Links to recommended instruments, books etc.

Fiddle/Violin Supplies List:

You don’t need to buy everything on this list! This is a master list. Just get what we’ve discussed or whatever interests you.

Most links are for because I’m too lazy to link to multiple sites. Most of these items can also be found on, or if you have a week or two to wait, at Southwest Strings, which is an awesome small company with free shipping. Young Musicians, Johnson Strings and Ifshin Violins are other companies I’ve had good experiences with.

None of these companies have sponsored me in any way, the links are just for your convenience.  

Some of the websites (Shar in particular) can be slow to load. If one of the links doesn’t appear to work, try loading one link at a time, and give it several seconds to load. 

Update: A new company,, has recently started up, and they have a very professional mobile website (unlike some of the older companies.) I’ve ordered from them and they’ve been great!



Starter violin (rental is fine)            Please doublecheck correct size!!!
Note: I recommend renting your first instrument from a local shop if possible, since they’ll be able to help you if anything goes wrong with it. But if that’s inconvenient, Shar is a good option!

Everest shoulder rest (fun colors!)

Bon Musica shoulder rest (ergonomic, professional shoulder rest)

”Don’t Fret” fingerboard decal (Please double check size!)

Carbon fiber (less fragile) bow

Evah Pirazzi steel E string, medium gauge, ball end

Helicore G, D or A strings (medium gauge)



Violin Tuner Master (for fiddles & violins)

Viola Tuner Master (for violas)

A metronome app or metronome (preferred app: ProMetronome)

iRealbook (fun app for backup & improv)


You will also need the following items but they’re commonplace so I didn’t make links:

3 ring binder
Sheet protectors
1 regular graphite pencil
1 colored pencil (orange, purple or green.)
Fun stickers (depending on age.)



My First Violin Fun Book (blue) by Larry Newman
The Violin Fun Book (brown) by Larry Newman
The Real Book (G and D strings) by Larry Newman (Sometimes I call this “the Purple Book.” There’s also a version for the D and A strings, which I won’t link here, to avoid confusion.)

I Can Read Music by Joanne Martin

Kidfiddle by Jerry Silverman

The Portland Collection

The Fiddler’s Facebook

Suzuki Violin Method, Volumes: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Accolay Concerto

Wolfhart (Classical etudes)

Kreutzer (Advanced classical etudes)

Solo Bach Sonatas and Partitas (this edition is my personal favorite, it’s an urtext with quality binding, but I’m sure there are other good editions.) 


Note re instruments: PLEASE DO NOT buy a cheap violin from Craigslist, Amazon or your uncle’s work buddies’ friend unless you are a professional instrument setup technician or are prepared to pay $$$ to have it properly set up. The instruments are usually fine but a bad setup can make them either unplayable or very difficult to use.


Note re shoulder rests: I have the Bon Musica listed because I usually end up recommending it. It’s pretty expensive, around $50, and it works better than any other shoulder rest I’ve found, but if cost is an issue it’s fine to start with an Everest, which can be less than $20. Just know you may end up getting a Bon Musica eventually.



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