The Violin

Few classical instruments have as much prestige and mystique about them as the violin. Virtuosos of the violin are the rockstars of classical music, and the sound and silhouette of a violin are some of the most recognizable of all musical instruments. They might therefore seem intimidating and hard to get into for beginners, but with the right violin even a beginner will soon be underway.

The Beginning

When shopping for beginner violins, there are a few things to keep in mind. For young children, there are several different sizes so that the instrument is matched to the size of the player as they age. But buying a new violin every time your child goes through a growth spurt can get expensive fast, and it might be interesting to buy second hand or else rent instead. The downside of renting is that renting for just a year often adds up to the cost of buying a violin, and a lot merchants will let you trade in an old, well-kept violin for a discount on the new one. Especially for adult beginners, buying an instrument outright is the smarter choice.

Not Quality, but Qualities

Whether you’re a beginner or buying an advanced violin, the most important thing to look at in any violin is the types and quality of the wood used in crafting it. Spruce, maple, and ebony can all find a home in a finely crafted instrument, but it’s also the grain, age and treatment of the wood that help determine the sound and appearance. There are a lot of factors, and you can get a perfectly serviceable instrument as a beginner at a lower price point. Usually that means lower quality woods, and less manual work in the production process.


Violins need care to sound their best, and to retain their value as instruments. When you’re purchasing a new violin you might also be in need of a new chin rest, violin stand, or case. The bow will need rosin, and if you bought secondhand you may want to restring the instrument.

Meet the Family

There are some other instruments that look, sound, and play very similar to the violin. The much larger cello is one, and the slightly larger viola is another, which is the less famous sibling in the violin family.