7 Electric Violins Perfect for Beginners and Advanced Violinists Alike
Electric violins are a modern take on the traditional 16th-century string instrument. Their sleek designs, amplified sound, and versatility make them increasingly popular among musicians of all levels.
For beginner violinists, electric violins offer a fun and exciting way to learn the instrument without the limitations of acoustic violins. You don’t have to worry about disturbing roommates, neighbors, or family members with loud practice sessions — just turn down the volume or plug in a pair of headphones!
In this blog, we’ll cover seven of the best electric violins for beginners. But first, let’s learn what an electric violin is, the different types, and how much you should spend on one as a beginner.
What is an electric violin?
An electric violin is a stringed musical instrument that uses pickups to convert the strings’ vibration into an electric signal, which is then amplified through an amplifier or headphones. The first electric violin was created in 1936 by inventor George Beauchamp of NS Design (he also created the first electric guitar).
Unlike traditional violins, electric violins don’t have a hollow body and soundbox, as the sound is generated electronically. This makes them perfect for performing in large venues and recording studios or practicing at home without disturbing others. You can play anything from classical music to pop, rock, or jazz on an electric violin.
Other types of electric violins
There are also other variations of electric violins that cater to different playing styles and preferences, including:
An electric-acoustic violin is a hybrid of an acoustic and electric violin. It has a traditional hollow body like an acoustic violin, built-in pickups, and electronics to amplify the sound.
Acoustic-electric violins are a great choice if you fancy the familiar sounds and feel of an acoustic violin but want the versatility and amplification of an electric violin.
The silent violin, as the name suggests, is designed for quiet practice sessions. Silent violins look like traditional electric violins (solid body without a soundbox), but instead of producing sound through an amplifier, they have a headphone jack that allows you to hear your playing through headphones.
For those in apartments, or young children in bed during your practice time, it’s a great option if you want silent practice sessions.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) is a technical term that describes the communication protocol between electronic musical instruments and computers. MIDI violins use this technology to send signals from the instrument to a computer or other electronic devices.
This allows you to record your playing, compose music using digital audio workstations (DAWs), or even play virtual instruments with your electric violin. MIDI violins are used exclusively for recording music (not for live performances).
Should I learn with an acoustic or electric violin?
And now to the big question: should you learn with an acoustic or electric violin? Are there any major differences that could impact your learning journey?
Short answer: No.
Acoustic and electric violins have the same fingerboard, bridge, pegs, chin rest, and strings (though there are five strings in some electric violins), so the foundation of playing remains the same.
To decide which option is right for you, consider the following:
- Sound quality: Acoustic violins produce a natural, warm, and rich sound unique to the instrument. It’s perfect for classical music, as it allows you to play with dynamics and expressiveness. Electric violins have a more amplified and distinct sound, suitable for modern genres like rock or pop. They also offer different violin sound effects that can enhance your playing experience.
- Playability: Acoustic violins are lighter and more comfortable to hold and play for long periods. You’ll be able to reach the violin strings more naturally, allowing you to develop muscle memory and proper technique. Electric violins can feel slightly heavier and bulkier due to their solid wood bodies and built-in electronics.
- Genres: If you’re primarily interested in playing classical or folk music, an acoustic violin may be the better option, as it produces the traditional acoustic sound quality associated with this genre. However, electric violins offer more versatility and range if you enjoy playing modern music styles or experimenting with different sounds.
- Personal preferences: Do you want to play in orchestras, attend classical music conservatories, or join an acoustic band? Then, an acoustic violin may be the best fit for you. An electric violin may be better if you’re more interested in performing on stage with other independent instruments like guitar or drums, recording music, or exploring different genres and sounds.
How much should I spend on an electric violin?
How much you should spend on an electric violin depends on your skill level, musical goals, desired features, and budget constraints. Electric violins range from $100 to $5,000 or more — so there’s something for every budget.
Here’s what you should consider when determining how much to spend on an electric violin.
- Skill level: You don’t need to splurge on an expensive electric violin if you’re just starting and unsure about your learning commitment. A budget-friendly beginner or student electric violin (around $200-$500) will suffice until your playing skills advance.
- Musical goals: If you plan to perform on stage, record music, or join a band, you need a high-quality electric violin that can withstand hours of playing and provide the desired sound quality. You can opt for an entry-level electric violin if it’s just for personal enjoyment or occasional performances.
- Desired features: Electric violins come with various features and technology, such as built-in fine tuners, preamps, MIDI capability, and effects pedals. Decide which features are essential for you and select a violin that offers them within your budget range.
- Budget: It’s important to consider how much you can spend on an electric violin. Don’t stretch your budget too thin, but don’t settle for a poor-quality violin that may hinder your progress and enjoyment. Aim to strike the perfect balance between quality and affordability.
7 electric violins suitable for beginners
Now, let’s look at some options specifically tailored for beginners. These seven electric instruments offer excellent sound quality, playability, and versatility for a reasonable price.
1. Tower Strings Electric Violin Outfit
Kicking off our list is the Tower Strings Electric Violin Outfit, a great beginner electric violin that stands out for its sleek design and impressive sound quality.
This full-size four-string instrument boasts a solid maple wood body, ebony fingerboard and fittings, carbon composite tailpiece, and high-quality D’Addario Prelude strings, ensuring durability and excellent playability. It’s powered by a 9v battery and features a built-in 1/8” audio jack, preamp and pickup, and tone and volume knobs.
The outfit also includes:
- Sturdy, lightweight case
- Brazilwood bow
- Shoulder rest
- Digital tuner
- Polishing cloth
- 10-foot music cable
- Practice mute
It’s a good electric violin that offers excellent value for beginners who want to start playing immediately without purchasing additional accessories.
2. Yamaha SV-250 Electric Silent Violin
Silent practice is crucial for beginner violinists who may not have the luxury of dedicated practice space, live in a busy household, or have neighbors who may not appreciate their musical journey as much as they do.
The Yamaha SV-250 Electric Silent Violin is a top-of-the-line instrument with exceptional sound quality, playability, and a unique silent feature. It has a hollow body design with a spruce top and maple back, double pickups (body and blend), and high-quality ebony fittings, resulting in a rich and full-bodied tone.
This violin comes with a dedicated control box containing treble and bass controls, powerful preamp, and XLR balanced outputs, allowing you to customize and amplify your sound. Its silent feature, activated by plugging in headphones, allows for realistic acoustic violin playability with no sound output, making it perfect for discreet practice sessions.
3. Cecilio CVNAE-300
This is one of the most affordable options on our list — a great option for beginners on a tight budget.
The Cecilio CVNAE-300 is an acoustic-electric violin with a hand-carved solid spruce top, maple back and sides, ebony fingerboard and fittings, and four nickel-plated built-in fine tuners. The antique varnish finish gives it a classic, elegant look, while the built-in preamp with volume and tone controls allows for easy amplification.
You’ll enjoy its warm, resonant tone — perfect for classical and acoustic music styles. The CVNAE-300 comes with a deluxe plush-lined hard case, Brazilwood bow (with genuine Mongolian horsehair), rosin, and adjustable shoulder rest so you can play right out of the box.
4. Harley Benton HBV 870 Electric Violin
The Harley Benton HBV 870 Electric Violin boasts a sleek and modern design with its glossy black finish and curved body shape, making it stand out from the traditional acoustic violin. It features a paulownia wood body, maple neck, and birch fingerboard for durability and resonance, along with built-in preamp, pickup, volume, and tone controls for easy amplification.
The 3.5 mm jack output allows for easy connectivity to amps, headphones, and recording devices. A great value for the money, this electric violin comes with a padded, sturdy case, composite bow, rosin, and a 9v battery to power the preamp.
5. Vangoa Black Vintage Electric
Closing our list is the Vangoa Black Vintage Electric violin — a standout instrument with its modern yet vintage design and impressive sound quality. It features a premium solid maple wood body in a metallic black varnish finish, carefully handcrafted to provide a crisp, more resonant, and bright sound.
The high-quality ebony fretboard, alloy steel strings, carbon fiber tailpiece (with four detachable fine tuners), and chin rest provide beginner players stability, comfort, and durability. Its built-in preamp and pickup, with volume, tone, and headphone controls, allow for easy amplification and silent practice.
This electric violin is a complete package with a bow, rosin, headphones, aux cable, shoulder rest, 9v battery, case, and extra strings. It’s an ideal setup for novice players who want a quality instrument with all the necessary accessories. Its versatile sound, ease of playability, and budget-friendly price make it a favorite among beginner electric violinists.
6. Yamaha YEV-104 Electric Violin
The Yamaha YEV-104 Electric Violin stands out for its sleek and modern design, lightweight construction, and impressive sound quality. It’s a four-string instrument with a solid maple body (also available in spruce or mahogany), synthetic resin tailpiece with fine tuners, ebony tuning pegs, and Yamaha’s dual piezo pickup bridge, which provides a clear, rich tone.
This Yamaha electric violin has a passive output (meaning no batteries, preamps, or headphones required) and comes with a padded case, bow, rosin, headphones, and an auxiliary cable.
One standout feature is its circuit breaker button that mutes the output, allowing you to practice quietly without unplugging your instrument. Yamaha’s advanced wood processing technology, expertise in crafting acoustic and electric instruments, and commitment to quality make it a trusted brand for beginner electric violins.
7. NS Electric Violin
The NS Electric Violin, created by the renowned Ned Steinberger (of NS Design), is a lightweight and ergonomically designed instrument with a unique shape and features. Its solid maple body and ebony fingerboard provide a rich, natural tone, while the patented Polar passive pickup system offers unparalleled clarity and sensitivity.
The volume and tone controls send 100% of the signal to the amp, resulting in a fuller, richer tone with more dynamic range. The NS Electric Violin is the perfect beginner violin because of its comfortable and easy-to-play design, exceptional sound quality, and versatility for different music genres and styles.
Master the violin with Trala’s expert guidance
The best electric violin for you is the one that feels comfortable, sounds great, and inspires you to practice and improve. Whatever instrument you choose, remember that mastering the violin takes time, dedication, and expert guidance.
Trala offers personalized lessons with experienced violin teachers so you can learn at your own pace and receive valuable feedback to hone your skills. You’ll learn everything from proper bowing technique and finger placement to reading sheet music and playing your favorite songs — all from the comfort of your own home.
Connect with a Trala violin teacher today and take the first step toward becoming a skilled and confident violinist.