This article is an off shoot of the parts of the violin article. This article is aimed at identifying the extra parts of the violin that are either not immediately noticeable or are detached. I hope this helps everyone in their learning. Without further adieu, here you go!
Violin shoulder rest
The shoulder rest sits on the back of the violin on the lower bout. As it’s name suggests, the padded side of the rest sits on your shoulder. The pressure from your chin on the chin rest and the pressure of your shoulder against the shoulder rest holds the violin in place.
This is a very important piece of equipment. The goal here is that we do not want to hold the violin with our hand. It’s important to have a shoulder rest that contours your shoulder well and has good padding.
I made a video on rosin so I won’t be going too far in depth here. Rosin is made of tree sap and is spread across the bow hair to create friction between the bow hair and the strings. This friction in turn vibrates the strings and causes sound. It’s actually quite an interesting scientific discussion if you like learning about sound waves, vibrations and how substances react with one another.
Violin cleaner and polish
This is sort of a catch-all phrase for a collection of products. There are 2-in-1 polishes that both clean and shine the varnish, but there are also dedicated versions of these. You will find that there are different products that clean the fingerboard and different products that clean the body of the violin.
Remember that the body is coated with a varnish and that it’s important to not use a cleaner that can strip this finish. Some students may think that a usable cleaner is alcohol, but I strongly recommend NOT using alcohol as it will strip the varnish of most violins. Find cleaners that will remove adhesive or rosin from the fingerboard and a separate cleaner for the body of the violin. If it’s not 2-in-1, find a good polish that will help your varnish to have a beautiful shine and luster.
This is something not often talked about, but in certain parts of the country, your violin can crack and split if it gets too dry. This mostly happens in either arid or frigid climates. Therefore, if you’re living in the desert, or living in the frozen northern tundra (or somewhere that leans heavily one way or the other), you may live in an area where the average humidity is very low.
This can draw all the moisture out of the wood of your violin and cause it to crack, split, and become damaged. A violin humidifier is placed inside the violin to regulate the moisture inside the instrument, thus warding off potential problems.
In conclusion, I strongly suggest purchasing a violin shoulder rest and rosin is mandatory when playing the violin with a bow. The more you know about your instrument, the better you will be at playing it. Have fun, and keep practicing!