Blog | Sep 20

How to Choose a Violin (or any other string instrument)

Choosing a violin and bow (or for that matter, ANY instrument) is an incredibly important decision. It also may become a lifelong passion.  

The violin is a work of art:  hours of hand made craftsmanship, hundreds of years of tradition and history. It is a miracle of physics and design. The best instruments, such as a Stradivarius or Guarneri, produce sound of breathtaking beauty and power. There are modern instruments that are equally stunning. And don't forget, the prices range from cheap to millions.

For students, however, it becomes a necessary right of passage to find the 'right' instrument. It can be a daunting experience, but it doesn't have to be if you have the right people helping you.

The best first step is to discuss this important decision with your teacher. If you don't have a violin teacher, wait to purchase a violin until you have a teacher. Depending on your age, your teacher will help you determine the right size. Every teacher has slightly different ways to determine the right size, but regardless it's a decision that has to be made with the teacher. Choosing a violin that is too big can cause muscle problems; choosing one that is too small may require you to size-up too soon. Next comes the endless choice of different models and makers all at different prices. After spending a few hours at a violin shop you can easily come to the conclusion that they all sound the same. You should rely on your teacher and trusted luthier to help you choose the best instrument. Instruments that sound pleasant under the ear are not necessarily the best projecting instruments.  

Secondly, your teacher may recommend a particular dealer or shop. We believe it's important to choose a shop in your community: you will need them for repairs, trade-ins, advice, and service. All our dealers in Salt Lake City are wonderful luthiers who support our community, including:  Charles Liu, Prier, Scoggins, Day Violins, Tim Stephenson.  

If you follow the above steps, you will be assured you will be well on your way to finding the right instrument.  It is an exciting journey ... it may even become an obsession.