Ten Tips and Tricks for Purchasing a Violin
When buying a violin it is crucial to know what to look for in an instrument.
This blog will provide ten tips and tricks for picking out a great violin no matter your level of playing. Preparing Yourself
Before you even try a violin, make sure that you bring two people with you
(no more and no less) to get a couple second opinions. It is crucial if at least one of the people that you bring is a musician, preferably a string player. When walking into a store make sure you have a set budget and have calculated the tax costs as well, since taxes can add a few hundred dollars to your budget. Secondly, try as many violins within your budget, however, it is crucial to never look at the price so that the price tag does not sway your opinion. Furthermore, it is extremely important to use your own bow because you want to concentrate on the instrument itself, not a strange bow you are using, therefore, as much familiarity with other things, such as a bow is important. Checking the Technicalities
Before playing a violin that you are interested in purchasing, make sure to
check that the bridge does not sit too high so that the strings are floating too high above the fingerboard, but also, make sure that the bridge is not sitting too low so that the strings are hugging the fingerboard. Furthermore, if the strings feel too close together when playing, make sure to check to see if the bridge is curved as it should be. If you have doubts about the bridge, it never hurts to ask the store to change out the bridge on the violin, for the bridge is not a permanent attribute of the
violin. Furthermore, make sure that the pegs on the violin move easily, but do not slip; again, this is something that the store can change or fix. The Choosing Process
When trying to find the right violin for you, the best approach is to start
playing all the violins in the selection. If one violin just does not feel right or has too shallow of a tone, immediately discard it from the selection. Furthermore, when choosing a violin there are many attributes that are important to look for, such as: large projection and sound, clear and even tone (make sure that the tone and projection from the g‐string to the e‐string are balanced), no rattling noises, and, most importantly, that the violin feels good under the fingers. Furthermore, when playing the violin it is important to make sure that the g‐string, the lowest string, has power and does not sound scratchy and that the e‐string, the highest string, does not sound scratchy, but clear and smooth. If you pay close attention to these attributes it will be easy to discard many violins. The Second Opinions
After you have discarded many of the violins and are down to three to five
violins, it is time to consider the opinion of others. The most effective way to accomplish this is to have your friends or family stand outside of the room or turn their back so they cannot see the instrument you are playing. Furthermore, make sure you play music that you already know, so that mistakes are not the main focus of listening. By doing this, people will be able to give an honest, non‐biased, opinion of which violin sounds better. Furthermore, if you have another violinist accompany
you, ask them to play the violins for you in the same manner, so that you can hear the difference, yourself. The last tip to consider is the violin’s flexibility in musical styles. For instance, many violins have beautiful soft or deep tones, however, you must consider if they work for every musical style, such as, baroque versus romantic, etc. The most ideal violin has power, brightness, yet can sound smooth. By following this process, you should be able to select which violin you like the most. Meet the Author My name is Colette Campo and I have been a musician for thirteen years. I started playing the violin when I was in fourth grade and have been taking private lessons since. I have played in various orchestras, youth symphonies, and community symphonies. Furthermore, I have performed professionally with groups such as the Gary Bonner Singers and the Corona Symphony. As a musician and violinist for over a decade, I have massive experience in the care and knowledge of the anatomy of violins. For example, I have been taught and trained in the process of choosing an instrument, cleaning an instrument, choosing a bow and have a lot of knowledge, experience, and training in the care and understanding of the violin. As a musician, I understand the importance of having a good instrument and the need to understand the proper care technique and anatomy of ones instrument, therefore, this blog is available to anyone who may have questions or anyone who is need of guidance on any instrument care or selection. I am more than experienced in these areas and am happy to share my experience and knowledge to others!