Owning a good violin is crucial in your musical journey. More often than not, the quality of the violin affects your playing. Many buy a poor quality violin over a good one because of its cheap cost. However, they are not looking at things in the long run. A good quality violin can produce amazing sound quality and last for a long time where a bad quality violin will soon need to be replaced. In addition, the strings of a poor quality violin would need to be tuned and restringed more often than a good quality violin.
In your exam or on stage, you would want to play the best you can, and not be hindered because of a poor quality violin. At a time where you should show-off your musical skill on stage, a bad quality violin should not be an excuse.
Selecting a good violin
At a violin shop, the salesman will always try to sell you the most expensive and ‘best quality’ violin. However, not everything he says might be true. Hence, we have come down with tips in selecting a good quality violin.
- Ask for the type of wood the violin was made with. (The best types of wood are: maple, spruce, ebony, willow, boxwood and rosewood. It is best to have the front of the violin made from spruce, and the back of the violin, maple.)
- Type of varnish (the ‘skin’ of the violin)
- Find out where it was crafted. It is usually found on the inside or on the label.
- Find a violin with an artistic touch. Every violin maker will give a violin their own design.
- Test out the violin to see whether it suits you.
If you have a price range for your violin in mind, do not tell the salesman this unless there are price tags on the violins. The salesman might have a price in his mind, but raise it when you mention your higher price range.
Selecting a good violin bow
Having both a suitable violin and bow is important as both are used to produce the sound. Without one, the violin cannot be played.
- A bow needs to have good weight.
If the bow is too heavy, it could make it hard to hold and strain your hand overtime. If too light, it will be difficult to produce a sound.
- A bow needs to have flexibility
If the bow is too stiff or flexible, you will be unable to play quickly.
- A bow needs to have a balance between frog and tip.
Otherwise, you will have difficulty performing advanced bow strokes such as spiccato, sautille or ricochet. (bouncing bow, fast bouncing bow and bouncing a few times on the up and down bow)
No matter which violin or bow you buy, you must find it suitable for you. If not, it will be a dread playing the violin (especially if your bow or violin is too heavy) and this will affect your playing.
Starting out as a beginner
If you are just starting out as a beginner and still unsure whether you would like to take beginner violin lessons, you should take buying a cheap violin or renting a violin in consideration. At Violin Lessons Singapore, we rent violins out at $10 per hour. However, it is advisable to buy a cheap violin so as to practise at home. If not, it will be difficult to improve and revise what you have learnt and hence unable to improve at your next lesson. To buy violins or violin equipment, visit any of our violin shops in Singapore.