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I'm a self-teaching violinist. I bought my violin 3 years ago and have been practicing since than. I'm a highschool student, so I don't have much time to practice, so I'm slow at learning it. (I'm practicing classical music, BTW.) Because of quarantine, I'm staying at home, so now I have much more time practice my violin, and I think I'm a bit better than before. Recently, I've had a feeling that I should change some accessories for my violin like the bow, string, and bridge. I wonder if it is worth buying something good for my violin, like a Pirastro Tonica (~$30), a bow around $40, and/or a violin bridge like "Aubert à Mirecourt No.7". My violin is a Chinese violin "Christina V02" that I bought for $98. I've been using the cheap accessories that came with it. I think the strings are around $5, the bow is <$10 and the bridge is <$1. What do you think? As a high school student, I'm low on budget, so I don't think I'd buy a new violin soon enough.

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I'm a self-teaching violinist.

That's really the crux of the problem. If you had a teacher they would be able to give you far and away the best advice. I'm guessing you don't play in the school orchestra else the leader's advice would also be very useful.

Generally speaking the two things most worth upgrading in your situation are the bow and the strings. They are what, in the first instance, actually make the sound.

Tonicas would be a great choice for strings, particularly if you are currently using $5 strings.

For the bow I would try and get a halfway decent carbon fibre bow, but be prepared to go up to $100. At this low price point you will get a much better carbon fibre bow for your money than wooden bow.

It's almost impossible to give advice about a bridge over the internet, but the likelihood is that if what you have is a VSO (violin shaped object) then the cost of fixing the things that are wrong with it probably exceeds what it would cost to buy a decent student violin. Such changes would in any case have to be performed by an experienced luthier and that would cost. You can't just go out and buy a bridge over the internet and then make the adjustments (possibly involving cutting and trimming the bridge), adjusting the soundpost, etc., to improve the sound.

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  • In my country, there is no music subject and in my area there is no music teacher or luthier too. So I have to do everything online. For the bridge I thought when u buy it you could just put it on the violin between the sound hole, don't know that u have to adjust it – user635988 Aug 26 at 11:28
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    The problem is that the soundpost is not glued in place. It has to be so else it would not be possible to adjust the soundpost position. The soundpost is held in place by the pressure the strings place on the bridge and on the top of the violin. To replace the bridge you have to first slacken all the strings which removes this pressure so the soundpost can fall. Once the bridge is replaced and the strings tightened again then the soundpost will need to be repositioned. For a similar reason when you replace the strings it should be done one at a time to maintain the pressure on the soundpost. – Brian Towers Aug 26 at 11:45
  • ohh no, last time I changed my string by remove all the string – user635988 Aug 26 at 11:50
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    As an instrumentmaker, I support what Brian says here. Better strings, followed by a better bow, will make the most difference in sound and playability. I'd just add that while it's good practice to replace the strings one at a time, the soundpost will only very rarely fall down if all strings are removed at once. If your soundpost is still in place, you don't need to bother with it. – Scott Wallace Aug 26 at 13:16
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    @user635988 That's a tough question. Normally, I would discourage anyone from changing the bridge themselves, because it's not easy. You have to fit the feet to the belly of the violin and get all the dimensions correct. However, if the original bridge is really shot, you really don't have access to a pro, are good with your hands, and aren't too worried about messing up the violin, you could try. Alternatively, you could take the strings off one by one and superglue some bits of wood or paper in the slots to bring the strings up to their original level in the bridge. – Scott Wallace Aug 27 at 10:06
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"I wonder if it is worth buying something good for my violin"

You are not buying it for your violin, you are buying it for you. The real question I think is whether the money will be wasted. In my opinion NO. If you are serious about playing and stick with it then some day you will buy a better violin and those accessories that are no perishable (like strings and rosin) will be put to good use.

As for the bow, $40 does not sound high end to me. Bows can cost 100's or 1000's of dollars for a good one and having played violin and classical bass my teachers always stressed the importance of a good bow. Some pros pay more for their bow than for the instrument. In many cases a low quality instrument will sound better with good accessories so it is worth it to try. Again, even if it does not improve you have better stuff when you get a better violin.

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    Yeah, I've been thinking if I should just save the money until I could afford new violin or just buy new accessories. Thanks for your advice – user635988 Aug 26 at 15:57
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    I was about to write an answer with exactly the same first sentence and mostly identical first paragraph. – fdreger Aug 26 at 17:39
  • @fdreger, make a new second paragraph and go for it. – ggcg Aug 26 at 17:44
  • @user635988, that is a tough call. If the violin is really poor quality maybe wait but if it is a decent student model then in my experience a high quality bow and strings will make it play and sound better. – ggcg Aug 26 at 17:45
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    @user635988, violin is a tough instrument to master. I've played violin and classical bass. The bowing technique takes a lot of time and patience to master and before that it can sound like a cat getting hit by a car. Only time will help with that, and occasional help from a good teacher. – ggcg Aug 27 at 19:30

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