Getting a Violin: Should I Rent or Buy?

Getting a Violin: Should I Rent or BuyA common question with violinists is: should I buy or rent a violin? In addition to providing fantastic instruction, Washington D.C. Lessons in Your Home violin teachers can help to answer this and other instrument related questions for new violinists. The answer is based on many factors, including age, commitment, and budget.

Size Matters

The first major component in whether to rent or buy an instrument is the age of the violinist. The simple reason for this is that a very young child will grow out of the size of the violin they currently have. For this reason, I recommend renting a violin for your D.C. violin lessons and wait to buy until the student is using a full-sized instrument.

To Rent

When looking for a rental instrument, it is important to make sure someone at the violin shop or music store sizes the child for their instrument so they are playing a violin that fits their body. Other benefits to choosing to rent include more help with maintenance. Strings and bow hair need to be replaced occasionally, and the instrument itself sometimes needs repairs or tune-ups. Additionally, for young violinists it can be difficult to tune the instrument on their own, so it is incredibly helpful to have a violin shop available that can help tune in dire situations between lessons. Lastly, if a student is trying out the instrument and not yet committed to the violin long-term, renting saves money.

To Buy

Of course, many people buy violins as well. Violinists should be careful to select the instrument that is right for them in feel, sound, projection, and of course budget. Obviously, buying a new or used violin is an investment, so violinists want to be sure that it will be a good fit for a long time. Often (though not always) with string instruments, the higher the quality of violin, the higher the price of the instrument as well. For really committed violinists, it is important to buy a high-quality instrument because a better instrument can help improve the sound tremendously. When I was in the process of purchasing an instrument, I found it was incredibly important to try out many different instruments to know what kind of sound and feeling I wanted, while staying in my budget. A good instrument salesperson will ensure that a violinist tries the right violins and bow in their price range and can help clarify the process.

Know The Process

Many beginner violinists are unaware of the intricacy of the process of purchasing a violin. For example, some violins are hundreds of years old while some may have been made just last year. Old violins are often more expensive for their rarity and the historical significance, while newer violins can be less expensive. A certain luthier (violin maker) might make more expensive violins than another. Additionally, the bow is a separate purchase! Bows can be made out of wood, fiberglass, or carbon fiber and it is important to know the pros and cons of each material. While rentals give you a violin, bow, case, and rosin all together, owning your own violin means buying all of these things separately and finding the best fit for you as the violinist. For these reasons, I recommend purchasing a violin when you have a good idea of what you as a violinist want out of the instrument.

Have Questions?

Contact Lessons in Your Home to be set up with a professional D.C. violin teacher for private lessons. LIYH teachers are not only fantastic educators, but also top-notch performers, so they know the process of getting a good instrument for your needs.
By: Emily Doveala

Getting a Violin: Should I Rent or Buy

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