About a month ago at a concert with Laura Story in North Carolina, a guy and his wife came up to me at the merchandise table. He introduced himself and mentioned that he was a violist and was especially curious to know what sort of gear I use to amplify my violin. It was fun to talk to him and geek out like string players do when they randomly meet. I scribbled down on some paper the different products that I'd recommend.
Today, I was thinking that it was about time for a new blog post and since I've had lots of other violinists and violists ask about my gear at various gigs, I thought that I'd write a few notes on the products that I use. Please note that I don't have any endorsement deals, so I've not been paid or perked to mention any of this...it's all just stuff I love after a lifetime of trying different violin related products. (Although if you happen to work for one of these companies and feel like sending me free stuff, I'm totally cool with that as well.)
I highly recommend you purchase products from The Violin Shop located on 8th Avenue South in Nashville, Tennessee or HERE at their Online Store.
If they don't have what you need in-store or online, then I recommend Young Musicians, a Ft. Worth based company that began just as I was beginning violin lessons.
Other quality retailers include Corner Music (Nashville, TN), Williams Fine Violins (Nashville, TN), Shar Music (online), Andy's Music (Mobile, AL), and Southwest Strings (online).
Wolf "Super Flexibel" Shoulder Rest - Growing up I was a hardcore fan of the Kun Original shoulder rest, well, after I graduated from a kitchen sponge to a WeBad to a real shouder rest that is. My teacher in 8th grade told my mom I had to buy a Wolf, which we did (we were complient folk) and I hated it. At least I hated whatever model we bought back then. But a few years ago when my Kun finally bit the dust (yes, I'd gone back to my Kun!), I noticed this model by Wolf in the glass case at The Violin Shop and tried it out and finally found the shoulder rest of my dreams. I had some difficulty location this exact rest online for you fine folks, but looks like the Wolf "Forte Secondo" might be the newer and fairly equivalent version. Cost: about $30
So there you have it! A few of my favorite things. What gear do you love? Any more questions? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Bethany is a freelance violinist/fiddler and tour manager who works with artists & events such as Kelly Minter, Cultivate: A Gathering Around The Word and Laura Story. She and her husband Keith live in Nashville, TN with their daughter Clare, cat & 6 backyard chickens. For more info on Bethany, visit her bio page!!