Violin Basics

12 Violin Brands for Beginners

Purchasing a high-quality violin built with the right craftsmanship and offers excellent playability will make your learning process smoother and more enjoyable. It is important to keep in mind that instruments that seem more affordable can often be low-quality violins that make learning more challenging, leading to frustration.

Since there are so many violin brands out there, beginners often find themselves lost and overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the right one. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 12 best violin brands that are perfect for beginners, along with expert tips on selecting the right one for you.

1. StringWorks

StringWorks is a reputable brand that specializes in a variety of stringed musical instruments, including violins, for all ages and skill levels. For nearly three decades, they have provided high-quality instruments hand-carved by expert luthiers. 

Their beginner violins feature excellent craftsmanship (a solid spruce top and maple back, sides, and neck) and come set up with beginner-friendly accessories, including a shoulder rest, rosin, and chin rest.

Student violins from StringWorks, like the Crescendo Violin and Artist Violin, offer excellent playability and sound quality at an affordable price. Intermediate and advanced players can also rely on StringWorks for high-quality instruments as they progress in their musical journeys. 

Trala partners with StringWorks to provide the best violins for beginners, and it’s a trusted brand among our community of violin students.

Best features

  • The StringWorks Setup guarantees perfect playability and sound quality out of the box
  • Handcrafted from aged tonewoods by skilled luthiers with years of experience
  • A 14-day in-home trial to ensure you find a good quality violin that suits your playing style
  • StringWorks Trade-In Guarantee, which allows you to upgrade your violin as you advance in skill level

2. Fiddlershop

Fiddlershop makes it easy for beginner violinists to find a good quality instrument by offering a curated selection of affordable violins suitable for all ages and levels. Their entry-level instruments are made with high-quality materials that produce a warm, resonant sound and offer impressive playability. 

The Tower Strings Entertainer Violin Outfit and Fiddlerman Concert Violin Outfit are two top-rated options for beginner violinists. They come complete with a Brazilwood bow, rosin, and sturdy carrying case. Trala’s partnership with Fiddlershop ensures that students have access to quality violins at an affordable price.

Best features

  • High-quality maple and spruce tonewoods dried over 24 months
  • 100% ebony fittings on the fingerboard and pegs for enhanced durability and tonal quality
  • Carbon fiber tailpiece with in-built fine tuners for easy violin tuning
  • A 45-day satisfaction guarantee that lets you test out your new violin and return it if you’re unsatisfied

3. Kennedy Violins

Founded in December 2000, Kennedy Violins has built a reputation for providing high-quality, handcrafted stringed instruments. Their offerings include electric violins, violas, and cellos suitable for beginner and intermediate players. 

Some of their top-rated instruments for beginners include the Bunnel Pupil Student Violin Outfit, the Bunnel Premier Student Violin Outfit, and the Antonio Giuliani Etude Student Violin Outfit. These beginner outfits are all offered at an affordable price. 

What sets Kennedy Violins apart is their dedication to helping beginner violinists find the right first violin by providing personalized advice and guidance. You can navigate their options and choose a violin that suits your needs, playing style, and budget.

Best features

  • Free three-day shipping
  • Lifetime warranty
  • A 45-day money-back guarantee on all instruments
  • Fully set up by professional luthiers for optimal playability and good sound quality

4. Stentor

Edward C. Doughty founded Stentor in 1895, making it one of the oldest violin brands in the market. Today, Stentor is a trusted brand among students and violin teachers, offering top-of-the-line stringed instruments and accessories at an affordable price range. 

Their notable entry-level violins include the Stentor Student I Violin Outfit and Stentor Student II Violin Outfit. The mid-brown varnish on the solid spruce top and maple back, sides, and neck give their violins a traditional, classic look.

Best features

  • Reliable, consistent quality across all levels of instruments
  • Handcrafted with high-quality materials, including solid spruce and maple tonewoods
  • Dark Pau Rosa tuning pegs, fingerboard, and chinrest for enhanced durability and aesthetic appeal

5. Mendini

Mendini is a popular brand among beginner violin learners, thanks to its affordability and decent sound quality. Their entry-level Mendini MV200 and Mendini MV300 violins offer good value for their price point, making them a suitable choice for parents or individuals on a budget. 

While these instruments can’t match the level of craftsmanship of higher-end brands, they still provide an enjoyable learning experience for beginner violinists.

Best features

  • Affordable prices without sacrificing decent sound quality
  • Sleek, modern design with hand-carved spruce and maple tonewoods
  • Includes all necessary accessories, such as rosin, extra violin strings, and a lightweight, sturdy case

6. Yamaha

Yamaha is synonymous with quality and reliability in the world of musical instruments, and their violins are no exception. The brand offers a range of violins suitable for beginner to intermediate players, including the Yamaha AV5-SC, Yamaha AVA5 S, and the Yamaha YVN003. 

You can enjoy the warm, rich sound and comfortable playability of Yamaha violins, while also having the peace of mind that comes with purchasing from a trusted and reputable brand.

Best features

  • Precision craftsmanship using higher-quality materials, such as select spruce and maple tonewoods
  • Perfectly tuned for optimal sound quality
  • Easy to play and maintain

7. Cecilio

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option — without compromising on quality, durability, and sound — Cecilio is a brand worth considering. You can browse through their wide selection of violins, including the Cecilio CVN-300, Cecilio CVN-500, and the Cecilio CVNAE-330 acoustic-electric violin. 

These instruments are designed to cater to the needs of beginner violinists, offering a good balance between affordability and decent sound quality.

Best features

  • Affordable for violin players on a budget
  • Handcrafted with high-quality tonewoods for good sound projection and resonance
  • Superior clarity and remarkable string responsiveness to accelerate learning

8. Eastman

Qian Ni, a flutist from Beijing, founded Eastman Strings in 1992 with the goal of creating high-quality stringed instruments at a more affordable price than those made by European and American manufacturers. Today, Eastman violins are highly regarded for their excellent craftsmanship, exceptional playability, and warm, rich sound. 

The genuine ebony fingerboard and pegs, inlaid purfling, and hand-applied antique-style spirit varnish are Eastman’s commitment to quality and attention to detail. Beginner violinists can choose from options such as the Samuel Eastman VL80, Giuseppe Galiano VL1G, and Ivan Dunov Prelude Model 140. 

Their violin bows also feature quality construction to ensure a wide range of dynamics and expressiveness while playing.

Best features

  • Attention to detail and commitment to quality through handcrafted construction and antique-style varnish
  • Hand-selected solid tonewoods for excellent sound projection and resonance
  • Comes with a high-quality bow that complements the violin’s playability

9. Knilling

Established in 1922 by Bernard Kornblum, Knilling is a trusted name in the world of stringed instruments. Bernard named the company after Johannes Knilling, a skilled German luthier with whom he worked closely to produce high-quality stringed instruments. 

The brand’s rigorous creation and inspection process ensures that every violin is of exceptional quality and delivers the best possible sound, regardless of the price point. Notable pieces for beginners include the Sebastian 110 VN and the Bucharest 4K violin models.

Best features

  • Unrivaled tonality produced by handcrafted European tonewoods
  • Obsessive attention to detail and quality assurance in every violin for excellent playability
  • Carefully selected ebony fittings, German-made strings, and professional setups

10. Primavera

Primavera is a British brand that specializes in producing high-quality stringed instruments for beginner and intermediate players. Their violins boast excellent playability, clear sound, and affordability — qualities beginner violinists should look for in an instrument. 

Primavera violins are designed and engineered to withstand the demands of daily practice and playing, making them an ideal choice for young students and those just starting their musical journeys. Popular models include the Primavera 90, 100, and 150 violins.

Best features

  • Designed specifically for beginner violinists, with a focus on playability and durability
  • Made from high-quality materials, such as solid maple and spruce tonewoods
  • Comes with all necessary accessories, including a lightweight case, bow, and rosin

11. Cremona

Named after the famous Italian city known for its rich musical history, Cremona is a brand that takes pride in creating stringed instruments of exceptional quality and craftsmanship. Cremona violins are handcrafted using traditional methods and techniques passed down for centuries, resulting in instruments with warm, vibrant tones and excellent playability. 

Their beginner violin models, such as the Cremona SV-200 Premier Student Violin Outfit and the Cremona SV-130 Premier Novice Violin Outfit, feature solid spruce and maple tonewoods, inlaid purfling, and premium ebony fittings.

Best features

  • Rich, warm tones and excellent playability achieved through traditional handcrafted construction
  • High-grade ebony fittings and fine tuners for perfect intonation and easy tuning
  • Comes as a complete outfit with all necessary accessories, including a Brazilwood bow and a lightweight case

12. Scherl & Roth

Another excellent violin maker with a long history is Scherl & Roth. Heinrich Roth, a seventh-generation German violin luthier, and Max Scherl, a prominent violin dealer, bought the Simson & Frey firm in 1932 to establish the Scherl & Roth Company. They moved the company to Cleveland, Ohio, and found great success after World War II as the demand for stringed instruments increased. 

Scherl & Roth violins are known for their superb playability, exceptional tonal qualities, and elegant designs. Beginner violinists can choose from models like the Scherl and Roth SR51 Galliard Series Student Violin Outfit and the Scherl and Roth SR41 Arietta Series Student Violin Outfit.

Best features

  • Long-standing reputation for high-quality, handcrafted violins with excellent playability
  • Uses premium tonewoods and traditional methods to produce warm, rich tones
  • Available in various sizes to cater to beginner players of different ages and builds

Our best tips for choosing the right violin as a beginner

Buying a sustainable violin will make your learning more enjoyable and help accelerate your progress. Trala’s violin matching quiz is an excellent tool for beginners to find the right instrument that suits their needs and preferences, but here are some general tips to follow when purchasing a beginner violin.

Research brands first

Research the brand’s history, reputation, and specialties to help narrow down your options. You should also read previous customer reviews and check their ratings to assess the brand’s quality and customer service. Compare factors such as craftsmanship, quality of materials, and included accessories.

Get the correct size

It’s essential to get the correct size violin that fits your body comfortably for optimal playability. Violins come in various sizes, from 1/16 to full size 4/4, to accommodate players of different ages and builds. 

Playing with the wrong-sized violin can lead to discomfort, improper technique, and even injury. The right-sized violin will allow you to maintain the correct posture, reach the fingerboard comfortably, and consistently produce a good sound.

Set a budget for your purchase

It’s essential to set a budget for your purchase and consider the options within that price range. While a higher price does not always equate to better quality, investing in a decent beginner violin will ensure good playability and excellent sound, making your learning experience more enjoyable. Most brands offer entry-level models that cater to beginner players and are reasonably priced.

Ask for recommendations from your teacher

Your teacher’s experience and expertise can be invaluable when choosing a beginner violin. They can guide you in selecting the right size, brand, and model that matches your skill level and learning goals. They may also have connections with reputable violin makers or retailers that offer student discounts or rental options. 

Trala teachers are dedicated to helping students learn and grow as violinists, providing personalized instruction, support, and feedback throughout the learning journey. Your teacher will stick with you from the start, helping you progress from beginner to intermediate and advanced levels.

Buy from a reputable dealer

Avoid buying from unknown sellers and mass-market retailers like Amazon, who may not guarantee the instrument’s quality and authenticity.

It’s best to buy from a reputable violin dealer (music stores, violin shops, or a luthier) as they can offer post-purchase support, including repairs and maintenance, warranty options, and advice on upgrades as you progress. You will also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with investing in a genuine, high-quality instrument. 

Let Trala help you find (and learn to play) the perfect violin for you

Researching brands, getting the correct size, setting a budget, asking for recommendations from your teacher, and purchasing from a reputable dealer are all critical when choosing a beginner violin. 

Trala’s helpful team, violin matching quiz, and dedicated teachers can guide you in finding the perfect violin and provide personalized instruction through structured beginner violin lessons to help you learn and grow as a violinist. 

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