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  • SHAR Blog
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Summer Music Camp Essentials

Posted by Staff Writer on Jun 5, 2018 10:38:07 AM

With the school year ending and the weather getting warmer, music camps are on the horizon! Make the most out of your summer music experience by making sure you have everything you need before you leave. We've compiled a list of must-have essentials that will help protect your instrument, keep you engaged and prepared, and keep the music flowing!

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Topics: Metronomes, Tuners, Rosin, Bows, Carbon Fiber, Cases, Instrument Care, Travel, Heritage, Super-Lite, PRESTO, Humidity, Cushy, Summer Camp, Checklist

Six Mistakes String Players Make When Changing Strings

Posted by James Engman on Jan 19, 2018 5:11:33 PM

It's a scenario every beginner or intermediate string player finds themselves in at some point: either a string broke, the metal winding is unraveling, or they've simply decided better strings will make them finally sound like Anne-Sophie Mutter. I can tune my strings by now; I'm sure changing my strings is simple enough! With headstrong independence they place an order for the set they heard are really great and wait patiently for their new strings to arrive. In a few days, they tear open the package, sit down with their instrument and get started...

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Strings, Bass, Instrument Care

String Teachers: Students Need a Breakthrough? Part 6: Good Habits Begin Early: Caring for the Instrument

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Oct 10, 2017 2:28:41 PM

In this final part of the breakthrough blog series, Val Jaskiewicz offers a reminder to teachers that a student is responsible for their instrument and that learning good habits early on will prevent them from hitting barriers later on. Caring for an instrument, after all, is an important aspect of being a string player, and one that at times requires encouragement from the teacher.

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Topics: Teaching, Instrument Care, Humidity

Why a Violin Case or Viola Case (Sometimes) Isn’t Enough

Posted by Staff Writer on Jan 9, 2017 3:09:24 PM

There are days when I look over my monthly budget and just shake my head at just how much I spend on various kinds of insurance: Instrument insurance, car insurance, health insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance. It’s a never ending list! As much as I groan and complain about having to pay those monthly premiums, I know that they exist for a good reason. Insurance coverage is important, especially insurance that covers you where you need it most. If you think this blog is starting to sound like an insurance commercial, you’re right. I watched an ad on TV just the other day, and their slogan was “Know the gaps.” Meaning if there are gaps in your coverage, you should investigate that and fix it. Being a musician, I obviously thought about my instrument: do I know the gaps?

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cases, Instrument Care, Cushy

Winter Is Coming. Is your Instrument Protected?

Posted by James Engman on Oct 24, 2016 4:24:04 PM

The days are getting shorter, your heat may have already kicked in a few times, and you’re starting to look for sweaters and coats you haven’t seen in months. Winter is coming, and that means dry air that can wreak havoc on your string instrument! As vapor is lost from the air, it sucks out moisture from the wood in your instrument, causing loose pegs, lowered string height, a change in tone, and even open seams or catastrophic cracks! Luckily, it is easy to prevent major damage, and even little inconveniences like tuning problems. Here are three easy steps that will keep your instrument in great shape through the cold, dry winter.

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Instrument Care, Humidity

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

Why is my stringed instrument buzzing and rattling?

Posted by James Engman on Mar 16, 2016 3:10:05 PM

Is your violin, viola, cello, or bass rattling or buzzing? Does it make these noises only on certain strings or notes?

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Topics: Violin, Instrument Repair, Viola, Cello, Bass, Instrument Care, Troubleshooting

Traveling with Your Cello

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jul 15, 2014 10:12:00 AM

If you’re an active musician, chances are you’ll be traveling to a gig, performance or audition out of town. If you’re a violinist or flutist, this isn’t a big deal... well, at least it shouldn't be. But if you’re a cellist or bassist? Let’s just say that if you play either of these instruments, traveling with them can be a pain in the neck. (And hopefully not your cello’s neck!) But if you heed some of the following advice and carefully plan ahead, hopefully you can avoid having too many problems. 

 

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Topics: Cello, Instrument Care, Travel

Getting the Most Out of Your Bow

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sep 7, 2012 2:56:00 PM

Today we have another fine blog from our apprentice James Engman. James shares six tips that will help you maintain and care for your bow whether you're just starting out or an established professional. 

As a young player becomes more experienced, their technical ability may begin to require a higher quality bow. The balance, weight, flexibility, and setup of a decent bow will allow a student to accelerate their formation of technique and tone. Just as a sharpshooter can’t perfect his or her aim with an old black-powder musket, a violinist can be held back by an inferior bow. However, the cost of a good bow can often seem unusually steep to first time buyers. It is easy to forget that the instrument in your right hand is just as much of an investment as the one in your left, and it requires just as much care, if not more. Therefore, a student should learn to care for their bow as it were a $90,000 Peccatte from the first time they pick one up. Here are six simple tips, for students and professionals alike, to get the most out of your bow.

1. Rosin the Bow!
Although a strand of horsehair appears smooth, it is actually covered in tiny scales and hairs. Not only does your rosin help the bow stick to the string, but it also protects its texture. Bowing without enough rosin or rosining a small area with too much pressure and frequency can smooth out the hair and ruin it. So, it is always important to keep the hair evenly rosined.

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bows, Bass, Instrument Care

Do You Need a Loop or a Ball End for Your E-string? What is a removable Ball?

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Feb 3, 2012 10:13:00 AM

This is a frequent question that those of us in the Call Center need to ask customers as we try to accurately place your orders. This can be confusing, especially for parents who haven’t yet had the opportunity to install strings on their student’s instrument. Hopefully the following information will be of help!

Update: Feb 27, 2016 - Removable Ball-End Strings are now a very popular type of Violin E string and Viola A string. These strings have a ball end that can be removed to reveal a loop-end. Not all ball end strings are removable! "Removable Ball" strings will be marked as such, and non-removable ball-end strings will just be listed as "Ball" under End type. - James Engman

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Strings, Instrument Care

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