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Introduction | Tuner | Microphones | Sordine | Computer programs | Ear plugs


A list of recommended accessories for playing violin



Shoulder rest

You need a good shoulder rest to strap on the violin. It must be possible to hold the violin between your cheek and your shoulder, without the help of your left hand. There are a lot of different models. A small but firm cushion strapped to the violin can also be used, but the shoulder rest on the picture is the most popular, and it provides the best support for the violin.


A tuner is a good investment. You should be able to find a chromatic tuner with auto pitch finding for less than 100$. Tuners on the market today are adjusted to the Equal tempering principle. With a little practice you will be able to tune to the Just Tuning when you tune by ear. But the difference is not very great. And in some cases the Equal tempering is a better choice. When you are starting to play violin, the tuner is a good guideline. You can also use it when you are playing for occasional checking that your notes are in tune. It is normally not possible to follow every note, because the tuner need some time to find the note, so you should use it for stopping up and listening to the notes. The speed at which the tuner works is increased if you are connecting a pickup or a microphone directly from your violin to the tuner.



You can use any type of microphones if it just is for connecting to the tuner.



Professional microphones


If you which to have good sound, I can recommend the 4060 necktie microphone from Danish Pro Audio. Those guides have some of the best microphone design guys and computer programs for design in the world. Their microphones are used by respected recording studios all over the world, as well as by international performs, musicals etc.

I have used DPA's 4060 for live jazz jam. You should however not stand to close to the main loudspeaker.

  • DPA are reputed for making microphones that records the sound "as it is" with no coloring of the sound whatsoever.
  • The DPA system is not as prone to feedback as other microphones: because of the extreme linearity of the microphone response cure, the feedback tone will not find any preferred frequency. .

DPA also have developed special microphones for violins, but they are much more expensive then the tie-pin microphones.

If you buy a pair of DPA 4060'ies with battery preamp, you may make professional recordings on your minidisk recorder for a very inexpensive price.




Stringamp pickup

Stringamp has a system which means that you should mount some magnets under the finger board. The stringamp system is basically the same as an electrical guitar system but better since it is the pure swinging of the string that is picked up. You can play very loud with a stringamp system without getting on-stage acoustic feedback.



Night sordine

It is important to be able to practice whenever you want, without having to bothering about neighbors and your children being asleep. I find the night sordine extremely good. Also because it allows me to practice without increasing my tinitus. Obviously there are some aspects of your sound envelope that you cannot check while playing with a night sordine. But I find that (after a little bit of practice) it is possible to make a "translation" of what you experience while using sordine, and the finished sound envelope that you get when you play "for real". I think that one of the great aspects of being violinist is the sordine; the possibility of being able to practice at any time of the night, without thinking about the neighbors.



Computer programs

My favorite Cool Edit from unfortunately bought by Adobe


Amazing Slow Downer

This program is made in Malmö (the Swedish city on the other end of the bridge from Copenhagen) It can slow down your CD-s or mp3s to practicing tempo in real time.

You may buy/download ASD on


(There are other programs on the market that can do the same thing.


Band in a Box

If you want to learn how to improvise, the Band in a Box program is a must. I have used the program to make some practicing pages. But it is nicer to have the program, go to for buying/downloading the program.


The Brüel & Kjær 4443 dose meter was used when we made a, nose investigation in Folkets Hus. We measured levels up to 99 dB, and peak levels close to 120 dB. I now know for sure how I got my tinitus. Practicing at 99 dB for more than 20 minutes a day will give hearing loss for 10% of a normal population. Peak levels above 115 dB will probably make that figure still higher.


Musicians ear plug

During our noise investigation we found quite high noise levels. These ear plugs has somewhat linear frequency range. They are molded for your ears individually by a company making hearing aids. OK they are not inexpensive. (Around 300$) but they are good..