If you ask around your friends and family, a lot of them have the impression that old antique violins are better than ones which have been newly hand crafted. Even professional violin teachers have this idea. In fact, this is a world-wide impression. Many people from countries such as Singapore, Malaysia or the Philippines have this thinking. This thinking may influence your decision when you buy a violin prior to starting your violin lesson. However, this is not the only factor to consider.

Let me explain a bit more. Old violins have a high perceived value. This value factors in the tone and playability of the music instrument as well as the historical value. If you have no interest in collecting and investing in old antique music instruments, you can do well by buying a good quality new violin and practice on it for a few years. Since the music instrument is hand crafted from good quality maple wood, the tone of the violin matures over time and sounds richer. As such, a new, good quality music instrument which has matured over a number of years and have a good dynamic range, is good enough if you do not want to spend too much on an investment grade violin.

So looking at this from the old antique violin angle, even if you wish to invest in one, ensure that the music instrument is in mint condition with no cracks and major repairs. Once a violin has been repaired, this alters the tone quality forever. So visually inspect carefully, the old violin you intend to buy. Ask the violin shop the history of the music instrument, who its previous owners are and if the music instrument has undergone any major repair. A reputable violin shop will be able to furnish this information to you accurately.

The next point I am going to touch on applies if you are a parent looking for a violin for your child. You need to think long term, and remember to select based on the best interest for your child. Anyone from age four onwards can learn to play the violin. This is because there are many sizes of the music instrument available, starting from one-sixteenth size, one-eighth size, one quarter size, half size, three quarter size to full size. Typically if your child starts learning the violin from age four, you will need to change five more times before your child grows to be able to play a full size music instrument.

Some parents think only for the short term and do not wish to invest in a good quality children’s size violin. The thought process is that the intermediate violin will only be played for a couple of years before the child grows out of it, so it is not necessary to purchase a good quality music instrument. This thought process is not right as you need to be able to cultivate your child’s interest in taking violin lessons. An awful sounding violin which is poorly crafted will not encourage your child to do well. Conversely, a well crafted child sized violin fitted with good quality violin strings will sound very good and motivate your child to practice.

Learning to play the violin is a wonderful experience. Whether you are an adult looking for your first violin or a parent shopping for your child’s violin, I hope you bear the above advice in mind when you buy your violin.