Now you know what to look for when buying a violin or other bowed instrument, the very next thing to consider perhaps, is how much you want to spend on that crucial first instrument.
Again, it very much depends on the budget you have available, and maybe your reasons for wanting to learn to play. If you have ambition to play in the London Philharmonic your budget might be more committed than if you just want to play for fun.
One thing is certain, there will be a temptation to look at the cheapest option but this would be a mistake because you may well end up with an inferior instrument made from unsuitable materials with poor quality workmanship.
Hidersine boasts more than 150 years of history and craftsmanship in building violins, which is why we are the choice for so many students starting on their musical journey. Our Vivente Academy instruments, which retail for around £260, for instance, feature a solid spruce top – or sound-table - which creates your instrument’s primary sound, resonating as a single structure to produce better tone. And, as the wood ages it will resonate naturally, improving the sound further. They also have maple back and ribs, maple neck, genuine ebony fingerboard and premium Wittner Fine-Tune pegs.
Many cheaper student violins may substitute for materials such as rosewood or other hardwoods instead of ebony and you will feel and hear it in the instrument.
There’s a reason why ebony is used - it will not mark, pit or wear out after lengthy playing periods and will remain structurally sound for a very long time. It also feels smooth on the fingers, which makes the playing experience far more pleasant.
Vivente violins are also supplied as a complete outfit, in a shockproof case with internal accessory compartments and an outer music pocket. It also includes a Brazilwood bow, and Hidersine’s own high quality rosin.
Unlike many other products which are ready to use once they have been completed in a factory, violins, violas, cellos and double basses require further tweaking once they have been constructed to set them up ready to play. Not all musical instruments out there undergo this process, so by choosing at the cheaper end of the market you can end up with something that will require continual adjustment to get it sounding right. If it ever does at all.
Set up includes shaping and shaving of the bridge, fitting the bridge, fitting the pegs, adjusting the bridge and fine tuning the instrument.
Your new Hidersine instrument will have already been inspected and setup ‘ready to play’ by the experts in our UK service workshops employing many years of experience in getting the violins sounding and feeling perfect.
So, if you’re on a limited budget try to avoid making false economies by acquiring a poor quality instrument which will only hinder your progress and might even discourage you from playing altogether. It might even be worth persevering with your rental instrument for a little longer while you save a little more for your first purchase which will set you on the right path.