Choosing the Right Violin
The Best Violin Information at Your Fingertips
Violin information is bountiful on the internet but here I have compressed the important information into one page. Contrary to popular beliefs, the violin is not a particularly difficult instrument to play, and with regular practice, beginners usually make rapid progress, playing simple melodies relatively quickly.
Should I buy a cheap Violin?
Violin’s cost anywhere from a £150($300) to £3.5m ($7m)
Choosing the right violin depends on what level you are at, and how much money you have to spend. Student Level (£150 and upwards ($300)) these violins are produced for beginning students and are often produced by machine.
These instruments are excellent for the early stages of development and the priced easily fit into most budgets. Intermediate Level (£1000 and upwards ($2000))
The result is an instrument that sounds better and will suit a more advanced player.
Professional Level These violins made from only the finest woods and built with great skill by master artisans.
Because of the relatively low number of artisan skilled at this level, and the number of hours required to produce an instrument of this caliber with a select piece of natural wood, the price of these instruments is considerably higher. £10,000 ($20,000) up to millions of pounds (the most expensive violin was just sold for £3.5m!)
Because violins come in several different sizes from full-size through 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 to 1/8 and even smaller, it is possible to start playing at a very young age indeed.
The famous “Suzuki Method” from Japan amazed everyone when it first arrived in the West twenty years ago by showing that children as young as 3 and 4 years old can play the violin perfectly well.
You should not assume, however, that because it is possible to start so young, it is necessary to do so. Many fine players do not start until they are nine, 10 or 11 years old, and in some cases have by the age of 13 or 14,
The Grade 1 standard violin
Some teachers claim that it takes twice as long to reach Grade 1 standard on the violin as it does on most woodwind or brass instruments, which probably because of the complexity and subtlety of the technique required.
In addition, for quite a long time the sound not every site’s factory to adult ears. Pupils do not seem too bothered by this, but parents may have to be very patient!
The average 6-year-old will probably need a 1/8 or 1/4, moving to a 1/2 at 8 or 9, a 3/4 at 11 or 12 and a 4/4 at 13 or 14 Maintenance Because the violin basically a few pieces of wood held together by glue and tension a lot can go wrong with a violin.
Fortunately, for the same reason, repairs are easy and cheap. Some of the most common faults are •the strings break.
In addition, they are very cheap to replace – less than £2($4) in most cases.
The bridge may snap. This is the nicely-carved piece of wood that holds the strings up above the belly of the violin. For acoustic reasons it made of a soft, very grainy wood which strong in one direction and weak in the others, so this is a common breakage.
Once again, very cheap to replace although you will probably need a repairer to do it for you as it has to fit the curvature of the belly.
The fingerboard may come off.
This is the blackstrap of wood under the strings, and never glued on very firmly- sometimes the slightest knock will bring it off. very cheap and quick repair.
The tail-gut (which holds the tailpiece to the bottom of the instrument and not usually made of the gut at all these days) may break.
The stick of the bow may snap. Cheap bows are not strong. Fortunately, they are very cheap! Often when this happens, it is not worth trying to have it repaired as a new bow may only cost £15 – £20. ($30-$40).
The horsehair of the bow will gradually wear out and start to drop off, so eventually, the bow will need rehearing at a cost of about £12 – £15($24-$30). If the bow is of poor quality, you might as well buy a new one instead – it will not cost much more.
More serious damage to the wood of the violin -knocks or cracks which may sometimes appear all by themselves – also easily repaired by an expert, although occasionally he might advise that the cost of the repair could be more than the value of a cheap violin.