If you have been renting a student violin or are just going out to buy your first one, then it is not easy to know what to choose. It helps if you know the top violin brands for beginner and intermediate students.
Just like any instrument, it will be a financial investment, and there are some things to consider.
- You need to set a budget.
- You need to make sure you don’t compromise on quality.
- Buying new or used?
- Buying the right size.
- You want an instrument that will have a resale value, if only a modest one.
- Should you buy online or visit a store?
- Let’s Look At Those Considerations
- Setting The Budget
- Don’t Compromise on Quality
- New or Used
- Getting the Right Size
- Better Quality at The Outset Means Better Resale price
- Online Or In-Store
- So, What Are The Top Violin Brands for Beginner and Intermediate Students?
- Looking for a quality Violin or Violin Accessories?
- Top Violin Brands for Beginner and Intermediate Students – Final Thoughts
Let’s Look At Those Considerations
First, let’s look at setting a budget. I have always been a firm believer that you should try and buy what you can afford with musical instruments. By that, I mean don’t empty the bank account, but get as good an instrument as you can.
Setting The Budget
There is no short answer to what a student violin costs. We are talking about instruments for both the intermediate players and the novice. There will be a big difference in price as well as quality.
There are some good deals to be had but remember there may be extras you have to buy. A violin isn’t much good without a bow. And you will need a case and extras like Rosin. Setting a budget has the advantage of not having to spend two hours looking at instruments you can’t afford.
For a beginner, I would recommend a violin “package.” This will include a bow, case, etc., and pretty much all you need. You can get some reasonable packages that won’t cost the earth. Set your budget and stick to it. But remember, the better violins are naturally going to cost more.
Don’t Compromise on Quality
As I just said, the more you spend, the better the instrument will be. But that is not always the case. There are some violins on the market that are not of good quality that are more expensive than better quality instruments.
You need to be careful what you are buying is good value. The quality of the instrument is going to have a big effect on sound and the player.
If you are buying a violin online, then you won’t have the chance to have a good look at it before handing over your money. Having said that, most online companies offer returns options, so check that out first.
New or Used
You have the option of buying a second-hand violin. If it is your teacher that recommends a second-hand instrument someone is selling, it is worth considering. They will know the person and possibly even the instrument. However, I do not recommend getting one from an online second-hand sales outlet or a newspaper.
Getting the Right Size
Once again, this is not an easy one to answer. Violins come in different sizes, and they are not arranged by age, although you can approximate. They are arranged for the size of the student. Choosing the right size is very important.
If you are not sure what size to choose, there is a very basic measurement process you can try. This ought to give you a good idea.
- Extend their playing, not bowing arm, at full stretch at shoulder height away from the body.
- Measure the distance from their chin to the center of the palm of their hand.
- This distance will give you the most comfortable size.
- It is then a matter of matching that with the size of the right violin.
A Quick Guide to Violin Sizes
Size Arm measurement A Rough Guide to Age
1 / 16 14 inches 3-5 years
1 / 8 16 inches 3-5 years
1 / 4 18.5 inches 4-7 years
1 / 2 20 inches 6-10 years
3 / 4 22 inches 9-11 years
4 / 4 Full size
Better Quality at The Outset Means Better Resale price
If you buy a recognized violin brand with a reliable name, then it will be easier to sell when it is time to upgrade. It is also likely to be more reliable and durable and made of quality materials which will also help its resale price.
Online Or In-Store
It goes without saying that buying in-store is the safer bet. But there are two issues with that.
- Is there a violin specialist near you?
- You will probably pay far more in a shop.
Many people these days buy online. And if you deal with a reputable company, they will have a return policy. If it arrives and there is something wrong, you can get a full refund. Check that out before you order.
So, What Are The Top Violin Brands for Beginner and Intermediate Students?
Violins will vary by type and size, but all the major manufacturers carry a range of different sizes. Best is a very subjective word, of course, and best comes down a lot to personal opinion. But let’s take a look at some of the better-known names for the starter or intermediate player.
If you think you recognize the name, you probably do. It was in Cremona, Northern Italy, that the Amati family had their violin manufacturing school. Giuseppe Guarneri and a certain Antonio Stradivari were students there. They didn’t do so bad.
However, this brand has nothing to do with that esteemed place. But it is a well-known brand that has a good level of workmanship in the violins they manufacture. They use good woods, and they are well put together with an impressive finish.
I mentioned earlier about violin “packages” that include everything you might need. Cremona is a company that offers those. They produce violins at a range of prices as well, so it is easy to find one that suits your budget. A good example of a Cremona violin package is this Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin Outfit – 4/4 Size.
Cecilio is another violin brand recommended for beginners by teachers. They use quality materials, usually Spruce and Maple with high-quality Ebony for the fittings. They have a decent standard of workmanship.
Cecilio is another company that provides packages for starters and improvers at competitive prices. The package often includes a tuner and, in some cases, two bows, not just one.
There are various packages to choose from. All of them have a decent quality build and represent good value for money. For example, this Cecilio CVN-500 Solidwood Ebony Fitted Violin.
If you are on a very tight budget, then Mendini might be a manufacturer to consider. They are the budget range of Cecilio and designed and made by them. They represent good value for money.
It has to be said that they are not the same quality as the more expensive starter instruments. These are factory-made rather than hand-made, and the sound is not quite so good. But they have got some good points. They are made from Spruce or Maple, and they offer a package that includes two rosewood bows, a case, two bridges, and a tuner with a metronome.
However, they don’t use Ebony for the fingerboard or fittings. These are Maple and stained dark. Not the very best instrument but certainly a very good buy for the money and good for a beginner, such as this Mendini by Cecilio Violin Instrument.
A name these days that needs no introduction to musicians. If there is a better manufacturer of so many different instruments, I have yet to meet them. Their saxophones are played by the pros, and you will find their pianos in some of the greatest concert halls around the world.
And it is no different with the violins and other stringed instruments. Great designs, real quality in the build, and the best materials. They cost more, but then, you would expect that.
Lots to choose from
They make a range of models from Starter to Intermediate to Professional level. The majority of them are hand-made.
Most come with a fitted case and bow, and are hand-made from Spruce and Maple with an Ebony neck and fittings. A great instrument for a starter is this Yamaha Standard Model AV7 violin 4/4. And one for the Intermediate players is this Yamaha AV10-44SG 4/4 Size Intermediate Violin Outfit.
Looking for a quality Violin or Violin Accessories?
Well, we can help you find just what you need. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Cremona Violins, the Best Student Violins, the Best Electric Violins, the Best Violin For Kids, the Best Violin Rosins, the Best Violin Strings, the Best Violin Bows, and the Best Violin Cases you can buy in 2022.
And don’t miss our handy articles on How to Replace Your Violin Strings, How Can I Learn to Play the Violin on My Own, Tips For Tuning Your Violin, A Guide to Choosing the Right Violin Strings, and Easy Violin Songs for Beginners to Play for more useful information.
Top Violin Brands for Beginner and Intermediate Students – Final Thoughts
There certainly is plenty of choices, but choosing the right instrument is another thing. As I said at the outset, it is always worth investing as much as you can reasonably afford. That way, you are going to get a better violin that will be easier to play and sound great, and that will last a while.
Until next time, let your music play.