12 Best Beginner Violins in 2018
While the violin as we know it today has been around since the 16th century, string instruments were already quite common well before this era.
We’re sure that those of you who are new to this instrument will read much more about the history as you learn to play it, so for now, our easy-to-read guide will help you find the best beginner violin for your needs and budget.
Whether you are playing in the school orchestra or you’ve decided to start taking private lessons so that you can practice your technique more seriously, we have excellent buying information for everyone in our guide, sans the complicated terminology and advice.
Top 12 Beginner Violin Comparison Table
Try Before You Buy – Sizing
The violin isn’t just some instrument that you can run out and buy because you decided that you wanted to start playing. You need to try it before you buy it to make sure that it “fits.”
Since there are nine different sizes available, it is important to take accurate measurements of the arm to find the right one.
With the left arm fully extended, simply measure from the base of the neck to the center of the palm to determine the right violin length (or if you plan to play holding it in your right arm, measure in the same way on the right arm).
Here are the sizes available and while we do have age recommendations for them, it is still important to measure the musician before you purchase.
Adults may also fit the smaller sizes based on their height, so always measure before you buy!
|3/4||22 1/4 – 23 5/8||9-11|
|1/2||20 3/8 – 22 1/4||6-10|
|1/4||18 1/2 – 20 3/8||4-7|
|1/8||16 7/8 – 18 1/2||3-5|
|1/10||15 3/8 – 16 7/8||3-5|
|1/16||14 – 15 3/8||3-5|
|1/32||13 1/2||Up to 3|
You’ll notice that violins are sometimes labeled as “Student,” “Intermediate” or “Professional by violin makers. What’s the difference?
The best beginner violin for those who are just trying the instrument for fun and haven’t yet decided whether or not they would like to play seriously is probably the “Student” violin since they are the most affordable models. They’re made from wood that is a bit lower in quality, and they lack the craftsmanship of more professional models. One of the most popular choice for students is the Mendini MV300 Violin (number 12 on our list) since it is affordable and comes with the accessories.
If you are a beginner with more serious intentions, then it is worth it to invest in an intermediate violin. After all, higher quality materials = higher sound quality, not to mention better performance. If you aren’t sure yet whether or not it is the right instrument for you or if you have a lower budget, then a Student violin may inhibit your performance quality.
A professional violin is probably not the best violin for beginners simply due to the price. It’s better to invest in a high-quality violin from a specialty shop where an expert can guide you through the buying process.
Acoustic or Electric?
Most of you probably set out in search of the classic acoustic violin, but what about zapping a little more excitement into the notes with an electric violin?
There is actually a huge advantage to using an electric violin over an acoustic violin, and one that your neighbors and the rest of the household will appreciate when they don’t care to hear you practicing at 1:00 a.m.: you can plug it into your headphones and practice silently.
Of course, the sound isn’t going to be the same, but if you’re serious about improving and you want to practice day and night, you might even consider purchasing both types of violins.
Some of the more modern violins will allow you to switch from acoustic to electric, so keep this in mind as you’re comparing and contrasting models!
Factor in the Extras
Don’t forget that the extra items can add on to the final cost. For complete beginners, it might be worth it to get a set rather than just an individual violin: students playing in school orchestras especially.
Additional strings, bows and cases and all add up, so make sure you calculate everything into your budget as you shop!
Top 4 Best Beginner Violin Reviews
These are some of the most popular violin brands that beginners use. Let’s take a look at them more in detail.
Beginners looking for a decent violin to help them enter the world of violin playing should opt for this one from Bunnel.
It has everything a beginner needs, including carrying case, bow, extra strings and rosin. The case even has a hygrometer inside to help you keep an eye on the humidity levels (for the wood of the violin).
The violin itself is beautiful: solid maple and spruce tonewoods, ebony fittings and it is pre-strung with steel-core D’Addario Prelude Strings.
A quality bow for a reasonable price. We highly recommend it!
Cremona is another common beginner brand.
The back, sides, and neck of the violin are made of maple and with spruce on the top; the fingerboards, pegs, and tailpiece made of ebony and it comes pre-strung with D’Addario prelude steel strings.
The price here is a bit higher than the previous violin, but the quality is also slightly higher. You still get the case and the bow, and it comes in four different sizes.
Another great option if you are serious about playing.
The Cecilio CVN-300 is a great choice if you have a slightly lower budget but you’re still interested in a decent violin.
Cecilio designed this with the student in mind, creating a violin that is affordable yet won’t compromise the quality of sound as a student learns. Of course, this isn’t going to be quite as good as the previous violins, but it beats any of those $60 models by a landslide.
They’ve used both spruce and maple on the body, with ebony fingerboard, pegs, tailpiece and chinrest. The fine tuners are also detachable.
Once again, we have those D’Addario prelude strings (D’Addario is one of the most well-known makers of violin strings), and you get two bows rather than one.
A great deal for any student!
If you liked the previous Cremona violin we looked at earlier but it was a bit out of your price range, this would be a good alternative.
Same great construction and quality that Cremona is known for, and they do provide you with a durable foam case and Anton Breton bow.
This particular violin is a favorite of many school music programs since it is affordable but will still allow students to get a real feel for the sound and tone that a violin should have.
Definitely a great alternative to the other three options if they didn’t match your needs.