In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: January 12, 2021
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The violin is one of the most beautiful instruments in the world. Learning to play one can be tough, but once you do, you’ll find it extremely rewarding. To get started, you’ll need to find the best violin for beginners, and we’ll you to find just that! With standard violins costing thousands of pounds, we’ll help you to get something a lot more affordable.
To do this, we have examined 24 different violins and have completed extensive reviews on ten of them. In the process, we found that the Cecilio CVN-300 is the most fantastic starter violin out there. It feels like a more expensive model while also creating warm tones and offering a great range of accessories. If it doesn’t catch your eye, then there are nine other brilliant options for you to choose from.
With different sizes, colors, materials, and weight, it can be difficult to know what violin you should get. We have spent 58 hours doing our research. We have carefully scanned customers’ reviews, used expert sources, and compared those violins to come up with useful information to make the buying process easier. We’ve broken it down into a comparison table, detailed reviews of each product and a buying guide. After that, there is a FAQ section, so you’re not left with any questions. Finally, we are going to identify our top three picks. Once you’ve finished reading, you will know how to get the best violin for beginners.
Cecilio has made an exceptional beginner violin that will fool people into thinking that it’s much more expensive than it actually is. The tones that come from the violin are warm and allow you to develop your talent naturally.
With this model, you’re going to get a full starter kit for everything that you need. This includes a chromatic tuner, a hard case with an extra bridge and strings. All those accessories have a great degree of quality. It comes with two bows that aren’t of the highest quality but will be good enough for you to get started.
At 5lbs, this is one is on a heavier side but is still light enough to be able to hold comfortably. That extra weight enhances the sound and makes it brighter and richer. It comes in its natural varnish color, and it gives the violin an elegant look. We really loved the combination of spruce and maple here.
With 4 different size options available, you should be able to get the perfect violin for you. This is slightly more expensive than other violins on this list, but for us, it finds the perfect balance between quality and affordability. It’s still vastly cheaper than intermediate or expert violins and is highly recommended for beginners.
As we go deeper into this list, you will see that some companies offer their violins in a wide range of different colors. Others, like, Stentor, prefer to offer them in their traditional brown lacquer finish. The classical design of this full-size violin gives it a very elegant feel.
Unless you’re only ever going to be keeping your violin at home, you’re going to need a case. This violin comes with a durable hard case that will work to protect your violin from even heavy impacts. There are other accessories included that add to the overall quality of the violin.
The accessories that aren’t of the highest quality are the rosin and the strings, but it’s easy enough to pick these up from elsewhere. The case is solid, and so is the violin. Just like with the previous model, we liked the material pick for this instrument. You get the feeling that if it’s dropped, it won’t break into a thousand pieces like cheaper violins that break after the first impact.
As well as having the solid build quality, this violin is very easy to play with none of the tuning issues that you can get with other options. When you are playing it, the sound is full and with wonderful tones to allow you to learn easily and quickly.
While coming in the traditional brown color that you expect, for those looking for something a little different, this violin is available in sparking black, blue and purple. All of those are fantastic and will help you to stand out from the crowd.
As well as those impressive ranges of colors, the violin comes in seven different sizes from 1/16 all the way up to 4/4. Whatever the age of the player wanting to learn the violin is, you’re going to find the perfect size.
There isn’t a vast range of accessories here that you can get with other starter kits, but it still comes with a high-quality chinrest, a bow, and a hard case. The hard case, in particular, has an impressive level of quality and will be resistant to impacts. The bow is of a higher quality than many others that come in starter kits. However, some musicians found it a bit harder to tune. But that’s a minor issue as you will get used to the instrument, and this process will become quick and simple.
With budget beginner instruments, you often get that feeling of cheap construction, but that is not the case with this model. It feels well-balanced when you are holding it, and the build quality overall is quite good. It’s a violin that you’ll enjoy playing until you get to that next level of ability.
When you decide on taking that step to get a beginner violin, you have a choice of just getting the violin on its own or getting one with all the accessories required. If you’re looking for the best violin starter package, this one might be ideal for you.
As well as the violin, you will be able to get a good bow, a digital tuner, a carrying case, and the rosin required too. As soon as you get it out of the box, you’ll be able to start learning right away. It comes in seven different colors, so you can choose the one you like the most to impress your listeners.
The violin here doesn’t produce the highest quality of sound, but you have to factor the price into that. This is at the very lowest end of the budget scale and ideal for those who are unsure about whether the violin is the right instrument for them or for kids who you fear might lose interest.
At around $50, you shouldn’t expect a lot, but this violin is easy to set up and will allow you to take the first steps on your journey. If you’re looking for a budget violin for beginners, then this would be an ideal option. If you’re expecting a high quality of sound, pay a little extra.
ADM has been able to make an acoustic violin that has the traditional brown coloring, but it also has a reddish tone that helps it to look beautiful. Its traditional appearance makes this instrument a popular choice for adult beginners. You’d be easily forgiven for thinking that this violin is a lot more expensive than it is. That’s always an amazing feature of a beginner instrument.
If you’re worried about the weight of the violin, this is one of the best lightweight violins at just over 3lbs. As well as the violin being light, the case is very lightweight too. It is an outstanding portable violin for beginners to take it to a friend’s house, school or to music lessons.
Here we see another violin that comes with a wide range of accessories. Getting a tuner is a great bonus with any starter kit as not all of them come with one, and beginners can find it extremely difficult to tune a violin by ear.
The only accessory that lets this violin down is the strings. They are fine for the first time you play, but there’s a good chance that you’ll quickly want to replace them. You get a one year warranty with this violin, but it’s likely one you’ll never have to use as this is a quality instrument.
Cecilio has somehow managed to make a violin that looks like it’s been passed down through a few generations of family members with the antique styling it has. It’s a very popular beginner violin that many people picked to make their first step in a musical journey.
It is a little hard to tune at first, but that gets better over time. It doesn’t come with a tuner, and, therefore, you’ll need to get one separately because it will require making minor adjustments quite often. It does come with some other useful accessories and even comes with a spare set of strings.
If you’re looking for sizing options, then you’ve come to the right place. There are eight different sizes available for you here with even a 1/32 violin. All of them are made in the traditional way with a high degree of build quality and craftsmanship.
Some of these violins just come with a soft case, which might not be the best option for some people if they are traveling a lot as it doesn’t give you the highest levels of protection. This model comes with a hard case, making it ideal for those that are always on the move. At under 4lbs, it is a perfect weight and will be easy to carry.
This is a violin that sparkles, both figuratively and literally. The sound it produces is brilliant in regards to the price that you’ll pay, and there is a range of color options that are going to attract the attention of the listeners. Not to your taste? Well, you can choose the traditional brown color too.
The accessories that you get with this violin vary quite a bit in quality. The strings, for example, are better than most you’d find on a violin for beginners. The bow, however, isn’t of the highest quality, and you might consider getting a new one after a few months of use.
An area where this violin does stand out is in its usability. It is easy to set up and play. As a beginner, you don’t want to lose heart and get too stressed while trying to learn something new, and this model will ease you into the world of violin playing. It works as an ideal stepping stone on your journey to becoming an expert.
As well as usability, the build quality of the violin is quite good. With the hard case included, this violin is going to stand the test of time. It’s fairly light too, and, therefore, transporting it will be easy. Overall it stands up as one of the best violins for beginners.
At just 3.2lbs, this violin is very easy to carry, and you’re going to be able to hold it for extended periods of time without getting any ache. The case is also easy to carry, and it’s a violin that will be suitable for everyone.
We have seen some beautiful violins in this list and with the chestnut brown finish featured here, and this is another one. It has an impressive build quality to match that design. It’s built to last, and you’ll be able to have the confidence of the one-year warranty should anything go wrong.
It comes ready to play, so you can start practicing immediately. The sound is nice, balanced and full to help to make this impressive value for money. Unfortunately, some people found this model hard to tune. There are also reports of poor quality of the carry case.
On the other hand, you get an extra set off strings here, and that’s a very nice thing for a beginner. Polished and warm tones will resonate from them every time you play. Additionally, you have a full range of accessories that will be useful during your lessons. That includes a high-quality tuner that is going to enable your violin to keep sounding sharp.
There are only three sizes available with this Aileen violin, but they are the three most popular options: 1/4, 1/2 and 4/4. They all look marvelous with a classical design with the traditional brown finish that it has.
When purchasing a violin, you want to make sure that it’s made from the highest quality materials. That includes a top that is made from spruce, maple used for the rest of the body and an ebony fingerboard. It’s exactly what you get here, and it adds up to quality construction that will take the strains needed for a beginner violin.
As well as high-quality materials, here you get a durable hard case to keep your violin protected on the move. It is easy to carry with plenty of rooms for your accessories. The bow, rosin and shoulder rest are also included.
However, the bridge can be a little hard to set up, and you might need an expert or just a second pair of hands to be able to show you how to do it. The strings aren’t of the highest quality, but they are good enough to get you started. As soon as you replace them, the violin will be able to produce a warm, beautiful sound. It’s another excellent option, which is a good value for money.
If you’re only looking for the lightweight full-sized violin, then this is going to be a perfect option. It is only available in 4/4, and you can only get the violin in one color, but it looks great in its natural brown.
It is made from those high-quality materials, which give it an increased level of durability. With that level of durability, you’d expect the violin to be quite heavy, but the opposite is true. At only 3lbs, it is one of the lightest violins you can get. While the soft carry case doesn’t give it the absolute highest levels of protection, it does allow it to remain light and portable.
It comes with all the features that you’d want, except for a tuner. Thankfully, it stays in tune for a long time, which isn’t the same for other budget violins. The kit comes with a manually polished bridge, which you will have to attach yourself.
The most important aspect is for the violin to have a good level of sound quality, and that’s what you get here. It will allow you to learn the violin and start on that journey to intermediate level and beyond. We’ve looked at quite a few violins on this list that represent amazing value for money, and this is another one.
What we liked:
Good sound quality
Stays in tune for longer periods
Brilliant value for money
What could be better:
Carry case could be better
Tuner is not included
Bridge can be hard to set up
Things to Consider
It can be easy to pick the first violin that fits in with your budget and hope for the best. However, there is a much better idea to do a little bit of research to find your perfect match. Thankfully we have done most of that research for you. As we go through this guide, it’s a good idea to make a note of each section, and by the end, you’ll have a much clearer idea of your needs.
How to pick the best violin for beginners?
There is a lot to consider when it comes to getting the best violin for beginners, as trying to find value for money can be difficult. Besides the construction style and accessories, you have to consider the ideal size and weight, among other factors. In this buying guide, we will look deeper into all those key features to paint a clear picture to help you find the best starter violin for you.
It can be tempting to get a full-sized violin and get used to playing it, but it’s often the case that you’d be better off with something else. All adults will use a full-sized violin, but for children, it’s a different story.
While there are general age categories, it’s all based on arm length, which is measured from the neck to the palm of an outstretched arm. A 1/16 violin, for example, would be best suited for players with the arm length of 15″, and this would most likely be for a child between the ages of 3 and 5.
It’s important to get the right size. Otherwise, the violin would be much more difficult to play.
If you’re looking for a wide range of options, then the Cremona SV-75 will offer you seven different sizes as well as beautiful modern design.
The construction of violins for beginners is fairly standard for all models, as can be seen with the ADM Acoustic Violin. The top is usually made from spruce, as this helps with the tone and gives the violin that beautiful appearance. The back and sides of the violin are often constructed from maple, which again helps to that sound to feel full and warm. This is the tried and tested method of making a violin and has been proven to be the best option. Any other woods used simply wouldn’t have the same quality.
The fingerboard needs to be made from a very solid wood, which is almost always ebony. It needs to be a hardwood due to the stresses caused to the fingerboard by the strings. On cheaper violins, the fingerboard is sometimes substituted for another type of wood, but the body is pretty much always the same.
You’re going to be holding a violin up for extended periods of time, and, therefore, the weight is going to be important. If it’s for someone who is petite or a child, then a few pounds can make all the difference. You have to factor in how easy it is to transport from one place to another.
For a full-sized violin, you ideally shouldn’t be looking at anything over 5lbs with some violins being just over 3lbs. If you are searching for the lightest full-sized violin, then the Sonart Violin can be a nice option for you.
As you start to look at smaller violins, they will naturally decrease in weight and make it easier for children to play.
Beginner bows are often made from Brazilwood, which is quite a broad name for any type of wood that comes from the tropical areas of Brazil. This is a budget option, but still has the quality required for a starter bow, such as found with the Paititi Artist-100. More premium bows will be made from Pernambuco wood.
The strings of bows are made from horsehair, which need to come from a cold part of the world, such as Mongolia or Canada as, it will be thicker. White and unbleached hair should be used as the quality of bleached hair could be compromised.
There are a few types of chin rest out there, and the right one for you will come down to personal preference. A few of the violins we’ve looked at have a Kaufman-style chin rest, which is a flat cup on the left side of the violin. The Cremona SV-130 has one included in the package.
Some of them are contoured, some have a lip and others will be placed on slightly different parts of the violin. More expensive models will have a more stylish wooden rest, but budget options often simply have a durable plastic rest.
Whereas everyone will use a chin rest, not everyone will use a shoulder rest. For those who use one, they will say that it increases comfort and allows you to play for longer without having any stress or fatigue. Others will say that it feels unnatural and places the violin in an awkward position.
Only some of the violins that we have looked at come with a shoulder rest, and if you want one, you can find it with the premium Cecilio CVN-300. If you’re unsure, then you might want to try playing without one and then make a judgment.
The strings of a violin will have a huge impact on the way it sounds. All of these violins are going to come with strings, but they can vary quite a bit in quality. Also, strings will reduce in quality over time, which means they will always need to be replaced sooner or later.
When you’re starting out, it’s harder to notice the difference between different types of strings. Once you start to get a little bit better on the violin, it’s a good idea to then invest in better strings to make a better quality of sound.
A few of these starter kits come with a spare set of strings, which is a nice additional feature to have.
You always want to have assurances that you’re getting a quality instrument that is going to be able to stand the test of time. The ADM Acoustic Violin is an example of a good violin that has a 1-year warranty should anything go wrong.
You always want to double-check your warranty to make sure it’s covering what you want it too. Having one will give you peace of mind that you’re getting a quality violin and one the manufacturers have confidence in.
If you plan on taking your violin anywhere, then you will need a case. Whether you want a soft or hard case will depend on your needs. The Cremona SV-130 is an example of a violin that comes with a highly durable case that offers excellent protection.
Hard cases will offer you a higher level of protection but will be heavier, whereas soft cases will be much lighter, but not as resilient against drops and impacts.
This will come down to which one will suit your needs.
Other useful accessories
If you’re getting your first violin, then there are a few other things that you’re going to need. We’ve already mentioned the chin and shoulder rests, but there are other useful accessories such as rosin that you have to have to add friction to your bow.
The Cecilio CVN-300 kit has a wide range of accessories to get you started. You will most likely need a tuner as this will make your life a lot easier. Other extras, such as instructional booklets and stickers with notes on, can really help to progress faster.
Even for beginner violins, there can be quite a difference in price. If you feel committed to playing, then you may opt for a more expensive model, but if you’re a little unsure, getting a budget option might be for the best.
At the next level, you get the models like the Cecilio CVN-300 and Cremona SV-75, which are available for around $150. They have a higher level of quality and a range of useful accessories that make each of them a wonderful option for beginners.
If you don’t mind paying a little extra, you can get the Stentor II 1500 or the Cremona SV-130 around $190. Both of these violins look a lot more expensive than they are and are perfect to get you started on your journey as well as to continue playing as you progress.
When starting out with any instrument, everything can feel a little difficult. Tuning a violin by ear takes time, experience and patience. Eventually, you’ll get to that level, and it gets easier for you over time. At the start, however, it would be the best idea to get a digital tuner. This makes tuning exceptionally easy with minimum effort required. How often you’ll need to tune it will depend on various factors such as the strings and how often you play. But it’s recommended to check the tune every time before you start practicing. If you are traveling with your violin, you’ll most likely have to tune it once you get it out. While you might not be able to tune it by ear at the start perfectly, you’ll very quickly pick up when your violin sounds out of tune. With a digital tuner, you’ll have it sounding great again in a matter of minutes.
Whether it is riding a bike when you’re a kid or driving a car, learning something new takes time. With a violin, that means knowing that each note is on the fingerboard. There are many useful booklets and videos that can guide you in the right direction. A personal teacher is also a nice way to progress. One method that some beginners use is to place stickers on the fingerboard to show you the notes, and some starter kits even come with these. Whichever method you use, it’s important to stay patient and avoid frustrations. It will get much easier over time.
If you’re a complete beginner, you might be wondering exactly what rosin is and how it’s used. Rosin is a solid form of resin, which is used to add friction to your bow. Without it, the hair of the bow would only be able to produce a light and wispy sound. It’s important to apply rosin in the right way, with only a small layer needed. If you don’t put enough, the sound will be hollow, and too much of it will make the bow sticky. You’ll learn how to get it just right over time, and you should reapply it after around 60 minutes of continuous practice.
It can be hard to choose the best violin for beginners, but you can’t go wrong with any of the ten options here.
Our favorite instrument is the Cecilio CVN-300. If its price was a few hundred dollars higher than it is, you wouldn’t be surprised. It plays, looks and feels like a much more expensive violin.
If you are looking for a full-sized violin for yourself or your kid, you can’t go wrong with the Stentor II 1500. It stays in tune longer than many competitors, has a rich sound and will help you to progress faster.
Last but not least, we have the Cremona SV-130. It is a stunning instrument with an impressive hard case, which allows you to take your violin with you wherever you want without worries. It is available in seven different sizes and four colors.
Of course, it could be that you’re looking for something a little different or another violin may have caught your eye. Learning to play the violin can give you fantastic musical experience, and all of these models can put you on the right path. All that’s left to do is pick the best violin for you and start your journey.