I want to buy a violin I will not take lessons just play with it in my little free time and I don't seek to be professional or any thing so I may buy a second-handed violin as I have little money.

What should I know about violin before buying it and what should I look for? Also Is it a good idea to buy from e-bay or Amazon or I have to buy it from a instrument shop to not getting fooled or something?

5 Answers 5


I agree with the other answers that you cannot expect a very high quality instrument at that price point, but that's not necessarily a reason not to do it. It does mean that you really don't need to worry too much about the quality.

If you do go to a music shop and get to examine the instrument first, then look at all the joins -- all the places where two pieces of wood are connected together. All the bracing around body and especially the heel of the neck where it joins the body. And don't just look, but run your fingers over it. Any rough spots or irregularities are a sign to put that one down and examine a different one.

If you order one online, you won't have this opportunity. But you should still be able to return it and ask for a different one if there are any noticeable problems, it'll just take a lot longer.

Particularly with an online order, you may still want to take it to a music shop and have them look it over. You may want to have someone skilled to string it up and set the bridge (the bridge is a separate, movable piece, and it will need to be placed correctly while putting the strings on).

If it's violin that you want to play, then do it. And don't start with an "easier" instrument if it's not what you want to play. My father wanted to learn the electric bass as a child, but was told to start with piano since his hands were small. Having no interest in piano, he lost interest in playing music altogether! And that's just horrible.

But the other answers are also correct. Violin is very difficult and even more so if you're on your own. But you don't necessarily need weekly lessons either.

There's a middle ground. Any place that offers music lessons should be able to offer you a smaller package. Maybe take 4 lessons, and space them out.

The first lesson is to show you how to stand, how to hold the instrument, how to apply resin to the bow, and how to push and pull the bow on each string. After a few weeks of practicing with this, take another lesson to check your progress and maybe start some simple fingering exercises. After a few week of practicing with this, take another lesson to learn a few scales. Then practices those scales to train your ears and your fingers to find the right notes. At the fourth lesson, maybe begin to work on a simple piece of music.

You will also need to learn to read music. Guitarists (and Lutists) can cheat with tablature but violin music will be written in standard notation.

My basis for all this is that I have a cheap viola, bought from Amazon, that I am privately learning to play. I have the advantage of a lot of music theory and experience with other instruments, but still I had to start at the beginning and two years in, I'm still not very good.

But it's still lots of fun. Fun that could not be had if I didn't own the instrument.

  • thanks for the great advice the city i am in doesn't have many instruments shop and i just visited one yesterday the seller was completely ignorant he don't know any thing about music he just know the prices which will not help at all
    – mr.Arrow
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 12:07
  • I see. Then you'll have to learn to place the bridge, too; and to put on the strings. But there are lots of videos and pictures that you can search for to help. Anything that you need that you can't find by searching online, come back and ask about it here! Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 20:25

I suggest hiring an instrument.

  1. At least it should be maintained properly if you get it from a reputable shop.

  2. If you lose interest you can simply stop hiring it.

  3. If you continue to be interested, you will now know something about the instrument and therefore have a clue what you are buying. At the moment you have zero clue about what is good or bad.

  4. If you like the hired instrument, they might even sell it to you.

  • Hiring is known as renting in the USA. And +1! This should get you a much better instrument. Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 2:49
  • it's a great idea yet there is no one hiring instruments in my city
    – mr.Arrow
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 12:08
  • Really? May I ask what city? (No need to answer if you prefer to keep it confidential) Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 12:14
  • Then visit a neighboring city. Just call around some music shops. Or email. Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 4:38

Well, if you're buying one of those factory-fresh $100 with bow, case and resin offers, you can't do much right. Those are guaranteed to be lousy. Like, really lousy. Your best bet is likely buying an instrument that has been in active use until reasonably recently from someone who can no longer play, possibly because of being dead. Make no mistake: it's a bet. Once it stops being a bet altogether, you pay for quality. And the playing fun and progress really depends a lot on how good an instrument is.

It's usually a good sign when the instrument is at least something like 70 years old because then it is from a time where cheap mass manufacture still was, after all, handiwork rather than CNC milling and working with wood in a manner where it has a reasonable balance between stability and sound quality just requires manual work. Don't expect to find a great instrument that has been sitting in an attic: for one thing an instrument needs active play, for another, there are a lot more instruments with sigils from famous names glued into them than there are instruments actually built by the same.

A lot of those are from mass manufactures at the Czech/German border around the turn of the 20th century. They can be reasonable value these days when they have been kept well. Not more, not less. Usually it's a better sign when you never heard of the name in the instrument. That makes it more likely that somebody actually was proud of his own work.

  • thanks sir for valuable answer by the way I have 300 le which equal 43 dollar and I know I will found a one with that price here but it will be lousy , I am trying to be optimistic
    – mr.Arrow
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 17:02
  • 1
    Not to be negative, but with a cheap violin and no lessons, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. It won't sound anything like you imagine it. Violin is one of the most difficult of all instruments to coax a beautiful sound from --even people with great instruments and years of training can struggle. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 17:17
  • that's mean i will keep listening only :( may be i will try another thing
    – mr.Arrow
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 17:49
  • 2
    when you listen to four seasons symphony you just want to do this beauty yourself
    – mr.Arrow
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 17:51

Having a good violin makes a huge difference, but until you play for a while, you won't know what you're looking for, so it might be best to just get a cheap instrument for now, and upgrade later.

However, violin is among the worst instruments to teach yourself. It won't sound good at all until you reach a fairly high level of skill and it's easy to develop bad habits that would get in the way of any future success --maybe even be physically damaging to your wrists (i.e. carpal tunnel).

If you want a stringed instrument you can potentially teach yourself without lessons, guitar is a much better bet.

  • so if I can't learn violin which i love by my self and i don't like guitars very much is there any instrument i can play my only seek is to entertain myself not any body else
    – mr.Arrow
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 17:04
  • You could get a cheap keyboard. Or a recorder (the flutelike instrument). Or maybe even a harmonica. Those are all inexpensive and relatively easy for a beginner to get started on. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 17:08
  • 1
    I do know self taught violinists. None of them are great, but some are still fun to listen to and play with. That said, other instruments probably are easier to learn on your own.
    – Karen
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 18:24
  • 1
    I agree with the first paragraph but not the second. I'm self taught on the violin, and even though I'm not great in any way, I can saw away without making horrible dying cat noises, and it didn't take me a year to get there. You just have to spend your first few months learning how to hold and use the bow and nothing else. Guitar is a great instrument to learn if you don't want to spend a huge amount of time on it, and you can also play a lot of popular music on it unaccompanied. My first scrape on the violin was 100 times better than my hundredth clarinet blow. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 18:33
  • I've edited my answer to soften it a little, but in my experience violin is not an instrument to learn on your own. Maybe if you have prior experience as a musician, but not starting from scratch. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 18:40

Hiring an instrument is a good option. Important: you have to consult your teacher or any professional violinist prior buying an instrument. Never consult the seller.

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