Accessories of the viola should not only be aesthetically pleasing but should also aide you in improving your performance especially if you are just starting out in the industry. Violas, just like any other musical instrument, should be well-taken care of, if you want your viola to last a long time, you should invest in quality accessories that will help your instrument remain at its best shape. In choosing viola accessories, especially for the expensive brands, you must take into consideration that those of lesser quality can potentially damage your viola (e.g. scratches) which can lessen its market value. Here’s your concise guide in choosing the proper accessories for your viola.
The mute is a small accessory that you place on the bridge of a viola to prevent vibration of the strings, thus making the sound softer. Mutes can be usually made of plastic, wood, metal, and from time to time, leather.
However, you may want to refrain from purchasing plastic ones as it leaves black marks on the bridge. To better gauge which mute should work for you, you may seek assistance from other violists as mutes also have different extremities.
As you may already know, rosin is used to create friction between the bow and its string. Its price depends on its quality and other materials added on it such as gold, silver, metal, or crystal which is deemed to help produce a richer sound.
If you are currently using the basic rosin and would like to switch with an expensive one, it’s best to also change your bow hair as the combination of new and existing ones on your bow hair won’t create the expected sound.
There has been an ongoing debate among violists when it comes to shoulder rests. Some would say that it’s alright not to have any while some say that the best shoulder rest are either made of sponges or cloths or even those that are customized to your preference.
To decide which one works for you, especially as a beginner, you may want to try practicing with and without a shoulder rest to see for yourself which methodology of holding a viola is effective for you. If you’re in doubt, you may ask your instructor, a violist friend, or the store where you’ll buy a shoulder rest what should be suitable for you.
This accessory is important in creating a relationship between the violist and the viola but it doesn’t mean that just because some use it you’ll have to comply as well. You have to assess within yourself if you are comfortable playing your viola with or without the chin rest. If you are unsure, you can check with experts what option should be suitable for you.
A case is vital in guaranteeing the lifespan of your viola. It’s a golden rule to always keep your viola in its case when not in use to prevent any unwanted damage. Usually comes in two designs, oblong and the fitted ones, it is still up to you which design suits your preference, just make sure that your viola case is sturdy enough so the contents of it won’t be damaged easily.
Another golden rule and often forgotten by beginners is to always keep an extra set of viola strings within your case. There are times when strings, with continuous use, break, and you don’t want it to happen before your performance.
As purchasing of accessories can be costly, you should take time in choosing the appropriate materials and thoroughly assess if these accessories are worth every penny.