Have you finally found time to learn to play the violin? It’s your moment, you’re looking forward to it … but you don’t know where to start.
Choosing your first violin is not a decision to be taken lightly: getting off on the right foot is essential in any discipline, and musical learning is one of them.
Buying your first violin can become an odyssey if you don’t have the necessary guidance and advice. The most common procedure is to consult with the teacher or a specialized salesperson. But, if this were the case, there wouldn’t be so many articles online answering the question of how to choose your first violin.
When you want to buy your first violin, finding the right violin for beginners on the internet is like an obstacle course. We present to you in this article the best violin for beginners.
In this post, you will discover everything you need to know to find a beginner violin that is perfect for you.
The best violin for beginners
Choosing a violin is not easy, there are a lot of bad violins out there.
So that you can choose with peace of mind, we have decided to do the dirty work for you and select the best options: these are the best violins for beginners and all their most important characteristics.
Stentor VL1100 Student Violin
The Stentor brand gives you a lot of confidence: they are very professional and have many years of experience in making student violins.
The Student series violins are built with good quality woods, perfect tuning capacity and are also one of the cheapest Stentor ranges. They are perfect for beginners.
It is built with maple and spruce (they are hard, resistant, and transmit sound woods), the nut of the bow is made of ebony wood and the tuners are integrated into the tailpiece, so you can tune comfortably without having to use the pegs.
It also includes resin and a lightweight case with pockets.
Made with good quality wood: maple, spruce, and ebony
Bow nut with ebony wood
Tuners built into the tailpiece
Stentor 1500/A Student 2 Violin Outfit
Stentor Student 2 is a highly recommended violin for the first years of study. Ask your violin teacher, he will surely speak well of this brand.
Student 2 is the improved version of the Stentor Student 1, it is a bit more expensive but the sound quality is better.
It is made by hand with solid woods:
The top cover is made of spruce → it is a resistant and flexible wood that supports the weight of the strings well and makes the vibrations pass to the box.
The sides and bottom top are made of maple → it is also a very resistant wood with a very good sound.
The fingerboard and pegs are made of ebony → it is a very hardwood that makes the violin hold the tuning well.
The tuners are built into the tailpiece, perfect for you to easily learn to tune without using the pegs! The case is lightweight and very comfortable to carry.
Spruce and maple top
Ebony fingerboard and pegs
Equipped with resin, case, and tuners
Gewa Pure Violin Outfit
The Gewa Pure is an initiation violin that stands out for having good finishes, good sound, and a fairly affordable price.
The top is made of spruce, the back and sides are made of maple (they give the instrument a good sound) and the tailpiece comes with built-in tuners, it’s great for tuning without having to use the tuners.
The bow is made of wood from Brazil or wood from Pernambuco (whatever you prefer to call it). It is a super hardwood that will avoid possible annoyances if you ever drop your bow, big hands!
The violin is beautiful, it has a dark finish that gives it a touch of antique effect. And it also comes with a hard case and with the resin.
Made of maple and fir wood
Tailpiece with tuners
Bow with wood from Brazil
Forenza Uno Series Full Size Violin Outfit
Forenza is a brand specialized in string instruments for beginners, they also have all the accessories you may need during your first years of learning.
The Forenza F1151A is a very cheap and exclusive violin for beginners. Its quality is quite normal, but it will give you an acceptable sound so you can start practising.
It is cheap, yes, but it has quite interesting details:
Fingerboard and pegs are hardwood for good tuning
The tuners are built into the tailpiece so you can easily tune
The bow is made with natural horsehair for better sound
And it also comes with the resin included and with a case with straps so you can carry it as if it were a backpack (it is very comfortable and light).
Tuners built into the tailpiece
Hardwood pegs and fingerboard
Case with straps and resin included
Vangoa 4/4: includes a complete beginner kit
Vangoa is a modern brand that specializes in online sales, they have acoustic and electric violins. The Vangoa 4/4 is a very inexpensive beginner violin that has quite acceptable qualities for you to start playing … now!
One of its strengths is the quality of its woods:
Fingerboard is ebony
And the tops are maple and fir
One thing we really like is that the pegs and the chinstrap are coated with a type of varnish that gives it an antique look, call it classic!
The bow is made of Brazilian wood, but best of all, it includes a super complete kit that will allow you to play from the first minute. Comes with:
Maple and spruce tops
Brazilian wooden bow
Includes resin, pad, tuner and case
Solid Wood 4/4 Acoustic Violin
This solid wood violin is dedicated to children and adults who wish to take violin lessons. Its laminated maple, its ankle, its fingerboard, its wooden chin bar gives it remarkable resistance. Especially since these maples give you a soft, rich and dynamic sound. It includes a hard, zippered case, additional steel bow and strings, towing shoulder, bridge and rosin. Upon purchase, you will be provided with a carrying case that is hard on the outside, but soft on the inside so that your instrument is not easily damaged. It is a violin model, ideal for those who want to start learning the first steps. Before playing for the first time, make sure the tuners are properly adjusted to the bridge.
Kinglos 4/4 Single Colored Solid Wood
The Kinglos model is the quintessential traditional violin with wood pigmentation and incorporating patented localization colouring technology. It guarantees you a magnificent tone. Practical, it offers you a maple back and reinforces the stability of the parts that compose it by offering excellent acoustic properties. It includes a hard light case, a wooden Brazil bow with ecru and an additional set of chains. It is equally suitable for beginners as well as professional violinists.
A violin must always be made from selected wood species, dried and scrupulously worked. We recommend that you choose a violin who’s back, sides, bridge and volute are made from maple. The fingerboard, pegs, tailpiece and chin rest should preferably be made with premium ebony. Your soundboard should be made from spruce. And your Pernambuco wood bow. All this composition of matter will give the violinist musical nuances individualizing each model.
A suitable bow
You can find yourself facing an expensive bow, sometimes at the same price as your violin as you can very well find bows with reasonable prices between 50 and 100 euros. To try out the different bows, you can underweight them to feel their balance. There are either wood or carbon bows, but we recommend those made in carbon because they provide better value for money.
The case is an important accessory because it will protect your violin over the years. Although economical, soft covers do not offer impact protection. On the other hand, the wooden boxes, which are nevertheless heavy and bulky, give you a real fortress. You will surely be tempted to choose modern cases that offer a good ratio: light and padded. They ensure optimal protection for your violin, but also place several bows and other types of accessories and sheet music on it.
Some accessories are recommended by teachers. It is, therefore, necessary to integrate them into your case:
The shoulder rest: it must allow a good seat and easily place the violin on your shoulder
The chin bar: prefer wood or composite parts. It is an accessory that must conform to the shape of the chin. Choose those that suit your body type
Rosin allows the horsehair of the bow to attach to the strings. You can, however, choose the quality that you like
The mute should allow you to decrease your volume so that you are able to practice and play without disturbing those around you.
The price of the instrument
For less than 150 euros: you can get a violin made from solid wood, and the accessories are made of hardwood.
The size of the instrument
If you are an adult or a teenager, you will simply need a whole violin (4/4)! There are no different sizes for adult violins. If you want bigger you will have to change the instrument and start viola or cello
The question of size therefore arises only for children. It is then sufficient to measure the space between the base of the neck and the middle of the palm of the hand, with the arm extended parallel to the ground, and to defer to the corresponding violin size.
The quality of the materials used
If you want to invest in a quality violin, check the different materials used:
Violin body: Maple and spruce fingerboard, tailpiece, pegs
Chin rest: Ebony or rosewood (the tailpiece can also be carbon)
Bow: Wood or carbon
Sound and aesthetic aspect
These two aspects, although rather subjective, are very important in the choice of an instrument, and that, even if it is about a first violin.
The aesthetic aspect may seem to be a secondary or even superficial criterion, but for us, it is not. A violin is a magnificent object, and its color, the beauty of its varnish can direct you to one instrument rather than another, especially if, as a great beginner, you cannot compare their sound.
Tips for choosing the first violin
# 1: Make sure the violin is in good condition and ready to be used
It is very common to find great deals on studio violins that come in all-inclusive studio sets. Also, it is common to find ads for second-hand violins at apparently very interesting prices.
In addition to taking into account if the instrument includes a bow and case, and the quality of these, it is essential to know if the violin is ready to play and if the strings it has will serve us or if they must be changed.
In the case of buying a new violin, it is essential to know if it has been checked and adjusted by a luthier or if it comes from the factory. In the event that it has not passed through the hands of a luthier, the cost of a set-up can be high. Usually, the luthiers who sell studio violins offer the instruments adjusted and mounted with good quality strings, although their prices are usually not that cheap. If it is necessary to send the violin to the luthier, the cost of his services can range between 50 and 150 euros (maybe even more), depending on what has to be done to the violin.
In the case of second-hand violins, it is important to know if the instrument once passed through the hands of a luthier and to make sure what needs to be done with it once acquired.
In both cases, it is important to look at which strings the instrument has and if it will be necessary to change them. Many teachers suggest a certain quality in the strings. A set of violin strings that are normally recommended usually costs between 30 and 50 euros, depending on the brand. This must be taken into account when evaluating the price of both a new and second-hand violin.
To finish we will look at the bow and the case. Studio violins are usually offered in a set that includes these two accessories. The case should be rigid and light, and if it has straps to hang on the back much better. In addition, the arch should be straight and have a sufficient amount of bristles. If the arch is crooked or has few bristles, it won’t do any good. This is especially true for second-hand violins.
# 2: Buy with guarantees
It seems obvious, but many times this point is not valued since we are dazzled by the offers. If you buy online, make sure the seller respects your consumer rights and complies with electronic commerce laws. Remember that the seller is obliged by law to collect the product from you within a specified period without the need for explanations, as long as the product is in the conditions indicated. Check the purchase conditions section of your website (which is mandatory) and make sure that the data you communicate travels encrypted under a secure connection. And, of course, don’t forget that you should receive your invoice by email right after making the payment.
In the case of buying in a “one of a kind” store, ask for an invoice, don’t settle for the purchase receipt. It will be very useful for claims and, in the event that you want to resell the violin in the future, you can show it to the future buyer.
Finally, if you buy the second-hand instrument, make sure that someone endorses the seller (in case of being an individual) and that what they offer you is what they say. To show you the violin purchase invoice or the invoice from the luthier who has reviewed it before putting it up for sale are details that will offer you guarantees. If not, ask the teacher for an opinion. If you buy the instrument second-hand in a store, don’t forget the invoice. Even if you buy second hand you still have your rights.
# 3: Appearance is as important (or more) than quality or sound
Everything in life enters through the eyes, even music. The quality of the materials, the quality of the sound, the quality of the accessories… all of this is important. But nothing important if the student does not fall in love with his instrument. And if for that you have to buy the child a green violin … well, as they say around there, “there are them, there are them.”
Having in your hands a violin that we like, that is beautiful, that is clean, that catches our attention is fundamental to motivate study and a taste for what it is done. And, since there is nothing written for tastes, the student should be able to comment and touch-feel that which will accompany him in what can be a great adventure.
# 4: Take the teacher’s opinion into account
Do not forget that the teacher is the one who has the most experience in all this. Ask him for his opinion on what you are going to buy, if it is suitable for what the student needs and if what you are going to pay is adjusted or not what you take with you.
Also, the same teacher will likely put you in touch with someone who offers something interesting second-hand or with a store that has a good offer.
# 5: Compare prices, but also benefits and services included
When evaluating the price of the violin, remember to take into account the accessories and services it includes. In addition to the violin, you will need a case, a bow, a resin, a chin (usually) and it would be recommended that you have a spare set of strings. Normally the original strings are used as spare parts (which are not usually very good) and the instrument is assembled with quality strings.
In addition, the instrument should be revised and adjusted to achieve a good sound and, above all, to make it easy and comfortable to play.
So value not only what you take with you, but also what you have to do next with the violin.
# 6: There are very interesting alternatives to buying, such as renting or exchange systems
Violin rental is an option that is becoming very fashionable. It works like any other rental, and allows students to have quality violins, ready to play, and without making large outlays of money.
Many luthiers offer instrument exchange systems: the customer buys the first instrument which he then delivers as part of the payment for an instrument that is superior in size and / or quality. This is very interesting, and it doesn’t force anything (or at least it shouldn’t).