless they are experienced.
- Red Label
- D'Addario Prelude
Good General Strings:
- Bright Sound: Pirastro Evah Pirazzi
- Warm Sound: Pirastro Obligato
Instrument Care - Violin
- Make sure that you have a quality instrument and have purchased or rented from a reputable company.
- Do not over-tighten your bow and always make sure to loosen your bow when putting away.
- Do not touch the bow hairs with your fingers.
- Do not put weight on the tip of the bow.
- Use a soft cloth (flannel or cotton) to wipe off your instrument and wood of the bow after playing. Never use commercial cleaners or water on your violin or bow.
- Never leave your instrument unattended or resting in the case, always put your instrument fully in its case and secure.
- Never place your instrument upside down in the case or rest on the bridge in any way.
- Do not let other people play or use your instrument.
- Never leave your instrument in your car or trunk. Avoid extreme hot or cold temperatures.
- Use a shoulder pad that allows the violin to rest comfortably on the shoulder.
- Do not store rosin in the same compartment as the instrument.
- In the event that you have an issue with your instrument, please do not attempt to fix it yourself. Contact your teacher to advise you on the proper course of action.
- Use extreme caution when tuning your instrument. Use fine tuners before attempting to use pegs and make sure not to over tighten.
- Bows should be rehaired yearly by a reputable luthier.
- Strings should be replaced yearly and can be changed by a luthier or you may bring new strings to your teacher.
Choosing a Digital Piano
When it comes to playing a piano, an acoustic will always be the best choice. However, it's not always feasible or practical, especially with a military lifestyle.
The most important things to look for when purchasing a digital piano are:
1. A full-size keyboard (88 keys)
2. Weighted keys (not semi-weighted)
3. Touch Sensitivity
4. Pedals, or available plug-in
5. Not too many extra features (sounds, rhythms, demos, etc)
Color Coding Your Music
RED - Forte, Crescendo
BLUE - Piano, Diminuendo
add a blue or red circle for dynamics in the same family but getting louder or softer
Example 1: piano ---> mezzo piano is getting louder, but both are blue. Add a red circle around the mezzo piano.
Example 2: forte ---> mezzo forte is getting softer, but both are red. Add a blue circle around the mezzo forte.
GREEN - Articulation (accents, tenuto)
LIGHT GREEN - Expression marks (rit, a tempo, fermata)
ORANGE - Pedal markings (can also do YELLOW for down pedal - ORANGE for up pedal)
PURPLE - Key changes, time signature changes