I am having a difficult time getting my new students to spend the extra bit it takes to end up with a playable, decent sounding instrument.
Case in point: mom and daughter show up with a violin they bought at the local music store, which knows nothing about violins. The violin has not been set up properly, and when you play a G natural on the E string, the string touches down further up on the fingerboard, creating a squeal that resembles a dying kitten. As politely as possible, I explain that the local music store sold them a piece of junk, and though you can find cheap instruments, they are often unplayable. I then offered her the name of a business that is selling quality entry level instruments for ~$400, and you can make $20 monthly payments, all of which goes toward the purchase, and all of which may be traded for the next size up, or even the next quality up. I tried as best as I could to explain what it means to play on a violin that has been properly set up. These violins have hand-fitted bridges, pegs, tuned fingerboards, Whittner tailpieces, and give a decent sound for their level.
A week goes by. I contact her again, and she explains that she would rather buy this item:
This comes after a week of lesson after lesson of violin malfunctions. One student plays on an unfitted bridge, and the E string is probably 1/2 cm too high. Another brought me her instrument to tune it, only to have it blow up when the cheap plastic tailpiece busted. On another instrument, the nut is so high that it bends the pitches so that the first half step sounds like a whole step. Still another one came with a bow stick that was practically straight, it was so warped. That, and the pegs were drilled so that they will never have a chance in hell of staying put. These were all new instrument, folks; they came to me this way.
I need your help, guys. Tell me what you think about this instrument.
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