Violin for Beginners

Choosing which violin to buy can be a daunting task for beginners and professionals alike.

Great Beginner Violin Choices at a Glance:

With many brands to choose from, deciding which one can be overwhelming especially for the less experienced. Beginners usually have a harder time choosing the best violin since they still don’t know which one will best suit their style.

Violin for Beginners

The Best Violin For Beginners

At some point or another, many of us have experienced getting our first instrument. If that wasn’t in recent times, you may have had to roll up to the local music store, only for your parents to have to figure out how to fit an expensive instrument into their budget.

These days, that isn’t as much of a worry because companies have discovered how to create those instruments in a way that will suit a budget better, which is wonderful considering the good that such a productive hobby can do for children and beginners of all ages.

One of these instruments is the violin, which has undergone such changes that quality beginner violins can now be purchased for under $300.00, which is a huge deal compared to the prices many of us are used to seeing. With so many options available, it can be hard to tell which of these more budget-minded violins is going to be the best option for you. Luckily, there are articles like this one made to help you get a feel for some of the more popular beginner’s violins on today’s market.

For people just starting out with the instrument, here are some recommendations that you may find helpful:

Mendini MV400 Ebony Fitted Solid Wood Violin

Specs

Sale
Mendini 3/4 MV400 Ebony Fitted Solid Wood Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin, Extra Bridge and Strings
491 Reviews
Mendini 3/4 MV400 Ebony Fitted Solid Wood Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin, Extra Bridge and Strings
  • Size 3/4 violin with solid wood spruce top, maple back, neck and sides with beautiful varnish finish & inlaid purfling
  • Ebony fingerboard, pegs and chin rest, with an alloy tailpiece
  • 2 x Brazil wood bows with unbleached genuine Mongolian horsehair
  • Includes: Lightweight hard case, adjustable shoulder rest, 2 bridges, quality rosin cake, and an extra set of violin strings.
  • 1 Year Warranty Against Manufacturer's Defects

The Mendini 3/4 MV400 violin is available in ½, ¼, ¾ and full size, making it easier to get a perfectly-sized violin regardless of whether it’s for a child or an adult. This violin is made with a solid spruce wood top, with the back and sides made from maple. It has a gorgeous varnish, and inlaid purfling. The fingerboard, pegs and chin rest are all made from ebony, and the tail piece is made from an alloy. As part of the kit for the Mendini, you’ll get two bows made from Brazilwood and unbleached Mongolian horsehair. It’s always a good idea to have a backup bow, just in case one of them breaks at an especially inconvenient time.

The Mendini volin kit also includes a lightweight hard case made to protect your violin without causing you to struggle while carrying it around. You can also expect to find an adjustable shoulder rest, 2 bridges, a quality resin cake and an extra set of violin strings. Finding a quality violin alone for under $100.00 is an amazing find, so getting all these extras along with it is a huge deal that’s really going to benefit you in the long run.

With this violin kit you also get a one year warranty against manufacturer defects, so if you should receive the violin and discover there is something wrong with it you can easily get that taken care of. It’s important that companies are aware that once in a while a product can come out that isn’t quite the level of quality they intended, and are willing to make sure those kinds of issues are resolved quickly and efficiently.

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Pros

This violin has a great sound, which is important considering the price. A lot of lower priced violins can end up sounding off and also often have trouble being tuned. It’s also a very nice looking violin, solidly built with a great finish.

It doesn’t look like a toy or cheaply made as you might expect for something in this price range, which is wonderful and makes it a great violin for young beginners who are still learning how to care for an instrument. It also has a comfortable shoulder rest, making it easy and enjoyable to play.

Cons

While this violin does present excellent quality for the price, it’s important to keep in mind that you do get what you pay for, so some parts might not be as durably made as you would expect from a much more expensive violin.

Some customers have had issues with accessory-type pieces such as the posts and strings breaking. Luckily, the kit does come with an extra set of strings to help remedy that. If the strings in the kit aren’t to your liking, then it may be a good idea to invest in some higher quality ones in order to avoid this problem.


Bunnel Pupil Violin Outfit

Bunnel Pupil Clearance Violin Outfit (4/4)
219 Reviews
Bunnel Pupil Clearance Violin Outfit (4/4)
  • Highest-rated violins on Amazon and #1 rated customer service in the U.S.
  • The only stringed instruments backed by a lifetime warranty and 45-day money-back guarantee.
  • Final assembly and setup performed by Kennedy Violins' professional luthiers in Washington State.
  • Completely setup with no assembly required. Ready to play the moment you open the case!
  • Handcrafted with solid maple and spruce tonewoods, 100% genuine ebony fittings, and oil finish. Outfit includes everything you need: oblong case, genuine Brazilwood bow, rosin, and strings.

Specs

The Bunnel Pupil Violin Outfit comes in ½, ¼, ¾, and full size. Kennedy Violins is known as the highest rated brand of violins on Amazon, which goes to show that not only are they great violins, but the manufacturers also provide excellent customer service to go along with it. These violins come with a lifetime warranty and a 45-day money back guarantee. A lifetime warranty is a huge deal. Many companies may provide a year or two warranty, but Kennedy really takes it to the next level.

The final assembly and setup for Bunnel violins is done in Washington State by Kennedy Violins’ professional luthiers, who will make sure that each violin holds up to the expectations of the company and customers. Once you receive the violin, you won’t have to worry about doing any assembly yourself, just tuning up the strings a little bit and you’ll be good to go!

These violins are made by hand with solid maple and spruce tone woods. The fittings on the violins are 100% ebony and they have a glossy oil finish. The outfit for each violin comes with a professional case, a genuine Brazilwood bow, rosin and D’Addario Prelude strings. You’ll have everything you need to get going with your violin, which is great because no one wants to have to spend extra on accessories like a case, and the backup strings are a wonderful addition so that you can easily replace any strings that might break without having to go buy more.

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Pros

This violin has been known to stay in tune quite well, requiring only small adjustments to get the strings to hit that perfect note. The case is light and durable, making it easy to carry around while still being able to trust that your instrument is safe. Kennedy Violins is known for wonderful customer service, they strive to answer and questions and solve problems promptly and politely. Overall, these violins are beautifully made and absolutely provide great quality for the price.

Cons

A note that should be made about all stringed instruments is that if you order them online, they are likely to arrive out of tune. This isn’t a defect or problem in any way. Things like temperature and humidity can cause changes in the instrument and it’s normal to need to tune it from time to time in order to counteract those effects. Some customers have received Bunnel violins that are scratched. There’s a possibility that kind of damage can happen during shipping, so it’s always a good idea to check your instrument right away and contact the manufacturer if you should see any problems.


Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice Violin Outfit

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Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice Violin Outfit - 1/4 Size
159 Reviews
Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice Violin Outfit - 1/4 Size
  • Every Cremona student violin comes with US-made Prelude strings, the educator's preferred strings for students
  • Properly fitted hardwood pegs and quality lightweight composite tailpiece with 4 smooth fine tuners for easy tuning
  • Low profile Kaufman-style chinrest, oiled neck for better feel and well balanced bow for ease of playing
  • Correct string height and string spacing for accurate finger positioning and intonation
  • Hardwood fittings, hand carved solid spruce and solid maple body, lightweight construction means quality workmanship

Specs

The Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice Violin Outfit comes in ½, ¼, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16, ¾ and full size, making sure you are able to find any size violin you might need. An exciting aspect of this violin is that unlike many violin brands, it comes in a variety of colors including sparkling black, blue, green, purple, rose and the traditional brown for those who prefer it. These color choices can be especially appealing to children who are new to the violin, as it gives them some flare and style while they learn.

Each Cremona violin comes with US-made Prelude strings. These are known to be the preferred strings for students to use. They also come with properly fitted hardwood pegs and a lightweight composite tail piece. There are also four smooth fine tuners to make the job of tuning an easy one. You will also find these violins have a low profile Kaufman-style chin rest and the neck is oiled to allow you to have a better feel and more balanced playing experience.

You’ll find that the strings are placed in the perfect spots to allow for perfect finger positioning and intonation. Each violin has hardwood fittings and is made from hand-carved solid spruce and maple. It has a lightweight, quality design that makes it easy to carry and play. Nobody wants to be uncomfortable while they learn or show off their talents! For under $150.00, this is a pretty great violin setup that will be sure to last for years to come.

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Pros

Some beginner’s violins can be difficult to tune due to cheaply made or misfitting tuning pegs, but these violins don’t have that issue. They are made to me tuned and used with ease. They have a durable lacquer finish, which is especially beneficial to younger first time violin owners who are still learning how to take care of their instrument. The plethora of colors available for these violins also makes them very appealing to younger eyes and allows children to feel special as they learn a new skill. Any product that can teach children a beneficial skill and allow them to have fun is going to be worthwhile.

Cons

The downsides to these violins are few, and mostly deal with accessories to the violin itself. For example, the bow doesn’t come with rosin on it so you will have to spend some time adding a good amount to it in order for it to play well. Some customers also take issue with the quality of the strings, but for the price of this violin it’s unlikely to be too much trouble to have some higher quality strings added if you choose to. Loose pegs have also been a problem on occasion, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. Worst case scenario, it’s a good idea to have a full understanding of the warranty just in case a replacement violin is needed.


D’Luca DL-45012 Meister Ebony Fitted Beginner Violin Outfit

D'Luca DL-45012 Meister Ebony Fitted Beginner Violin Outfit 1/2
4 Reviews
D'Luca DL-45012 Meister Ebony Fitted Beginner Violin Outfit 1/2
  • Ebony Fitted Violin
  • The D'Luca outfit comes complete with a featherweight Case, bow and Rosin
  • Ebony Fingerboard, Chin Rest and Pegs
  • Brazilwood Bow With Ebony Frog and Genuine Mongolian Horsehair

Specs

The D’Luca DL-45012 Beginner Violin Outfit comes in ½, ¼, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16, ¾ and full sizes. It’s an ebony fitted violin that comes with a light and durable case, a bow and resin to keep the bow working perfectly. The bow is made from Brazilwood and has an ebony frog and genuine Mongolian horsehair. It’s a handmade violin with a solid spruce top as well as maple back and sides. This violin has a varnish finish with inlaid purfling and an ebony chin rest, pegs and fingerboard. It also has four nickel fine tuners to make tuning easy.

This violin comes in at just under $160.00 depending on the size you order. Luckily, there are so many sizes that if you are looking for a violin for a child to start learning on and you decide you like these violins, you can easily move up to the bigger sizes as your child grows.

That’s incredibly convenient considering how well-priced these violins are. Typically, these kinds of instruments can go for $1000 or more so it’s always wonderful if you can find one you like that fits the average budget better.

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Pros

The D’Luca violin is a very solid instrument, which is important because typically instruments are known to be rather fragile. It doesn’t take much to leave a scar or knock them out of tune, so especially if you’re purchasing a violin for a child it’s always good to get one you know will be a little bit tougher than usual.

The kit comes with a lot of additional pieces so you won’t have to worry about purchasing a case or rosin extra. You always have the option if you find something you prefer but the add-ons that come with the kit will certainly do the trick otherwise.

Overall, it’s a great value for the cost. Instead of spending a ton of money on one instrument, you can have a quality violin and be able to save or spend the extra money as you please.

Cons

With any product that you order online, it’s important to keep as much information as you can. Things like payment and shipping confirmations as well as warranty information can be very useful in the event that the violin arrives broken in some way.

While these violins have been widely appreciated, a few customers have discovered things like scratches on the violins or bows that or broken or break quickly after they are received. Naturally, the company making the violins wants you to be satisfied with their product, and will likely be more than willing to help you get any problems resolved quickly and smoothly.

Conclusion

Overall, whether it’s the Mendini, Bunnel, Cremona, or D’Luca, you’re sure to get a great violin at a great price with any of these options. Some honorable mentions that might also be worth checking out include the Cremona SV130, which is similar to the Cremona SV-75 listed here, the Stentor 1500, the Knilling School, the Franz Hoffman Amadeus, and the Yamaha Model 5. Having a wide range of brands to check out can always be useful in helping you get what you need out of a violin.

It’s important to keep in mind that any brand is going to have its strengths and weaknesses, that’s why great customer service and a helpful warranty are only going to be beneficial to your violin buying and owning experience. It’s going to be up to you to decide which violin will best suit your needs as well as your budget.

If it’s ideal for you to find the lowest possible cost, then the Mendini 3/4 MV400Violin Outfit is going to be a great option, otherwise it’s just a matter of finding the balance between cost and quality that works best for you.


More Great Violins for Beginners

Cremona SV-130

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Cremona SV-130 Premier Novice Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size
144 Reviews
Cremona SV-130 Premier Novice Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size
  • Cremona's top selling novice violin for more than 10 years; check out the new video
  • Every Cremona student violin comes with US-made Prelude strings; the educator's preferred strings for students
  • Properly fitted Swiss-style ebony pegs and quality lightweight composite tailpiece with 4 smooth fine tuners for easy tuning
  • Low profile Kaufman-style chinrest; oiled neck for better feel and well balanced bow for ease of playing
  • Correct string height and string spacing for accurate finger positioning and intonation

This Cremona beginner violin includes a foam case, an ebony frog and an Brenton Brazil wood bow upon purchase. For the bow, unbleached horse hair is used.

This violin is a popular choice among beginners because it ensures ease of operation, and is sold at an affordable price point without compromising on high quality materials for a great sound. It is made of quality tone wood similar to those used in their premier line.

The top is made from a single piece of crack-resistant spruce while the bottom and sides are made from well-aged maple. As for the pegs, chin rest and fingerboard, ebony is used to ensure that these parts will hold up from constant use.

This violin undergoes strict construction standards as each instrument is carved by hand and graduated one at a time to ensure fine tuning and accurate measurements. As for the fittings, all are made from ebony except for the tailpiece. Instead of using ebony, an A. Breton alloy is used with four integrated tuners.


Stentor 1500

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Stentor 1500 4/4 Violin
106 Reviews
Stentor 1500 4/4 Violin
  • Hand crafted with fine-grained solid spruce top
  • Solid maple back
  • Full ebony fittings. Composite tailpiece integral adjusters
  • Carved, maple neck
  • Rope core strings

This Stentor violin model is also a great beginner’s choice because it produces good sound and it’s easy to play. For the front part, a handcrafted, fine-grained solid spruce-top is used. The sides and back are made from maple with the fittings made from full ebony, except for the tailpiece with four string adjusters which are made from alloy.

It also features a chin rest made from hardwood and Red Label strings which are durable and very sensitive. The Stentor 1500 4/4 Violin outfit also includes a horsehair bow and a fully lined case with a blanket to protect the instrument.

Read the full review here


Knilling School

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Knilling School Model 1/2 Violin Outfit (Shaped Cover, Wood Bow)
6 Reviews
Knilling School Model 1/2 Violin Outfit (Shaped Cover, Wood Bow)
  • Even grain spruce top; solid maple back
  • Solid carved throughout and graduated; inlaid purfling
  • Ebony pegs, nut, fingboard and saddle; Guarneri-style chinrest; shop adjusted in USA; quality maple bridge; synthetic tailpiece with built-in tuners; D'Addario Prelude steelcore strings
  • Shaped case with cover; fully lined interior with matching blanket; two bow holders; accessory compartment
  • Half-lined brazilwood bow with ebony frog; genuine white horsehair

Carved from seasoned tonewoods that features inlaid purfling and high quality ebony fittings, the Knilling School Violin is a popular entry-level violin if you want to invest in an instrument that combines traditional craftsmanship with high-quality materials fora pleasing sound.

Most Knilling violins are factory made except for the bridge which is hand carved individually to ensure the exact fit for the height and spacing of the strings. It has an even-grained spruce top with solid maple for the sides and bottom, including the neck, ribs and scroll.

For the fingerboard, pegs and saddle, ebony is used. It also has integrated tuners and D’Addario Prelude steel-core strings. The outfit also comes with a white horsehair bow made from Brazil wood with an ebony frog and rosin.

Franz Hoffman Amadeus Violin

Franz Hoffmann Amadeus Violin - Instrument Only - 4/4 size
4 Reviews
Franz Hoffmann Amadeus Violin - Instrument Only - 4/4 size
  • Recommended for beginners
  • An affordable alternative to V.S.O.
  • Encourages students to play
  • Won't hinder success
  • 4/4 sized

The Franz Hoffman Amadeus Violin is a very inexpensive student violin and a great alternative for a VSO (violin shaped object) if you are considering to buy one for a child.

Even with the low cost, the manufacturer of this violin has managed to use quality materials, like a spruce front and maple bottom.  It also has ebony fittings and a composite tailpiece to add durability. The sound it offers is pleasing enough to resemble a higher quality violin.

What makes this violin a great alternative is the balance between affordability and substance.  Although cheaper than most entry-level violins, the Franz Hoffmann Amadeus violin is constructed with the right weight and sound to it, and it is also reliable enough to stand up to frequent practicing.

A note though, purchasing this violin does not include an outfit to go with it, which means that you have buy the bow, case and resin separately. This is quite understandable given the low cost.

Yamaha Model V3

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Yamaha V3 Series Student Violin Outfit 4/4 Size
12 Reviews
Yamaha V3 Series Student Violin Outfit 4/4 Size
  • Complete kit
  • Reliable construction
  • Great sound and playability
  • Solid reputation and support
  • Superior durability Woods are thoroughly dried under environmentally controlled conditions to increase durability and to create a reliable instrument that even children can use

The Yamaha V3 Student Violin Outfit is also great for students also because of the affordable price and the complete outfit (bow, rosin and case) that comes with it, which students will find useful.

The case included is perfect for traveling with your instrument because it’s made from durable but lightweight material that makes it easy to carry around. It has a carved, solid maple back and sides with the top made of high-quality and durable spruce.

The fingerboard is made from ebony while the tuning pegs, chin rest and tailpiece are made from rosewood. It also features four fine tuners and Prelude strings.The violin can be played easily and produces a sweet and mellow sound.

 

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