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Beginner's Violin

TamTam I hate artI love artRegistered User regular
edited August 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
My sister is starting violin lessons in middle school. I'm looking to buy the cheapest violin possible with an acceptable sound for an absolute beginner. However, she's undoubtedly going to break something on it at some point, so I really want something with easily replaceable parts.

Online stores that offer fast shipping would be icing on the cake.

Please and thanks, H/A.

Post edited by Tam on

Comments

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Now, I don't play violin or know too much about them, but I don't think any beginner is going to get acceptable sound out of any violin.

    JKKaAGp.png
  • strakha_7strakha_7 Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Now, I don't play violin or know too much about them, but I don't think any beginner is going to get acceptable sound out of any violin.

    This is so very true.

    As for breaking things- I never knew anything to break in my five years playing cello, and I knew alot of violin players at the time. All you can do is over tighten strings so far they snap. This is way harder to do on a classical instrument than a guitar, and if she has an electronic tuner it won't happen.

    They aren't cheap instruments. Maybe talk to your parents or something about you getting the violin and them getting a hard case. That's the surest way to prevent breakage - carrying it to and from school is a bumpy experience.

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  • TamTam I hate art I love artRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    strakha_7 wrote: »
    Now, I don't play violin or know too much about them, but I don't think any beginner is going to get acceptable sound out of any violin.

    This is so very true.

    As for breaking things- I never knew anything to break in my five years playing cello, and I knew alot of violin players at the time. All you can do is over tighten strings so far they snap. This is way harder to do on a classical instrument than a guitar, and if she has an electronic tuner it won't happen.

    They aren't cheap instruments. Maybe talk to your parents or something about you getting the violin and them getting a hard case. That's the surest way to prevent breakage - carrying it to and from school is a bumpy experience.

    No, I mean I don't want the violin to be absolute shit on top of shit skills. I want her to have a violin that won't hold her back as she improves, but won't break the bank.

    So no suggestions on somewhere to get them online? I looked around Amazon, but I have no idea what those are like.

  • CheerfulBearCheerfulBear Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Tam, I left you a short message in the PAAC chat thread!

  • TamTam I hate art I love artRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
  • AwkAwk Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I would recommend an actual music store. A good store with good peeps will help you pick out the perfect instrument. Buying an instrument online is a bit like buying a hat online, who knows if it will fit.

  • KivutarKivutar Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Don't buy an instrument online.
    Seriously.

    Go into a local shop, preferably with your sister, tell them she's beginning violin and ask them about instruments.

    As was already mentioned above, any playable instrument isn't going to be cheap, so you may also ask them about rental policies - I rented the first two years I played 'cello, since a decent 'cello is equivalent to a decent car in terms of pricing.

    With regards to breaking things, strings are the most likely thing, and they're relatively cheap to replace. Assuming she practices regularly, she'll wear out strings about once a year anyway. I occasionally knew someone to snap a bridge which is a little more expensive to replace, but again fairly cheap compared to the instrument as a whole.

    Finally, a private teacher is invaluable for a beginning string player. A local music shop should be able to recommend a list of teachers in the area as well.

  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    You're sister is in middle school, so I imagine she's ready for a full size violin, right?

    As has been said, don't buy the instrument online. Even among violins of the same model, there can be a huge variation in quality. Find a private teacher, and if possible have him/her be present when you pick out the violin at a music store. I used to play in middle and high school, and try out for regional and all- state orchestras, and my violin was about 2k.

    For a beginner, I would probably also advise renting one until your sister is absolutely sure that violin is something she wants to continue. The attrition rate for beginning string players is fairly high.

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  • defreakdefreak Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    For a beginner, I would probably also advise renting one until your sister is absolutely sure that violin is something she wants to continue. The attrition rate for beginning string players is fairly high.

    a million times this

  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Can't stress the rental option enough.

    If she makes it past the hump, I paid around $500 for my violin from a local luthier here; it certainly isn't a Stradivarius but it'll last me for years (especially if I keep skipping out on lessons because I've got no time :?).

  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    defreak wrote: »
    For a beginner, I would probably also advise renting one until your sister is absolutely sure that violin is something she wants to continue. The attrition rate for beginning string players is fairly high.

    a million times this
    Yeah, this. Definitely.

    I believe when I got my first saxophone my mom did a rent to own type thing from one of the local music/instrument stores. Something like $50 or $100/month for a year or two on an entry level sax if I remember right... that was a LONG time ago now.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Given the age, looking into renting is a good idea. However, if she's looking to play for a serious length of time, my wife just started fiddling this January so I'll share her story.

    With a teacher, you get sounding decent pretty quickly. She's not going to be amazing but she'll be able to get a sound and play notes and such rather fast, so having a really crappy instrument will start to hold her back in about 6 months.

    My wife bought her violin on eBay, from a chinese company. Not all chinese companies are equivalent, of course. She bought hers from Yita Music, and their auctions usually go for around $200-$250 for a nice violin.

    Now, ANY new violin you get you will want to take to a luthier to have it set up, because it's simply just what you do. that'll cost anywhere from $20-$100 depending on how much work they have to do to get it good (but they will get it good, and the instrument will be better for it by far).

    My wife's instrument has been praised by everyone she's shown it too, not because it's omg amazing but because it was $200 and is far, far better than a "starter" violin (which typically start at $450-$500). We shopped locally before she bought on eBay and everything in her price range was utter shit. The violins didn't even get "passable" until she was up over $600, so she figured "If it takes me $200 to fix this violin, it's still a deal compared to anything locally, even renting."

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  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    the thing i've noted in my years of playing instruments is that you can give someone who is a pro a piece of shit violin and they will still make it sound fucking gorgeous
    if she ever gets to the level that maybe she could benefit from having a superior violin, then get her one, but in the meantime, there's nothing wrong with getting her a cheapy one
    especially if she's anything like me and is like "i'm going to learn the violin today!" then ends up playing video games instead.
    violin hero! my favorite game!

  • TamTam I hate art I love artRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Jimmy King wrote: »
    defreak wrote: »
    For a beginner, I would probably also advise renting one until your sister is absolutely sure that violin is something she wants to continue. The attrition rate for beginning string players is fairly high.

    a million times this
    Yeah, this. Definitely.

    I believe when I got my first saxophone my mom did a rent to own type thing from one of the local music/instrument stores. Something like $50 or $100/month for a year or two on an entry level sax if I remember right... that was a LONG time ago now.

    I'm actually doing this now. She gave up piano after a year or so, but my parents had forced that on her, so we'll see. If she's still playing after a year and really wants to keep going, I'll buy her one.

    I'm sad to see that online isn't a good place to buy, but glad that I at least know that now. I'll save this thread. Thanks a heap, guys.

    edit: goddamn, double posted

    fumbling fumbs

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