9 Secrets to Buying a Quality Beginner Violin or Fiddle

With hundreds of fiddles & violins for sale from eBay to Craigslist, it can be hard to figure out which beginner violin or fiddle is good for yourself or your child. Unfortunately, some violins for beginners are made of inferior materials (such a plywood) and are not properly shop adjusted (meaning that you could spend up to $75 setting up the violin properly). By using this 9 point test, you can be assured that the beginner violin you're looking at is a quality made instrument. Here is our 9 point test.

  1. Fine tuners. Make sure they can easily turn both ways without resistance.

  2. Type of wood. Make sure the violin is made of solid wood. Please kindly know that many inexpensive beginner violins sold online use inferior woods like plywood (laminated). Unfortunately, due to the tension created by the strings onto the bridge, plywood made violins usually break within 6 months.

  3. Height between the fingerboard and strings. If the person using the violin cannot push down on the string comfortably, either the bridge needs to be re-cut or the fingerboard nut is too high.

  4. Even spacing between strings.

  5. Parts made of plastic. Plastic parts have a short lifespan causing the instrument to have a short lifespan.

  6. Separation of strings. Strings shouldn't cross or touch.

  7. Curved bridge. Make sure it is curved enough so your bow won't play on two strings.

  8. Equally separated strings.

  9. Inlaid purfling. Make sure violin is made with inlaid purfling, which is a strip of wood added to the edges of the front and back of the violin to protect the violin from cracks.
If the beginner violin you are looking at does not pass one of these nine points, we would discourage you from buying it. The violin will either be very frustrating to use or end up costing you more money to fix than to purchase a new one.

Here is our beginner violin and intermediate violin:

Beginner Violin


Intermediate Violin