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Inside Blair: Shopping for Supplies

Posted by on Saturday, November 16, 2013 in Art, Blair School of Music, College Life, General Information, Music, Nashville.

The winter weather is upon us, and we are fearful for our instruments. Poor Dmitri, his string height keeps getting lower and lower because of this bipolar weather we’ve been having.  Did y’all see the flurries on Monday?

If you didn’t know, wood shrinks in the summer and during the winter, it expands; just think about how water works.  To combat this moisture problem, we need to use humidifiers, and generally, we string players use these green rubber tubes called “Dampits” that we soak in water, wipe off, and stick in the f-hole of our instruments. Unfortunately, I lost mine somewhere in the recesses of Blair.  Where was I to get a new Dampit?  Well, if you are looking for an immediate fix, you have a few options:

Williams Violin Shop– located just a street over from the Commons Center.  Definitely within walking distance. I bought a couple of endpin tips here so that my endpin wouldn’t dull.

I didn't have my camera with me, so I took this picture with my laptop, Toshi. But because Toshi's picture quality is so low, I thought I might make the coloring HDR-ish.

The Violin Shop– find a friend to drive you here!  This shop used to be located right atop a flowery, but they’ve since relocated!  Last semester, I had my bow rehaired here.

The Fiddle House– I haven’t been here before, but the name is cute!  They also have performers there every once in a while, and they send out emails and tack posters around Blair. is a recent addition to my list of go-tos.  I was recently introduced to their website and they have the best deal on strings, even when other websites have sales.  I bought two complete sets on this site just to experiment with different combinations of Larsen, Magnacore, Evah Pirazzi, and Spirocore strings.  That was certainly an (expensive) adventure!

Cello strings are ridiculously expensive, ranging from $30-$120 for just one string.

In terms of supplies if you aren’t in emergency mode and can wait for your products to be shipped, I usually buy rosin, music, and other gizmos from Shar Music.  They often have deals for free shipping, or 10% off music and whatnot.  They are reliable and have really wonderful customer service.

However, for music, there are even more inexpensive alternatives!  First is the Blibrary, which is formally known as Anne Potter Wilson Music Library.  If they don’t have the music, you can even request for them to buy it, which might take a while, or take a visit to IMSLP, which is one of my favorite sites ever.  Another option is just inquire with your professor.  I’m sure he or she has played a ridiculous amount of repertoire, and are more than likely to own their own part… so just ask!

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