I am an adult beginner looking to start playing violin. A couple years ago I purchased a beginner's outfit, which ended up being a VSO and I could never get along with. I want to try again, and this time do it right! I plan on finding an instructor and taking lessons, and I also need to purchase an instrument.
I've heard various camps argue for different things for beginners' setups. Some say to buy a cheap outfit, because the student will want to replace it and will have a better idea of the sound they want as they grow. Others suggest investing a bit in a first instrument, as it will ease the ability of the student to play and learn, and will increase enjoyment of practice.
I've been to a couple music shops. We don't have any dedicated stringed instrument stores in my area, so if I want to buy locally I'll be purchasing from a general music store. The two I went to both tried to sell me VSOs-- painted-on purfling, poorly-shaped bridges-- but one store did have some nice used instruments. I don't want to go through the VSO experience again. But I also don't want to break the bank if my tastes will refine as I learn and I'll end up wanting something different in a year or two anyway.
I've been looking online a lot. Kennedy, Shar, Southwest, and Johnson. The Kennedy Franke Henner appeals to me. Does anyone have experience with Kennedy, or this model in particular? Do you have any suggestions for solid start-up outfits that will get me off on the right foot? Is it worth investing a bit more (i.e. $1000-$1500) in a nicer instrument, or should I go for the few hundred dollar range assuming that I'll trade up later on? What should I be looking to spend on a nice instrument suitable for an adult beginner?
I'm also curious about bows. I know a good bow can make or break the sound of an instrument. What price differentiation might you suggest for violin/bow/case? For example, would it be better to spend $1000 on an instrument and $100 on a bow, or $800 on an instrument and $300 on a bow?
I would really appreciate any advice! I'm becoming overwhelmed with the options available online. I'm headed off to a remote area for a few months beginning in August, and I was hoping to be able to purchase an instrument and take a few lessons before then, so that I'll have a better idea of what to do mechanically and can practice the correct way (with some Skype lessons, hopefully) while I'm gone.
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.