So you or your child would like to start learning the violin – great! The question is, which violin is the best to buy for a beginner? We have lots of experience helping students of all ages purchase their first violin.
Therefore, we’ve put together this handy list of 16 Violins for Beginners to help you decide which is the right violin for you or your child to begin their violin journey on.
Things to consider when buying a violin
Before we get into the different makes and models available there are a few things to consider.
Firstly, what size of violin do you need? As an adult beginner you will most likely need a full size violin (also known as a 4/4). Most children of secondary school age (11+) will also need a full size violin. However, younger children will need a smaller size violin. Take a peak at this article called ‘What Size Violin Do I Need?‘ for more information.
To make life easy, we always link to the full size version of each model instrument – but fear not (!) – all the models come in different sizes, so just select the one you need.
But if you do want to quickly figure out the sizing, then measure from the middle of their left palm to the neck, with the left arm and hand fully extended out perpendicular to the body (as if you are holding a violin). The little chart is a good starting point to make sure that you purchase the right size:
VIOLIN SIZE GUIDE
4/4 Size – ages 11+ – 58cm+ (approx)
3/4 Size – ages 9 to 12 – 56cm (approx)
1/2 Size – ages 7 to 9 – 51cm (approx)
1/4 Size – ages 5 to 7 – 46cm (approx)
1/8 Size – ages 4 to 6 – 42cm (approx)
1/10 Size – ages 4 to 5 – 38cm (approx)
1/16 Size – ages 3 to 5 – 36cm (approx)
Another factor to consider are the strings you put on the violin. The vast majority of student violins come with strings, and whilst not always of the highest quality, they are usually fine for a beginner.
It may be that you upgrade the strings to a superior quality when you are more experienced. If you do want to upgrade your strings, I’d recommend these D’Addario’s Prelude strings.
I have also included some instruments below which come with better strings too.
The final point to consider before purchasing a violin is your budget. Most beginner or student violins are affordable and not too expensive (as you can see in this article), although it is true with string instruments that the more you can spend the better quality instrument you will be able to purchase.
However, especially with younger children there is always the possibility that a beginner might give up after a few weeks. Therefore the majority of the beginner violins listed below are not expensive.
The prices featured are for brand-new violins, but often you can buy violins second hand.
Best low price beginner violin
Stentor Student StandardBest entry-level violin
Material: Carved from solid tonewoods
Includes: lightweight case and wooden bow with ebony frog
This Stentor Student Standard is the perfect entry-level instrument. It comes in all sizes and as well as the violin you also get a bow and hard case to protect your violin. This instrument also looks like a pro-violin – it is made from maple and tonewood and is varnished naturally – so you or your child will feel like it is a serious instrument.
One thing to consider when buying one of the Stentor violins is that they do not come with a shoulder rest or rosin for your bow – so you will need to buy these separately. We recommend this Premium Rosin by D’Addario, and this should rest.
Best Overall Beginner Violin
Stentor Student 1Good quality beginner violin
Ideal For: Entry-level student violin
Includes: Includes hard case and bow
Of all of our 16 violins for beginners, we feel this one is the best overall. The Stentor Student 1 is a good quality instrument, and yet still affordable. Again, it comes in a good range of sizes, and a bow and hard case come included. The top of this instrument is made from spruce, while the sides and back are made from carved maple. The bow also has an ebony frog. This combination of woods increases the warmth of sound the violin can make, in comparison to the Stentor standard violin. This will help a beginner to feel more confident.
As this is a superior quality violin it will not need to be upgraded until you or your child reach grade 5 standard. This gives a beginner plenty of time to decide if they want to continue to play the violin, before you purchase a more expensive instrument.
BEST UNUSUAL BEGINNER VIOLIN
Stentor HarlequinFun-looking student violin
Coloured finish: Is attractive to younger players
Includes: Hard case and durable P&H fibreglass bow
The Harlequin series of Stentor violins is perfect for children, or for anyone who likes to stand out from the crowd! With a wide range of colours these instruments are sure to make the idea of practising fun, and are still of good quality and affordable too!
Although these violins have a colourful exterior they are still made from good quality wood. The top of the Harlequin violin is made from spruce, while the back and sides of the violin are made from maple. This combination of woods, helps beginners to produce a lovely sound.
The other difference between this Stentor violin and the two above is that it comes with a different make of bow. Instead of hardwood and ebony, the bow that comes with the Harlequin violin is made of fibreglass. This makes it much stronger and more durable than wooden bows, great for younger children (who might be more likely to drop the bow) while still allowing a strong sound to be made.
Like its counterparts above this violin also comes with nearly everything you need. However, like the other Stentor violins listed above, the shoulder rest and rosin are not included so will need to be bought separately. Also, it should be noted that this violin is only available from a ¼ size up, so cannot be purchased in the very small sizes.
Best beginner violin PACKAGE
Primavera 100High quality student violin
Material: Hand carved maple and spruce body
Includes: A case, bow, and rosin
One of the best quality beginner violins on the market, the Primavera 100 comes with nearly everything you need. This beautiful violin comes with ebony pegs, and an ebony frog on the bow. This combination of wood will help any violinist to make a sound that is rather warm when they play. The strings are also of a greater quality – made from steel, they will also help the sound quality, so beginners should find that they will be able to stop squeaking quicker!
The Primavera 100 comes in a range of violin sizes and with a two year warranty, it seems like the manufacturer is also pretty confident about this instrument having a long life! Also, unlike the other Stentor violins listed above, this violin does come with a rosin included, so you will only need to purchase a shoulder rest separately.
Best low price Adult beginner violin
Eastar Starter KitCheap student violin
Kit: Comes with everythin you need to get started
Includes: Case, Shoulder Rest, Tuner, Rosin
If you’re an adult who wants to play the violin this could be the one for you! This Eastar violin is available on Amazon and is not expensive, so it is easy to purchase. It comes in violin sizes ¼ ,½,¾ and full size.
With an antique finish and a solid spruce top it is a visually pleasing and high quality instrument. This violin also comes with a bow, case, chromatic tuner, rosin, and shoulder rest, as well as a lesson book! It also comes with an ebony fingerboard and fittings which helps beginners to play with a resonant sound and a bright and warm tone.
This violin kit is great value and gets a great review too. It seems the perfect violin for the adult student who is unsure how well they’ll take to learning the instrument. It’s cheap enough that if you really get into learning the violin, you can upgrade without feeling guilty!
Best violin on amazon
Cremona SV-500For students who are looking to progress
Finish: Flamed maple with a rich, hand applied golden red-brown varnish finish
Fittings: Quality ebony fittings
This Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist violin is towards the top of the price range featured in this article. However, for a student instrument this is a good violin which will be perfect for those who want to progress further and become more advanced students.
Like the Eastar Starter Kit above, this violin is also available on Amazon. It features a solid spruce top, a maple back, neck and sides and has an ebony fingerboard, pegs, chin rest and tailpiece. Fine tuners (otherwise known as adjusters) are also included, as is a rather plush case!
Best TASTER violin
Student violinPerfect violin for a small budget
Material: Constructed from high quality tone woods
Includes: Bow, hard foam case, and rosin
If you have a tight budget, or are concerned that your child will give up as soon as you buy a violin, never fear. There are student violins available at every price point.
The Gear4Music brand has their own range of violins, which come in a range of sizes at low prices. You can choose to purchase either a brand new or nearly-new instrument.
If you choose this instrument, I’d swap out the strings immediately for a set of these D’Addario Prelude strings. It’ll make a big difference!
Violins start at approximately £40/ $55 and also come in a variety of colors, which may make the idea of practicing more attractive. Cheap – yes. But still well made!
Other violins we love for children
So those were the key seven violins we recommend – and the majority of people will choose a violin from that list. However, different people have different needs, so here are our ‘next best recommendations’ for children.
MOST POPULAR STUDENT BRAND
Stentor student 2Perfect violin for a child
Includes: Everything you need to get started
Bonus: Multi-award winning student instrument
The Stentor range is, in my opinion, the best type of violin for a child. With the colourful harlequin instruments, their range of violin sizes and affordability, these musical instruments are great for any child to begin their musical journey on.
But if I had to choose one Stentor violin to purchase over any other, then my pick would be the Stentor Student 2. Although a little more expensive than the Student 1, it is perfect for beginners and will help them to make a beautiful sound (so there will be less squeaking, which can make all the difference!).
With a natural finish this instrument has a more traditional appearance, and it’s also easier to make a good sound – building confidence. If you are able to spend a little more to purchase this instrument, it will not need to be upgraded for some time. Although you’ll still need to buy additional accessories such as a padded shoulder rest…
Finally, the Stentor 2 is award-winning – so you can purchase it safe in the knowledge that lots of other people think that it’s great too!
most fun violin
Rainbow FantasiaFun, fun, fun
Material: Spruce and Maple Body
Includes: Rosin, Case and Bow
The Rainbow Fantasia Series of violins are a great way for younger students to learn violin with original colours including pink, purple and blue sparkle finishes. If that is what will get your child into the violin, go for it! Otherwise, there are better instruments to choose from…
MOST STURDY VIOLIN
Hidersine ViventeSuitable for starter violinists
Features: A stunning flamed maple finish
Includes: A quality bow and shockproof case
The Hidersine Vivente redefines all student violins. The perfect instrument for starter violinists, the Vivente will help you get the best possible start.
One of the key features I really like is Hidersine’s ‘Ready to Play’ promise; meaning you can buy the violin with the confidence that it has been fully checked in Hidersine’s UK workshop.
It includes a shockproof case to protect your instrument while commuting between gigs, and even has a reflective strip on the outer cover to ensure you can always be seen at night. The inside of case includes a dedicated accessory compartment, two bow holders, and a protective cover.
It may be a little more expensive than other options, but I really like this instrument.
Best Gold Level Setup
Primavera 200Antiqued Best Gold Level Set Up
Finish: Hand finished antiqued appearance
Includes: A case, composite bow, and rosin
The award-winning setup has been taken to a new level! The Primavera 200 antiqued violin has to be one of the nicest looking instruments on the student market. Coming set up and ready to play with D’Addario Acente strings, this gold level set up is an excellent choice for any budding musician.
Similar to other Primavera instruments, the 200 antiqued violin has been built with students and beginners in mind. Boasting a hand-carved body, the Primavera violin produces an outstandingly well-rounded tone. And once combined with the ebony fittings, you will start to realise how good the Primavera 200 antiqued violin is.
What really makes this set up special are the aforementioned D’Addario Ascente strings. What’s more, the Ascente strings have already been set up by an expert luthier, meaning you can start playing straight away!
I love this instrument, and if you have the money, you really can’t go wrong.