Silvija Silvija Kristapsons

Social Media and Marketing at Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins.

All articles by Silvija

 

Electric Violins: Preamps

This post is part of a series. Read our previous posts for more information about electric violins, amps and pickups. Do I need a preamplifier for my electric violin? Short answer: Yes. A preamplifier, or preamp, is key to getting a great tone out of an electric violin, viola or cello. Long answer: We need...
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A Brief History of Classical Guitar: Antonio de Torres

This four part series will discuss the history of classical guitar through the instruments of some of the tradition’s most important and innovative luthiers. This post discusses the father of the modern classical guitar, Antonio de Torres. Antonio de Torres Antonio de Torres was a Spanish guitar maker who lived from 1817-1892. It is believed...
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The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Our annual Holiday Sale is back, and so is our Holiday Gift Guide! This year, we have a mix of exciting new products as well as old favorites for musicians of all levels and ages. Electric Violins JSI Companion Our brand for electrics, this instrument is a great option for those getting started with electric...
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How To Pack A Cello

Renters, this post is for you! Packing a cello can look complicated. How you do it is important to prevent damage to the instrument. If you rent from us and need to ship your cello back, we developed a packing method many years ago that protects the cello from damage. Before We Start: Take note...
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Fake Strings and How to Spot Them

Fake strings in the music world are an ongoing concern. String makers and shops take pride in the products they produce and sell; while imitations may be cheaper, they do not have the same quality as the original.  Here is what you need to know about fake strings: How To Tell If A String Is...
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Which Edition of Sheet Music Do I Buy?

Your teacher tells you you’re starting a new piece. You go to buy the sheet music, only to discover there are multiple editions to choose from. Which edition do you choose? The easy answer? The one your teacher tells you to buy. They like that edition and want you to get it for a reason. If...
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Departments of JSI: School Programs and Delivery

It’s time for another installment of Departments of JSI! This series highlights the different people in our company. We’re able to run such a large business through the expertise of and collaboration between our different departments. Everyone has a skill they use to accomplish everything from coordinating rental trips to selling instruments to repairing instruments to shipping things on time and...
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Departments of JSI: Front Staff

It’s time for another installment of Departments of JSI! This is a series that highlights the different people that work within our company. We’re able to run such a large business through the expertise of and collaboration between our different departments. Everyone has a skill that they utilize to accomplish everything from coordinating rental trips to selling instruments to...
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Mandolin Line Based On Popular Classic Models

The mandolin has a rich historical history. While we associate mandolin primarily with folk music these days, the instrument is more versatile that you may expect. The Mandolin Family Is Based On Classic Instruments The mandolin family is based on classic instruments from the baroque period. The mandolin started its life in classical music. In...
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Back to School: First-Time Players

It’s that time of year again! Is your child starting an instrument this school year? Not sure what they need? Whether they are taking lessons through their school or elsewhere, their teacher will have a list of what they require for their students. However, we can also give you a basic list of what your child...
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Electric Instruments: Pickups

This post is part of our ongoing Electric Instruments series. Check out our previous posts on finding an electric violin, getting started with your new electric instrument, and choosing an amp.  You want to start experimenting with electric violin, but you either don’t want a second instrument or need something budget-friendly. What’s your best option? Electrify your acoustic...
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The Bow Series: Selecting A Bow

Are you or one of your students shopping for a new bow? Finding the right bow can be harder than choosing your instrument, but don’t worry! While we can’t match a bow to you like Mr. Ollivander would a wand, our knowledgeable sales staff are the next best thing and our latest video is here to help. In “Selecting a Bow”, we...
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What is Instrument Insurance?

Instrument insurance is an important part of caring for your instrument. Professionals use it regardless of their genre and music shops have it to protect their inventory. Whether you recently bought an instrument or own one that isn’t already insured, we highly recommend purchasing a policy to help protect your investment. It’s exactly what it sounds like: an insurance policy with specific...
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Ukulele Line Modeled On Prized Classic Instruments

While their name may suggest a focus on other fretted instruments, Cordoba Guitars makes exceptional ukuleles in a wide range of sizes and prices. The ukulele first appeared in the Americas (most notably in Hawaii) by way of Portuguese immigrants during the 19th century. Having evolved from the Portuguese braguinha, a small strummed instrument commonly used...
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Fiddles and Violins: What’s the Difference?

We’ve all heard the terms “fiddler” and “violinist” used interchangeably. Maybe you associate one term with specific genres or prefer to be called one over the other. You may also be confused as to why we’re quibbling over labels. A Fiddle is Just a Violin–isn’t it? Yes. A fiddle is a violin and vice versa....
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Summer Program Necessities

Summer has finally arrived! Excited yet? In addition to the school year being done and the promise of warm, hopefully beach-filled days, many of you are getting ready for summer programs. Not sure what to bring? We have a few suggestions: THE BASICS Extra Strings. This may be the single most important item to bring...
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Non-Classical Careers: Booking Gigs

Are you interested in breaking into a new genre of local music but don’t know where to start? Do you want to play indie rock, country, punk, metal, blues, ska, rockabilly, folk, zydeco, Celtic, funk, bluegrass or create something new? Have you been mainly a classical player or perhaps even jazz player and want to...
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Teaching Alternative Styles: An Interview With MYRO Director Kevin Oates

In this blog, we would like to introduce you to Kevin Oates. Kevin is the founder/director of the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra (MYRO) based in Portland, Maine. While some people might think that this is an oxymoron, MYRO (a 501(c)3 non-profit organization) is an ensemble that focuses on the same classical string techniques as a...
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Violin Cases: How To Choose The Best One For You

Choosing a violin case is an important decision. While everyone is looking for something different when it comes to cases, there is one commonality everyone is looking for: a product that will protect their investment. How this can best be accomplished is an individual decision, but here are some factors to consider: What To Look...
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Departments of JSI: Sales Department

It’s time for another installment of Departments of JSI ! This is a series that highlights the different people that work within our company. We’re able to run such a large business through the expertise of and collaboration between our different departments. Everyone has a skill that they utilize to accomplish everything from coordinating rental trips to selling instruments...
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The Best Grad Gifts: 2016 Edition

They did it! All of the hard work, late nights, practicing, homework and dedication have paid off. If you’re looking for ideas for what to get the grad in your life, we have a few suggestions for you: Sheet Music This is a great gift in so many different forms. Maybe it’s the Urtext edition...
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Electric Instruments: Amps

Finding the right amplifier can be just as difficult as finding the right electric violin. Unfortunately for us electric violinists, most amplifiers on the market are designed for guitar, specifically electric guitar. Now, any amplifier will amplify your electric violin, but you may have difficulty getting the exact tone you are looking for. Why? A...
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The Wedding Season Starter Kit

Summer is almost here, and with it comes the start of wedding season. The parade of weddings and parties, both outdoor and indoor, has the potential to keep freelancers employed for the entire season. If you’re new to the life of wedding gigs, here is a starter kit of things you’ll need: Folding Stand: Never show up...
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Departments of JSI: Customer Service Representatives

It’s back: it’s another installment of Departments of JSI ! This is a series that highlights the different people that work within our company. We’re able to run such a large business through the expertise of and collaboration between our different departments. Everyone has a skill that they utilize to accomplish everything from coordinating rental trips to selling...
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How to Choose Your College

YOU DID IT! You navigated the applications, survived the auditions, and received your acceptance letters. Take a moment to bask in the glow of your accomplishments. (Go ahead, do it–you deserve it!) Now for the reality check: How do you decide where to go? You can make a pro/con list, solicit advice from friends and...
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Rent or Buy?

We all come to this question at some point in our playing careers. Our parents (or we as parents) have needed to make the all-important decision: Do we rent or buy the instrument? Why Rent? In most cases, beginners of all ages begin by renting. Why? There are a few important benefits to renting as...
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Find the best violin strings for your playing

We’ve highlighted the general search for strings, and talked about the particular challenges facing cellists. Now, we’re entering the world of violin strings. Violin is used in an astonishing range of genres, each style making different demands on the player. Ultimately, as we’ve mentioned before,  you will need to experiment and find what works best for...
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Upright bass: integral to jazz and classical music

The bass is arguably the most integral component of any group. Can you imagine a jazz standard without the bass line, or an orchestral masterwork without a bass section? As the instrument with the lowest range, the bass provides the foundation for almost all music we are familiar with. For all of its importance, it...
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Electric Violins are a new take on a classic instrument

The world of electric violins is a small yet wonderful world. If you are ready to take the plunge, then read on! The first step in choosing an electric violin is determining what its primary use will be. Are you looking for an instrument for performance or for silent practice? What style of music will...
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Cello Month 2016 at Carriage House Violins

IT’S FINALLY HERE! (Can you tell we’re excited?) March is Cello Month at Carriage House Violins, when we celebrate the cello and those who love it. Like last year, we will have a variety of concerts and lectures all taking place at Carriage House Violins. We invite you to join us for as many as you...
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Cello strings that fit your instrument and style

We’ve already talked about choosing strings in the general sense. However, what about the specific needs of the cello? There are many additional factors to consider: Price: Cello strings are more expensive than those for other instruments. The G and C strings in particular are costly–a C string alone can run the same price as...
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Why We Love the Ukulele

The ukulele seems to be everywhere these days. From popular hits like Vance Joy’s “Riptide,” to classics like Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” to the full-blown ukulele rock stars like Jake Shimabukuro, the ukulele is well and truly back to the height of its popularity. Why? Here are some frequent comments that we hear...
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Departments of JSI: CHV Office

Departments of JSI has returned! This is a series that highlights the different people that work within our company. We’re able to run such a large business through the expertise of and collaboration between our different departments. Everyone has a skill that they utilize to accomplish everything from coordinating rental trips to selling instruments to repairing instruments to...
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Practice Tips

Practicing: the necessary evil of all musicians. We log countless hours plugging away at passages we just can’t seem to get right and etudes that drive us up a wall. How do you stay motivated and not waste time? Our staff has advice on everything from motivation to tackling that beastly passage:   Obviously, warming up is...
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Welcome, In Kyu Hwang!

In Kyu Hwang is the newest luthier in our workshop at Carriage House Violins of Johnson String Instrument. Hailing from Korea, In Kyu studied in Mittenwald, Germany and holds the Geigenbau Meister (Master Craftsman) certification. He joined us here at Carriage House in October of 2015. We asked him to talk to us about what...
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Summer Programs

While it may be cold and snowy outside, we have entered the season of summer program applications! We get a lot of questions from parents about summer programs, including what we know or recommend or how to even begin the process of looking for programs. While everyone has different goals when conducting their search, we...
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The JSI Winter Survival Guide

The season we’ve been dreading is finally here. While we hope this year is not nearly as buried in snow (despite current forecasts to the contrary here in Boston), winter provides a variety of stresses for musicians. Here are some posts to help you deal with the two main offenders: INSTRUMENT CARE Tips for Instrument...
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A Happy New Year!

The new year is almost upon us! Thank you for letting us and this blog be part of your lives in 2015. Now we want to know what YOU want to see on our blog in this coming year. Do you want to learn more about the company? Get more helpful tips? Find out more about...
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How to Rock Your College Audition

Congratulations, you have successfully applied to music school! Now, you just need to get through the auditions. Easy, right? We’ve already talked about how to prepare for an audition, but college auditions are a completely different beast. They come with added pressure, and you can expect to have a lot of them within a short span...
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Surviving Holiday Gigs

That time of year has arrived! It’s holiday gig season, when you live in orchestra pits and churches while Tchaikovsky and Handel reign supreme. Whether you are a seasonal veteran, a newcomer on the scene, or just wondering how many more times you have to play the Hallelujah Chorus before your brain starts trying to escape through your ears, it...
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Best Holiday Gifts: 2015 Edition

The holidays have arrived! Whether you are celebrating your favorite time of year or waiting for the term “holiday cheer” to disappear, we have what you need to survive gig season and spoil the musician(s) in your life. Here are some of our top recommendations here at Johnson String Instrument from our holiday sale:  ...
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AJ Guitars at Johnson String Instrument

The holiday sale has arrived, and our AJ Guitar Series is on sale! Check out this post from our guitar specialist Justin Davis to learn about this exclusive collection offered solely at Johnson String Instrument: The AJ Guitar Series is a line of guitars that has been specially designed by The Guitar Shop of Johnson...
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The War Against Winter

Winter is coming. The citizens of Westeros are not the only ones who fear the coming season. Musicians can feel its icy claws reaching out in the form of slipping pegs and shrinking string heights. Humidity once again betrays us as it retreats from winter’s advance, leaving our instruments vulnerable. Rapidly changing environments, both outdoors...
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Upcoming Dates at JSI

We have a lot of exciting things happening in our shop during this upcoming holiday season! Be sure to mark your calendars for the following dates:   November 21st-January 2nd: Our annual Holiday Sale is back! Keep an eye out for flyers arriving soon with more information. The sale begins this Saturday and runs through...
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Departments of JSI: Rental Workshop

Departments of JSI is back! This is a series that highlights the different people that work within our company. We’re able to run such a large business through the expertise of and collaboration between our different departments. Everyone has a skill that they utilize to accomplish everything from coordinating rental trips to selling instruments to repairing instruments to...
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Cello Stands and Other Accessories

We all know the basics needed for playing cello: instrument and bow. But what about all of the other available products? What is necessary for you or the player in your life is subjective, but there are some helpful accompanying products on the market. Here is a sample of our offerings at Johnson String Instrument: Endpin Rests...
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How to choose the right violin bow for you

Congratulations, you found your violin! Now for the hard part: finding the right bow. This task can be an even more daunting than finding the instrument itself. With so many options and factors to consider, it can feel overwhelming. Luckily, we are here to help! The best thing you can do is to connect with a knowledgeable...
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Rentals at JSI

With over 40 years of experience, Johnson String Instrument is the largest string instrument dealer on the east coast. The cornerstone of the company is our extensive rental program. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail—everything from setting up our fleet of instruments to managing your account is designed to make your rental experience...
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Applying to Music School

It’s that time of year: college application season. Deadlines may seem a long way off, but do not be deceived; They will sneak up on you. If you are looking to study music, now is the time to begin if you have not already. Some things to keep in mind when you’re applying to music...
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Departments of JSI: Carriage House Violins Workshop

This is the first post of a new series called Departments of JSI. We’re able to run such a large company through the expertise of and collaboration between our different departments. Everyone has a skill that they utilize to accomplish everything from coordinating rental trips to selling instruments to repairing instruments to shipping things on time and safely....
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