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#CaseConfessions on Instagram - What are you Hiding in Your Instrument Case?

Posted by James Engman on Sep 18, 2018 4:14:14 PM

Five years ago SHAR asked people to send in their #caseconfessions photos, showing everything in your case except the instrument and bow - old rosin and cleaning cloths, tuners, random toys, photos, and whatever else you need with you and your instrument to survive! You can see some of those photos in that blog from 2013! Now we are kicking off #caseconfessions again, but this time on Instagram! So, take this opportunity to vacuum out that rosin dust, finally remove that old photo of your ex, and show us the deepest darkest secrets from inside of your case! Just post to Instagram (or Facebook or Twitter if you don't have it) the contents of your case, use the #caseconfessions hashtag and tag us!

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Topics: Accessories, #caseconfessions, Social Media

HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES, AND TOES: MOVEMENT AND THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ERGONOMIC SHOULDER PAD AND CHINREST

Posted by Lynne Denig on May 25, 2017 3:47:03 PM

The children’s song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” has been used over the last sixty years to teach young children anatomy and to get them moving as they point to each part. The tune is actually a good advertisement for how we, as violinists and violists, should make use of our bodies as we play—from the top of our heads down to the soles of our feet. However, movement sometimes is derailed because we have
chosen non-ergonomic equipment, especially in our choice of chinrests and shoulder pads.

[This article, by Lynne Denig was originally published in American String Teacher, Vol. 67, No. 1, © 2017 by American String Teachers Association. It has been formatted for our blog page with permission. Click to read the whole article!]

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Shoulder Rests, Accessories, Health, chinrests

New at SHAR - Fall 2016: Cello and Bass Strings, Electrics, Accessories, and Cases!

Posted by James Engman on Aug 27, 2016 1:35:20 PM

Since 1962, SHAR has been making new products available to string players every year. The fall season is usually when we debut most of our new products in preparation for new school years, concert seasons, and holidays! This year is no exception with dozens of new items in all categories! Whether you are an advancing student, an orchestra or private studio teacher, a full-time musician, or just getting started,  SHAR is the place to find things you know you need, or things that you didn’t even know existed but that could definitely make your life easier! Innovation and improvements are being made every day by musicians and thinkers all over the world! Below are some of the new products for cello and bass players that are included in the SHAR Fall 2016 Catalog. Check them out – there may be something for you!

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Topics: Cello, Metronomes, Accessories, Bass, Cases, Electric

New AT SHAR 2016: Violin and Viola Cases, Electrics, and Accessories

Posted by James Engman on Aug 26, 2016 2:30:23 PM

Since 1962, SHAR has been making new products available to string players every year. The fall season is usually when we debut most of our new products in preparation for new school years, concert seasons, and holidays! This year is no exception with dozens of new items in all categories! Whether you are an advancing student, an orchestra or private studio teacher, a full-time musician, or just getting started,  SHAR is the place to find things you know you need, or things that you didn’t even know existed, but could definitely make your life easier! Innovation and improvements are being made every day by musicians and thinkers all over the world! Below are some new products for violin and viola players that are included in the SHAR Fall 2016 Catalog. Check them out – there may be something for you!

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Accessories, Mark O'Connor, Electric Violin, Silent Violin, Cases, Instrument Care, Electric

How the Finissima Violin mute Can Help You Finesse Your Tone Color

Posted by Staff Writer on Jun 30, 2016 4:50:56 PM

We live in a fast-paced society these days. Gone are the days where children would play outside until being called in for dinnertime. Few people make elaborate dinners each day from scratch, complete with a homemade dessert. We’re all a little overscheduled and harried, it seems.

The reality of our modern society is that smartphones and tablets are the go-to solutions for our overscheduled lives. Anything that makes your life just a little bit easier is sure to be a big hit these days. Remember when the pre-washed, bagged salad first hit the market? Nobody was sure if it would take off or not, because it’s pretty simple to buy lettuce and wash it, but it turns out that a lot of people liked the convenience. Or when the Keurig coffee makers hit the market? Who would forgo a traditional coffee maker for one of these expensive gadgets, we wondered? Turns out a lot of people found it too be too cumbersome to fix coffee in a traditional coffee pot, and appreciated the no cleanup, quick convenience of the K-cups. Now you can buy them everywhere. I think it’s because we’re all just trying to claim a little bit more sanity every day in our fast-paced world. Anything to not have to take an extra step, clean up an extra mess, or remember one extra thing.

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Topics: Violin, Accessories, Mutes, Tchaikovsky, Advice, Classical

Blackwing - The Music Pencil

Posted by James Engman on Mar 29, 2016 2:59:12 PM

Last fall I wrote a blog on the importance of students (and experienced musicians for that matter) learning to write music, and not just learning to read notes. The act of putting pencil to paper in the musical arena is one of great importance - and in a quite simple and straightforward sense. Yes, one of the most powerful gestures a person can make is to create, and creating music is by and large one of the pinacles of human artistic acheivement. However, there is more to creating music than composing. If simply leaving your mark in this world through a written masterpiece of divine inspiration was the only need to ever pick up a pencil as a musician, most of us probably would never have done so. Yet, we are all familiar with the role of the pencil in string player's arsenal, because the traditional tools for composing masterpieces have also always had a much more practical role in making music - notes and markings.

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Topics: Accessories, Blackwing Pencils

7 Names you won't give your New Violin or Viola Cushy!

Posted by James Engman on Aug 26, 2015 3:00:00 PM

It's a CUSHY case cover, and it just wants to give you and your instrument a hug.

     The new and improved CUSHY© Deluxe Carry-All™ Backpack Case Covers are now available to fit over violin and viola, shaped and oblong cases! Our top product designers teamed up with leading backpack manufacturers to bring you a quality product that optimizes comfort, protection, and durability. It shouldn’t be a mystery why "CUSHY" is an appropriate name for these bodacious guardians of your precious cargo. They, like a forcefield of cushy goodness, repel the forces of nature that seek to destroy your instrument and wear out your case. All the while, it offers you a warm and soft embrace, making your commute comfortable and hands-free. However, here’s a few names we did NOT give to The CUSHY© and why:

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Accessories, Cases, Bags, Straps, Travel, Traveller

How to Win Friends and Influence People: The Metronome Edition

Posted by Staff Writer on Jun 23, 2015 10:27:46 AM

Have you ever lost track of time while on a hike? You’re marveling at the beauty of trees, streams, and mountains, feeling downright absorbed by nature for what feels like at least 2 hours—only to discover that 4 hours have passed? Or have you ever noticed that time truly does fly when you’re binge-watching all five seasons of Game of Thrones? Or playing Xbox for what seems like 30 minutes, only to discover that you’ve been at it for 5 hours, when you should have been practicing?

If you can relate to any of these scenarios, it’s because you—just like me and every other musician out there—have a perception of time that is less than 100% accurate. This results in having less than completely perfect rhythm. It’s a challenge for beginner violinists and professional string players alike, one that only becomes more painfully obvious the longer we work at honing our craft. What can we do about this? We can—you guessed it—use a metronome to improve our rhythm, or perception of time.

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Topics: Metronomes, Tuners, Accessories

Why You Should Only Buy the Original Tourte Mute

Posted by James Engman on Apr 9, 2015 12:45:00 PM

Differences are invisible until discovered. A common picture riddle found in children’s coloring books includes a number of seemingly identical snow men (or teddy bears, men in raincoats with umbrellas, etc.), one of which has a slight difference. Which of these is not like the others? The child looks at the three or four snowmen bewildered, even frustrated, until aha! This snowman is missing a button. The child circles the unfashionable snowman, and turns the page.

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Topics: Accessories, Mutes, Tourte Mute

The Best Metronomes and Tuners

Posted by Joseph Chapman on May 21, 2013 9:57:00 AM

Ever wondered what the best metronome or tuner is for you? In our newest e-catalog, the 2013 Metronome and Tuner issue, we have some handy charts that compare tempo range, beat, display, calibration, power source, and more. If you're in the market for a new metronome or tuner -- or a metronome-tuner combo! -- look no further than our latest e-catalog. Click on the image below to shop and compare!

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Topics: Metronomes, Tuners, Accessories

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