What to Do When You Buy a Violin
There is a general belief, even among violinists, that old violins are better than new ones. Everyone knows about the celebrated Stradivarius violins of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which now sell for exorbitant sums. When looking to buy a violin, remember that old violins are not necessarily better.
Older violins tend to have a value that extends beyond their ability as musical instruments. They have a historical value, almost as a collectors item. A newer violin will be broken in over a period of several months to a few years, and will become a richer version of itself over time. The most important factors are dynamic range, clarity, projection, and response.
In addition, condition becomes an important factor with older violins. An older violin with cracks and a history of repairs may deteriorate quickly with too much or too little humidity or changes in the weather. Problems can develop with both the violins structure and its tone.
Violins are ideal for young musical students because they are a great starting point for learning music and there are so many sizes available. Students can begin with violins as small as one-sixteenth normal size, and eventually build up to half-size or three-quarter size as they grow.
The difficulty in learning to play buy violin is often overestimated. It is actually quite easy to learn to play. With proper hand position and the use of “finger tapes”, a young violin student can play recognizable music in a very short period of time. Finger tapes can be removed once the student becomes more familiar with the feel of his or her instrument and develops a rudimentary sense of pitch recognition. Beginning violin students can make swift progress by consistently practicing as little as 20 minutes per day.
Care and maintenance of a violin is quite easy. Strings will break occasionally, but they are easily replaced, and one can always upgrade to more expensive strings such as perlon core, which often provide a more pleasing tone. Also, violin bows may need to be rehaired, but usually not more than every one or two years. The most important factor in violin maintenance is guarding against changes in heat and humidity. It should be kept in its case and transported in the passenger compartment of a car, rather than the trunk.
Buying a violin is a tremendous way to learn music and gain an appreciation for some of the finer works of art in the world.