Ok, so you made up mind and want to purchase a violin. Where do you go to buy your first beginner violin?
Amazon? Craiglist? Ebay? Online music retailer? Local music shop? Flea market?
So many options. My quick and simple advice is--Ask your teacher for recommendations!
Haven't found a teacher yet? No worries. Here is my recommendation:
1. Factory made instrument or handmade instrument?
The odds are if the violin is handmade, it is probably good quality.
If you go with a factory made violin, you might end up with a VSO (Violin shaped object)
Be cautious when considering a factory made violin.
Eastman, Klaus Muller, Yamaha, and Franz Hoffmann make decent instruments, however, I wouldn't recommend a violin that costs less than $100. The VSO may look great but after a while, things start to break. The bridge is not cut right or is too high, the strings are not good quality and break or become hard to tune, the tailpiece is one unit so when one tuner breaks, you can’t replace a single fine tuner, you have to replace the whole thing. The cost to fix up a VSO is just too high, it is worth investing a little more for a violin that will last you a while.
2. What is the right size violin for me?
Small sized violins are for younger players. Generally speaking, all adults and children over about 5 feet tall use full sized (4/4) violins.
If you want to find the right size for your child, the best way to do it is to try it out. Here are some tips when you try out the instrument--
If two violins (each a different size) seem to fit the player, choose the smaller size. It will be easier to hold up in playing position. This is especially important for a beginning player.
This size is perfect.
* The images above are from The Violin Shop.
If trying out an instrument is not an option, try the method below to find the correct size for you.