A closer look at the violin (and the viola too)

Like the cello and the double bass, the violin is an ingeniously shaped wooden sound box on which strings are stretched. These strings are vibrated with the horsehair of the bow, after which the sound box amplifies the sound and makes it audible. Fortunately, a good bow for the amateur is not an expensive attribute.

For violin and bow, they must both suit the player well. The physical characteristics of the violinist (physical build, especially arm length and size of the hands) should be the deciding factor in choosing a suitable violin. Fortunately, there are also small violins for children in various sizes (indicated by ¼, ½, ¾ and ⅞), so that there is always a suitable instrument. In this way the violin can grow with the young player, as it were, until he or she is ready for a whole (= normal size) violin. Incidentally, there are also adults for whom a ⅞ violin is the most pleasant end size.

The choice of bow is also something very personal. It must fit the player and in any case be comfortable in the hand. Height, weight and balance play a major role in this.

What else is needed then? A shoulder rest for the violin itself. It is clamped under the violin and bridges the space between neck/shoulder and chin for a comfortable bowing position. And of course there must be strings on the violin. The bow needs to be treated with a block of resin every now and then for a good grip on the strings. The whole (violin and bow) is stored and transported in a violin case, which of course also offers protection against impact. And finally, a music stand is needed to put the sheet music on while playing.

Buy or rent?

It is possible that there is still an old, unused violin somewhere in the family. Great, then the choice to buy or rent does not have to be made, or not immediately. The condition is, of course, that the violin has the right dimensions for those who want to play it.

The choice to buy/rent is not only related to financial aspects. The age of the student also plays a role. If a child has to move on to an increasingly larger violin within a few years, renting is an obvious choice. In addition, there are students who first want to try out whether violin lessons are really something for them. Violinschool Müller has a number of suitable violins for both categories, which can be rented to bridge the period before purchasing your own violin.

The violin maker

The best person to advise on the purchase of a violin is the violin maker. A somewhat misleading name, because the violin maker not only builds violins, but also repairs or restores them. Anyone who wants violin lessons can rent or buy a suitable (which is meant both literally and figuratively) from the violin maker, possibly with the exchange of another instrument. You can also contact the violin maker for maintenance of the violin or bow, as well as for supplies such as strings and rosin. And for those who still have a violin in the attic: he also does an appraisal. Usually it’s not a real Stradivarius, especially if it has Stradivarius on (or in) it.

see all violin makers