Learning the violin is a rewarding way to add another string to your bow — and even give your brain a workout.
But where do you start when buying a violin?
An overlooked part of developing your skill as a musician lies in choosing the specific instrument that’s right for you. An instrument is like a dance partner, and finding one you connect with is essential. But analysis paralysis is a real fear when buying something as personal and expensive as a violin.
Don’t let violins turn into violence. Here are some top tips on choosing the best violin for your needs.
Set Your Budget
This is step one of our tips for buying a violin for a good reason: there’s no point falling in love with a $5,000 violin if you’re only willing or able to spend $500.
Sit down and figure out how much cash you have available to spend on a violin. This will help you narrow down your choices later on. This can even be a helpful way to avoid some of the analysis paralysis that can come with choosing a violin, as it will shave off some of the options right from the beginning. It’s also a great way to ensure you’re making the most efficient choices when buying a violin and its accessories.
If you’re working with a limited budget, identifying this early can help figure out your financial options. For instance, you could look into renting a violin or finding a used one.
Figure Out Your Sizing
The next step is to figure out what size violin you need. This is vital because choosing the wrong size can make playing difficult. In turn, that can make it hard to achieve the level of skill you’re looking for and can even discourage your learning.
If you’re unsure what size you need, look up some tips for measuring and sizing for violins. If you’re still not sure, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional before making your purchase.
Choosing the right size can present some challenges when buying a violin for a child. Be sure to consider the child’s future growth — it’s often better to choose the next size up if there’s any ambiguity.
Think About Your Sound
As with all art, violin music is personal. You want to make sure you choose an instrument that produces the kind of sound that suits your style. That’s true whatever genre and style of music you play. Some violins will better suit recital halls, while others may sound better in small, enclosed spaces.
There are all sorts of factors that can affect the sound of a violin, from the type of varnish to the source of the wood used. The best violin brands will offer consistency, but even so, you may feel some differences between them. This is one element of the process that might not come down to measurable particulars — your preference might be for a certain intangible that amounts to a gut instinct.
If you’re not sure what kind of sound you’re going for, ask around. Talk to other violinists and get their thoughts. You could also research the different types of violins and what kinds of sounds they produce.
Bring a Second Opinion
When you’ve found a few violins that fit your budget and style, it’s time to take them for a test drive.
But before you plunk down your hard-earned cash, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion.
Take the violins that interest you to a qualified violin teacher or luthier and get their opinion on the instruments. They’ll be able to tell you things about the quality of the violin that you might not be able to discern on your own, and they can also help you determine if it’s the right size for you.
If you have a mentor you can get to weigh in here, all the better. They’ll be able to give you specific feedback on the violins you’re choosing based on what they know about you.
Take Your Time Testing
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can’t rush things when testing your candidates.
You need to take your time when playing each violin to get a good sense of how it feels and sounds. Remember that you’re choosing an instrument you’ll be playing for years to come, so you want to make sure it’s the right one.
There’s no need to make a decision on the spot. If you’re not sure, take your time, do some more research, and sleep on it before making your final choice. If a vendor tries to pressure you into making a quicker decision, you might want to reconsider your choice of vendor. You’re looking for a seller that respects the gravity of your decision and is willing to give you the time you need.
Avoid Impulse Purchasing
This tip really applies to the previous ones in a way, but it’s also worth highlighting alone. Choosing the right violin should be a methodical process.
You want to make sure you’re choosing the best violin for your needs, not just the first one that jumps out at you. Avoiding impulse purchases will help ensure you end up with an instrument you’re happy with and will want to play for years to come.
This also applies to any accessories you might buy along with your violin. Be sure to take the time to read reviews and do your research before choosing a case, bow, or any other gear.
This is the best way to not only achieve value for money but also find a violin that will be a reliable partner in your future growth as a musician.
Choosing the Best Violin for You
If you’ve been wondering how to choose a violin, then these tips should help you find the best violin for you. The most important thing is to find a violin that feels good to you and that you enjoy playing. With so many choices on the market, it can be overwhelming, but if you take your time and do your research, you’re sure to find the perfect instrument for your needs.
With rent to own, you can get to know an instrument and pay toward owning it with no commitment to buy. Check out our rent to own instruments today to learn more.