Picking the best violin as a student can be a challenge because you probably do not know what to look for. You have several things to keep under consideration before you buy a student violin. Most students will use smaller size violins unless they are an adult student where you will probably use a 3/4 or a 4/4 violin. it’s important to get the right size of violin to meet your individual needs. This guide will help you pick the right violin for beginners and students.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks..
What is a Violin?
The violin dates back to the 16th century and it has four strings, A bow is used to produce the sound. The body is round and has an F-shaped hole on top. They are used in many different types of music especially classical, country, bluegrass, and jazz. Stradivarius was the most famous violin maker, but only a handful of them exist today. Stradivarius violins can sell for thousands and even several million. They mostly belong to collectors. Today there is a wide range of violin makers including Cremona and Stentor which are value-priced for beginners.
Make sure you get the right violin size for your child or for any student. refer tot he guide below. The size is the neck to the wrist. Most adults will use 3/4 or 4/4 violins, but it all depends upon individual preference.
- 1/16 33.5 cm or less, 13 ¼ inches (neck to the wrist)
- 1/10 36 cm, 14 ¼ inches (neck to the wrist)
- 1/8 38.5 cm, 15 ¼ inches (neck to the wrist)
- 1/4 44 cm, 17 ¼ inches (neck to the wrist)
- 1/2 48.5 cm, 19 inches (neck to the wrist)
- 3/4 52 cm, 20 ½ inches (neck to the wrist)
- 4/4 54 cm, 21 ¼ inches (neck to the wrist)
How to Buy a Beginner Violin for a Student
Buying a beginner violin might be difficult since you have never bought one before. There are several factors that need to go into your choice. This guide will help you pick one out even if you know nothing about them.
Before You Buy
Don’t be intimidated by student violins. There are many different models on the market that you can choose from. A lot of them are quite good and will give you years of playability. These instruments have come a long way in recent years. A lot of them come in packages where you get a wide range of accessories such as rosin, bow, chin rest, case, and so on.
The most important thing to keep in mind as you want a violin that’s going to be comfortable. The tone and sound won’t matter as much as you are beginning to play because you haven’t developed your ear enough. Once you get better on the instrument then you can pick an instrument that sounds better. If if you are buying for a child, you have to ensure that you get the right violin size for their arm length. Most adults will use either at 3/4 or 4/4 violin but you have to measure to be sure. There is a guide below that you can follow to help you pick out the right size.
I would advise that you take lessons as a first-time player. A good teacher will show you all the basics. You can also have the teacher show you the parts of your violin and how to set it up properly. A teacher can also show you how to read music A lot of violin books require that you can read music. Once you get the basics down you can also teach yourself how to play. Bowed instruments are harder to play so lessons can help you a great deal in the early stage of your violin development.
The wood on a beginner instrument will not be as high of quality when compared to a professional violin, this is why they cost less. Maple and spruce are common woods used for beginner violin, although other woods can be used. The fingerboards are usually maple or ebony. As you go up in price, you’ll get better grades of wood. The type of wood you get as a beginner really doesn’t matter all that much because as you progress on the violin, you’ll be upgrading it to a better model. The price and how it feels while playing are going to be the most important factors.
You should expect to spend at least a couple hundred dollars on a beginner violin. You can get some for less, but you might not get all that you want. If the student is quite young, and you might want to spend a little less as you don’t know if the student is going to be interested in the violin in the future. For older players starting out for the first time, it’s worth it to spend a little extra so you don’t get frustrated while you are learning to play. Try to void the ultra-cheap kits as they will not give you the tone you need and they are quite hard to tune-up. Spend a bit more if you can afford it as it is worth it.
There are three main types of violin string which include gut core, synthetic core, and steel core which you need to be aware of. String choice is important, but not as much when learning to play for the first time. You need to develop your ear before you will notice that much of a difference in string tone when you first pick up a violin. You tend to pay more for violin strings when compared to guitars so be prepared to spend more on a new set. Do no buy cheap violin strings as they may break more often. Here are the three main types you need to know about.
Gut core ar ethe oldest type of string and made out of animal gut. These have been used for centuries but today they are not a good option for beginners as there are better strings for first-time violin players. As you progress, you may want to try gut core as they have an excellent tone, but don’t last as long as other string types.
Synthetic strings are common and make a great choice. they combine the tone of steel strings and gut core. They are often made with a center of Perlon which is a type of nylon and used in the construction of synthetic core strings. They have a good tone and will last a long time. These are ideal as they often hold their tune longer so the student does not have to adjust tuning all of the time.
The steel core is the most common and they have a good tone, but a bit harder to tune when compared to synthetic core. The tone isn’t as good as synthetic and gut core strings, but they have a lower cost. They are still a great choice for beginners and many starter violins will have this type of string. Steel strings are common so they are fine for your new violin. As you get better make the switch to the synthetic core as they tend to be a bit better.
Try Several Sets of Strings
You will probably need to try several sets of strings until you find a set that you like. medium gauge is the ideal thickness to go for. You will have trouble with thicker strings and the thin ones don’t hold their tuning as well. Use medium strings for most applications. As you get better you can use whatever works for you the best. Avoid gut core as a beginner as you will struggle to keep them in tune. Synthetic is the best choice for most beginners.
A lot of beginner violins ships with a poor quality bow that you may want to replace. it’s critical that you have a good bow as you want to get the best tone possible out of your violin. Brazilwood, composite, fiber, and carbon fiber are three of the main type of bows although you will find them made out of other materials as well. Carbon composite is god as it is flexible and durable which is perfect for new players. Make sure you avoid using a lot of rosin on your bow as it will produce a poor tone.
Rosin is another critical accessory as you need it for your bow. You can use dark or light rosin, it will not matter much at first. As you progress, use the rosin that you like the best. A lot of beginner violin packages come with rosin so you may not need to buy any. Talk to your violin teacher or a music tech and they can help you pick out the right rosin type for your needs. Your string manufacturer may also product rosin. It can be a good idea to go with rosin made by the same string company as the two products can pair together well. This may give you the best tone.
The case you buy is another important aspect of your violin. A lot of beginner violin packages do come with them, but these are often flimsy and not very good. It is a good idea to use a hardshell if you can afford it although these are decent softshell versions. If you get a good one, you will not have to buy another for your next violin. The beginner options are probably fine for a while but think about upgrading it as soon as you can. Look for one that has an accessory compartment or zippered pocket. You will also want one that has one or more bow holders inside for the bows. A cloth covering inside to drape over the violin is ideal. This protects the instrument from bow damage. Make sure it is designed for your violin size. If you have a 4/4 violin, for example, you need one designed for that size.
Experiment with Violins
You may need to experiment a bit with violins until you find one that works for you the best. You will find that as you advance in your musical career, you will probably have several violins. A starter instrument is just that a starter. Don’t be afraid to try new instruments as you want something that will be comfortable for you to play. Speak to your teacher or a music store about the various violin models and what to expect.
Electric or Acoustic Violin?
Most beginner players will want to start with an acoustic violin. These are cheaper and easier to play. As you develop your skills you may want to try out an electric violin. If you do decide on an electric violin, you must also buy an amplifier for it and that will cost you more money. Beginner students will get the most benefit out of a starter acoustic instrument.
Rent or Buy A Violin?
You may be remote to rent a violin, but this can run you into high chargers and the instrument you get may not be what you want. it is better to buy your instrument rather than rent one. if you want to try one out then renting is a good option. if you play in a band at school the instruments are sometimes rented although you can also bring your own if you prefer. Be careful of fees if you rent as these can add up over time.
You will save money by purchasing a violin package. these often have a violin, rosin, bow, stand, tuner, and other accessories in one complete package. While the accessories you get are not the best, it is a good choice for a beginner as you get all you need to begin to play. Once you get better, upgrade the individual pieces to whatever you prefer to use.
Store Bought Vs. Custom
I would advise you to buy your first violin from a store. There are many great models on the market in all price ranges. You want to work with an established violin brand. These have good quality control and you will get something that needs minimal setup right away. You are usually covered by a warranty.
Beginners probably don’t want to get a custom violin. While these are exceptional, you do not know what you want as you are new to playing the instrument. A custom violin is more suited for someone that has been playing a long time and understands all about the violin. A custom instrument may also be quite expensive as only a few are made at one time.
You need to spend some time looking after your valuable instrument. Here is a short care guide to help you out.
A humidifier for your violin can be a wise investment. this helps regulate moisture and protect the wood of your violin. Some cases come with these built-in, but not all of them have one. Moisture can be a problem if you go from cold to hot temperature or vice versa often. You want to regulate the humidity so the wood does not expand and contract all the time which can ruin the violin. It’s not a critical accessory, but well worth it if your violin is on the expensive side.
Do not use any abrasive cleaners with chemicals on your violin. Instrument polish and soft cotton cloth are about all you need to keep the instrument looking its best. Cleaners will destroy the finish so avoid all of them. A little water is all you need to remove stubborn grime build up and then a bit of polish. Make sure you clean off all the polish and change the cloth often to avoid grime build up on it.
You should change the strings every couple of months. Fresh strings sound better and do not have any rosin build up on them. If you notice any degradation of your sound and tone, put on a fresh set of strings. A violin tech can change the strings or show you how to if you do not know how. it is pretty easy to do once you have done this a few times. Make sure you have an extra set.
Best Student Violin Reviewed
1. Mendini 4/4 MV - Black – Best Low-Cost Student Package
The Mendini 4/4 MV-Black is a great choice for any student as it has everything you need to begin to play right away.
You get a full-size 4/4 violin. It has a hand-carved spruce top. The sides and back are made with maple wood. The wood is stained with a black varnish. It has pegs, a chin rest, and a maple fingerboard. The tailpiece is made with alloy and has four fine tuners.
It comes with a Brazilwood bow, rosin cake, extra violin strings, two bridges, shoulder rest, a violin lesson book, and a clip-on tuner. You get a case with should straps to round out the accessories. This instrument is the right choice for any beginner or student.
2. Cecilio CVN-300 – Best 4/4 for Moderate Budgets
If you have a bit more money to spend on your beginner violin, try the Cecilio CVN-300. This is a great kit that comes in at a reasonable price point.
You get a full 4/4 size instrument and it has a solid spruce top. The neck, sides, and back are made with maple and it features an antique varnish. The fingerboard is made from ebony and it also sports four fine tuners, a tailpiece, and a pegs chinrest. Accessory includes a lesson book, chromatic tuner, hard case, extra bridge two Brazilwood bows, rosin cake, and a shoulder strap with adjustments. You have everything you ended to sound great today.
3. SKY 4/4 Full Size – Best Bargain Basement Student Violin
For those on a barebones budget have a look at the sky 4/4 Full-Size Violine Package. This has a bargain price yet comes with all you need to begin playing now.
The violin is set up and ready to play out of the box. It has a solid spruce top to improve the tone. The neck, sides, and back are made from flamed maple wood. You get a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Accessories include a chinrest, violin case, Brazilwood bow, rosin cake, and shoulder rest. It makes the perfect violin for any beginner student.
4. Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist – Best 4/4 for High Budgets
The Cremona Sv-500 is a step up form the 300 model and a great choice if you have the cash for it. It makes a superior older student or adult violin for anyone that wants an easy to play first-time instrument.
It comes in a great case with a hydrometer to protect the wood from moisture. The case has room for four bows. It is made with flamed maple wood, spruce, and has a brown varnish. It has a quality French-made Aubert bridge and Prelude strings. You get a deluxe Brazilwood bow, chinrest, and the tailpiece makes tuning your instrument easy. Older students will love this model.
5. Eastar 3/4 Violin – Best Low Budget 3/4
For those looking for a quality 3/4violin, have a look at the Eastar 3/4 Violin Set as it has everything that the practicing student is going to need to play right away.
This violin is made with spruce wood for the top and the sides and back are made with maple wood. It features a nice antique finish which looks great. The pearwood fingerboard is easy to play and it has a chin rest along with four integrated fine tuners to make tuning your strings easy. You get a Mongolia horsehair bow, a cake of rosin, shoulder rest, violin bridge, and an extra set of strings. The case has a zippered pocket outside for your music books.
6. Cecilio CVN-320L – Best 3/4 for Left Handed Players
For those looking for a great left-handed violin, you will find one in the Cecilio CVN-320L. This is full ¾ violin fo today’s practicing student.
The instrument has solid spruce along with a maple neck, back, and sides. It has inlaid purfling and an antique finish for a vintage look. It comes with nickel-plated fine tuners, tailpiece, chinrest, and an ebony fingerboard. You get a lesson book, chromatic tuner, D’Addario Prelude Strings, 2 Brazilwood bows, rosin cake, an extra bridge, and adjustable shoulder rest. This also comes in a right handled model if you are not a lefty.
7. D Z Strad Violin Model 101 – Best High Budget 3/4 Violin
If you have a little extra to spend on your ¾ violin, the D Z Strad Violin Model 101 is a good choice with tons of amazing features.
The carved top is made with tight grain spruce and the back and sides are made with figured maple wood. It has an ebony fingerboard which is easy to play. This is a favorite amongst teachers such as those from Suzuki. You get a rich and warm tone out of the instrument and it is finished in a gloss varnish for an attractive look. You get a case, bow, rosin, and a shoulder rest as your accessories. If you want a little more out of your first violin, the D Z Strad Violin Model 101 is a top choice.
8. Paititi 3/4 Size Artist – Best for Younger Students
Younger students still need a quality violin as it will help them practice and boost their enthusiasm. You will find the Paititi 3/4 Size Artist to be a tp notch violin for the younger student who is learning to play.
This violin starter kit comes with a natural wood violin with a satin finish. It has a chinrest and a maple fingerboard. The color is a translucent chestnut brown for a vintage look. It is set up out of the box and ready to go. The kit includes a brazilwood bow, rosin, and an extra set of strings. This produce meets the recommended educational specifications so it is suitable for students. The case has room for bows, and it includes an accessory pocket for all your violin gear. On the outside of the case is a pouch for sheet music. Students will love the 3/4 size Paititi Artist.
The Amdini 1/2 AC100 is a great choice for the beginner violin student. It has everything that you need to play.
The violin has a solid spruce top. The sides and back are solid maple wood. It has an attractive purple finish that kids will love. It has a chinrest, maple fingerboard, and an alloy tailpiece with four fine tuners. It comes with a Brazilwood bow, shoulder rest, tuner, rosin, and a hardshell case. The case has pockets and a should strap for easy portability. You get an extra bridge and set of stings as well as a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
10. Cremona SV-130 – Best 1/2 with Superior Case
Many beginner violins do not come with a good case which is not ideal to protect your violin. The Cremona SV-130 ships with a great case and has a lot of other outstanding features that you will love.
The violin has a spruce hand-carved top and a maple body. It is one of the top novice selling instruments out there. It has a composite tailpiece and ebony pegs. The instrument is easy to tune with the fine tuners. It ships with Prelude strings has a chinrest and it is easy to carry as it is lightweight. It comes with an excellent velvet lined case to protect your investment.
11. Stentor Violin – Best Premier Student 1/2
For those that need a high quality 1/2 beginner violin, have a look at the Stentor 1500 ½. It has everything that today’s beginner player needs.
This violin has a solid spruce wood top. The sides and back are made with maple. It has inlaid Purling for an attractive look. You get a hardwood chin rest, ebony fittings, and red label strings. The alloy tailpiece has four fine tuners for precise tuning. It comes with a horsehair bow, small cake or rosin, and a covered canvas case. It is a great violin if you have a little bit more money to spend on your beginner instrument.
12. Amdini 4/4 – Best Electric for Low Budgets
If you want to try an eclectic violin, you usually have to spend more when compared to an acoustic instrument. The Amdini 4/4 electric violin is a solid choice with a lot of great features for the beginning electric player.
The Amdini 4/4 has the latest technology with a solid spruce body and an ebony fingerboard. It’s varnished n red-wine for an attractive look. It has a chin rest, tuning pegs, and four fine tuners that are detachable. The pickup system is HVPV-30 active pick-up. It has controls for tone, volume mic, line out, and it is powered with one 9-volt battery. It comes with a Mongolian horsehair bow, hard case, manual extra strings, rosin cake, aux cable, and headphones for quiet practice sessions. The unit comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. This is an excellent first-time electric violin for a student.
13. Cecilio CEVN-1BK – Best 4/4 Electric Violin for Modest Budgets
For those with more cash to spend on tier electric violin, have a look at the Cecilio CEVN -1BK electric violin. This product has everything you need to get started with electric violin.
The Cecilio CEVN-1BK is an excellent starter electric violin. It has a solid maple body and an ebony fingerboard. It comes with a chin rest and the tailpiece has four detachable tuners for added tuning stability. The unit has a 1/8 input jack to hook it up to an amplifier. The unit has a pickup and an EQ system with tone and volume controls which is powered by a 9-volt battery. You get a bow, rosin cake, bridge, headphones, aux cable, and a hard case. This violin is perfect for the beginner electric violin student.
These are some of the best student violin products you will find on the market. The price range can vary depending upon what you want to spend. It is a good idea to go with the major violin brands as they have the best instruments for beginners to learn on. All of the choices on this list will help you get started playing the violin and make excellent first musical instruments for any aspiring violin player.
The Cecilio CVN-300 is an excellent beginner violin and it comes with a great case. The high-end models include hydrometers in the case. It also comes in various sizes to suit your needs whether our younger student or an adult looking to learn how to play for the first time.
Mendini violins are nice as they come with full packages. You get strings, rosin cake, tuner, lesson books, and more when you order. They also have a decent case for protecting your valuable violin. If you want to spend less and get a full package deal go with Mendini. They come in all sizes to meet your needs.
No matter what you are looking for you will find great beginner student violins on the market. have fun with your first violin and then you can upgrade to something a bit better later on as you advance in your playing.