A violin is one of the most popular classical instruments of all time. While it produces extremely soothing yet powerful tones, playing the instrument is a whole other story. If you are passionate about the "idea" of knowing how to play the violin, you should grab one that is suitable for beginners. In our review, you'll come across a variety of beginner-friendly violins that will help to kick start your music journey.
Violins For Beginners Info Section
As a beginner, there are quite a few things to consider before you purchase a violin. Of course, our initial attention goes to the appearance of the instrument, but you should be looking at the size, weight, construction material, as well as additional accessories. Let's walk you through all of that, and more so that you're fully prepared to buy your first violin.
Factors To Consider Before Buying A Violin For Beginners
One of the most important factors you should be considering for buying a violin is the construction of the instrument. The craftsmanship and materials will determine not only the longevity of the instrument but the sound quality it produces as well. Spruce is a top choice for material due to the appearance it delivers. Usually, the majority of high-quality violins are made of maple back and sides. The fingerboard has to have a solid construction as well. While blackened rosewood is common, ebony is undoubtedly the best option in this case. Also, always look at the joint areas of the instrument to make sure everything fits tightly.
Getting the right-sized violin for you is crucial for your performance. As a beginner, it may be tempting to opt for a full-size violin but that's going to be extremely overwhelming for a child. You should consider age, hand shape, physical strength as well as body size when you're choosing the ideal sized violin for you or your child. Getting the wrong size will not just slow down the process of learning the instrument, but it may also cause chronic back pain and neck pain.
To add to the previous point, the weight of the instrument also plays a huge role in determining how comfortably you'll be able to play it. Violins usually weigh within a range of 3 lbs. to 5 lbs. For children, of course, the former should be the target weight while adults can opt for the ones above 3 lbs. too. The smaller violins will naturally weigh less so if you're purchasing one for your child make sure that they hold it themselves to see whether they are confident about the weight.
Not all violins will come with important accessories. In some cases, you might have to buy the tuner or the bow separately. Therefore, if you want the full outfit, make sure that the one you're going for has a shoulder rest, chin rest, bow, rosin, tuner, as well as an extra set of strings. Plus, violins that come with a hard, waterproof carry case are a bonus.
Even if you’re purchasing a violin for the first time, getting one from a reputed brand will further ensure its durability and performance in the long run. Stentor, Cecilio, Paititi, among others, are great brands that you can look into. As long as you’re grabbing one from a well-reputed brand you can be sure that you’re getting a high-quality instrument.
The Set-Up Process
Setting up the violin goes hand in hand with the purchase decision. Unless you're getting it set up by a professional it will be of no use no matter how good the violin is. The playability and the tonal quality depend on how well the violin is set up. Sometimes, you can purchase violins that are already set up so you can start playing them as soon as you unbox them. If not, consider the following before playing the instrument.
Synthetic strings are always better than steel ones as they produce a richer sound. If the violin you've chosen has synthetic strings, you'll be able to create smooth tones even as a beginner.
The bridge of the violin should fit the top plate of the instrument perfectly. Plus, string crossings will be extremely problematic if the grooves are placed too close together. Also, you should check whether the bridge is shaped appropriately. If you're unsure you can always ask your violin instructor to help you out.
The depth of the groove determines how hard you'd have to press the strings on the fingerboard. It must be set perfectly because if it's too low the strings will buzz and it will be hard to play if it's too high.
D’addario Prelude strings
Adjustable shoulder-rest with padding
Stentor II 1500
Hand-crafted with fine-grained spruce
Constructed with a solid maple back and sides
Designed with all ebony fittings
Mendini by Cecilio MV300
Maple fingerboard and chinrest
Antique satin finish
Made of solid maple back and sides
Crafted with a spruce top
Alloy tailpiece with fine tuners
Digital tuner included
Hand-crafted with spruce top and maple wooden neck
Set comes with bows, rosin, and extra strings
Offers 1-year warranty
Hand-carved with spruce top
Fingerboard made of blackened rosewood
Features a wood horsehair bow
Fingerboard made of dyed hardwood
Body constructed with spruce and maple
Comes in 5 colors
Comes in various sizes
Features D’addario strings
Blackened wood fingerboard
Constructed with natural wood
Comes with a carrying case with pockets
Constructed with fine wood
Comes in a triangular waterproof case
Double pearl eye bow
1. Cecilio CVN-300 – Best Overall
This exceptional beginner-friendly violin from Cecilio is a full package that every violin enthusiast should have. The starter kit comes in a hard case with a chromatic tuner, extra bridge, and strings. Plus, the case that it comes in can be used as a backpack with pockets.Even though it's slightly on the heavier side, weighing 5 lbs. it ensures high-quality sound that is both bright and rich. The violin has an elegant appearance with a combination of spruce and maple coated with varnish. Therefore, if you're looking for an aesthetically pleasing violin that includes all the necessary features you must grab the Cecilio CVN-300.
2. Stentor II 1500 – Best Acoustic
Here's a traditional-looking violin with a brown lacquer finish. The Stentor II 1500 is an amazing acoustic violin for beginners that includes a hardwood chinrest and a hard case with straps for ease of portability. The lightweight violin has a classic design which not only ensures an elegant feel but makes it look professional even though it's catered towards beginners.This violin is extremely easy to play, with the least amount of tuning issues. The sound created by the instrument is rich and clean at the same time. So get your hands on this if you prefer a beginner-friendly violin with a traditional appearance.
3. Mendini by Cecilio MV300 – Best for Multiple Sizes
Here’s a violin from Mendini that is ideal for children who are passionate about learning how to play the instrument. It comes in various size options so you can choose one that your child will be the most comfortable with. The instrument comes with a hard case with straps which makes it travel-friendly.Since it's not hand-crafted it can require fine-tuning and adjustments here and there. But the high-quality violin will be an excellent option for beginners so that they can simply focus on learning and playing it.
4. Crescent Starter – Most Budget-friendly
Also known as a student violin, this instrument is perfect for adult beginners. It’s a full-size violin that will ensure a professional feel even if you are holding the instrument for the first time. This extremely affordable violin has an expensive appearance thanks to the finish.If you're not too bothered about the quality of every single feature in a violin, this will be perfect for you because as a beginner your focus is to learn how to play the instrument. The Crescent Starter kit is catered towards new violin students or anyone interested in the instrument as a hobby.
5. ADM Acoustic – Best Full-Size
Here’s a reddish-brown traditional-looking acoustic violin that is a suitable option for adult beginners. Weighing just a little over 3 lbs. this violin will be your perfect choice if you’re learning how to play it through a friend or via music lessons. It comes with a wide range of accessories that any violin player needs.If you want to learn how to play the violin but you do not have a lot to spare, the ADM acoustic violin is a great option because it mimics a full-size professional violin while allowing you to play it easily.
6. Stentor 1400 – Best for Kids
Here’s another violin from a reputed brand Stentor. As it comes in multiple sizes, you can opt for the one that your child is the most comfortable with. At a reasonable price, this violin offers every feature that a beginner should require to learn to play this instrument. The solid maple construction ensures a professional feel that your child will enjoy thoroughly.
Even though the blackened rosewood fingerboard is oilier than ebony, it will work just fine especially at the beginning stage of learning how to play it.
7. Cremona SV-75 – Best Modern Design
If there’s one violin in our featured list that beats all in terms of attractive design it has to be the Cremona SV-75 violin. Available in sparkling versions of black, blue, purple, brown, and rose, this instrument will surely turn heads in your violin lessons.In terms of construction, it's quite sturdy and uses the same materials as a traditional violin. It comes with Prelude strings, a bow, and a Kaufman-style chinrest for utmost comfort. Overall, it's an amazing-looking lightweight violin that is suitable for beginners.
8. Aileen VG103 – Most Sturdy
If you're looking for a beginner-friendly violin with solid construction, Aileen VG103 will be right up your alley. It is hand-crafted with high-quality materials such as spruce for the top, maple for the back and sides, and ebony for the fingerboard.The easy-to-carry violin also comes with all the necessary accessories such as bow, shoulder rest, and rosin. Even if the strings aren’t of the best quality they will still promote decent sound especially when you're just learning how to play the instrument.
9. Costzon Starter – Best Lightweight
Here’s a full-sized violin from Costzon that is extremely lightweight allowing you to carry it easily to your violin lessons back and forth. Since it comes in a soft case you may want to be careful why carrying it. With that being said, this instrument delivers great sound quality which users prefer in a violin even if they are a beginner.Plus, you’ll get all the necessary accessories in this starter kit except a tuner which you have to purchase separately. Overall, it’s a beautiful-looking violin that promotes portability and sound quality.
10. Paititi Artist-100 – Most Balanced Sound
If you prefer to have an extremely affordable beginner-friendly violin that produces balanced sound, you must grab the Paititi Artist-100. The impressive construction of the instrument is completely in sync with the sound it produces. It creates polished, warm tones every time you touch the strings. Plus, it also comes with an extra set of strings which could be quite beneficial for beginners.All in all, it's a great option for a beginner as it is affordable, lightweight, and comes with every important accessory to start practicing right away.
A violin that is ideal for you should meet your size requirement and preference for weight. Solid construction, beautiful finish, important accessories, affordability, and portability are features that you must consider as well. All the violins in this article ensure that and more. With that being said, if you had to pick our favorite, it has to be the Cecilio CVN-300 violin since it ticks all the boxes that a beginner-friendly violin should have.
You can also read Differences between Fiddle and Violin.