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Dry Air = Danger: Prepare Your Stringed Instrument for the Cold Months Ahead

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Oct 16, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Dry Air = Danger

As autumn gives way to winter, with dryer and colder air on the way, your stringed instrument may be dreading it even more than you are. Here at SHAR, we live by the old Norwegian adage (some say Finnish, others say German!): “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing”. So, now that you’ve bundled up, it’s time to think about your instrument!

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

Good Vibrations: Musicians Making a Difference

Posted by Judy Divis on Sep 19, 2018 9:14:30 AM

Musicians are generous – they create music and share it with everyone. They teach, enabling others to experience the joy of creating music. And in the heartland of America, the Omaha Chamber Music Society is making sure that all students who attend Title I secondary schools in Omaha also gain this opportunity through their amazing Good Vibrations program.

SHAR is proud to be a supporter the Good Vibrations program, which is described by Omaha Chamber Music Society violist Judy Divis, founder of the program. Judy’s story is about generosity, and how a community of superb musicians and partners came together to share their passion, passing the baton to a new generation.

- Val Jakiewicz

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Topics: Good Vibrations, Music Education, Instrument Care, Violin, Donation

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: Cushy, Humidity, PRESTO, Super-Lite, Heritage, Travel, Instrument Care, Carbon Fiber, Cases, Bows, Rosin, Tuners, Metronomes, 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: Strings, Instrument Care, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass

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

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

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

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

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