We take pride in carefully, individually setting up our instruments to ensure they sound, look and feel their best.
All of our instruments are hand checked and adjusted to ensure that they are easy to play. These checks include neck/fingerboard angle, top nut and bridge heights and pegs functioning properly. We only use fully qualified and experienced luthiers in our workshops. Once adjusted we test play each instrument for further assurance.
We strive to provide instruments that are comfortable to play. This is very important as an instrument that is not correctly set up makes practising an extra effort and reduces enjoyment.
In the longer term it can also cause wrist and back problems.
This ensures that playing is made as easy as possible and promotes diligent practice.
If you have a preferred string or rosin choice for your student please let us know as we can fit string preferences at the initial hire start.
Rosins have been made for centuries and are an important accessory for all good players. The quality of rosin used can impact on the tone produced. We stock a variety of rosins as a result.
In general rosin is made from tree resin which is cooked according to various recipes. It allows the friction on the bow to produce the sound on the strings.
We will provide a general base recipe rosin with each hire instrument however for an additional one off charge you can upgrade your rosin to your preferred choice. You would then own your rosin.
We fit each hire instrument with a starting set of strings. Strings can range from a modest price per set to handmade good quality strings from around £90 and up per set. The type of strings you choose can greatly enhance the tonal quality of an instrument, however generally a complete beginner may not choose to upgrade their strings until they were becoming more skilled in instrument playing.
Different players / teachers do prefer strings with different tonal qualities from the base set from the hire start and we cater for this.
We offer an upgrade service if you, or your teacher would prefer you to have a specific type of string.
If you upgraded your strings at the start of the hire agreement we would fit them for you at no extra charge other than the retail cost of the new strings which you would then own. This would vary depending on the strings you choose.
Shoulder Rest (violin)
If you need a shoulder rest, it is important to adjust the rest to fit your body – try different heights and positions to find a comfortable fit for you.
We stock both straight bar and curved rests.
If you are hiring an instrument, please make sure you know how to correctly use the pegs to tune the strings. There are many free smartphone apps that can help you accurately tune (available on both Android and Apple devices).
Which size instrument to choose?
It is important to have the correct sized instrument to maximize learning and ensure practising is a pleasure and comfortable experience. It also reduces the risk of strain to your neck / back / arm muscles.
Instruments come in different sizes and as a person grows they will need to move up in sizes until they usually reach a full sized instrument (also known as 4/4). There are some exceptions to this rule. If a person is especially petite they may use a 7/8* instrument instead or a ¾ bow with a full sized instrument. We will aim to cater accordingly at no additional cost.
To measure for a violin / viola extend your left arm out from your body and measure from your neck to the mid point of the palm of your hand.
Generally the smallest instruments are 1/32 and 1/64 however usually a child would start on a 1/16 or 1/10 size violin from the ages of 3-5 years moving up the sizes as they grow. The following details will help you choose the correct sized instrument (approx. measurements and age range).
4/4 or full sized violin for teenagers / adults – generally from aged 10 and above.
Arm length range from 23 inches.
7/8* violin the vast majority of players skip this size and go straight to a full size. Generally this is used by a petite adult / teenager with smaller hands and should give a better sound than a 3/4.
3/4 violin 9 to 12 years range
1/2 violin 6 to 10
1/4 violin 5 to 7
1/8 violin 3-6 years of age
1/10 violin 3 – 4 years of age, sometimes skipped
1/16 violin 2 to 4 years of age
1/32 violin 1 to 2 years of age, often children of this age would use it as a toy – as a result we do not stock these.