Choosing the right violin can be very difficult. The options you need to consider are: staying within a certain budget without compromising on quality and, above all, buying a violin that lasts over time and keeps its value unchanged.
Things to consider when buying a new violin
To help you choose the best violin for beginner musicians or those who have already reached an intermediate level, I have chosen to share some useful tips and valuable suggestions with you. When you decide to buy a violin there are some important options to consider ranging from price to quality. Below is a shortlist of things to remember when searching for the perfect violin.
Before starting the search for the perfect violin, set a budget. Quality violins usually start at 400 euros and the price is bound to rise depending on the brand you choose to choose. Remember: you will most likely have to buy the bow separately. So if you set a budget, consider this additional factor in such a way as to discard all those instruments that fall within the chosen price range.
In addition to setting a budget, it is also important that you know what to look for in terms of quality. After all, nobody would like to take home a low-quality violin purchased at an exorbitant price. Make sure then to check the structure of the instrument. A high-quality violin should never appear curved or creaky when the slightest pressure is applied.
New or used
When you decide to buy any musical instrument, you can choose between two options: you can buy, in this case, a new violin or you can orient yourself, instead, on a used product. If your budget is limited, the best choice would be to prefer a used one. You must, however, make sure that the instrument is in good condition and, above all, that the price advanced by the owner reflects its real value.
Violins are available in different sizes. For children, it is best to follow these measurements: 3/4 (great for kids around 10-11 years old with a 56-59 cm arm), 1/2 (ideal for 8-10 year olds who have an arm of 50-56 cm), 1/4 (for those who have instead about 6 -8 years and an arm of 44.5 to 50 cm), 1/8 (ideal for the little ones of about 4 -6 years with an arm of 43 -44.5 cm), 1/16 (perfect for an approximate age of about 3 -4 years whose arm size varies from 35 to 43 cm) and 1/32 (perfect for the little ones with an age at under 3 years and an armless than 35 cm).
There are two ways to correctly measure a child’s arm to understand which violin size is right for him. Make the future musician completely stretch his arm and measure the distance from the neck to the wrist or in the middle of the palm. The measure from the neck to the wrist, however, will indicate the most comfortable size for the student.
Differences between violins for students, intermediate-level musicians, and professionals
Violins for students
In general, student violins are made from lower quality wood and involve less manual labor. These violins usually have some plastic parts, such as, for example, the pegs and the chin guard. Violins made for students are superlative tools for children who are interested in learning, but who do not yet know how long this musical passion will last. Prices can range from 100 to 450 euros.
Violins for musicians at an intermediate level
These violins represent a good compromise for musicians who are no longer novices but who still cannot be considered professionals in all respects. The price range varies: from 350 up to almost 1000 euros. They are excellent tools for those musicians who want a better violin than the one created specifically for beginners, but who are not yet ready to invest thousands of euros.
Violins for professionals
The violins for professionals are usually built with high-quality wood, are assembled by a luthier, and are finished with components of proven value such as for example, a handmade ebony fretboard. These tools are only suitable for professional musicians due to the high cost that can start from around 3500 euros up to even 10,000 euros.
Buying a violin online or in a store
If you are thinking about buying a musical instrument, surely you will already have the idea of having two options in mind. In fact, you could either buy it from the comfort of your home thanks to the numerous online stores or you could simply buy it at any musical instrument retailer. To make the choice less complicated, below are some advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of the store
- You can try it : one of the positive aspects about buying a violin in a store is the possibility of being able to try it before buying it! Many shops, in fact, have equipped themselves with a test room precisely to satisfy this need.
- Experienced staff : if you purchase a musical instrument for the first time and want to be reassured about your choice, then you have to opt for a real store. In fact, in most music stores the staff is knowledgeable.
The disadvantages of the store
- Limited inventory : what should you do if you have a specific brand in mind? Music stores usually have only a limited number of musical instruments. The last thing you want to do is drive around the city looking for a violin that is not in stock.
- High prices : this happens because the stores have fewer stocks and sales are consequently less frequent.
The advantages of buying online
- See the tools independently : when shopping is online, you are not bombarded by intrusive staff trying to sell you the shop’s most expensive violin. You can pick up suggestions, read reviews without the slightest disturbance.
- Larger inventory : online stores generally have a larger inventory that you can choose from. If a site does not have the violin you are looking for, probably that same musical instrument is sold by another online retailer.
The disadvantages of buying online
- Greater risk : when buying something online, you should always consider that there is a certain amount of risk. Some websites will try to convince less experienced buyers that a given violin is of a higher quality than reality. If you are buying your musical instrument online, be sure to contact a certified dealer.
- Uncertainty: if you just can’t decide between two violins, there’s no way to solve the dilemma because you can’t try them.
The 5 best violins for beginners or intermediate players
There are various types of violins. Some have been specifically designed for beginners and musicians who have reached the intermediate level, while others have been customized to meet the increasingly complex needs of professionals. So what are the best violin brands? The question is a subjective one, yet here is a list of the five best brands for those who are beginners.
Stentor violins are at the top of the list for beginners. These musical instruments, in fact, are reliable and above all well constructed. For beginners the Stentor Student I violin is recommended. It is the right choice, in fact, this instrument has not only a quality keyboard but also pegs of the same manufacturer. For intermediate level students, instead, it is better to move towards the Stentor Student II violin which offers a higher quality also from a sound point of view thanks to the keyboard and ebony pegs.
Knilling violins are very popular with both teachers and students. Among their merits, in addition to the high-quality craftsmanship, there are also amazing pegs for precision tuning. The price varies and part, usually, from 450 euros which for a beginner, we must admit, is a good investment but it is always important not to give up the sound quality.
The Cremona violins have been designed to meet the needs of both beginners and students who have now reached the intermediate level. Not only are they produced with very high-quality woods, but the company also takes the entire supply chain very seriously so as to reserve as many as 22 members of staff for quality control. The violin recommended for beginners is Cremona SV-175 Premier Student.
The Cecil’s are sold with the bridge already attached to the violin so the students do not have to assemble it by themselves. Furthermore, the company subjects its instruments to rigorous tests to ensure that they are always up to expectations. They can also boast a quality wood, especially maple and fir, and ebony of the first choice. The violins for students are also cheap, they are around 150 euros.
This is another ideal brand for beginners and for students who have already reached the intermediate level. These violins offer good value for money at around 150 euros. In fact, even if these musical instruments are cheap, they are destined to last for years. However, it will probably be necessary to replace the ropes at some point but nothing more. Rated 10.