This blog is dedicated to violins, violin makers, violin players, and all violin enthusiasts.

Whether you are a beginning violin student or an expert violin player, make sure you buy a violin that is right for you!

The violin is believed to have originated from Italy in the early 1500’s. The earliest form of the violin is however very different from that of today; for a start, the early version of the violin had a neck that was shorter, thicker and less angled. The fingerboard was shorter and the bridge was flatter, plus the strings were made from gut! Also, when they first appeared on the scene, they were considered a ‘lesser important instrument.’ In our society, violins are an extremely popular instrument and the use of them has spread into many cultures throughout the world.

This is a bowed string instrument with four strings that are generally tuned in perfect fifths; it is the smallest member of the string family, which is also made up of the viola and the cello. Sound is produced by drawing what is known as a bow across one of the four strings or by plucking the string with a finger.

One of the brilliant features of the violins is the fact that they are available for various skill levels and age groups. This allows children from the age of three to take up and learn the violin. Children do however grow out of violins at a surprisingly fast rate. While some stores allow buyers to take back to the violin shop the instrument purchased from them and trade it in for the next size up, some others do not. If you consider a trade up in the future, it is a good thing to talk about this with your seller before making a purchase. Not all music stores allow trade ins.

There are around nine different sizes of violin, which are known as student violins. These range in size is made to accommodate players of all ages. For example 1/32, 1/16, 1/10 and 1/8, are all suitable for three to five year olds. For six to ten year olds you are able to get hold of a half size violin before working up to a full size, which is generally suitable for 12 year olds up to full adults. The student violins that you work your way through depends on arm length and your overall size. Basically, you want one that you feel the most comfortable playing. If a 1/2 violin usually fits a 6 year old, it does not necessarily means that will fit you, too. You may have smaller or bigger arms then average, which means that you will need a different size than what the standard indicates. In many cases, when a student reaches around the 7th grade, he/she will generally require a full size (4/4) instrument as opposed to a fractional one.

Once you have a strong idea of the size you are looking for, you can set out to buy a violin; but where do you start with this? Well, basically there are three main choices open to you: you can either visit a violin shop in your area, buy a violin from the Internet, or you can opt to purchase the a custom made instrument directly from a luthier. The latter is often the choice of more advanced and experienced violinists, as they are more sophisticated in their choices and they reached that level of musicianship that allows them to feel the quality of their violin and justifies the large expenditure associated with the purchase of a custom made violin.

If you are opting to buy a violin from a online music store, then it is a good thing to buy a violin outfit. The outfit contains a violin, a case, and a bow. Not all violins include a case and a bow. So, if it is not mentioned on the website, don’t assume these items are included by default. You should ask the seller about the case and a bow, to avoid an unpleasant surprise. It is important to test the instrument before committing to the purchasing it, so make sure the instrument comes with a trial period when you can test the instrument for sound performance.

The most important thing to keep in mind however, whether you want to buy a student violin or a more advanced one, is don’t buy one that you either don’t like or have doubts about. Sales people can influence your decision, but deep down in your heart you know the truth. Consult with your violin teacher or with a friend whose opinion you trust, but first of al trust your guts. Always make sure you test the instrument out and you are happy with the sound, as there is nothing worse than playing a violin that you don’t really feel comfortable with!

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