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Any violinists?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I'm not. (a violinist) I am thinking of buying one for my daughter to enter her school's music program next year. My first question is, what do the sizes mean on these things? I assume that the 4/4 is a full size, but they also have 3/4, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16, 1/32 - obviously a 1/32 violin is not really 32 times smaller than a full size - so what do these sizes mean? (and which would be best for a 4th grade beginner?) I suppose I could rent one. I'm not sure which is a better route to go. I'm guessing that I'll save money over the long run if I buy a cheap one as opposed to renting a more expensive one. I've seen some pretty inexpensive student violins (Florea - at Music123) Would a cheap fiddle hold her back from learning? Would renting a nicer one be worth it? I want to help her get started on an instrument, but I'm on a very limited budget. What's my best move here?
  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Don't buy! Don't buy! Don't buy!

    The sizes are for the size kid you have. Typically, the scroll should reach the middle of the palm when held correctly. It's best to have her measured by a teacher or music store you can trust. 4th graders come in all shapes and sizes, so don't assume what size they need.

    Getting a good violin is easy if you rent from a reputable store. Many teachers will tell you to avoid the Chinese instruments, because they feel they are inferior instruments. This is not true at all. Some great instruments come out of China these days, which wasn't the case in the past. Some well known brands that make good violins are Glaesel, Knilling, & Meisel, but keep in mind that brand name isn't much of an issue in the orchestral world like it is in the electric bass world. An instrument is either good or it isn't, regardless of brand.

    Most stores will rent you a smaller size violin, and will allow you to trade up to the next size when necessary. Once she's gotten to full size, many stores will allow you to use some or all of the credit towards the purchase of a new one. Make sure you read the rental contract! Don't bother buying a smaller size violin; she'll just grow out of it.

    And please, for the love of god, have her learn how to tune and change strings. Violin teachers are notorious for not teaching how to do this: the most basic of upkeep on any stringed instrument. If I had a nickel for every time I had to tune a students violin for them...
  3. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Thank you very much Ben. I'll go the rental route.
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Definitely go the rental route. Preferably one where a percentage of the rental goes toward owning.