How to buy a violin? Buying a violin is hard. There are so many different brands and models to choose from, and it’s tough to know which one will be the best for you.
We’ve got your back! Our guide walks you through all of the important things that you need to know before buying a violin – including what size is right for your age or height, how much money should cost, and what features are most important in a beginner instrument.
The guide also includes reviews of some of our favorite violins on the market today – so you can compare them side by side! Check out our article now!
Violins are stringed musical instruments. They are the most common, and popular type of musical instrument used in orchestras. Violinists usually wear a tie around their neck to hold their violin up. Other people can play violins too. If you want to learn how, then instead of using a tie, you could buy a shoulder rest for your violin.
A violin is typically composed of four strings tuned to specific pitches, not including the “G” string on most violins. These strings are tuned to open G, D, A, and E. The violinist holds the lowest-pitched string with the fingers of the right hand and then rests that hand on or near the left side of the body of the violin.
One fingers covers all three strings for this note, so it’s easier to play quickly. The other three strings are played by using two fingers each to stop the string. The strings are not played open but stopped either half way or two-thirds along their length to change the pitch.
These strings are tuned in fifths within an octave, so D is higher than C, and A is higher than G. The A string is typically tuned up to 440 Hz (often written as “A = 440 Hz”). The lowest string, the G string, is tuned down to about 30 Hz or a little lower.
The violin, viola and cello are the three basic types of instruments in the string family. Strings produce vibrations when they are played against a bow or plucked. Violin music is made by drawing a bow across four strings (known as “playing an open string”). Different sizes of violins produce different pitches; the smaller the instrument, the higher the sound.
Factors You Should Know To Buy A Violin
You want to buy a violin. But what do you need to know before you make the purchase? Here are some factors that will help.
Types Of Tonewoods
The wood that is used to make the violin will have a huge impact on the price of the instrument. A less expensive violin will often have tonewoods that are painted or stained, instead of being made with solid wood.
There are different types of tonewoods that you can find and choose from. These woods affect the quality and tone of your violin. Most violins will be made up of two or three tonewoods. While most violins use maple, spruce is also a popular choice. Manufacturer like to use Indian rosewood for backplates.
If possible, look for a violin that has carved wood. Carving is a method of cutting and shaping tonewoods with hand tools to ensure that the pieces fit exactly into place. A disadvantage of lamination is that it is difficult to get individual thicknesses of thin maple or spruce. Lamination also makes the violin less resonant.
To make sure that you are getting the best quality, choose a violin that is made up of three tonewoods. A well-made violin will be able to produce good sound even if all its openings are not perfect. F holes should also line up properly and measure between 3/8″ and 1/2″. The thickness of the wood should also be even.
Preview the Violin
You can preview a violin by playing it in person or by viewing its sound online. Another way is for you to try out different violins in stores before choosing one.
When visiting stores, check if the linings are well-installed and whether there are superficial scratches on them. The purfling should also be perfect in that it should line up well around the edges of the violin. The top and bottom plates should also match up well and line up perfectly, with no gaps between them.
If you want to ensure that your violin stays in tune, go for one with four fine tuners on each pegbox. The pegs should be smooth as they will need to turn easily as you tune the instrument. If they are too tight, then you may have to make them looser using peg compound. If they are too loose, then you may need to get the pegs re-shaped.
Choose a violin whose pegs feel right in your hands. The grooves should be smooth and cut at the same depth across their length. The cords that hold the pegs should also come down from behind and be hidden by the wings of the tuning pegs.
The Violin Bow
Check the bow that will go with your violin, just as you have checked the violin itself to be sure that everything is in good working order. Look at the frog of the bow and check if it has a tendency to drop down when playing. You can also look for hair cracks on the top, especially if you see small raised bumps.
When feeling the bow, ensure that it is not too sticky and has a good grip. It should also be flexible and should bend evenly across its length when you apply pressure with your hand. The balance should be well-centered and the weight should feel lighter at the tip of the bow than towards its frog.
The Violin Should Fit Your Body
You need to ensure that the violin fits the size and shape of your body. Check if it feels comfortable in your left hand and right arm when you hold it up. It should feel like an extension of your arms and feel just as natural when held under your chin. The position of its soundpost and bass bar should also match up with the curvature of your breast and chin.
The strings that come with your violin contribute to how well it plays and its tone. High-quality strings will ensure that you get a quality sound when playing. The best violins will often use one lower-quality steel string and three high-quality strings.
Most violinists use synthetic strings as these are more durable. While they can last up to six months, other types will only last for two or three months. They also do not corrode your metal tuning pegs or damage the finish on your violin’s neck.
You may want to consider buying an extra set of strings so that you have a back-up when the first set wears out. That way, you will not have to wait for a replacement or have to go without playing your violin during that time.
For steel and synthetic-core strings, the E string is usually made of aluminum wound with steel. The other three strings are made up either of gut or nylon and will be color coded to help you know which string you should tune to which note.
Go for a violin that has high-quality strings such as Dominant. These are excellent strings that will allow your violin to sound great every time you play it.
The fingerboard material affects the tonal quality of a violin, with ebony being a popular choice among professional musicians. Some inexpensive violins have plastic fingerboards. However, these often lack the strength and durability sometimes needed for intense playing. If you want a longlasting instrument, invest in a violin that has a wooden fingerboard.
Violins are crafted by hand, so it is important that the final touches are done carefully to ensure that they are excellent quality. You can preview violins at The Music Emporium, where our collection of beginner and intermediate violins is constantly growing. Our staff members are also available to answer any questions you may have regarding your purchase.
Violins are sized differently for each person, depending on the height of the person playing it. If you want to buy a violin online or through other means apart from visiting our store, make sure to get your measurements done first.
You should also do your research well to ensure that the person receiving the violin will be comfortable playing it. Sometimes, you may need to order an additional shoulder rest or a chinrest.
The top and back of a violin are made from pieces of wood that have been glued together to create a flat surface. The sound is created by the vibration of one or more strings, which then causes the sounding board inside the instrument to vibrate.
When seeking a beginner violin online, ensure that you choose an easy-to-use model that has durable construction. You should be able to get it set up easily in order to save on the cost of repairs and adjustments.
The bridge is another important component that can affect your violin’s sound. A bridge must also be made of real wood in order for it not to warp or break when exposed to extreme weather conditions or changes in humidity.
Only experienced violinists should attempt to set up the bridge themselves. If you need an advanced level of customization, then it is best to seek advice from a professional fiddle maker.
Quality vs. Price
Violins are handmade instruments that have been perfected over centuries by talented luthiers. This craftsmanship ensures that every instrument meets exacting standards.
A violin that is crafted by an experienced luthier should be able to produce a beautiful tone and have a smooth feel. However, it can be hard to find a high-quality beginner model violin online because these instruments are usually very expensive. They also require maintenance from someone who has been trained properly in order for you to get.
If you are an out-of-town musician who will be performing at various venues, then it may be worthwhile to invest in a lightweight violin. These models are usually made of carbon fiber, wood composite or carbon composite materials that allow the instrument to remain strong but also provide for lighter weight.
The more expensive violins’ sound quality is better than lower-priced ones. However, if you are a beginner violinist who is not yet sure whether or not music will become a career for you, it is best to invest in an affordable model from online stores. These violins may lack the quality of higher priced models but can still produce beautiful sounds at a fraction of the cost.
You should check that the case has solid hinges and latches. The interior of the violin case should contain red plush, which can help protect your instrument from dents. You also need to make sure that it has a hygrometer for measuring humidity levels inside the case.
Acoustic Vs. Electric Violin
An acoustic violin produces sound when the player presses down on its strings with their fingers. The wooden body amplifies the sound. An electric violin is similar to an acoustic one in that it operates via a pickup, but has many similarities to an electric guitar.
Acoustic violins are typically associated with orchestras and symphonies, while electric ones are more common in popular music. Acoustic violins often produce a warmer, richer tone than electric varieties, which tend to be brighter and better suited for high-volume performances.
Electric violins are also lighter than acoustic violins, which can present difficulties for players who have physical limitations or are just starting out playing the instrument.
The body of an electric violin is typically made of wood, just like that of its acoustic counterpart. However, it is shaped more like an electric guitar’s, with a long neck and set frets. Like acoustics, electric violins are available in left-handed models as well.
Another important difference between the two types of violins is the way they are amplified. While electric guitars have pickups to convert their string vibrations into electronic signals, which are then sent to speakers or an instrument amplifier, bows for electric violins typically come with a built-in preamp and contact mic. The contact mic serves as a sort of pick-up; it senses those vibrations and converts them into electronic signals that are then amplified.
Enhancement systems can also be built into electric violins, as some manufactures such as Ampeg do for some of their designs (i.e.; the SVT 4 PRO). The more advanced pickups and preamps even come with controls to alter the tone, adding effects like chorus or phasing for a unique sound.
Violin Care & Maintenance Tips
Violins go through a lot of wear and tear throughout the years. It is important to know how to properly care for and maintain your instrument so it will last as long as possible. Follow these tips to keep your violin sounding its best:
1. Dry Violin After Use. The best way to do this is by leaving it in a case or stand, preferably tilted on its side with no part touching the floor or other object. It is not recommended to leave it fully upright because this can cause minor crackings and dings over time from the strings rubbing against the instrument’s body.
2. Detune Violins Near Bedtime. If you need to take a break from playing your violin, it is best to detune the strings rather than leaving them in a position where they will press against
3. Clean Strings Once a Month. The best way to do this is by turning your rotary peg wheel so that the string is loose and removing the string from the peg. Then use a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe the string clean from rosin. Do not use soap, as it can leave a residue on the strings that will affect their sound quality.
4. Clean Under the Strings at Least Once a Month. This is an important step in maintaining your violin’s tone and avoiding common problems such as rattling and screeching. This can be done by using a thin, solid object to push the string up from underneath.
5. Keep Strings Away From Sunlight or Heat. This includes heaters or windowsills in close proximity to where your violin is stored. The optimal temperature range for storing a violin is between 50 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Avoid Excessive Vibration. Avoid storing your violin near speakers. If you are transporting your violin in a car, truck, bus or train, make sure the container is large enough to provide some cushioning on hard surfaces and on the sides of the case so it cannot move around.
7. Do Not Use Violin Stands with Metal Knots. Avoid stands that have a metal knot in the base of the neck because these can damage your violin. Wood knots are fine and will not cause any problems to your instrument.
8. Keep Away from Pets and Young Children. Pets such as cats like to rub their fur against things, which can leave behind loose strands of fur that can catch onto strings and cause them to break or fall out. Young children are likely to damage your instrument by knocking it over, standing on it, or drawing on it with permanent marker.
9. Remove Fingerprints as Soon as You See Them. Use a soft cloth to remove any excess moisture from the surface of the violin after you play. Do not use solvents or other harsh chemicals to clean the body of your instrument, because these can damage the finish.
10. Keep in a Low Humidity Environment. Avoid placing your violin case in damp basements or bathrooms, which have moist air that can cause internal wooden parts to warp and crack over time. It is best to put it in a closet, crawl space, or other location that has normal humidity.
11. Get an Annual Tune-Up. It is important to find a qualified violin repair technician who can check your violin neck angle and make sure it is still straight after years of playing. They will also clean the body of your instrument and replace any worn parts for optimal sound quality.
12. Use the Right Peg Compound. If you have a problem with your strings slipping out of tune, use pegs that are made from blackened maple or ebony instead of boxwood or rosewood because these materials make it harder for the peg to slip without damaging the wood.
Can I test drive a violin before purchasing it?
Yes. Violin shops typically offer trial periods if you purchase the instrument. If you want to know more about the violins available, there is no substitute for seeing and playing one in person.
How to clean your violin strings?
Violin strings can accumulate a lot of dirt and oil. You can clean them by taking a dry cleaning cloth and wiping the strings free of any residue. Violin varnish is sensitive to abrasion, so be gentle when cleaning it. Avoid the use of harsh chemicals. Use a small amount of mild dish soap mixed with warm water, wipe it clean and gently dry with a soft cloth.
How long is the lifetime of a violin?
The lifetime of a violin depends on how well you take care of it. If you treat your violin with respect, maintain its hygiene and avoid accidents, it can last for decades.
Will I need to adjust my violin after purchase?
Yes, you will need to make some basic adjustments on your new instrument in order for it to play comfortably and in tune. This requires basic skills and knowledge, but with proper instruction it is doable even with no prior experience.
If you want to buy a violin, there are many different factors to consider. For instance, what size should it be? What type of wood is best for your needs? How much should you pay for the instrument and how do you know if its worth that price or not? You may also need accessories like strings or rosin. So, what are you waiting for? Just buy a violin right now!