I’ve noticed that many people are unwilling to take first steps in life for fear of making mistakes. Finding everything needed to start a new hobby is easier said than done, especially with the wealth of options available. I can’t count how many times I didn’t start something because I couldn’t make a decision (it still happens to this day). But as I have some expertise when it comes to string instruments, I would like to share some insights into finding the best beginner violins. I hope it will encourage you to join the violin community and kickstart your passion.
Best beginner violins
I have worked with beginner violinists from the onset. Beginner players (or their parents) are often confronted with the decision of selecting a starting instrument. It is a dense topic. Although learning to play the instrument is challenging in and of itself, the main obstacle preventing many from getting started is the challenge of selecting a first instrument.
However, this task does not need to be a huge commitment at the beginning. In this article, I will address the question of where you can find the best beginner violins, explaining how and why you’re making the right choice.
What is the best violin for beginners?
I first need to specify what I feel is the best violin for beginner students. In doing so, I will give you some insider knowledge into what beginners should look, which will hopefully spare you hours of in-depth research. Here, we will discuss the cost for value of various instruments. It is of course always possible to invest in a master violin from the onset, but for the purpose of this article, I will address options for every budget. With this in mind, here are my criteria for selecting beginner violins:
- A violin that is enjoyable to play, allowing you to concentrate fully on learning.
- A violin starter set with all the basic accessories at an affordable price.
- Professional assistance in place, to rest assured that help is there if needed.
Violin starter sets
First, it’s important that beginner players have everything in their arsenal to get off to a smooth start. For this, a violin starter set including the violin and its key accessories is crucial. This will allow the beginner musician to focus on and enjoy the learning process.
For these reasons, I feel it’s important to begin with a complete starter set, preferably selected by trained professionals and not by big brands (who will try to sell you their most innovative products and countless other unnecessary accessories).
A starter set should include the following elements:
- A violin that is easy to tune and play, preferably with good tone quality.
- A bow is essential. It should be simple to adjust and include bow hairs of the correct length.
- An instrument case with enough storage space for your instrument and accessories is always a wise purchase.
- A pad is an accessory that helps stabilize your violin so as to free the movements of your left hand. Most teachers recommend it.
- A rosin allows the bow to properly glide upon the strings.
- A music stand is optional, but will allow you to better view your music during practice sessions. This may seem trivial, but the visibility it provides will help you focus on the learning process.
- Finally, a tuning device will help ensure your instrument stays in tune. This facilitates playing and fingering accuracy. Nowadays, there are many smartphone tuning apps (free or paid) that do the job and allow you to always have a tuning solution on hand.
These seven elements form the foundation for a smooth start in your apprenticeship of the violin.
A reliable and enjoyable instrument
Although garnish accessories (refers to the set mentioned above) shouldn’t be overlooked, the violin itself is undoubtedly the most important element. It is thus important not to neglect this key element, so let’s discuss the criteria that should be met.
Standard beginner instruments are built to be indestructible. The thickness of the wood and the varnish usually ensure that they’re very sturdy and easy to maintain. Even though this may seem like an advantage at the beginning, these aspects will have a negative impact on the tone quality. These instruments have a brighter tone and are a bit dull in comparison to their more advanced counterparts.
That said, there are two important elements that allow these hunks of wood to transform into functional instruments:
- Have the assembly checked and adjusted by a violin-maker; this service is not provided by online stores
- Change the original strings to synthetic ones, as they are easier to play and have a warm tone quality.
A tailpiece simplifies the tuning
Music teachers will generally recommend that beginner students use tailpieces, for example, tailpieces with four integrated adjusters. This handy accessory simplifies the tuning process.
For more on instrument tuning, you may be interested in the article below, which explains how to tune a violin:
Tuning your violin is a crucial step in mastering your instrument and developing your ear. It is also an essential skill for being a part of any ensemble. Here, you will discover some tips to ensure your violin, viola or … Read More
Solutions for a smooth start
Before concluding, I’d like to touch on the various options available to you so you can get off to a stress-free start.
Purchasing a violin
If you are interested in purchasing a violin, I have several recommendations for garnish accessories that will suit both your needs and your budget.
What this set includes:
- A solid wood violin.
- Four integrated adjusters on the tailpiece for easy tuning.
- Pirastro Tonica strings for comfortable fingering and good tone quality.
- A bow.
- A case with enough room to organize your accessories.
- An adjustable pad.
- A Gustave Bernardel rosin.
- A foldable music stand.
In addition, you will be covered by a full warranty and back-up assistance.
- My workshop provides a full post-sales service to assist in the event of technical difficulties.
Renting a violin
Another option for obtaining an instrument is through a rental or hire-purchase agreement. This is a fairly well-established system in Europe and one that is frequently used in many music stores and workshops.
Advantages of renting beginner violins
- Instead of making the investment in an instrument from the start, another option can be simply renting an instrument for a couple of months. That way, if you find it’s not the right fit, you can always cancel the rental. Keep in mind that some rentals require a certain time commitment (six months to a year, for example). However, if you choose to rent with my workshop, I offer all rentals on a non-binding basis, starting with a monthly payment.
- You will receive a ready-to-play instrument that has been prepared by qualified professionals who are available to assist with any technical difficulties.
- Another option is a hire-purchase system (not always available). This means that you can accumulate monthly payments which go toward the eventual purchase of a violin. This system allows you to try out an instrument and settle on the right one when the time comes, with your previous payments turning into a long-term investment.
- Finally, your contract might come with maintenance service. For instance, the contract I offer includes a complete instrument check-up, string replacement and bow rehairing (a €150 value).