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Advice on buying a violin

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Gottaplaybass, Apr 2, 2013.


  1. Gottaplaybass

    Gottaplaybass a.k.a. James Slice

    Jun 18, 2007
    McDonough GA
    My son wants to buy a violin, and I don't have experience with them. Does anyone here know if Gliga Violins in Vancouver B.C. are a good value? They have several price ranges to choose from. My son wants to buy one that will be good for many years, and we are not sure if one of the $400 violins would be ok or should he pay more.

    If it were a bass, I feel that I could give some input, but not with violins.

    Any opinions are appreciated.
     
  2. gr8bassplayer

    gr8bassplayer

    Feb 12, 2013
    Nebraska
    Have him try out as many as you can in your price range. A bow is also a necessity and can make a huge difference in the sound of the instrument.
     
  3. The world is awash in factory-made German violins from the early 20th Century and earlier. If you find something promising, have it checked by a luthier, just like you would with a bass.
     
  4. Gottaplaybass

    Gottaplaybass a.k.a. James Slice

    Jun 18, 2007
    McDonough GA
    Thanks! I should have also said that he is left-handed, and that adds to the dilemma. Should he buy a lefty, or should he just learn to play right handed. :meh:
     
  5. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    Right handed only. I have a German type factory violin that I picked up to use as a demonstration fiddle in the classroom. The kids think it sounds worlds better than theirs, but I only paid $500 for it.

    Best,
    BG
     
  6. Gottaplaybass

    Gottaplaybass a.k.a. James Slice

    Jun 18, 2007
    McDonough GA
    This would increase our supply of available violins, but some comments we have read on the net say that the dominant hand should do the bowing. Is it harder for leftys to learn to bow with their right hand? I cannot say as I have limited experience with the bow and have never tried it with my left hand. (Maybe I'll give it a try when I get home tonight!)

    Thanks to all for the great input.
     
  7. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    I start beginners on violin with no problems. Just make sure to pay a little extra attention to the bow grip as they won't have as much intrinsic coordination in that hand.

    Otherwise, don't sweat it.

    BG
     
  8. Gottaplaybass

    Gottaplaybass a.k.a. James Slice

    Jun 18, 2007
    McDonough GA
    Thanks,

    We have begun to think about going to Ronald Sachs in Atlanta. He makes his own violins, but sells other fine instruments as well.
     
  9. It is not hard for left handers to learn to bow with their right hand. I play cello 'Right' handed. Tbh if he wants to play in any short of orchestra you DON'T want to be a left handed player. (bowing collisions).

    Also how much you need to spend depends on the level ofc. If he has just started then $400 or less is fine. When you get to a higher level aka above 6th position it becomes very noticeable when you have a cheaper instrument + becomes very hard to play.

    I need a new cello just can't afford one lol, playing diploma stuff at the very top of my instrument...
     
  10. Gottaplaybass

    Gottaplaybass a.k.a. James Slice

    Jun 18, 2007
    McDonough GA
    Thanks for all of the great input on this.

    Concerning the left or right hand issue; when my son first started looking online for information, he found a violin forum where a battle had raged back in 2006 over left handed playing. It was comical to read the passionate responses to someone playing left-handed. One poster even said, "Conform or die!", and others chimmed in with similar statements.

    I doubt that he will play in an orchestral setting, but one never knows. I will pass on that bit of information to him, and let him decide. (He's 19, so he can make up his own mind.)

    I can't imagine playing bass left-handed, but if that were the standard and I had learned from the first it probably could be done.
     
  11. See also you have to consider luthiers etc in the area and chin rests and stuff, i don't know how many people sell left-handed ones, i don't think about that playing cello lol.
     
  12. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    Ron is very good. I have sent many students his way...

    I would also suggest Huthmaker Violins:
    http://huthmakerviolins.com/

    The Huthmakers are good people and if you read up on their bios they are former public school string teachers and will not steer you wrong when it comes to buying a violin.

    Best,
    BG
     
  13. Gottaplaybass

    Gottaplaybass a.k.a. James Slice

    Jun 18, 2007
    McDonough GA
    Thank You. I have given him council to learn to play right-handed as that seems to be the predominate opinion. He doesn't play any instrument, and he should be able to start fresh with everything new. I started out on guitar, and bass came naturally as the two are similar. I feel that everything should be new to him, and he will just see that teaching his right hand to bow is just the natural thing to do. I had to teach my left hand to finger notes many years ago, and it seemed natural to me. I am trying to transition to upright at the moment. Now I'm trying to get my hands to do new tricks. Correction: Make that 'My whole body.' :atoz:
     

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