What to Buy!

Music, music, and more music

Here are some of my favorite places to go to buy music from. Suggestions are welcome.


I recommend a variety of strings, but if I am not available and you need to go to the store to get a string, take your violin with you, as they may even change the string for you (Pacetti’s generally has someone on staff to do this or see the video below to do it yourself). Every instrument responds differently to strings. If you have a finer instrument, I recommend trying a few different kinds over the lifetime, until you settle on one.

For more advanced players/instruments:

  • Evah Pirazzi strings (medium gauge is good)
  • Pirastro Oliv is what I use and is also an excellent string. It can also be a little temperamental at first. But, if you get in as many hours of practice and playing as I do, it will be just fine. =)

For intermediate players/instruments:

  • Pirastro, Obligato
  • Thomastik, Dominants (with a Pirastro Gold E)
  • Pirastro, Tonica

For tiny violins (1/2 or smaller)

  • Thomastik, Dominants
  • Thomastik, Vision (this is the least expensive one, if you are using on tiny violins =)
  • D’Addario strings are really inexpensive and used by many places for rental, if you are looking for an inexpensive string for the little tykes.

Here is an interesting review of 30 different strings, published in Strings Magazine in 2001. If you looking to try a different strings and would like to read about various strings, this article covers many brands.

How to change a string.

Here is a great video on how to do that, created by Shar.

Gift Ideas

www.theviolincase.com has some fun gift ideas like jewelry, fun t-shirts, lamps, etc. They even have flashcards for note reading, as well as scales. Take a peek.

Music stands

Music stands are important. You should have your music at a comfortable level when practicing at home. Things to consider when buying a stand are:

If… Then…
You are tall… you may need to consider buying a tall stand.

This one is just like the ones I am using, but are taller: Manhasset Tall Stand

The Peak Stand, extra tall version is completely foldable. The only real downside is that the base is so big, you can’t use in an orchestra setting that well (doable, like for camp) or you trip over it while playing in the group, if you have to move around it (at least I do… so, I really don’t like these)

What I have in ensemble Get a Manhasset.

You have to make sure it will fit. These are made for the Manhasset, so you may want to get one of those.

Standard, orchestra Manhasset

Manhasset with a foldable base

It comes in a variety of colors. I recommend getting the standard black, so you can use in our ensemble events. If you buy the Manhasset, you can get the stand extensions for $20 (instead of 24ish). Or you can go to Pacetti’s and get them there for $20ish. Call first to be sure. They also sell the standard Manhasset stands =). This stand is also available in tall. There is a cheaper one out there that is similar to this. It is more light weight. You can find Manhasset stands on eBay as well for about $20 each.

You want to add stand-outs Manhasset Stand-Outs. ~$20/set. These are made by Manhasset, so, they fit Manhasset. The size of the desk should be 12.5 high with a lip no larger than 2.425”. If there is a lip, this will not fit. There are other types of stand-outs you can buy that will fit any stand.
You want a folding stand… It is always good to have a folding stand that is light weight to carry around in your bag in case you need to use one. The kind I recommend is the Hercules folding stand. It is a little more pricey, but you can’t beat the quality of Hercules. Another standard is the Hamilton wire stand. These are pretty good, as well. Don’t buy the cheapest one out there…  you will only have to replace it after a few uses.
A violin stand Again, I would buy a Hercules violin stand, if you are looking for something that will hold your violin (and is not attached to the stand). I have had stands fall over that were holding my electric violins. Amazing how the pegs can just crack in half right before a show. Never leave your violin attached to a mic or music stand and walk away!! Also, don’t get the kind of violin attachment that attaches to the lip. This just scares me.
You want another option Here is another stand I recommend, if you are looking for a fold up stand. This one will not hold extensions (I believe the lip is too big). http://www.musicstandsalone.com/product/MA-25NAM

NOTE: I have no stock in musicstandsalone.com. Overall, their prices are pretty good. Please feel free to shop anywhere.