The Safe Violin Stand
The safest place for a violin is a good, sturdy case, resting on the floor inside a room. Some of the riskier places I have seen violins are: lying on the chair that the violinist has been sitting in, hanging from the edge of a music stand, resting on the floor, leaning against an amplifier. Not that I saw a bad thing happen, but it was cause for a little concern.
Cases, generally speaking, are harder and sturdier when you pay more money for them. The softest case is a violin bag, or soft case. I had one once for my Yamaha electric violin. It gave no protection, but it was easy to carry. And the electric violin was not as easily damaged, I thought, as a regular wooden violin. Nothing bad happened. I believe I let the case go when I sold the electric violin.
I have one old case I got, oh, about 35 years ago that is still in use, but very heavy. I don’t know what it’s made of. It’s very hard. I don’t use it much because I prefer a lighter case.
Ease of Playing the Fiddle
For practicing, Michael Cleveland says, “Do it! Make it easy to practice. Leave your fiddle out and in the way, so that you’re tempted to pick it up and play.” In other words, make it easy when you are at home. A case is not ideal. You usually have to move it somewhere to open it. getting everything ready to play takes time. There is an easier way. It’s called a violin stand.
There are also violin hangers that serve the same purpose, but I prefer something with less potential entropy happening. That would be the violin stand. I use an Ingles stand. In fact I got a second stand to use at gigs, but it ended up next to the first stand on the hearth and holds another violin. For a while it was the four string and the five string next to each other. Now the five string stays in the case because I usually play that one when I’m fiddling.
The convenience of the violin stand is obvious. Suppose you were just thinking about a tune and you wanted to check something quickly. You go over to the stand and pick up the violin. Then, taking the bow it is a few seconds before you are playing and finding out what you wanted to know. Also, it poses no obstacle to practicing. It is just totally handy.
For Violin Display Only
Logically, the hangers could serve the same purpose. I saw some in the Amazon page for “violin stand”. They look okay…but, I think of “wall hanger violins” as not conducive to playing. I guess it’s just a prejudice. And there is the thought, what if someone brushes by them and knocks them off the hanger? Could there be some damage?
I’ve had students also comment on the convenience for practicing of having the violin stand with the appointed fiddle just waiting in a safe place until you are ready to play a few tunes.
That’s really all I come up with right now. I could go a little further with more brands of stand or hanger. Or, cases, for that matter. The theme of the piece is mostly violin stand, but it could be expanded to cases. Violin holders, violin protection. Keeping your violin safe. But, then there is the convenience aspect which is big for the stand.
I didn’t say anything about the little bar that swings down to hold the neck back from going forward. That’s a good point. Then, I could drill down on the actual procedure to get the fiddle and bow ready to play. First take up the bow from the bow holder and tighten and rosin it. Put it down while you pick up the violin. Then, you are ready, ready, ready to rock and roll.
When You Are out with Your Violin Case
More could aso be said about getting the violin out of the case. The challenge beginners have just orienting the case to the optimal spot for opening it and getting at the bow and fiddle. The convenience of a table. What it’s like to sit down and prepare the violin and bow while the case is in your lap. What do you do first? Put the shoulder rest on the violin, or rosin the bow?
Then you put the case next to you, and yet, out of the way a little bit. When we play outside in Dunedin I usually use the case on the lap method of prepping the fiddle and bow for use. Sometimes I rosin with my special extremely expensive rosin before I go so that I don’t have to deal with rosining the bow.