Hello Again! Becca here from Violin by Becca. So recently I've had a few of my new students ask me about purchasing or renting a new violin. I know sometimes having the courage to start a new instrument or committing time to a new talent can be a HUGE DEAL just by itself. But now you have to find a decent violin teacher, figure out where to purchase your violin and how much to spend? Well those are some great questions and here are my 3 ideas to consider when buying a violin for a new musician.
More Info: What is the right size of violin for you?
3 Ideas to Consider When Buying a Violin
1. Should I Rent or Buy a Violin?
This can be a tough question to answer and there are really pros and cons for both methods of thought. Here are a few of both that will help you decide the best solution for you.
Renting a Violin:
- An Inexpensive way to start learning the violin. No need to cough up several hundred dollars to begin playing.
- As you become more familiar with the violin you may develop a preference for a particular style or sound that you want from your next instrument.
- If you or your child are still unsure about your dedication to violin. This is a quick way to test out the instrument without a long-term commitment.
- Many music stores offer rent to own programs. So if you're wanting to own an instrument but need to stay within a budget these is a great solution.
- If the instrument is damaged while in your care you may be on the hook for the whole instrument.
- Rental costs can add up and over time and can even be more than the value of a new instrument.
Buying a Violin:
- You get to OWN the best Instrument EVER!!!! Okay I'm just a little excited about the violin…
- One time investment into your instrument. No reoccurring rental fees.
- You get to pick what instrument you want.
- You may be able to get a really good deal for almost the same cost as renting.
- You don't necessarily have to worry about how previous renters cared for the instrument.
- You have to pay for any repairs and upkeep on the instrument.
- Your instrument may or not hold it's value. Here's a good article on how the value of your violin can change (link).
- As you or your child improve you may want to purchase a better sounding instrument or a different style.
- Kids grow up quick and if they start with a smaller sized violin you will have to purchase a larger violin.
To sum it all up I think renting or buying a violin are both great options. Do what is best for you and your situation. If your child is just starting out and you want to see if they will stick with it. Then renting may be a great option for you. However if you really want to commit to learning the violin then it may be worth spending the extra dollars. Either way as long as you have a decent instrument you're headed in the right direction!
2. Should I Buy a Violin Online?
This question comes up almost every time I have a new student. Places like Amazon, Craigslist or eBay are synonymous with good deals these days. While you may find inexpensive options with these online marketplaces the old adage of “You get what you pay for” comes to mind and some time you pay too much for what you get.
I was recently tempted to suggest and even purchase one of these “Best Selling Violins” off of amazon. However I thought I should check the reviews. Most were satisfied with the purchase but stated that the instrument would not stay in tune and came with the sounds post down. Not the end of the world for a beginner violin student but definitely can add additional repairs and frustration when just starting out.
So buying a violin online is a bad idea right? Not necessarily. I do have a few recommended websites that I trust and have used in the past. I keep an update list in my links section if you would like to check it out. Also Amazon and eBay are great for purchasing shoulder rests, or even music books. So don't count them out quite yet.
Here's my final suggestion, be cautious, do your research before you make any online purchases and be sure you can return it if you're not 100% satisfied.
3. How Much Should I Spend for a “Good” Violin?
Okay I might have partially answered this question already. I know it's hard to spend the money on a new instrument when you're first starting out. But I can't stress enough that your satisfaction with learning the violin will depend drastically on the quality of instrument you buy. While there are some really “good deals” out there I would typically expect to pay $300-$500 for decent quality beginner's violin.
Now price isn't always the only indicator on quality. So be sure to test out the instrument if possible or ask other musicians (or me) what brands they recommend.