I am just about to start learning the violin. To provide some context, I am not looking to pursue it professionally and am pursuing it for recreation. However, i still want to reach an intermediate level of skill. Currently, I have no background in music.

My main concern is that I am not very well financed and would not like to invest substantial amounts of money as a beginner(however, I am completely fine with spending more money later on as I get advanced). My current budget is less than $100 which is amongst the cheapest rates for a violin.

I was wondering if starting to learn the violin on a cheaper instrument could be detrimental later on as I transition to a better crafted instrument.

Regarding research, I looked at a similar question on the site however the question was slightly different and have thus, asked it afresh.

This is my first question on the music stack exchange and please suggest any edits if required. Thanks!


No recommendations - not from this site! A cheap full-sized violin will do you for a year or so, by when you'll have either given up, or realised it's a cheap violin. Go for it.

Cheap doesn't necessarily mean nasty. There are plenty of beginner instruments around these days. Might even pick up a pre-loved (my favourite). So, it would suffice for the time being, as you may find it's not your dream after all. Even if you had a Strad. it might be that the violin's not for you! At that point, not a lot of money badly invested. But if you do take to it, the violin itself will tell you it's time for an improvement. So get a better one then!

One potential problem with a cheap instrument can be that it has a poor sound quality. However, as long as you are satisfied with it at the beginning, you can upgrade later on as your ear develops. The key is that you feel good playing whatever instrument you buy. Purchase the instrument you like most within your budget. Perhaps you can hear someone demonstrating the instrument for you.

  • This reads as a comment. May add something about why a cheap violin is okay and why OP will outgrow it? – Aaron Feb 16 at 18:31
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    @Aaron - I felt it was apposite in itself to be an answer. However... – Tim Feb 16 at 18:37
  • Well, major bonus points for using the word "apposite", but, yeah, IMO it's too thin. – Aaron Feb 16 at 18:39
  • @Aaron - read on... and where's me bonus points? – Tim Feb 16 at 18:42
  • Putting on my editor hat ... :-) It reinforces your core point, but I think it's a really strong answer if you add something specific about why OP might outgrow an instrument. IMO, the key factor is the tone of the instrument, which I infer in your answer, but +1 for making it (or other factor) explicit. – Aaron Feb 16 at 18:46

For a while I repaired amplifiers in a music store that provided rental instruments for students. These instruments were not top of the line instruments because there is no way of knowing how well these instruments would be cared for, but literally thousands of students learned how to play on these instruments. That shows that it's a valid approach when a new student is starting their musical education. You have the option of purchasing your own instrument and then upgrading when you can afford it or you might consider signing a rental contract at your friendly neighborhood music shop until you can upgrade. It's another option.

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