We want your Fiddleheads shopping experience, be it via the site or through contacting us to manually process your order, to be an easy and enjoyable experience each and every time!
Most items on this site can be purchased via the very informative self-serve shopping cart system. Some people prefer the human element and we are happy to put together your order manually and send you an email invoice. This also allows for more tweaking of the details, upgrades, and added understanding of what you need to get started with your new violin hobby. Invoicing customers directly is also required for special orders and custom-build instruments.
Instrument Only or Outfit
We provide the option to purchase our instruments alone or as an "outfit." An outfit includes the violin [or viola] paired with a bow, case and rosin for a combined and discounted "outfit" price. You will save more considerably money purchasing the outfit rather than the violin, case, bow and rosin individually.
When you purchase the instrument only, this means you will only receive the violin or viola without a case and bow. These orders are shipped in a special instrument shipping box. You don't need to purchase a case just for shipping, though it does provide more peace of mind to our customers to ship in a case. Do keep in mind it also saves shipping costs and is more efficient to purchase your violin with a case rather than ship an empty case at a later date. [Read Shipping Policy details here]
We provide outfit combinations that most customers find suitable, but also understand our customers may want to upgrade or downgrade various components with their instrument and outfit orders. Below are a few examples of considerations and alterations you can make to your order by contacting us.
Also called string adjusters, fine tuners are small metal screw mechanisms just past the bridge and on or beside the tailpiece that make tuning easier for beginners. They are typically only included on the highest string (trickiest to tune) in the realm of classical violins, and the other strings are tuned using the wooden pegs at the top of the instrument.
However, we recommend that players using steel strings and beginners request to have fine tuners for all four strings, which we can included free of charge at the time of ordering. They can be removed at any point if you wish to tune only with the pegs.
Some of our violins come with tailpieces containing built-in fine tuners. However, should your violin not have this sort of tailpiece and you wish to have all four tuners included, we are happy to add them for free.
We offer all violins with options in strings that suit the instruments' tone and player level.
Crystal strings, from France, and Dominant strings, from Austria, are quite similar, interchangeable with student violins. Both strings have a variation on a nylon core (Crystals are made with "Stabillon," Dominants with "Perlon"). Dominants, the most popular strings which are seen as an industry standard, are certainly a better choice on a higher-end violin or one played by a more advanced player who will hear the tonal improvements. A student player on a student violin may not discern a significant difference between these two options.
Evah Pirazzi strings (from Germany) are a synthetic core string suitable for more advanced players and is usually the string installed on our master violins. The step-up formulated Evah Pirazzi "Gold" strings have even more robust and soloistic tone and we see these are installed on our top instruments for no extra charge.
Fiddleheads even carries Baroque bows, which differ from the "modern" bow. [Read Rhiannon's article on differences on these bows]
If you find yourself in a tight budget, Rhiannon recommends keeping the bow simple and putting more money into the violin itself. You can always purchase an upgraded bow later down the line and use your old bow as a backup.
Just as with our bows, provide various options in cases. Unlike guitar cases, all of our violin cases are considered hard cases. Our economy and mid-grade cases are constructed with cloth over foam, whereas our Fiddleheads Deluxe cases are constructed with a foam core and cloth over a strong, durable plywood frame. Other cases are made from fiberglass, but note they weigh the same as plywood models.
The basic "violin-shaped" case is called the "shaped" or "arrow" configuration. Half-moon cases have a rectangular edge and a rounded edge. Oblong cases are rectangular and have the most interior space.
The more valuable the instrument, the more important it is to consider our high quality Fiddleheads Deluxe Case for maximum protection of your "baby."
Fiddleheads also sells Bobelock cases, drop-shipped from their warehouse to our customers direct, but their North American distributor only ships to the continental USA and unfortunately no longer ships to our Canadian customers. Let us know if you would like to upgrade your outfit to have a Bobelock case and we can personally invoice you for the custom outfit.
Rosin is purified and hardened tree sap that is applied to the horsehair ribbon on the bow that is responsible for making sound. Higher quality rosin is used by advanced students, dedicated amateurs and professionals as it possesses a better tone and feel on the bow.
Some players use dark rosin for winter months and light rosin for summer months. Rhiannon prefers Kolstein rosin (dark formula) and uses it year-round.
We include rosin free of charge with all our outfits. It can also be purchased separately for a modest amount.
Other Important Items
This important item makes holding the violin safer and more comfortable, literally saving your neck from tension and promoting proper technique. We carry the Bon Musica (German Bonmusica) as this is the only shoulder rest Rhiannon uses herself and recommends to her students. It is the most versatile, most adjustable option on the market.
Nasty "violin hickeys" and painful jawbones are a thing of the past with the Strad Pad. Rhiannon uses a velcro-style large Strad Pad on her own violin and recommends it to her private students and Fiddleheads shop customers.
We recommend all beginners consider adding the All for Strings books series (save by bundling) to your cart as they are our go-to instructional method for players of all ages. Another two popular titles in a faster-paced method sprinkled with complete songs are First Lessons Violin and You Can Teach Yourself Fiddling.
Also, not to be confused with fine tuners, an electronic tuner is a tool you use that hears the violin's notes, then tells you if it is in tune or not. This is best used from the start so you know if the violin is in tune at home, without the teacher there to help you tune. You will have to tune your violin each time you play it and it may fall out of tune after shipping.
A metronome is the "tick-tock" machine that helps teach rhythmic accuracy and timing. Our combined electronic tuner/metronome is actually two devices in one and takes up very little space in your case. The metronome component also has preset rhythms (like taka taka ti ti) and meters such as 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 time.
Cream violin polish is to be used sparingly but is a fantastic way to restore the shine to your instrument. We sell very small bottles of our cream polish knowing most players will never use a larger bottle in a lifetime.
Dryness is hard on violins, especially with older models or those with existing or repaired cracks. If you live in an arid or cold region with relative humidity under 50%, your violin could be at risk of damage. A simple solution is to use a hydrating sponge "dampit" / "humitron."
It is highly unlikely that a newer violin (made in the past 20 years) kept in the typical home will warrant use of a dampit. Even well-seasoned woods in newer violins is not as brittle or "parched" as much older instruments, nor is the seam glue.
These goodies aren't necessary for playing, but they are sure adorable and fun! Whether you're treating yourself, showing appreciation to a teacher or colleague, or stuffing a young player's stocking at Christmas, our collection of music-themed trinkets are sure to bring a smile to someone's face.