Welcome to Violinist.com! Log in, or join the community!
Violinist.com
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email Newsletter

What Violin should a beginner start with.

Instruments: I have never played any instrument and am looking for suggestions for the "broke" beginner on what to buy. I have had the suggestion of a "silent Violin" since I have a wife and newborn baby that is due to arrive this coming Tuesday.

From Jeremy Easterling
Posted September 1, 2007 at 03:06 AM

O.K.
This is my first post and I hope that I can become a true member of this community.

"I am looking for a Violin to start lessons and learn. I have never played any instrument and am looking for suggestions for the "broke" beginner on what to buy. I have had the suggestion of a "silent Violin" since I have a wife and newborn baby that is due to arrive this coming Tuesday." So any advice would be welcome.

Regards,

Jeremy

From Larry Rhodes
Posted on September 1, 2007 at 09:03 AM
One of the absolute best setups for beginners comes from Knilling. They import various regionally-made violins, such as from China, Romania, Germany, etc. Most of the violins they import are of fairly good quality, and ALL of their violins come with real ebony, purfling, lining, corner, top and bottom blocks, etc. No laminants or pressed woods. No painted fingerboards. They also set them up nicely before shipping them out. Bridges are always well-cut, filed and fitted, fingerboards are wonderfully planed and shaped, etc.

Eastman Strings are okay, but they cost quite a bit more for even their lowest-end models, which are made with laminants, rather than natural wood. You can get a decent Knilling for around $300-$400. I'd get no lower a model than their "Bucharest," though. It's Romanian, but I've actually gotten to play one, and it was very respectable, especially for its price.

There're probably other great beginner violins out there, but I've so far only been able to handle Eastmans and Knillings, so I can't attest to the quality of the other guys.

And by the way, welcome to the site! At least, as welcome as I can make anyone, considering I'm new here, too. ;)

From Robert Merkley
Posted on September 1, 2007 at 12:30 PM
The best buy I have found to date for low budget violins is from Southwest Strings. Check out www.swstrings.com or call 1-800-528-3430. The model is #110 Klaus Mueller Etude (NOT Prelude)Violin. I have had several students buy these and have seen them in use for 1 - 2 years. They are a good value for the money. The only flaw I've noticed is that the varnish on the top seems thick and if you knick it, you'll remove a chip. It is only a cosmetic issue, not a structural defect. NO! I don't work for them or get a commission. I'm just a public school string teacher with 180 students. At least 4 of my kids on limited budgets own these and they are doing well in the rough and tumble world of public school orchestra. I think it is one of the best deals to get started. If you had more money - you certainly could do better. But his will get you started. After the bug bites, you can trade up or keep this fiddle as a backup. good luck!
From Patricia Baser
Posted on September 1, 2007 at 01:11 PM
Shar also has the Franz Hoffman models which are a very good buy.
From Sue Bechler
Posted on September 1, 2007 at 01:05 PM
Many stores stock nice-sounding Chinese violins for rent, with generous discounts, up to 100% of what you've paid in, when you buy or upgrade. The advantage to going to a reputable store, over those very good catalog places mentioned, is that the violin will be set up for your climate. If anything goes awry, like the bridge or soundpost moves, they will just put it back for you. I would suggest a conventional violin for a beginner, not the "silent violin" idea, so that you get a proper feel for what it is to play. You can put on a heavy mute or practice in the garage. The sounds a beginner makes will probably bother your wife mor than the baby. My youngest sibs, born into a large family of older kids, with cats, dogs, piano and a stringed instrument each, plus a drummer, the stereo,TV,radios, etc.,etc. could sleep through a bomb blast. Best wishes on the birth, BTW. Sue
From Terez Mertes
Posted on September 1, 2007 at 01:37 PM
I second everything Sue says. And renting a violin from a store gives you the option of either buying that one or going with something that appeals more to you, for whatever reason, four months down the road.

Congrats in advance on the new arrival! (We're talking the baby here and not the violin, but I suppose congrats are in order there as well.) And welcome! Ditto goes for Larry.

From Jasmine Davis
Posted on September 1, 2007 at 10:15 PM
Hi Jeremy,

Welcome to the violin world, it is loads of fun and very addictive!

You are far better off with a real violin than a silent to learn on. They are very different in design, weight, feel and playability. Sure the silent is quiet but they still make noise which is audible to others through thin walls and a violin with a heavy practice mute in my opinion makes less noise than the silent type.

From Brian Hong
Posted on September 2, 2007 at 12:15 AM
I suggest the franz hoffman etude violin. The Etude has a warmer tone which would be suitable for the average beginner. The prelude is good, but, for 50 bucks, more, the etude is better. Good luck with your baby!
From Christopher wexler
Posted on September 2, 2007 at 01:01 AM
I'm also a beginner and second (or third of fourth) the rental idea. The shop i go through will give up to 100 percent, as Sue said...As a beginner it terrifies me to purchase anything new with the money that I DO have, thinking i may be making a mistake, But its great knowing that i can i just trade it in later if i chose something esle or decide to upgrade like i recently did with my bow. Congrats on the baby! :)
From sarah salmi
Posted on September 3, 2007 at 12:48 PM
Hi. i just wanted to say congratulations on starting to play the violin! and welcome. i hope that we can encourage and help you.
From Bruce Goldstein
Posted on September 3, 2007 at 11:41 PM
Try stringworks {online} They have specials on slightly used crescendo violins for only $195(no bow) but they will be happy to supply you with a bow and case for a little more. I've used them and tried their higher level instruments with good results. They also have a rental program.
From J Kingston
Posted on September 4, 2007 at 03:55 AM
I had great luck with Shar on line. an Otto Ernst Fisher I think. For the money it was great. They have a sale every year and sent me a full selection of bows to pick from. The local shop told me they were impressed with it.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on September 5, 2007 at 03:32 AM
I agree with everyone who told you to go to a store that specializes in violins, if possible, and definitely rent with an option to buy.

One of my adult beginner students came to me with a violin that sounds very good. I wanted to learn more about it, but it was a gift from his grandmother, and all she could remember was that she got it on the Internet. The only clue I could find was on the label: Bucharest Knilling. I looked at the Knilling website but didn't learn much about this particular violin. Thanks, Larry, for confirming that this is a good beginner violin and telling me some more about it. I would also recommend it for a beginner.


Galamian's Principles

Galamian's Principles of the Violin

Long one of the standards for violin teachers and students, Ivan Galamian's Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching offers both principles and practice exercises to help develop violinists of all ages and abilities. This new edition includes a foreword by Sally Thomas.

Get it now! In Paperback | For Kindle