• Christy | the Practice Pro

Which Violin Brand Do I Recommend to Purchase or Rent?

Updated: Nov 9



By Christy | the Practicing Pro

www.ScotiaSuzuki.org


What violin do I recommend purchasing for beginning / growing violin students?


After more than 3 decades teaching violin I have seen 100s of violin rentals and purchases by students. Again and again, I see the Yamaha student violins outperforming many of the other brands. I don't work for Yamaha, they don't know who I am, BUT this has been what I have experienced.


The Amazon links below are about the same price or cheaper than at our local music store. There are lots of other beautiful instruments out there, but if you are not sure, you can’t go wrong with a YAMAHA. The price is fair for the quality you are getting.


In addition to your Violin there are 2 other things that you will need that I have outline below. They are:

  1. Shoulder Bar

  2. Chin Rest (Sponges for younger children)


REMEMBER that the purchasing of a nice instrument is NOT like buying a car. Violins don’t depreciate each year that you use them like cars do. A violin's value stays the same if you keep it in top condition.


If you buy an instrument for $600 then you can sell it with good strings and a re-haired bow for around $500. This means you paid only $100 for the year/years you played it! For this reason, my advice is to always buy the MOST expensive instrument that you can afford when learning since it will sound nicer and be easier to play. If you buy a $1000 instrument then resell it for $850 - $900. If you buy one for $1,700 then resell it for around $1,500 - $1,600. A good violin only depreciates when it's not taken care of. So buy the nicest one you can afford and sell it for 10-20% less (depending on its condition) when you need a bigger size. If you belong to a Suzuki music community there will always be someone out there wanting a beautiful well taken care of instrument to purchase.


You will want to invest in a nicer, higher-level instrument around book 3 or when at a full-size violin size went you are wanting an even better tone. This post is for an entry-level player and / or a growing player.


Good Full Size 4/4 Violin

Slightly Better 4/4 Violin

4/4 Shoulder bar

You will also need a shoulder bar. KUNN is the most widely used brand and shape.

4/4 Chin Rest

Your violin will come with a chin rest but I use a Whittner for my full size practicing violin because it's SO comfortable!


3/4 Size Violin:

Shoulder bar 3/4 size

You will need one of these as well

Wittner 3/4 Chin Rest

Your violin will come with a chin rest but I recommend a Whittner for practicing violin because it's SO comfortable!


1/2 Size Violin:

Shoulder rest 1/2 size:

You will need one of these as well

Wittner center chin rest mount 1/2 size

For the 1/4-1/2 size violin. For younger players, a better posture is usually found with a center mount violin chin rest. If you struggle to keep your violin to the side and upon your shoulder, you might just not be ready yet to play with your head turned in such an extreme way to the side yet! Try this amazing chin rest for an instant better posture and comfort. I recommend trying it and knowing you can return it if you don't love it!


1/4 Size Violin:

Shoulder Sponge 1/4 size

I use sponges until players are older. for young children, I find the shoulder bars often too hard or they squeeze on them tightly. If they are advanced they will sometimes move sooner to a Kun or other style shoulder bar. But A good sponge is still my favorite!

Wittner center mount chin rest 1/4 size:

For the 1/4-1/2 size violin. For younger players, a better posture is usually found with a center mount violin chin rest. If you struggle to keep your violin to the side and upon your shoulder, you might just not be ready yet to play with your head turned in such an extreme way to the side yet! Try this amazing chin rest for an instant better posture and comfort. I recommend trying it and knowing you can return it if you don't love it!



For the smaller violins (1/8 -1/10) - this is a MUST for easier posture playing at higher levels.:

Purchase this with your new violin. Replace it with this center mount chin rest when it arrives.


1/8 Size Violin:

1/16 Size Violin:


1/32 Size Violin:

Yamaha doesn't sell a 1/32 size for very tiny beginners. I suggest renting for the smaller sizes (unless you have multiple siblings coming who will use it) and to also include the insurance policy for "accidents". Long and McQuade is where most of my students rent and they have been excellent for us. Otherwise, this one is BEAUTIFUL and available to purchase but if it's too pricy then here is another one that will work. Do not get the $100 versions available they are more like a toy and not worth buying in my opinion; the money you "saved" buying the cheap one will end up being used in time wasted tuning at lessons and months of a child struggling to have a tone that they love and be motivated to play.

I love this one!

This 1/32 size violin can also work, but at this price point and quality it also might be helpful to rent one since they wont be in this size very long and its sometimes hard to manage not breaking a cheaper 1/32 size violin. There wouldn't be a resale value if its broken.

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