Which brand for a student violin? [Archive] - Sax on the Web Forum

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07-02-2010, 04:42 PM

My daughter will begin music in a couple of months, and despite my best efforts, she insists on playing violin.

I'm looking for a good student model instrument that I can pick up in the aftermarket. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions regarding which brands/models I should look for (and conversely which to avoid). Or, there are likely string boards out here, but I'm short on time and don't know which to trust, so a recommendation as to where I can safely do my own research would also be appreciated.

I'm interested in picking up something in good condition that will hold its tuning as well as its value. I can spend for about what a used YAS-23 would go. Unfortunately, the student music scene here, based on personal experience, are not to be trusted with a question like this (you'll end up with whatever some director's buddy has in his back room at the time).


07-02-2010, 04:48 PM
Send a PM to CarlH here on SOTW.
His primary is Violin and I bet he can give you a heads up on what to look for.

07-02-2010, 08:16 PM
I know you are looking used, but I'll add this as an alternate. I bought a Czech Bellafina from wwbw.com for around $400.00 about 20 years ago. They still sell Bellafinas although I don't know where they're made now. My girl friend at the time was a violinist/violist and she thought it was a pretty good beginner's violin.

07-03-2010, 02:51 AM
Quick question, has she been sized for a violin?

07-03-2010, 05:07 AM
Quick question, has she been sized for a violin?

That's a good question. She might need a 3/4 size, right?

07-03-2010, 05:11 AM
yes ... getting sized is very useful ... easier if it's right

07-03-2010, 06:14 AM
Yes, and could decide options...
If your daughter needs a smaller violin, renting would be a good option, because you can trade out for a bigger violin at most places. Also, I may be selling my 4/4 violin in a week or two...

07-03-2010, 10:34 AM
When my Daughter started playing Violin i bought her a relatively cheap instrument off ebay, a Purple Turtle, i think it was called, about 35 brand new, perfect beginners instrument and we had no problems with it what so ever.

Now that her playing has progressed and she has started playing junior concerts we bought her an 80 year old German Violin, now although this thing sounds a million light years better than the first one it isn't so durable and needs a lot more care, incidentally this violin was chosen by her from a selection of maybe 10 or 12 in a specialist Violin shop, so maybe that would be another option for you?

Something else to consider: Strings. right like most people we thought a string was a string and so what? but no they make a BIG difference, at the moment she is using dominant strings, about 14 each! but they are worth it.

As others have said, it is important to get her sized before you buy anything.

Captain Beeflat
07-03-2010, 01:53 PM
Be certain that your daughter is not left handed.
My aunt, a violin teacher, intended to teach me, but I couldn't hold it the "right way round", therefore becoming an unsuitable student.
What a merciful relief.
With any luck your daughter is left handed. :)

07-03-2010, 02:49 PM
I've actually had a few friends throughout orchestra in Middle and High School that were left-handed. A lot of lefties have an easier time moving across the fingerboard because that hand is a lot more agile. When I started piano at 6, I felt like my left hand was handicapped lol. I could barely play simple chords on it, but it grew a little more independent which helped when I switched to violin a few years later.

And yes, good strings will make a big difference! Think of the strings as the mouthpiece/reed combination. Each violin is different, just like each saxophone is different, as is each player, and will need different strings. Unfortunately, violinists can't try a set of strings as easily, and sometimes, will need different brands of different strings at the same time for that perfect sound! (but that's getting a little farther than the needs of a beginner student lol). But at this beginning level, Super Sensitive Red Labels are quite sufficient. They're durable, which is what you want for a beginner. I believe that's what my students have been playing on (I don't do the string inventory...).

07-06-2010, 03:49 PM
Thanks for the replys.

We're taking her to get sized tonight (but at 5' tall I'm guessing she'll need a full-sized one--too bad she hates basketball lol).

While she's somewhat ambidextrous, when she plays "air violin," she pretends to hold the instrument with her right hand and the bow with her left, so left-handed it is. But, despite the warning she has her heart set on it. We'll probably end up renting for fall semester. If she sticks with that long we'll get her one of her own.

I'll definitely try the Super Sensitive Red Label strings; interesting that folks mix strings.

Thanks again for the advice!

07-06-2010, 10:00 PM
While she is "air violining" go ahead and get her to switch to bowing with her right and fingering with her left. If her arms are as long as mine were when I was about that size, she should be fine for a full size, even if she is just shy of it. I started with my dad's hand-me-down violin from his middle school years.

07-06-2010, 10:09 PM
As an ambidextrous person (equally inept with both hands), I've never understood the difference. You have to use both hands, anyway. What you're doing with each hand is just a matter of training.

After all, no one ever questions right/left on piano, or that the left hand is above the right on sax...

07-21-2010, 02:21 AM
Good points on ambidexterity and getting her to play right handed out of the gate. Fortunately, we won't have to make the decision; she's decided to play reeds after all (and I'm holding her to it this time!).

She'll start on my YAS 23 or clarinet (which is probably better than sax at first--instant doubler if she learns clarinet).

Who says prayers go unanswered? LOL!

Thanks for your time.