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Product Recommendations

I am a violinmaker, not a music store, so I carry only a limited selection of accessories in the workshop. However, I am happy to order items, and can recommend quality items from reputable suppliers.

Student and Advancing Student Instruments
There are now some surprisingly good violins coming out of Asia and Eastern Europe. Though I am a maker, not a dealer, I am happy to order these student and advancing student instruments for my customers. Be very cautious ordering by mail. Even a good instrument will probably need to be checked over by a luthier on arrival. That said, there are some good product lines available from good companies:
Student Bows
Nothing matches the responsiveness and feel of a good handmade pernambuco bow. However, for most students, I recommend a synthetic bow; when you begin to feel its limitations, you will know what you are looking for in a bow. In my opinion, a good carbon-fiber or composite bow is more reliable and responsive than the inexpensive wooden factory bows commonly available. Glasser bows are workhorses; good solid performers. Coda bows are livelier, capable of a greater range of expression, and begin to rival good wooden bows.  
Okay, the Arcos Brasil bow is not a student bow - it's a professional pernambuco bow. It's just here as an example of what to expect when you move from the student into the professional range.
Shoulder Rests
Shoulder rests are very personal. What is comfortable depends on your neck length and how you hold the violin. Try them and see what works for you.
Strings
Strings can make an instrument sound more brilliant or darker, more responsive or more forgiving. Strings affect both the sound of the instrument and how it plays, and certain strings are better suited for certain types of music. It's a very personal choice. See the articles on selecting strings in the Info section of this website.
Synthetic-core strings, such as Dominant, Pro-Arte, and Tonica, aim for the rich mellowness of gut strings. Stranded steel core strings, such as Helicore, are designed more for power and clarity. Strings such as Vision and Evah Pirazzi are engineered for brilliance and responsiveness.
Rosin
Rosin really does make a difference! The bow works by first sticking to and then releasing the string; darker rosins are generally stickier and hold onto the hair a bit longer before the release. Dustier rosins may slide a bit before catching. There are far too many variables; you will just need to try a number of rosins and see what works well for you. But I can point you at the more popular brands.
Cases
Protection against impact, and from changes in temperature or humidity - this is the minimum a case should provide. From there, it's a matter of features, style, and elegance. While I do not keep many cases in stock, I am a dealer for Bobelock and Concord Case, and can oten get them at a good price. Please ask. Meanwhile, here are some cases available from Amazon:
Accessories
Music stands, Tuners, and Misc:

Learning Materials

  

Inspirational Books for Players

Books for the Afficionado
The Violin: Its History and Making by Karl Roy, assisted by Claire Curtis (me!) and Tom King is available here!

 

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