Violin recommendations

Where can we purchase a violin from?

A violin can be purchased from specialized music stores. It is the most certain guarantee of quality, especially if the buyer is not a violin connoisseur. Beginners can play entry level violins, as it is not mandatory for them to purchase a costly violin from the start. Subsequently, depending on everyone’s progress, the violin teacher will guide each student to the type of violin most adequate for them.

What type of violin should be purchased depending on one’s age?

There are four types of violins, depending on their size: 1/4 – suitable for ages 5 to 8, 2/4 – ages 8 to 10, 3/4 – ages 10 to 14 and a full size violin. Choosing the size of the violin depends on the child’s physical development and under the exclusive guidance of the violin teacher.

What type of strings should it have?

There are various string brands, which differ by the material they are made of, which results in their better or poorer quality. There are steel strings, synthetic core strings, gut core strings and even noble metal strings. Of course, the prices also differ from one type to another. But these differences become subtle and important for proficient performers. As a beginner, any string will do, as long as it fits the size of the violin.

What gadgets are recommended for those studying violin?

Indeed, there are various gadgets that can help take the first steps in studying violin, such as a tuner, a metronome, etc. But the teacher must also give learners guidance about these, as they may not be used properly and even become detrimental to correct practice. The buyers should also keep in mind that when a violin is purchased, they must also purchase a chin rest, rosin, a bow, a case, back-up strings, and check that the violin has a bridge. Many violins don’t come with a bridge; in such cases, one must be subsequently purchased according to the specific violin, as there can be no playing without a bridge.

What are the optimum maintenance conditions?

The violin should be kept in its case and excess rosin dust should be wiped off after each study session. The violin – even in its case – should never be kept near heat, cold or humidity sources.

How to do technical violin practice, what type of practice should it be and how long should one study per day?

Individual study is indeed essential for attaining a proficiency level in playing violin, as it is with all other instruments. The teacher should give the student individual practice material from each session to the next. Time spent studying differs from one student to another, depending on how much spare time they have, on their involvement and their motivation to reach a higher level in a shorter period of time. For those who make a goal out of becoming proficient performers, but are still at beginner’s level, it is recommended that they practice the exercises indicated by their teachers for one hour a day. As in what the others are concerned, individual study – undergone with motivation and focus – will bring each violin learner closer to the way he wishes to play the violin.
Technical exercises or “warm-up” exercises, as they are also called, are very important and efficient, as long as they are practiced thoroughly following the teacher’s instructions. These can include left hand exercises – various types of columns (simple or complex), scales, studies, vibrato – or right hand exercises: long notes, staccato, spiccato, etc.

Which are the recommended violin study methods?

There are numerous violin methods for beginners, out of which the teacher should synthetize and create a unique “formula” for every student, depending on their needs and ensuring a most efficient practice, with the purpose of achieving a rapid level of proficiency. Nonetheless, the most known violin method for beginners is Geanta Manoliu’s one – including all four volumes.