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Alberta Barnes

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Violin Bridges: The Details Matter

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Oct 17, 2012 4:47:00 PM

Many of us don’t pay very much attention to our bridges unless they fall down, go askew, or break. But do we realize how important the violin bridge is to the setup of the instrument and how much its position can affect our sound? Here are some notes on violin bridges to help keep you informed and sounding your best.

The Purpose of Your Bridge
First of all, the violin bridge suspends the strings above the instrument in their proper playing position. The height and shape of the bridge are thereby very important for the setup of the instrument. Secondly, the violin bridge conveys the vibrations from the strings into the body of the instrument. A string vibrating by itself doesn’t produce very much volume, but “plugged in” to the resonating chamber of the violin through the bridge its sound becomes so powerful that it can potentially be heard over an entire orchestra.

The violin bridge is strategically positioned so that the foot on its G-string side sits directly above the bass bar, which extends nearly down the length of the strings and conveys the vibrations through a greater area of the top of the instrument. The E-string side of the bridge, meanwhile, sits closely above the sound post. The sound post acts both as a pivot for the bridge’s vibrations as well as a means of conveying the vibrations to the back of the instrument.

What About Setup?
The shape and placement of the violin bridge are critical for maximizing the instrument’s potential.

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Topics: Violin, Violin Bridge, Instrument Repair

Easy Violin Sheet Music

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Oct 9, 2012 12:19:00 PM

After you’ve been playing the violin for a couple of years, it starts to get tiresome when you feel limited to the scales, etudes, and few solos that your teacher gives you. If you’re a beginning to intermediate player who’s looking to build up a repertoire beyond the songs in the Suzuki books, here are some sheet music suggestions for you.



Miniature Masterpieces, arr. by W. Ambrosio (1920 305).
This collection of 21 violin pieces – all in first position! – includes works by popular composers such as Saint-Saens and Wagner.





First Solos from the Classics by S. Applebaum (1851 010). Everything is in 1st position. Thebook includes famous melodies from an assortment of classical eras, all arranged for violin and piano.





Fun With Solos
 by Evelyn Avsharian (A70).
 Everything in this book stays in 1st and 3rdposition and is a source of fun and exciting recital repertoire.





Violin Favorites
 by Juchem/ Brochausen (1846 107).
 This collection of twelve violin piecestouches on great composers such as Bach, Mozart, and Dvorak.






Easy Classics for Violin
by Peter Spitzer (1872 042).
Here you will find popular classical melodies (such as “Ode to Joy” and “Can Can”) arranged simply for one or two violins.




First Solo Album by Harvey Whistler (1885 016). This collection of eleven short pieces for violin and piano keeps the violinist in first position and is great to use for recital repertoire.




This only begins to touch on the tremendously wide range of violin sheet music that we carry at SHAR! If you’re looking for something specific or you need more suggestions, please give us a call at 1.800.248.7427 – we are happy to talk with you!

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Topics: Violin, Beginner Violin, Sheet Music

Student Violins for Sale: A Guide

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Oct 2, 2012 12:50:00 PM

If you or your child is just starting out on the violin: congratulations! Welcome to the string community! If you’re looking for your first instrument, though, things can be confusing. Trying to find the best violin can be a bewildering path to take. Here are some guidelines that should help you along your journey!

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Topics: Violin, Beginner Violin, Violin-Shaped Object, Student Violin

Why Own an Instrument Stand for Your Violin, Viola, or Cello?

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Sep 25, 2012 3:14:00 PM

Pretty much every musician has a music stand, but not every musician has an instrument stand. Have you thought about the benefits to owing a violin stand or a cello stand? Here are four things to think about!

1. Motivation to Practice. Having the instrument out on an instrument stand can be a great way to motivate yourself (or kids, especially!) to practice. It can be irritating to have to open the case and get everything set up correctly, but when the instrument is immediately accessible it is also that much more motivating to play it.

2. Time Saver. If you have to squeeze in practice time between the million other things inyour day then taking your instrument out and packing it up again can waste valuable practice time! With the instrument safely out of its case, you can move away from and return to your instrument to practice without fumbling with shoulder rests or endpins for those valuable minutes.

3. Useful at Gigs. 
Bringing a violin stand or a cello stand to your gig with you can prove veryuseful. A violin stand is a must-have if you switch between instruments at gigs. Or, if you are playing only the one instrument, it can be a much more secure way to hold the instrument during breaks than simply perching your violin on your chair.

4. A Way to Display Your Instrument. When used at home, the cello stand can be a beautiful way to safely display your treasure. It thereby enhances the ambience of the room much more than leaving it in the case would!

If you’re looking for a violin stand, we have several options: 

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Practice, Product Reviews, Instrument Stand

Violin and Viola Accessories: The Top Five List

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Sep 18, 2012 2:58:00 PM

Are you or your child just starting to play the violin or viola? Here are a few necessary accessories that you will need as you start out on this exciting journey.

1. Rosin
Without rosin your bow won’t work. It helps to create friction between the horsehair and the strings which, in turn, causes vibrations. There are a plethora of options to choose from, so here are a few guidelines. 

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Topics: Beginner Violin, Metronomes, Tuners, Rosin, Shoulder Rests, Music Stands, Accessories, Mutes

Used Violins – The Best Deal?

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Aug 31, 2012 11:30:00 AM

Getting set up with a good instrument when you first start out can be confusing, stressful, and expensive. If you are on a budget, finding the most bang for your buck can be even more overwhelming. What to do?? Before you delve into the realm of “Violin Shaped Objects” on ebay or craigslist, first think about getting a used or blemished instrument.

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Topics: Beginner Violin, Violin-Shaped Object, Used Violins, Cheap Violins

A Silent Violin?

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Aug 23, 2012 4:11:00 PM

Aren’t violins made to be heard? Why would you want a silent one, then? Well, silent violins have several advantages (besides just being fun to play!). Here are some thoughts!

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Topics: Violin, Practice, Electric Violin, Silent Violin

What Is the Difference Between a Violin and a Fiddle?

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Aug 15, 2012 10:26:00 AM

With Mark O'Connor's workshop and concert in Ann Arbor fast approaching, we thought we'd share a quick blog post that answers the most timeless question of them all: What exactly is the difference between a violin and a fiddle?

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Topics: Violin, Mark O'Connor, Fiddle

Violin Sheet Music: The Top Five List

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Aug 1, 2012 4:14:00 PM

Over the years I have purchased sheet music, borrowed violin sheet music from the library, and given away scores upon scores (pun intended) of other pieces of violin sheet music. But of all the pieces that have been given and taken away, I have found that the following five books will stay with me.

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Topics: Violin, Beethoven, Sheet Music, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Kreisler

Wedding Sheet Music: What to Play This Summer

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Jul 24, 2012 10:40:00 AM

Wedding season is underway! Do you have the sheet music you need for all of your upcoming wedding performances?

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Topics: Violin, Sheet Music, Viola, Cello, Wedding, Piano

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