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What is a Suggested Violin Brand for a Beginner

Instruments: What violin brand is best for beginners? Does acoustic violin come before electric?

From Alexie Sisak
Posted February 16, 2008 at 05:09 PM

Hello,
I'm 26 years old and am dyeing to learn the violin. I play guitar but I envision myself playing the violin instead. Crazy I know. I really want to learn electric violin but if I have to start out with acoustic that's fine. I want to start learning so my first step of course would be to buy a violin. I'm hesitant because I don't know what to buy. I've never laid hands on one before and there are so many different kinds; Yamaha, Fender, so on... Will any violin do? And do I have to start with acoustic or can I just go ahead and buy an electric one?

From John Allison
Posted on February 16, 2008 at 05:13 PM
Visit your local violin shop and try out a number of violins. Read some of the threads on this subject that have been posted here before. Talk to violinists in your area.

Know your budget. You will be tempted to purchase a low priced violin off of ebay. If you do not know what you are looking for please stay away, as you are only wasting you money and setting yourself up for disappointment.

As I mentioned, visit you local shop, alot. Talk to the luthier and get his advice. You can get a nice student level violin without breaking your bank.

Renting a decent instrument to start is good advice as well. This is a difficult path to start on, but if given the discipline and passion it deserves, it is so completely worth it.

From enion pelta
Posted on February 19, 2008 at 08:42 PM
A number of shops offer the option to put your rental $ towards the purchase of the instrument. The rentals available at most shops are decent enough to get you started. Otherwise, you can look at the outfits available from shar music (www.sharmusic.com) or another reputable catalog which start a little under $200. NO NO NO ebay!

The problem with starting on an electric instrument is that you won't learn about producing good tone, nor will you learn to truly hear your intonation without the sympathetic vibrations of the instrument. Get a real instrument and a good rubber practice mute (the metal kind dampens the sound too much and creates some of the same problems as an electric instrument).
From claude pilon
Posted on February 19, 2008 at 09:06 PM
If you really want to do electric, I don't see why you have to do acoustic before. As for type, Fender have a bad reputation for their violin.

I would suggest one of these two:

Wood http://www.woodviolins.com/html/home.html
Yamaha

There are many discussion on electrix violin and equipement on this website.

http://www.fiddleforum.com/

From Shawn Smith
Posted on February 19, 2008 at 09:50 PM
There are many reputable makers of student model instruments such as William Lewis & Sons, Glaesel, Scherl & Roth, Karl Wilhelm, etc. I agree with the earlier post that advised you to check the Shar catalog; they also have a good web site, as does Southwest Strings. Beware of the cheap violins on eBay.
From claude pilon
Posted on February 20, 2008 at 03:21 AM
I should add that electric violin os more forgiving then a classical violin. Less wolf notes but it would be harder to switch to classical after because you may catch bad habits. But if electric is your goal. Go fo it.
From Benjamin K
Posted on February 20, 2008 at 05:09 AM
Here in Japan, Yamaha operate a large network of music schools and they use their own "silent violins" which are electric violins. So when I started I wasn't exactly sure which way I should go, although I did have a preference for an acoustic instrument. After digging a little further, I found that all the private teachers I talked to told me that they can usually tell if somebody had started on a silent violin, it seems that you don't learn as properly if you do that. When I confronted the Yamaha school folks with that viewpoint, they indirectly confirmed this.

Also note that if at any point in your journey you wish to take an exam, you won't be able to audition for the exam with an electric violin, they don't accept it.

Furthermore, I have to say that of all the violins I have checked out, the only silent violins which really impressed me were the Violectras but at 4800 USD they may be considered a little pricey for a first instrument.

So, even though you have a preference for an electric violin, I think I would still recommend to start out with an acoustic one.

Now, how much should you spend on a first instrument as a beginner? There are adequate beginner outfits (violin, bow and case) in the 300-500 USD range from various shops. However, if you can afford to spend more and buy an instrument that is *more* than adequate, you will be glad you did, I promise!

I personally found the Bulgarian made Sofia and the Romanian made Gliga instruments to be by far the best value for money amongst the many makes I have looked at for my first violin. A web search on those will bring up various shops, including mail order shops.

Last but not least, the bow is just as important as the violin itself. A lousy bow can limit you making progress even at beginner level. Choosing a bow can be just as time consuming as choosing a violin. However, as a beginner it is already difficult enough to find a violin, so you may not want to complicate your purchase any further and buy a very cheap bow just to get started, but then start trying out bows after a week when you have developed a bit of a sense for how your violin reacts to the bow.

In any event, take your time, don't rush a purchase, even if that means starting your lessons later than you'd like to. I spent two months on research and shopping and I am glad I did.

From Stephen Brivati
Posted on February 20, 2008 at 05:47 AM
Greetings,
I own a Yamaha silent violin and with all due respect to the effort and craftsman ship put in it is just usless for me. It comes with a more or less not adjustable clip on Kun type rest, is incredibly heavy and akweard to use and possesses non of the aesthetics or a regualr violin or sound. If you wnated to learn mainstream violin after learning on one of these i think you might have to undo a lot of things.
Cheers,
Buri
From Pamela Schulz
Posted on February 20, 2008 at 07:10 AM
I'd rent for a while from a reputable violin shop. If all goes well, then purchase later.
From Michael Dowling
Posted on February 20, 2008 at 03:59 PM
I agree with Stephen I briefly owned a Yamaha silent violin and found it not much of a value, the electronics were very rudimentary, it was heavy and felt almost like a toy not a $1,000 instrument. I think electric violins have a long way to go, you don't get the bang for your buck with the electric violin like you would with a guitar. I mean for $1,000 you can get a solid body Gibson Les Paul Studio. You won't get comparable value on the electric violin market.
From Peter Bresnahan
Posted on February 24, 2008 at 03:29 AM
always rent before you buy. also dont be afraid to ask to try a lot of different ones

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