A Guide to Getting Your First Violin
by Javed Ali
Beginner or cheap violins may not even be able to compare the qualities of even more costly violins in terms of construction. A novice is much more prone than a professional player to bump or bang their instrument. So, even if you’re shopping for a youngster or an adult, look for a starter violin that’s sturdy enough for the musician. The question still stands how you can find the best beginner violin?
The answer is you can keep in mind the certain points before buying the violin which are below:
- Should you buy or rent?
- Ask the experts
- Materials and craftsmanship
- It's all about the size
- Listen to it being played
- Considerations for chin rest and shoulder rest
- The procedure for setup
Buy or Rent
If a person or learner is not sure about whether the violin suits him / her then there are many violins that are available for rent And there are many excellent violins for sale too. Also if beginners are sure about their choices then there are many violins available at affordable prices in different markets.
Advantages of renting:
Advantages of renting:
- Instrument Protection
- Anyone can return it at any moment.
- Rent it with your limited budget
Ask the Experts
You can ask local instrumentalists (teachers) and the professionals at your regional violin shop, which also does instrument repairs. This violinist knows well how to play them, and they are always happy to impart their knowledge about certain instruments and brands. Rather than speaking from a commercial perspective, violinist and teachers are passionate about the instrument and, like true fans, will wish to pass on their knowledge to newcomers.
Materials and Craftsmanship
Violins are made out of certain tone woods like Spruce and Maple, as well as the thickness of carving on the loop is a reliable indicator of quality. Superior craftsmanship is usually indicated by deep carving. Examine the body’s joining regions as well; they should be snug. The neck and endpin of the violin should be symmetrical.
- Ebony, rosewood, or boxwood pegs are available. Be mindful that while some low-cost Chinese instruments claim to include boxwood pegs, they actually use a lower-quality nut wood. Ebonized pegs (cheap wood painted black) are ineffective and should be avoided at all costs.
- Varnish: The varnish on cheap violins is typically thick, lustrous, smooth polyurethane. Because it is excessively firm, this actually prevents the instrument from vibrating. Search for a violin that has been varnished with a good oil or spirit-based varnish.
- Strings: Seek for learner strings that are at least of average quality, rather than thin Chinese factory strings. Both the Dogal Red Label and D’Addario Prelude brands of strings are good for beginners.
- The bridge must be constructed to the average length, height, and string spacing. Bridges on starter instruments are sometimes coarsely cut, however keep in mind that the broader and heavier the bridge, the more sound is muffled. Its bridge’s feet must be completely aligned with both the violin’s belly, as well as the bridge’s back ought to be perpendicular to or gently falling backwards.
Learners or beginners should not go for the violins that are too big in size. Faulty or wrong size leads to serious problems like chronic neck, back and arm injuries. Choose that violin that go best with your student’s .Age, body size, hand shape, and physical strength should all be taken into consideration. If in question, a shorter violin is preferable to a larger violin.
It’s critical that the musician enjoys the sound of his or her instrument. Because violins are comprised of organic materials, each one has its own distinct tone. When choosing a violin, have someone with you and make sure you hear it before you buy or rent it.
Chin Rest and Shoulder Rest
The chin rest should be sized to the player’s chin and placed in an unobtrusive position. You should try to select accessories that make playing feel natural. For beginners, a decent shoulder rest is also necessary in order to maintain excellent posture.
The way your beginning violin is set up has a big impact on its playability and tone quality. Although a superb set up will not be able to compensate for poor quality materials, when done correctly, the right set up can make all the difference in your sound. Here are a few things to think about:
- The nut—the depth of the groove—determines the violin’s “action” (how hard it is to press the strings down to the fingerboard). It’s difficult to play if it’s too loud, and it buzzes if it’s too low.
- Steel strings are prevalent, although synthetic core strings are typically beneficial to beginner violinists and violinists. They have a considerably deeper sound and are much more responsive. Furthermore, Thomastik-Infeld produces a great Alphayue string that is perfect for beginners and is reasonably priced (about $20 for the set).
- The Bridge, like the nut, has an impact on the instrument’s playability. It should be exactly aligned with the violin’s top plate and fashioned appropriately. String crossings are difficult if the grooves are too close together.