A Breakdown of Prices and Advice
Are you looking for answers about beginner violins and how much they cost? In this article you will find the various factors that affect the price of violins such as labor, accessories, and quality craftsmanship as well as the value you receive from buying from a trusted luthier (maker of string instruments).
Summertime is the peak season when people begin looking for instruments to buy their budding beginner violinists. Maybe you are about to start a music program at school in the fall, or you want to get a leg up on your peers during the summer months while school is out. Is it possible that you have finally found all that extra time to start something that you have always dreamed of doing? Either way, the most common question I get asked daily is, “How much does a beginner violin cost?” This is an overly broad question that can be difficult to answer if you do not have prior knowledge about violins. Buying and instrument of any kind is not a one size fits all situation.
What Do You Need?
As a beginner player, buying your first violin, you will need all the necessary accessories to both play, maintain, and keep your new investment safe. You should be looking for a violin “outfit” meaning that the total price includes:
Avoid Violin Shaped Objects
A quick internet search for “beginner violins” will probably land you at some internet or online outfit selling cheap violins. While the price is appetizing, BEWARE! These outfits are shaped like a violin, and seem to have most of the necessary parts, but they lack a professional set-up and are usually made with inferior parts and low-quality materials. This investment could become a costly mistake. Without a professional set up, your online purchased violin will likely never play correctly which in return can cause the student (yourself or other) to deter from practicing. Additionally, without purchasing from a reputable source you will never have the service aspect to help maintain and take care of your investment over time. At all costs you should avoid violin shaped objects (even the pretty pink or blue ones).
Opt for a Professional Set-Up
There are reasons quality beginner student violins start around $300 and up. A professional luthier is likely going to spend at least 3 hours ensuring the violin plays and sounds exceptionally well. This includes but is not limited to fitting the pegs, adjusting the fingerboard, setting the sound post, hand carving/fitting the bridge, adjusting the tailpiece and chin rest, installing quality strings, installing fine tuners, cleaning, oiling, and tuning. Not to mention, the instrument and all its parts are going to be of quality materials that can stand the test of time and provide beautiful tonal qualities. At the time of set up the bow will also be inspected to ensure that the mechanics all work properly and that there is sufficient hair.
It is important to remember that the alternative (the violin shaped objects) are just pieces being slapped together to look like a violin. If you took the time it would require to set-up your violin shaped object and replace as many of the inferior parts as possible, I feel that you would have spent much more than what the instrument was sold to you new. It is my solid advice to only purchase a violin from a qualified professional.
Picking the Right Violin
Hopefully by now you have decided to opt for the better quality, professionally set up violin. Before you put any money down you must determine what size violin you need. Most adults will play a full-size instrument but if you are purchasing for a younger beginner you will need a partial size. Keep in mind that the violin, shoulder rest, bow, and case will all be sized accordingly. Do not guess your size! Take the time to visit your local violin shop or music store and get fitted. Once you determine the size you need you are ready to procure your instrument.
You have made it! Time to browse prices and see how much you need to budget for a beginner violin. I am including a general guideline of violin prices for all levels because hopefully you will move up to a more advanced model as you progress in your violin studies. Here are the general guidelines of what to expect a violin to cost:
I recommend as an adult beginner who is committed to learning, you invest in either a beginner or intermediate student model. That means that you will spend anywhere between $300-$600 on your violin outfit.
For a younger beginner, I recommend sticking with the beginner student models between $300-$400. Rather, what I offer the most to young beginners is to rent first before you purchase. There are several reasons for this. First, by renting before buying you can monitor if your young beginner is going to stick with the violin before you invest several hundred dollars. Secondly, young beginners will grow out of their partial sizes. That means that you will have to keep buying larger and larger instruments as they grow. By renting you can avoid unnecessary purchases and reward the student by purchasing a violin when they reach a full size.
What To Do Next
We offer a variety of options to fit your individual needs when searching for a beginner violin.
-Best Option for Young Beginners-Click HERE to research information on renting. Please note that all our rental agreements have the option to purchase. You can apply your rental credit towards the purchase of a new or used violin when you are ready.
-Best Option for Adult Beginners-Visit our STORE to view our featured violins or visit us in person to try all available options for purchase.
-Great Option for Any Age Beginner-Another unique option is our trade-in program. This special program features four of our best-selling models and allows you to purchase at a beginner level and trade up to intermediate and advanced instruments over time. CONTACT US for more details.
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Written by: Amber Sparks
As Pete's Music Center's general store manager and a music education advocate I have been working in the music industry for over 15 years. I have worked in various positions including piano instructor, classroom music instructor, and music retail manager. I am an experienced pianist and am currently honing my skills on the cello performing with the Sutter Buttes Family Orchestra. Outside of work I am a wife, mother, gardening enthusiast, and avid reader. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and am currently in graduate school working towards my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. I've personally witnessed music change and enrich the lives of young and old. In the words of Billy Joel, "I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music."