You sit down to practice with your fiddle. You have your instrument and your bow but can't seem to find a convenient spot for your music. What about when you're not playing? Does your fiddle sit on the floor, on a chair, or does it lean on a wall? A case might be nice! How about items that will help you take care of your instrument and make it last the test of time?
Other than the fiddle and the bow there are a lot of items that will either make playing easier or help you care for your instrument. Having a list of the most common of these items will let you know which ones you want or need right away, and which ones can wait!
Common Fiddle Accessories
If you're playing a fiddle you'll be looking at shoulder rests, Violinist, on the other hand, will want a chin rest. In theory, these are simply a piece of plastic that attaches to your instrument by the tailpiece. It should make holding your instrument more comfortable and help keep in in place. Try several out before you buy, each on will feel slightly different and fit your body differently.
As you start to play long, complicated pieces of music you'll need to have sheet music in front of you. Nothing is more convenient than having a music stand that you can adjust and move into your line of sight.
Not all of us have big houses or practice studios in which to practice. Enter the mute. A small accessory that can make practice in your apartment or shared space doable. The Mute simply attaches to your bridge and dampens the vibrations from your strings, this makes the fiddle quieter and softens the tone it does produce.
Yes, you can tune using a tuning for, or off another instrument you know is in tune. The simple fact is that today electronic tuners are so small, accurate, and affordable it's just easier to have one! We recommend Snark Tuners which are very accurate and inexpensive.
One of the ultimate truths of playing any stringed instrument is that the strings will break. Any prepared musician will have an extra set with them, even if they are just an old set. You have plenty of options when it comes to strings. Classical players will often choose real gut strings, but metal strings are more durable and in many cases sound just as good.
Many instruments will come with a case, especially as the price of the Fiddle increases. If it doesn't come with one, or if the case you're given is a soft shell, it's a good idea to upgrade to a nice case. Not only will a good case protect your investment, but it can be a great storage location for all the other goodies we are recommending!
Rosin a substance made from pine trees that should be applied to your fiddle bow as needed. By coating the hairs on your bow with Rosin it will enable a firm contact between the two surfaces, greatly increasing the sound you'll get out of the instrument. To apply simply rub the entire length of the hairs over the Rosin 15-20 times.