Printer-friendly version
Zlata Brouwer

How to evaluate a violin, viola or cello?

March 23, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Even though there is an overload of information and offers on the internet, lots of people find it very difficult to find themselves a payable and playable violin, viola or cello. Certainly when it's your first instrument and you are not very experienced with bowed instruments, it seems like a big leap to select your first musical friend.

I have made a video series to make it easier for you. In this video series I compare a € 40 violin to a € 499 violin, explain the difference and give you tips to select your ideal instrument yourself.

In this video I explain how to look at common characteristics given on the internet in instrument descriptions (wood types, massive or not massive etc). This video is all about the body of the violin, viola or cello.

I hope this video is useful to you. If yes, please leave a comment below!

Have a beautiful musical weekend!


Violinist and Skype violin teacher at Violin Lounge

From Kevin Keating
Posted on March 24, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Good video. I used to think my first violin ($90 Vinci from a pawn shop special) was a cheap inferior starter instrument. I have a much better instrument now ($800 Capri Maestro). I've seen so much worse than my Vinci since. Workmanship and craftsmanship can say a lot. Even a cheap inexpensive instrument can be a decent payable instrument with a fair tone. Paint covers up bad looking wood as well as other flaws. Purfling is sometimes painted on (this can be seen by seeing if the grain goes through the purfling or not). I've seen scrolls that look like they were carved with a chainsaw. There are so many tell-tale signs to look for and buyers need to know what they are. Just because it's shiny and pretty and comes a few freebees doesn't make it worth buying.
From Zlata Brouwer
Posted on March 27, 2013 at 3:47 PM
Thanks for commenting, Kevin, I totally agree with you!

I meet so many people who first bought something terrible and wish they knew before what makes an instrument playable... EVERYBODY who wants to play violin should know this. A bad instrument can ruin someones motivation to play and I hate it when people their violin dreams are shattered unnecessarily.

I wish you happy playing on your good violin :).

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Miroirs CA Classical Music Journal
Miroirs CA Classical Music Journal

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker

Classic Violin Olympus

Coltman Chamber Music Competition

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Jargar Strings


Violin Lab



Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine