From Arvin Wong
Posted February 27, 2011 at 04:47 AM
Hi everyone, I am currently doing a Design and Technology coursework and I am designing a violin stand since I saw that there's only a few varieties of violin stands in the market. An essential part of my coursework is to do a survey on my targeted customers.
I am actually surprised by how small the range of violin stands in the market is, contrasting to guitar stands which I found a whole load of them on google. Anyway, I really want to make this violin stand the best it could be but I need some information and comments from you guys so I can know how I can design my violin stand. I would really, really appreciate you if you can take your precious time to finish my following survey. Thank you very much.
Here's some of the current violin stands in the market, I numbered them so you can refer to them in the answer easier.
Thank you very much for completing my survey. I really do thank you.
Hmmm-- if I could design a perfect violin stand, it would be simple, light weight and hold the violin securely, but fold up flat for easy transport.
Mag-Lev! Violin mysteriously floats in a magnetic field suspended between a 3-part frame. Disassembly would involve reversing the polarity of the frame so it folds up securely. I'll buy one!
Instead of answering your survey, let me tell you a bit about myself.
I play for my own pleasure, and do not use my violin for my income. I have spent an amount on the violin relative to what I would spend on top-of the-line electronic entertainment.
That said, I feel a relationship with my violins. I would not place them in any device considered a holder unless I felt it was as safe or safer than their case. I currently store them on a cabinet I made; it is open, but the wood shelf they are on is not finished, and it is located in a spot where there is no risk of them falling.
I think safety over looks would be the critical component of any stand I would consider.
Here we go: Imagine these questions answered in the voice of Daffy Duck:
(for literal minded readers - what follows is a (somewhat lame) attepmt of humour)
Thanks for the reponses. This really helps.
Anyway, Mr. Stokes, can you briefly say why you wouldn't want it?
Violin stands are used primarily by retailers.
I use number 5, it works fine for the violin, not so good for the bow which end up in the case. A stand is good when practicing, so you have a secure place to hold the fiddle while you write notes or take a quick break. Some times I use two violins that have different set ups, so a stand is useful for a quick change. Probably the case is always the safest and I always use the case if I leave a violin unattended. That's my two cents.
Violin stand = bad
Violin case = good
I use #3 and it works great, both for my viola and my wife's violin. I just keep a small tupperware container next to the stand for any miscellaneous items like rosin.
OK-- here's my revised suggestion, incorporating those who insist a case is the ONLY option: Design a violin case that when empty, can stand on its wide end and is stable (via folding tripod?) and arms fold out to hold the violin securely. When done, it folds back up into a violin case. Now THIS pleases both camps :-) Remember, you heard it here first.
Here's an interesting engineering challenge for you. Create a violin stand that meets the requirements below:
If you cannot meet all the criteria, see how many you can!
I use the string swinger all the time, I have a wall that doesn't get passing traffic & in the darker part of the corner, the violin is completely secure (barring earthquake), and I cover it with a cloth when I finish playing (I made a large isosceles triangle and tied a knot at the apex, and that just sits over the top of the scroll and drapes down). Since I use a shoulder rest !, it is quicker if the violin is set up and ready to play each time. With those new wittner geared pegs, it doesn't lose its tuning if left out either.
but i like stand 1 (the modern carved one)
If the hanger is a wall hanger, I think it should have some sort of holder for the bottom also. I would imagine something like the feet on a shoulder rest.
If the top is supported, and is supporting the main weight, and the body is secured, then the next thing would be physical security; possibly for higher traffic areas, a plexiglas door? I picture something like the following:
I don't currently use a stand (I store my instruments in their cases). However, now that I'm playing & performing chamber music more often and switching between instruments (between viola and violin), a stand that could accomodate either a violin or viola (with bow) would be helpful. If it also had a way to affix a tuner (or a built in one) even better.
What would be even better is if it was built into a music stand so that there is one less thing to lug around to rehearsals. Two instruments, a stand, a bag of music, and all the fixings is a lot to haul around without adding an instrument stand into the mix.
BTW - #4 looks down right scary. Just think what would happen if the instrument got bumped.
THANKS YOU VERY MUCH!!!! THANKS FOR THE COMMENTS AND IDEAS!!! NOW I CAN START TO DESIGN MY STAND, CHEERS!!
I've seen #4 in a music store, but a larger version for cellos. I personally have a #3, but I only use it if I'm switching back and forth a lot between violin and mandolin (it holds both nicely). My wife has a scaled-up #3 for her cello.
I bought a bunch of leather straps at a music store; each end has a slit that you can slip over a tuning peg, allowing you to hang the instrument on a wall hook. This is how I usually store my violin at home. I hang my guitars and mandolins on the wall the same way; it keeps everything quickly accessible, which encourages frequent use.
I must admit, #1 is awfully pretty. #2 looks as if it would be cumbersome and insecure.
My main requirement for a stand (and a case) is that it DO NO HARM; if I am careless, I want a stand that will protect my instrument from me.
As far as I'm concerned, No. 4 is the only stand that meets that criterion as long as I'm not too careless. The other designs would appear to allow me to knock the violin over if I grab at it the wrong way. No.4, while not fool proof, will at least provide the same amount of safety on all directions. I have 2 cello stands of this design and I'm very happy with them.
As far as cases are concerned, the latch is a critical component and there are often times when you want to be able to operate it with one hand. You also want it to be located such that if you are a bit careless when removing or replacing your violin in the case you do not scratch it on any part of the latch. Finally you want a latch that will hold even if you forget to zip the cloth cover. I think in regard to these criteria, Musafia has the best latches available at this time.
I store my fiddle in its case when not in use, and in my house, it is the only safe way to store it. While practicing, I either set it down flat on a (cleared) table or set it upright in the open case when I take a break. My case is heavy enough that the support is roughly equivalent to some of the stands shown. I own one like #4, but find that with the shoulder rest on, the fiddle falls forward in the box and I do not consider it steady enough. My husband plays with no shoulder rest and he sometimes uses that stand - he likes it. The little spot for the bow is convenient.
As such, a typical consumer would look for something "un-tippable". If your band mates knock it with their foot or the corner of their gear, it should stay stable and upright. Sudden shocks could be absorbed and the instrument would be supported at least-fragile points.
They'd also look for convenience in the design- how quick and easy is it to get violin and bow in and out of it? Will it hold a violin with unusual dimensions, or with the shoulder rest attached? This turned out to be key for me- I use an unusually high chin rest. I can't use the Ingles stand (#3) because the base grips aren't adjustable. The Peak stand has adjustable grips, but the degree to which they can be adjusted isn't defined in the manufacturer specs...so although I've heard the Hercules stand (#5) isn't as stable- as you can see in the pictures, has very little base support to the instrument- I ended up buying it. The neck grip on it *is* clever- you can stow and retrieve your violin with one hand. As for the rest, we'll see how it goes....
Of the ones pictured (I can't see #4), 3 and 5 look most useful.
I've used the Hercules stand for pit playing, and have found it very useful. I'm also a woodwind player, and the concept of an instrument stand is not for mere display, but something functional that allows you to switch between different instruments quickly while keeping them safe. In more budget-oriented productions, I have been in situations where I've had to cover violin, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, flute, and piccolo, and the stands made it pretty simple to get back and forth while keeping all the instruments fairly safe.
The one thing that I think instrument stands for pit use could incorporate is some reflective material so that it is easily seen so people moving around don't run into it as easily.
I find myself considering the possibilities of an enclosed holder, which might attach to a mike stand or music stand, and would first and foremost protect the instrument and bow from being touched. It might be just a three-sided hood, long enough to protect the full length of the bow, with secure and easy-to-use attachments for the instrument and bow, and padded spacers to keep them from touching the hood. At the extreme the holder should be secure enough to protect the instrument and bow if the stand is knocked over; it is not impossible that the holder should have a cover, which would make it in effect a case, or indeed be a lightweight case used for performances - transfer the equipment needed for the performance from the permanent case to the "holder" case, carry it to the stage and attach to the stand.
This kind of solution is neither as cheap or as maximally convenient as one might wish, but I think that it might have real appeal. An interesting discussion, for sure.
1. Do you have a violin stand? If yes, why did you buy it?
Yes, I bought it in a general music store.
2. Do you see a need or a gap for violin stand? Why?
I think a violin stand is very important for children and beginners because seeing the violin readily available encourages them to pick it up spontaneously and begin playing on it regularly. When the violin is locked away in a case somewhere it is much more bother to take it out.
3. Do you store your violin in its case because you think it's the safest place to store it?
It is of course safer in the case, but if the violin stand is in a safe corner somewhere it should be OK. We regularly put our violins on stands in our house and no accidents have occurred.
4. What will be the reason for you buying a violin stand?
5. What style you want your violin stand to be in? (modern, classic, vintage,etc)
I think a neutral black design but that is personal of course.
6. Do you want any other special features for your violin stand? (hold your bow, rosin, etc)
It is important that the bow can also be held securely. Our current stand does not have that so we just have to put the bow somewhere in between and hope it will not fall over. Rosin is less important, it can easily be placed somewhere readily accessible, in a drawer, or in a little box on a desk.
7. Choose the violin stand from above which you would like your violin to be held in that way. (No. 1-5)
I can't see figure 4, and I can't see how 5 works. No.2 seems strange. Nos. 1 and 3 seem fine.
8. Rank the violin stands from above in terms of how safe you think the violin is when it's held by the stand. (the safest first, the dangerous last)
1 and 3 seem safe, the others seem unclear.
9. Which violin stand is generally more appealing to you? (style, way of holding the violin, shape,etc)
A neutral design like 3 is what I prefer, but not in white color.
10. How much are you willing to pay for a decent violin stand?
I'd say around 40 euros?
As it's been mentioned by several posters already, the purpose of these stands is NOT storage. They are used in performance situations where you have to switch instruments quickly and safely, and do not have the room nor the time to use the case (that velcro neck restraint makes a ton of noise when you're a foot away from a microphone!).
I considered a mic or music stand swing clip, but the thought of that terrifies me more than a floor stand. Not only does your violin have further to fall, but the stand supporting it has a higher center of gravity...and is much heavier, so once tipped the stand itself could then fall on the instrument.
I know it seems counter-intuitive to keep your instrument at foot-stomping level, but IMHO it's truly safer there. Any kind of accident or impact that would crush your instrument in a floor stand would *definitely* do worse to an instrument in a swing stand, and that's the truth.
(1) I'm actually looking for a stand that I can wall-mount. You seem to be after something that is floor mounted. Can it do both? Maybe have a component that attaches permanently to the wall, and then the stand clips onto that reversibly but securely?
(2) Something that does not put my violin into contact with synthetic materials such as plastic or rubber that might contain plasticizers or other leachable organic compounds that could interact with the varnish on my violin.
(3) Holds instrument securely rather than the violin just sitting on it, so that if the violin is bumped it does not fall out of the stand (if the mount is on the floor it might even be good to have areas where one could put a couple of bricks to make the thing more stable overall.
(4) Needs to hold bow too, and not just hanging/swinging but clipped at both ends. We can put our rosin and mute in our pockets.
Design (5) above looks like it could be combined with a music stand. For a stand that does all of the above, $40 would not be unreasonable.
Otherwise, the case is safer, provided the lid doesn't get nudged by a passing idiot, sending the lock (or the bow clip) through the tender spruce belly..
Its not a perfect set-up, but a least the violin won't be treated like a soccer ball
The pouch would be lined with something soft to cushion and hold the violin and support the base well enough to hold it securely while still letting you see (and enjoy the aesthetics) of the rest of the instrument.
The back of the "pouch" (which could be wood or leather or a synthetic material) could reach up high enough at the back to echo the curve of a violin (narrower at the top but not as inset as the neck of the violin) and hold a leather or velcro strap to support the neck. It doesn't have to be solid. It could be partially open to reduce weight.
For stability, the base could be done any number of ways, even lion claws, with a tail toward the back or something very simple that could fold into the pouch when being transported.
All the designs at the top of this thread seem sort of "fussy" and insecure to me. Imagine instead a kangaroo baby peeking out from mama's pouch, with her front legs over the edge so you can see her (the violin tailpiece and bridge need not be obscured).
The impulse to grab the instrument and play if you have five minutes free is more likely to be satisfied if the violin is near at hand rather than in a case.
Violinist.com Editor Laurie Niles is in New York to cover the biennial event at The Juilliard School, including classes by Brian Lewis and Sarah Chang.
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