Depending on your current instrument and your involvement in orchestra, high school is a good time to consider a “step-up” instrument and/or bow.  If you are interested in this talk to Mr. Neville or your private teacher first!!!  There are many gimmicky online vendors who will be happy to take lots of your money for a product that lacks in quality.  Even local vendors will sometimes sell you an instrument or bow for nearly double the cost of what it’s actually worth.  Don’t waste your time or your money—talk to a teacher first, and they can get you pointed in the right direction.

Everything listed below can be purchased from local vendors or online.  Sometimes you will get a better deal in person at a music store–sometimes you will get a better deal ordering yourself.  It is important to keep an open line of communication with Mr. Neville and/or your private teacher when you need to purchase instrument accessories or a new instrument so that you know what you’re doing!


Basic Recommended Equipment for High School Orchestra:

  • Celli and Basses
    • A carbon fiber or wooden bow
    • Jade rosin, or Pops bass rosin (if your private teacher recommends this) for cello.  Carlsson rosin is recommended for bassists.
    • Helicore medium strings
  • Violins and Violas
    • A carbon fiber or wooden bow.  Glasser bows cost more to repair than they are worth!  Generally, bows should be rehaired when the hair at the tip and/or frog is showing signs of discoloration and wear—and/or when the width of the bow hair is noticeably less than the width of the frog.  If you’ve never had your bow rehaired, it’s time to do so in high school!
    • An Everest, Kun or Wolf Forte-Secondo shoulder rest.
    • Jade rosin  (one cake can last you at least 10 years…).
    • Thomastik Dominant strings for violin are recommended on an intermediate or “step-up” instrument.  On beginning instruments or rentals, Corelli Crystale strings are a superb and affordable choice.  Red Label strings are good in an emergency, but not long-term.
    • Helicore medium strings are universally recommened for viola.
    • Strings should be replaced at the first sign of fraying or breaking.  If you’ve never had your strings changed, it’s time for new strings in high school!