Violin Buyer’s Guide

Violin Buyer’s Guide

6 minutes

Playing the violin can be a wonderful experience, but buying one can be a rather daunting process, because they vary in price considerably. We’ve put together this violin buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision for yourself, your student or child.

This article explains how to choose the right instrument for your price range, and suggests a range of models for beginner to advanced violinists.

How to Choose the Right Violin

How to figure out what size violin you need

This will only really be an issue for children below secondary school age, because most children over the age of 11 and adults will be able to have a full size violin (otherwise known as a 4/4) instrument.

If you are unsure, see our dedicated article called What Size Violin Do I Need?

Violin Buyer Guide

Violins as an investment

A key tip in this violin buying guide is to think about your budget. String instruments will hardly ever lose their value, so spend as much money as you possibly can on getting the very best instrument possible.

What violin to buy

Craftmanship

Think about the craftsmanship and playability of a good violin. A good quality instrument will have great projection, a warm tone and make a pleasing sound. You can get hand carved instruments in all violin sizes from good violin brands, and from dealers.

Violin Craftsmanship

The Dealer or Shop

Buying from a violin dealer will provide you with a high quality violin, but can be a lot of money. At a beginner level, or if you are buying a smaller size violin, a shop or online music store will likely suffice. In fact many shops offer the opportunity to rent a violin, rather than buying one.

Buy VS Rent

This is down to a personal choice.  Renting can be ideal for violinists in the early stages of playing, because many shops will offer a package of a starter violin, bow and case for a fixed number of weeks. This may be a great choice for a child who may just want to try learning the violin, but who may not stick with it.

BEGINNER

Violin Recommendations

For a beginner we would recommend either the Stentor Student 2.

Buying a violin at under £160/$220 equates to great value for money for such an instrument. It comes in different sizes and includes a bow and a case.

Another ideal feature for a beginner are the adjusters, or fine tuners, which make tuning much easier for beginners. Either will help to make violin playing fun for the beginner, as it will be easier to make a good sound.

Stentor Student 2
Violin Outfit
Best student violin for beginners
$ 209
/£152
  • Level: The standard for beginners
  • Perfect For: Beginners
8.2/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  8.2/10
PROS
CONS

Intermediate

Violin Recommendations

Once you’ve been playing for a couple of years it will be time to upgrade your violin. I would recommend either the Primavera 200.

The price range is very reasonable, and it comes with a bow, hard case and feature integral adjusters, which make tuning the violin easier. The instrument is hand carved and feature high quality woods.

Primavera 200
Violin Outfit Full Size
Best for intermediate players.
$ 245
/£179
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Perfect For: Grades 4 - 6
7.8/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  7.8/10
PROS
CONS

ADVANCED

Violin Recommendations

Once you’re getting towards the higher grades (ABRSM 7 & 8) you will want to think about buying a violin that will help you to play to the highest standard possible.

Our first recommendation is the Westbury Antiqued Full Size Violin Outfit (Gold Level Setup), which at £365/$500 is excellent value for a hand-carved instrument.

Our second recommendation is the Gewa Europa 10 Violin Outfit. The price includes the bow, rosin and case while the Spruce and Maple Body Produces should help you to play with a good sound. At £414/$569 it is also at a very reasonable price point for such an instrument.

Gewa Europa 10
Violin Outfit
Best for advanced players.
$ 568
/£414
  • Level: Advanced
  • Perfect For: More advanced violinists
    (ABRSM grades 7-8)
8.4/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  8.4/10
PROS
CONS

Violin Accessories

Something you may not realize before purchasing a violin is that there are a number of accessories which you will need alongside the instrument itself. These include a bow, strings, chin rest, shoulder rest and case. Most starter violins will come with all of the above.

The majority of music stores will offer all of the above, but make sure to check out each product and the price. Ideally the bow will have clean bow hair, and the chin rest will be attached to the violin.

There are many types of shoulder rest. For a child a sponge will be fine, but for a high quality instrument the type of shoulder rest can make a huge difference. You should discuss this with your violin teacher.

If you want to buy an instrument from a dealer you might need to buy each item separately. For example, check if the instrument comes with strings, and what sort of strings they are. The strings can make a huge difference to the sound the violin makes, and affect its tone.

Eastar EMS-1
Music Stand
Amazing Kit at an amazing price
$ 40
/£30
  • Best Feature: Seriously well-made & sturdy
  • Includes: Light | Carry Case | Sheet Music Clip
9.5/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  9.5/10
PROS
CONS
upgraded case
Gewa Pure
Polycarbonate
Oblong Violin Case
Best for safety
$ 268
/£195
  • Level: All levels
  • Perfect For: Students
8.8/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  8.8/10
PROS
CONS
rosin

D'Addario Kaplan

The best rosin on the market
$ 11
/£8
  • BONUS: It comes with a premium case
  • BONUS: Case designed for one-handed use
10/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  10/10
PROS
CONS

Violin buyer's guide
Summary

We hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial on how to buy a violin. These tips should help you to make an informed decision when buying a quality instrument.

Let us know what you thought about the article in the comments below and do share if you enjoyed it!

Ted's List

Best Beginner Violin

Stentor Student 2 Violin Outfit

A popular choice for students around the world

Ted's List

Best Intermediate Violin

Primavera 200 Violin Outfit

A great quality intermediate violin

Ted's List

Best Advanced Violin

Gewa Europa 10 Violin Outfit

A first-class instrument, trusted by many at the start of their professional careers.

FAQ's

What Should You Ask Yourself Before you Buy a Violin?

What size violin do you need, how much do you want to spend, and where is the violin going to be played?

How Much Money Should You Spend for a Beginner or Intermediate Violin?

In general the more that you spend, the better quality a violin will be. However, for a beginner violinist it is probably not worth spending too much.

What Are the Different Types of Violin?

In general there are two types of violin; factory made or hand carved. There are many different brands of factory-made violins.

What is the Cost of Violins?

Violins come at a range of prices depending if you buy from a violin maker or a brand. High-quality violins can be very expensive which is why it is a good idea to know your budget in advance. This guide suggests what price you should pay for different brands, and which brands are good for different levels of violinist.

How Is the Violin Played Around the World?

The violin can be played as a solo instrument, in ensembles such as quartets or orchestras, or in folk or jazz bands.

How To Take Violin Lessons?

Research local violin teachers. Most violin teachers now offer in-person and online lessons. Schools often offer violin lessons too.

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