Looking for the perfect birthday, holiday or graduation gift idea for a violin player in your life? This challenging instrument attracts some of the most discerning personalities, so we’ve carefully developed a list of high quality items – from the classical orchestra member to folk fiddle players. After researching over 300 ideas, here are our top 15:
1. Stradivari’s Genius
Stradivari’s Genius: Five Violins, One Cello, and Three Centuries of Enduring Perfection tells the story of Antonio Stradivari’s famous violins through the lens of 6 of his surviving instruments, including a cello currently played by Yo Yo Ma. Weaving together detailed historical research from the 1600s to present day, the magic of Stradivari comes to life in this well-written text.
2. Old fashioned metronome
In this new world of digital metronome apps, your violinist will be delighted to experience the “good old days” with a fun old fashioned mechanical metronome. We recommend the Tempi model for its 2 year warranty, great user reviews and authentic visual appeal — all at a good value.
3. Electric (silent) violin
For players living with others or in apartments, this is a life saver. Thanks to the headphone jack, it can be completely silent — saving others from the 109th rendition of Mendelssohn’s violin concerto in a row. Great as a complement to an existing violin, this electric violin is cheap and sturdy enough to bring on vacations or airplanes.
4. High Quality Strings
While the violin’s wood structure may be the most expensive part of the instrument, quality strings should not be overlooked as a contributor to a great sound. We recommend Thomastik Dominant’s strings for their quality tone that makes even cheap violins sound more professional.
5. Violin Tuner
One of the biggest challenges of playing violin is proper intonation. This handy clip-on tuner is made especially for string instruments, making it easy to see whether your notes are on or off the mark. You can even store it in the case with the tuner attached.
6. Plated Crystal Violin Necklace
Your daughter will love this sparkly crystal violin necklace. Perfect accent for concerts or other special occasions where she wants to show off her musical talent. While the build quality is not perfect, it’s hard to beat for the price and sure to be met with oohs and aahs.
7. Practice Mute
While violins are not as loud and annoying as trumpets, they still project a lot of sound, even through building walls. If you live in an apartment or with family members who like peace and quiet, a practice mute is a must.
8. Violins of Hope
Winning rave critic reviews, this unique book tells a largely untold story of the violin’s role in the Jewish community during the holocaust. Did you know that violins were played constantly at the concentration camps? A tale of the enduring human spirit, this book chronicles the lives of six different violinists who kept hope through music.
9. Violin Cufflinks
Add some subtle flare to your formal concert attire with these fun violin cuff links. Great for other special occasions as well as the perfect conversation starter.
10. Fox Playing Violin T-Shirt
Your musician will love this whimsical violinist fox t-shirt. Made from high quality material and available in a number of colors, it’s a gift that shows off one’s unique personality.
11. Violin picture frame
Have a special photo of your musician to showcase? Place it in this great violin imprinted frame – a gift that will be treasured for years to come. Also a great gift idea for a violin teacher.
12. The Silver Violin
Renown violinist Nicola Benedetti turns her attention to the silver screen in this album featuring original violin works in film. Enjoy a diverse selection of beautiful melodies ranging from the famous Schindlers List soundtrack to music from the recent Jane Ayre film. This music is great for relaxing or even helping kids fall asleep.
13. Violin Mastery: Interviews with Heifetz, Auer, Kreisler and Others
Featuring interviews with 24 renown violin players from the early 20th century, this classic book is a great way to glean professional insights from a variety of perspectives. The advice remains relevant today, from improving bow technique to intonation. Especially interesting is an interview with Maud Powell, describing what it’s like to be one of the first female violin players.
14. Violin Dreams
Famous international soloist Arnold Steinhardt turns what could be a staid memoir into exhilarating journey, traversing his formative days enduring the “terror” of strict music teachers to his adult quest to discover the perfect violin. A great bonus to this book is the accompanying CD, featuring a recording of Bach’s Partita in D Minor both 40 years ago and today, allowing the reader to compare how his playing style has evolved. This book is a must for any serious violin nerds.
15. Old-Time Fiddle for the Complete Ignoramus
Looking for the perfect gift for an aspiring fiddler? While most students start out with standard classical fare, those folk-tune souls out there have another world to explore with fiddle music. Help you violinist on his or her musical journey with this highly-praised fiddle how-to book, featuring easy to play tunes along with tips to learn improvisation. Included is a helpful CD along with a dose of humor.
What should you avoid giving a violin player?
1. Joshua Bell CD – This well-known virtuoso player is probably not original enough for your violinist, unless he or she is just starting out.
2. Violin case – Unless your violin player has specifically picked out a case he or she wants, avoid getting a new one without his or her input.