9 Tips for a player or parent to buy the right Violin.
1) Determine the appropriate quality and the budget range for the instrument.
Discuss with the teacher about what level of instrument would be appropriate for the musical and technical level and the progress-pace of your child. Note that a good or bad instrument can certainly have positive or negative effect on the learning process. The teacher may also be aware about what level of quality corresponds to certain price range
2) Plan ahead
Have a certain price range in mind when you go to any shop so that they can provide you instruments in that specific range from which you can choose the right one for you. Trying instruments from different price ranges can be disorientating and time consuming
3) Spend some time for research
Allow 1 or 2 hours in a week for the process of looking at instruments and/or bows. The process will be more enjoyable and educational without time pressure. The process has three elements: 1) Discovery — involves learning how a better violin can enable you to develop your sound — its quality, tone colours, expression and response; 2) Defining your taste and needs — requires you to ask yourself several questions: what kind of instrument suits your needs best, whether it be for playing in orchestra, doing solos or playing for your own enjoyment? 3) Learning to communicate what you hear to the professionals so they can determine whether changes can be made that will help in finding the “right” violin. Sound will be affected by a change in strings or bridge and a soundpost adjustment. If you like certain things about an instrument or bow, but not others, talk about this with whomever is helping you. It will help you get what you want in the most efficient way.
4) Verify and compare prices.
When buying violins which are made in commercial model ( in large numbers having a specific brand) you can always compare their prices with those of foreign or online shops. Being aware of the divergence you can always ask for the reasons or even bargain for a price reduction. Without of course excluding the possibility of ordering it from abroad since you have tried it and matches your needs.
5) Ask about trade-in Policy of the shop.
Make also sure that you ask about the trade in policy of the shop. If your child should by a better or larger violin (click here for useful guide for finding the appropriate size) then you should know from the beginning, what value will your present purchase be given in a trade situation? Also try to determine what selection the shop has available in the range or size that might be the next step-up if trading is important to you.
6) Build a long-term relationship with the seller.
Buying a violin is not like buying a pair of shoes. You don’t make your purchase, use it until it wears out and then get a new one. Fine stringed instruments are designed to last hundreds of years and, in a sense, you are just a custodian of that instrument for a number of years. During that time, you will need a repairperson to make certain your instrument is healthy and sounding its best. It is in your best interest if the seller provides this service, especially if the seller offers 100% trade in value. In that way the seller will have an interest in the upkeep of your instrument and will keep you advised of whatever is necessary to maintain its value.
7) Buy a good Value.
Buy a fine violin from someone who has something at stake in being honest and providing good value, such as a good reputation in the community, a business relationship with your teacher or a personal relationship. Value of fine instruments is based on four things: origin, quality of craftsmanship, condition and sound. In most instances, the buyer is quite dependent on the seller’s expertise and perspective on the market place to price instruments and bows accordingly. Unfortunately, there is no Blue Book or Consumer’s Report for violin values.
8) Take advice from different person who may give an opinion.
Discuss with the seller the possibility of borrowing the instrument. If you can do so play yourself the violin for a week, bring other violinists to play on it. Listen to it from a certain distance; at best in a large hall the good instruments are usually manifested. And trust your intuition. If it feels good playing it most probably sounds also good
9) Expensive doesn’t mean necessarily good.
Expensive instruments are not necessarily better than inexpensive. The price of instruments in many instances is independent of the quality due several factors (brand, age,country, history etc.).