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 salesperson who can guide you through the process, but here are some things to keep in mind before … Read more
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 they don’t have a preferred edition, it’s up to you to decide. While finances sometimes dictates that choice, here … Read more
Written between 1717-1723 and popularized by Pablo Casals in the 1930s and by Yo-Yo Ma in more recent years, the Bach cello suites have become standard in many repertoires.
Origins of the Bach Cello Suites
A suite (pronounced “sweet”) is a collection of dance pieces. Though not standardized at first, a German composer and keyboard player named Johann Froberger (1616-1667) ended up forming what is known today as the classical suite style. It consisted of … Read more
Congratulations, you decided to get one of the Yamaha electric violins: the YEV or the SV-200! How do you decide which one is right for you? Let’s take a look at the different instruments:
The Yamaha YEV Electric Violin
The newest of Yamaha’s electric violins and a bestseller, this instrument won Best in Show at Winter NAMM in 2016. It’s not hard to see why between it’s Mobius-inspired design and practical features. Created specifically for … Read more
This April, we celebrate the birthdays of two influential Soviet Era composers: Sergei Rachmaninoff (April 1st) and Sergei Prokofiev (April 23rd). Rachmaninoff is known for his soaring, romantic melodies, while Prokofiev’s music is more dissonant and fantastical. Along with Shostakovitch and Stravinsky, they brought international attention to Russian music, often in exile from or direct defiance of the Soviet government. Many other Russian Soviet Era composers made significant musical contributions, yet … Read more
This Women’s History Month, we honor women of the past and present and acknowledge not only their accomplishments but also their struggles and hard work to attain sometimes the barest recognition from society.
The vast sheet music collection of Johnson String Instrument includes music by countless other past and present women composers, all available for purchase.
ANNA CLYNE (b. March 9, 1980) is an English composer currently residing in the … Read more
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 to get technical.
The electric string instruments and pickups we stock at Johnson String Instrument all use variations … Read more
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.
Our brand for electrics, this instrument is a great option for those getting started with electric violin. An outfit comes with the instrument in one of five colors, bow, case and headphones.
Winner of … Read more
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 safely. This series will help you get to know the variety of people and … Read more
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 repairing instruments to shipping things on time and safely. This series will help you get to … Read more
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 fact, many famous composers wrote mandolin concertos including Antonio Vivaldi. This instrument family itself is a lot like a traditional … Read more
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 will need to succeed:
Where are you getting your instrument? For a child just starting lessons, many families choose … Read more
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 by installing a pickup! Now for the harder question: which pickup should you choose? … Read more
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 to accompany a folk singer, the uke continues to be a popular instrument for musicians of all ages.
These… Read more
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. Fiddle refers to a style of playing rather than a completely different instrument. However, the specifics are not that simple. … Read more