I had bought my violin last year. It is a used one, and one of the most consistent problems I am facing is the scratchy tones of the violin. I have a different one I use in my lessons, but the violin music wasn't as scratchy as the one I bought myself. I thought it may be a problem with the rosin, but it is not. I use Kaplan Premium for my violin, which is a really good rosin, but it still remained scratchy. It is not a string problem as well, as I have recently changed my E string, and the same problem remained. I tried using more or less rosin and yet, it didn't seem to get better. At this point, I practically have up. It has been a year, and it hasn't gotten better over time. Then how can I make my violin less scratchy?

3 Answers 3


Yeah, when I bought my first violin it was "really scratchy". A year later the scratch had completely disappeared! That was because the scratch had nothing to do with the violin and everything to do with the player.

As a beginner there is always a great temptation to blame the tools, the bow, the violin, the setup, the rosin, the shoulder rest (or lack of a shoulder rest if playing without). Been there, done that. But you need to learn that the first cure for any of these apparent tool-related problems is more practice.

If there really is a problem then it won't magically go away when you hand the instrument to your teacher and ask him/her to play. 999 times out of 1000 the "problem" does go away when you do that.

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    Correct answer. Give a beginner a Stradivari, and it'll sound just as bad as any other instrument. Give a virtuoso a “25$ plywood box” and it'll sound... weird, but she'll know how to avoid it sounding bad-kind-of-scratchy regardless. Some instruments may surpress things like scratch a bit, others bring it out more notably, but ultimately the only way forward is to improve the playing technique to get rid of it entirely (or else, deliberately use the scratch for musical expression). Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 14:54

That's a very difficult question to answer, because there are many reasons a violin may sound scratchy. The best thing would be if you could show it to someone who knows violins- a teacher, a good violinist, a luthier.


First bring it to your lesson so your teacher can evaluate it. "Scratchy" is not diagnosable over the internet :-( . It's quite possible your strings are dead, or cheap/lousy strings to begin with.

As a warning to others, I strongly suggest never buying an instrument without having your teacher or other local accomplished player evaluate it for you. You may have bought a plywood box worth $25 US, in which case it'll never sound good, for example.

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    Actually, I bought both my violin and string with the advices of my teacher and a violinist I know. And my teacher already evaluated it. There was nothing wrong. Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 23:22
  • Does your "lesson violin" have the same strings? Maybe it's simply a much better instrument than the "beginner" one you bought. We really don't have much to go on here. Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 14:00
  • I mean, both are Cremona, both are pretty same, as I ordered my strings from the same company. The only thing that is different is the bow, as the bow in my lessons was separately bought. Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 20:15

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