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Old 10.02.2012, 20:32
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cheap violins

I really want to start playing the violin, and I want to find a very cheap one. does anyone know a store that sells some really cheap violins
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Old 10.02.2012, 20:37
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Re: cheap violins

Quite honestly I would not advise anyone to start to learn to play the violin on a 'very cheap' one. I don't think your teacher would be too happy about it either. The sounds one can produce as a beginner are bad enough anyway. You won't need a Stradivarius but your instrument should have a decent tone.
Maybe you can pick up one cheaply though - someone who no longer plays theirs and would be happy to let someone else have it rather than let it lie unused.

This isn't the Ads section though and you are not yet eligible to put an Ad in so anyone who wants to offer you one must do it by Private Message.
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Old 11.02.2012, 10:45
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Re: cheap violins

Its not as much about the price but the violin has to be the right size for you (and that, depends on your arm length) - but most adults generally need the full length 4/4 one.

Go into Jecklin in Zürich on the second floor. They have an entire section dedicated to strings. Have a chat with the assistant and tell her that you are a complete beginner. She will show you how to hold it and whether its right for you before you consider purchasing. You dont have to buy, just get a professional opinion to give you an idea of the choices out there.

Be careful about purchasing online due to its setup. A violin needs the bridge, pegs, strings, and soundpost (a small wooden dowel wedged inside the instrument). They all have to be fitted/adjusted correctly or else the sound is poor.

You will end up sounding like you're slaughtering chickens. Not very encouraging for a beginner.
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Old 11.02.2012, 11:20
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Re: cheap violins

I bought a Yita instrument from eBay, more as a plaything than anything else, and I've been very happy with it. Here are two earlier threads where I said more about it...

looking for cheap violins

http://www.englishforum.ch/1183510-post5.html
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Old 12.02.2012, 14:04
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Re: cheap violins

I have rented violins from luthiers here for CHF20 - 30 per month. I don't know if this is what you would consider cheap (and it certainly does add up over time), but it does allow you to try a decent violin without having a large initial outlay. The minimum rental contract was between 3 and 6 months.

Good luck!
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Old 12.02.2012, 14:23
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Re: cheap violins

We rented a really nice child's guitar from Jecklin. I can recommend renting a violin - you'll get better quality than what you can afford 'up front' and you can try it out first and see if it really works for you.

Better still, find yourself a good teacher and they might even loan you an instrument, or put you into contact with another student who wants to pass one on.

Your teacher will thank you for taking their advice on a good instrument - as others have said, nothing worse than a beginner playing a poor instrument - especially violin...
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Old 12.02.2012, 16:20
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Re: cheap violins

I have played the violin myself for more than 30 years (including experience in youth orchestras, student orchestras and semi-professional orchestras), had lessons for more than 15 years, and now I teach my kids. I would strongly suggest to find a teacher first. Playing the violin is not something one can teach oneself, and there are too many things that can be learned in the wrong way that will inhibit you from getting better. Only a teacher can prevent you from these mistakes, or correct them if necessary.

As previous posters have stated, the teacher can suggest a suitable instrument for you. If you go with a teacher connected to a music school in your town, the school usually can recommend different vendors for renting or buying a violin. Furthermore, after a few years you may join a chamber orchestra or symphonic orchestra, and the people there are also great sources of violins....

Whatever you do, do NOT get an ebay or other online instrument (yet). When buying a violin, get somebody to play several violins for you (your teacher, preferably) in your price range. Assuming you want a < CHF 1000 violin, you will be amazed by the differences in sound even these cheap violins display. Of course, then get the one that produces the sound you like best (and is recommended by your teacher). Only when you know what to look for you can try out an online adventure (see experience from Village Idiot).

Do NOT buy or rent a violin that produces a metallic, plastic, or otherwise inferior sound to learn to play violin in a cheap way. The most important thing for you to learn is to make a nice sound (which is very difficult). If your violin can not produce a nice sound (even when your teacher is playing on it), you will never ever learn !!! Really cheap violins therefore only have a decorative function on your wall.

Hope this helps.
Henk
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Old 12.02.2012, 16:33
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Re: cheap violins

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Whatever you do, do NOT get an ebay or other online instrument (yet). When buying a violin, get somebody to play several violins for you (your teacher, preferably) in your price range. Assuming you want a < CHF 1000 violin, you will be amazed by the differences in sound even these cheap violins display. Of course, then get the one that produces the sound you like best (and is recommended by your teacher). Only when you know what to look for you can try out an online adventure (see experience from Village Idiot).
Yes, I'll be the first to admit that buying an instrument online is a bit of a crap-shoot. In my case, I played for years when I was growing up, but sold my instrument when I went to university.

Every once in a while, I regretted my decision to sell my instrument, but the rational side of my brain said that I only pick up my instrument a few times a year for 'old time's sake' and it didn't make sense to leave an expensive instrument in the corner collecting dust. I got very lucky with the instrument I bought (although the online reviews seem to indicate that, if purchased carefully, the Yita instruments are generally good value-for-money) and it suits my needs. It's got a wonderful, rich, open sound which is exactly what I was after -- although I had no way of knowing this before I bought it.

One of the most rewarding things about learning to play an instrument is to have a moment when you're in a room with great acoustics when you just get lost in the sound of your instrument. For me, it was when I first learned vibrato -- you realise that it's *you* making the sound and it feels like you're on top of the world.

If you don't have an instrument with a sound / tone / timbre that you love when it's at its best, you'll always be disappointed with it.
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Old 12.02.2012, 19:28
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Re: cheap violins

thanks for the advice, I think that renting would be the best option now that you mention it.
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