A Practical Guide to Buying Your First Violin
Step 1. Selecting a Violin
1. I’m here to buy the cheapest violin that won’t immediately break.
I like you. You’re logical and you see through BS. You probably know all the keyboard shortcuts. Get this beginner violin. It comes with all the fixins: strings, rosin, a bow, a tuner, and a horrible music book to ‘get you started’ (this book is very useful if you need to start a fire).
This is the violin we use to test with at Trala. We have five of them. They’re dependable, sound decent, and they’re fun to play on. I’ve personally used this violin in public performances and nobody knew the difference.
2. I want a cheapish, quality violin that comes from a trusted source.
Fiddlershop is the site for you. They’ll sell you a cheap violin, but if you spend a little more you can get something that’s been set up by an actual luthier (violin maker). Their return rate is very low compared to the industry average because of the care they put into each violin sold.
3. I think my daughter will practice violin more if she has an electric violin.
4. I’m willing to spend more money to get a great sound.
If possible, go to your local violin shop. You can rent high-quality violins for $20-$40/month, and you’ll know who to go to if something breaks.
Step 2. Sizing Your Violin
A violin that’s wrongly sized will lead you to develop bad habits, so make sure to get the right size violin! Use this chart to help figure out which size of violin to buy.
NOTE: To measure arm length, use a tape measure to measure the distance between the middle of the left-hand palm and the player’s neck. The hand should be fully extended and the arm perpendicular to the body when measuring.
Step 3. Troubleshooting Common Problems
When you get your violin in the mail, you might find a few things not yet set up. Here are three of the most common problems:
Bridge is out of place
Your bridge should be straight up-and-down, perpendicular to the body of the violin and in-line with the notches on the F-holes. Slightly loosen your strings while still keeping enough tension to hold the bridge in place as you move the bridge into the correct place.
Strings are broken
Often times, cheaper violins will come with broken or loose strings. Lesson 1 in the Trala app can teach you how to properly set up your strings.
Bow is un-rosined
In order to get your bow to work, you need to tighten it and put on rosin. Here’s a 30-second video that teaches you everything you need to know on putting on rosin!
Step 4. Taking Violin Lessons
Just get the Trala app, man.