17 Best Violins For Beginners and Students in 2020

So you have decided to start playing the violin? While playing the violin is one of the most rewarding activities you can do, it is also quite a challenge. The violin is renowned for being one of the most difficult instruments to play. However, it is also renowned for being one of the most beautiful sounding instruments. Putting the work in to learn how to play the violin is an investment, but a great investment at that.

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I remember when I was first thinking about learning to play the violin. I had so much confusion around where to start in terms of lessons; Who would be my teacher? Would one lesson a week be enough? When will I be able to join an orchestra? It was an exciting but also slightly stressful time as there was so much to think about, and so much new information I was consuming. Alongside this, I also had to think about purchasing the actual instrument! This brought new levels of confusion as to what kind of violin would be the most appropriate one for me as a beginner.

Violin is slightly different from other instruments out there. For a beginner guitar player, for instance, your first guitar could be a very cheap model, and you could still progress and move on to more advanced levels before you would need to purchase a more expensive, and better model. However, when playing the violin, the model of the instrument is very important. At the beginning stages, if you do not have the model that is right for you, it will make it very hard to progress to a more advanced level. It is vital that you understand the instrument, and what kind of model would be the best for your personal needs and preferences before you make the purchase.

We’ll start this article by discussing some of my favorite violins, but if you want to learn more before reading reviews, this link will take you to my violin information guide at the bottom of the page.

Name of ProductImage of ProductDescriptionPrice RangeFull Review
1. Stentor 1550 (Best Overall)Stentor 1550 ViolinViolin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: Full Size
$335Read Full Review Below
2. Stentor 1400 (Best Under $200Stentor 1400 Violin

Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: Full Size

$175Read Full Review Below
3. Cecilio CVN-300 (Best Bundle Under $200)Cecilio CVN 300

Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ¾, Full Size

$160Read Full Review Below
4. Cecilio CVN-500 (Best Under $300)Cecilio CVN 500 ViolinViolin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ¾, Full Size
$220Read Full Review Below
5. Mendini MV500 (Best under $400)Mendini MV500

Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¾, Full Size

$320Read Full Review Below
6. Cremona SV-175 (Best under $500)Cremona SV 175

Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/10, 1/16, ¾, Full Size

$450Read Full Review Below
7. Cremona SV-600 Premier Artist Violin (Best for under $600)Cremona SV 600 Premier Artist Violin

Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: Full Size

$570Read Full Review Below
8. Fiddlerman Artist (Best for premium quality)Fiddlerman Artist

Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ¾, Full Size

$690Read Full Review Below
9. Mendini MV300 (Best Value)Mendini MV300 Violin

Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/10, 1/16, 1/32, ¾, Full Size

$100Read Full Review Below
10. SKYVN102 (Best Under $100)SKY Full Size SKYVN201 Solid Maple Wood Violin

Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/10, 1/16, ¾, Full Size

$90Read Full Review Below
11. Mendini MV400 (Best for kids)Mendini MV400

Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/10, 1/16, 1/32, ¾, Full Size

$120Read Full Review Below
12. Cecilio CVNAE (Best Electro-Acoustic)Cecilio CVNAE

Violin type: Electro-Acoustic
Available sizes: Full Size

$160Read Full Review Below
13. Cecilio CEVN-2BK (Best Electric for under $200)Cecilio CEVN 2BK

Violin type: Electric
Available sizes: Full Size

$160Read Full Review Below
14. Bunnel EDGE (Best Electric for under $300)Bunnel EDGE Electric Violin

Violin type: Electric
Available sizes: Full Size

$250Read Full Review Below
15. Yamaha YSV104 (Best Electric for premium quality)Yamaha YSV104 Electric Violin

Violin type: Electric
Available sizes: Full Size

$775Read Full Review Below
16. Yamaha Electric Violin YEV105NT (Best Electric 5-String)Yamaha Electric Violin YEV105NT

Violin type: Electric
Available sizes: Full Size

$600Read Full Review Below
17. Kinglos (Best to stand out from the crowd)Kinglos Wood Violin Kit

Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: Full Size

$165Read Full Review Below

Here Are the Best Violins For Beginners

1. Stentor 1550 (Best Overall)

Stentor 1550 Violin

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Estimated Price: $335
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: Full Size

My Review: I personally think is the best violin for beginners overall in terms of quality and price. The wood and other materials used are great quality and it is a beautiful looking violin. What makes the Stentor stound out is the sound production. It is hard to believe that this is a violin under $400! Some of the other budget options will limit your playing, namely for notes very high on the scale, however, the Stentor won’t let you down from this point. It will not sound squeaky or out of tune when you travel further up the register. Obviously you will get more sound pay off the more money you spend, but for a beginner player who is looking for great quality at a budget price, then the Stentor 1550 could be the perfect choice for you!

Build Materials: The Stentor 1550 is made with Ebony fittings on the pegs and fingerboard. Ebony is a popular wood for these fittings as it not only looks great, but it is durable and scratch-resistant. The Spruce wood that is used is solid wood, and the maple is even more durable than this. Spruce and maple are common woods food in violins and they help produce a great sound for a budget price. The overall build of the Stentor leaves the violin very light to hold, which makes it a lot easier to begin learning on.

Finish: The finish of the Stentor 1550 is beautiful and definitely makes the violin look a lot more expensive than it actually is. The deep red color is quite unique for violins, so you can definitely stand out a little bit with this model. The Shellac finish enhances the shine from the instrument, and will also keep the wood fresher for longer.

Bottom Line: If you are commit and serious about learning the violin, however, you still are not in the position to fork out a large sum of money for an expensive model, then the Stentor 1550 will satisfy both these needs.

2. Stentor 1400 (Best Under $200)

Stentor 1400 Violin

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Estimated Price: $175
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: Full Size

My Review: The Stentor 1400 is a classic choice for many beginner players. Due to its popularity, you can be assured that you are getting a great model for the price. Surprisingly, considering the budget price of the Stentor 1400, the sound quality is decent. It comes in a variety of sizes so it is perfect for children and adults alike. This is a very light violin, so it makes it perfect for a beginner who is just getting used to holding the instrument. This will greatly reduce any aches or pains you may have in the beginning stages of learning.

Build Materials: The fittings are not Ebony as you would usually find on a more expensive model, but instead, they are Rosewood. Rosewood is quite an oily surface, so it is great for beginners who need a material they can easily glide their fingers across. However, it is not as durable as Ebony. But for this price, these little details are to be expected.

Finish: The finish on the Stentor 1400 is used with standard varnish which is not that different from any other budget models on the list here. You certainly won’t stand out from the crowd with this. However, the finish does the job of ensuring the wood is kept neat and shiny.

Bottom Line: This is a great choice for anyone who does not want to invest too much money into their first violin. The sound production is decent when you consider the price, and it is very lightweight, making it a great violin to begin learning with.

3. Cecilio CVN-300 (Best Bundle Package Under $200)

Cecilio CVN 300

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Estimated Price: $160
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ¾, Full Size

My Review: This is a perfect choice for anyone that wants to purchase a violin with the entire package of accessories. The Cecilio CVN-300 comes with everything you could possibly want or need! The Cecilio CVN-300 is available in four different sizes, so it makes a great choice for adults and children alike. This model includes two bows, which really makes the Cecilio CVN-300 stand out in this list. A professional violinist will always have two bows in their case. You never know when you will need a spare. Perhaps in the middle of rehearsal one of your bows warp or snaps, having a backup is a lifesaver in these circumstances. It also includes a tuner, which is a great help when you are a beginner and trying to figure out the standard tuning. Alongside this, you will get a lesson book, a case, rosin, shoulder rest, and an extra bridge. I really meant it when I said you get everything you could ever need with this package! It is the perfect choice for anyone that wants everything, without the hassle of purchasing it all separately.

Build Materials: Again, the Cecilio CVN-330 includes Maple and Spruce wood, common woods used for the body of the violin. Like the other models previously mentioned, these woods will help with your sound production. The overall weight of the violin is pretty light, so this makes it a great choice for beginners who are struggling to learn the correct posture when holding a violin.

Finish: The antique varnish leaves the body of the instrument extremely shiny, which may deter you slightly. However, this kind of finish is very common on cheaper models so your violin certainly won’t be the only one with a shiny top finish like this.

Bottom Line: As I have previously mentioned, this set comes with an entire kit to get you started. If you don’t want to spend too much time researching, browsing, and purchasing all the different accessories, you’ll be extremely happy with this violin.

4. Cecilio CVN-500 (Best Under $300)

Cecilio CVN 500 Violin

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Estimated Price: $220
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ¾, Full Size

My Review: The CVN-500 is marketed as a luxury violin, without the hefty price tag. This instrument can also be used for advanced players, but all the features make it perfect for those searching for their first violin. The sound is great, and you won’t have to fork out too much money to secure this instrument. In many ways, the Cecilio CVN-500 is an investment as I believe it can still be used beyond your beginner level years. It is always nice to come back to have a play on your first violin, no matter what level of playing you are at.

Build Materials: The Cecilio CVN-500 is made from premium tonewoods which greatly enhances the sound without raising the price tag. All fittings are ebony ensuring longevity and the ability to withstand a little wear and tear. Overall, the materials used make this violin very lightweight, which is a great feature for a beginner player.

Finish: Finished with a ‘satin’ antique varnish, the Cecilio CVN-500’s look is shiny, yet tasteful. The varnish does a great job of keeping the wood intact and producing an air of luxury with the instrument.

Bottom Line: The Cecilio CVN-500 is a great cost-saving option that will definitely not compromise on sound production. Like all budget options, there are drawbacks, but for a starter violin at this price, the Cecilio CVN-500 will not disappoint.

5. Mendini MV500 (Best under $400)

Mendini MV500

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Estimated Price: $320
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¾, Full Size

My Review: The Mendini MV500 is the perfect balance between quality and price. It is not too expensive, while also having a decent build and sound quality. Like all budget options, there are some drawbacks. The only major drawback with the Mendini MV500 is the issue with the pegs, but that is something that a small amount of peg glue can fix. All fittings are ebony which ensures that it is durable. If you are on somewhat of a budget, then the Mendini MV500 could be a great choice for you or your child.

Build Materials: The Mendini MV500 is a great choice if you are struggling to learn how to properly hold the violin. It is very lightweight meaning that you will have a much easier time learning the correct posture. The materials used are spruce and maple wood. The fittings are ebony so you know that they can take a little wear and tear, making this a great kids option also.

Finish: The finish on the Mendini MV500 is produced with a fired look varnish, in a deep brown color. This is quite unusual for a traditional violin, and it certainly makes the model look a lot more expensive.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for an easy option to strike the balance between quality and price, then the Mendini MV500 could be a good choice for you. It is by no means perfect, but for the price, it will certainly satisfy any beginner player.

6. Cremona SV-175 (Best under $500)

Cremona SV 175

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Estimated Price: $450
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/10, 1/16, ¾, Full Size

My Review: For those looking to splash out a little extra cash for their beginner’s violin, the Cremona SV-175 could be a great model for you. The instrument comes ready to play right out of the box, so no initial tuning or string set up is required. The craftsmanship on the Cremona SV-175 is excellent and makes the price tag of the instrument hard to believe. Beginner players will probably find that the sound production and overall ease of play with the Cremona SV-175 will help them technically develop further in comparison to most other beginner models on the market today. It has been a bestseller for over three decades, so you know you are purchasing a reliable model with the Cremona SV-175. This model may be even more appropriate for beginners who are looking to upgrade from their initial instrument.

Build Materials: The Cremona SV-175 is handcrafted with maple for the back of the instrument, and spruce wood on the front. Having Ebony for the fittings, especially the fingerboard, will assure you that, even though this is a beginner’s violin, the instrument will last for a long period of time.

Finish: The finish of the Cremona SV-175 only adds to its appeal. Finished with warm, brown varnishing, the body of the instrument looks similar to an instrument of higher price value.

Bottom Line: The Cremona SV-175 is perfect for anyone on the market for a more expensive model of a beginner’s violin. This model would even suit someone who is still at beginner’s level but wishes to upgrade their initial, cheaper instrument. It is great value for money, and the sound production you get with the Cremona SV-175 for the price tag is worth paying out a little bit of extra cash. Overall, I would say this is the best violin for beginners under $500.

7. Cremona SV-600 Premier Artist Violin (Best for under $600)

Cremona SV 600 Premier Artist Violin

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Estimated Price: $570
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: Full Size

My Review: Anyone that’s looking for a great beginner violin in the $500 – $600 range, the Cremona SV-600 violin would be a wise choice.  This model is definitely an upgrade from some of the earlier models, hence the higher price tag.  It has high quality fittings, strings and accessories, making this a wonderful violin to begin learning on, or to move onto the intermediate level with.  The beautiful orange tone of the finish is enticing, and the tone will definitely help you progress faster than other cheaper models on the market.  If you can afford it, paying the extra money for the Cremona SV-600 is definitely worth it.

Build materials: Like the other models mentioned on this list, the Cremona SV-600 utilises maple word for the back and the sides of the instrument, and Sprucewood for the front.  The ebony fittings on this model are beautifully placed, and are sure to last.

Finish: The unique deep orange finish on the Cremona SV-600 really shows the great quality of the instrument.  Considering the Cremona SV-600 isn’t classified as extremely expensive, the instrument certainly looks like it is worth a lot more than its price tag.

Bottom Line: If you’re willing to spend a few extra hundred dollars then the Cremona SV-600 would be a great choice for you.  The tone quality is superb, and it will really push beginners or near enough intermediate players into the higher level of violin playing.

8. Fiddlerman Artist (Best for Premium Quality)

Fiddlerman Artist

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Estimated Price: $690
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ¾, Full Size

My Review: The next violin on our list is the one I have chosen as the most premium quality instrument for beginners. Obviously, with this level of quality comes a hefty price tag, and the Fiddlerman Artist violin is the most expensive item on the list here. Fiddlerman has been a recognizable and reputable violin company for over 30 years, so you can be assured that you are buying a great instrument. For a beginner violin, you will never find a sound that is as great as the Fiddlerman Artist. The instrument gives off a professional sound that is similar to older violins. It plays well and all beginner level violinists will find their technique and playing increase tremendously after playing the Fiddlerman Artist for a while. Although the price tag will not suit everyone’s budget, I highly recommend spending the extra cash on the Fiddlerman Artist if you can.

Build Materials: The Fiddlerman Artist is made from Spruce and Maple wood, like many of the other models on this list. However, what sets this instrument apart is the craftsmanship. The Fiddlerman Artist has been handcrafted to a very high standard.

Finish: Using a subtle varnish finish, the Fiddlerman has an older, vintage look to it, and closely resembles a more expensive instrument.

Bottom Line: The Fiddlerman Artist is a great violin for those who can afford to splash out a little bit for their beginner’s violin. All models are handcrafted by luthiers, and this is clear to see once you pick up the instrument. Paying for this expensive instrument will pay off in the long run.

9. Mendini MV300 (Best Value)

Mendini MV300 Violin

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Estimated Price: $100
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/10, 1/16, 1/32, ¾, Full Size

My Review: At just under $100, this violin is a bargain! The Mendini MV300 is the perfect choice for anyone where budget is the top priority. It may not be the best sounding violin on the list provided here, but it certainly is the cheapest. Mendini is a very popular brand among cheap, entry-level violins. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes, including rare small sizes like 1/32 and 1/16! If you have a little one who is just starting out, the size and price make the Mendini MV300 a great choice. The package even includes a shoulder rest, rosin, and an extra bridge.

Build Materials: The Mendini MV300 violin has a solid maple back and a spruce front. This is a great feature of the Mendini as it uses the same woods as most other entry-level violins but at a much cheaper price. The fingerboard, pegs, and chin rest are made from maple wood. Unfortunately, this is where the Mendini lacks some of the higher quality materials that more expensive violins would have. Usually, these fittings are Ebony, which is a much more durable material to use. However, when you take into consideration the price of the Mendini, I think this small detail shouldn’t deter you from the model.

Finish: Although the finish on the Mendini MV300 will not stand out in a crowd of violins, the oil varnish does a great job in ensuring the wood is kept intact and the body looks professional.

Bottom Line: If you are truly committed to becoming a top violinist then this is definitely not the model for you. However, if you’re looking for an incredibly cheap option until you decide if the violin is for you or not, then I recommend the Mendini MV300.

10. SKYVN102 Solid Maple Wood Violin (Best Under $100)

SKY Full Size SKYVN201 Solid Maple Wood Violin

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Estimated Price: $90
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/10, 1/16, ¾, Full Size

My Review: This is my top choice for anyone that is searching for a new violin that is under $100. It is an excellent choice if you are on a budget, yet you are still wanting to purchase your very own instrument. Perhaps, you are not even sure if you are fully committed to learning the violin just yet. If that is the case, then purchasing a cheap violin like the SKYVN102 is a good idea. The SKYVN102 violin comes in full size and is decent quality, considering the price tag. This violin has not been made to last past your first few years of learning the violin as the quality is not as durable as the other models mentioned on the list here, and many of the features are quite basic. However, while it is not the best in terms of sound production and quality, it is certainly the best price for a beginner violin that you will get.

Build Materials: The SKYVN102 violin is a great budget choice, but that must be remembered when taking into consideration the craftsmanship of the instrument. The SKYNV102 uses maple and spruce wood for the body of the violin, similar to the other instruments mentioned on this list. However, the fittings are not up to the same standard as some of the other, more expensive models. Obviously, small details such as these are the drawbacks of purchasing a cheaper model.

Finish: The SKYNV102 model has an oil varnished finish which, in my opinion, is a great addition to the instrument. What you are left with is a non-shiny coat that will protect the wood of the violin, while not making it look extremely cheap. In this regard, the SKYNV102 model definitely looks a lot more expensive than it is.

Bottom Line: While this violin will not give the most amazing sound and if you wish to advance into the higher levels of violin playing you will definitely need to repurchase a more expensive model, the SKYNV102 is a great choice for anyone on a budget. It is a clear winner in terms of its low price, and I don’t think you would be able to find another violin on the market for this price and this level of quality. It obviously has its limitations, but if you are a beginner violinist, only searching for an instrument to get you started, then the SKYNV102 would be a good choice. All in all, it’s one of the best student violins out there for anyone on a tight budget.

11. Mendini MV400 (Best for Kids)

Mendini MV400

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Estimated Price: $120
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/10, 1/16, 1/32, ¾, Full Size

My Review: The Mendini MV400, when purchased in the smaller sizes of 1 /4, or 1/2., is the perfect choice for children who are just beginning to learn the violin. It has a great design and build for the price, and the sound production in the scale range of beginners is decent. It is extremely lightweight so perfect for little ones. The fingerboard and overall build allows great ease of play and allows little fingers to glide easily over the strings. The Mendini MV400 also comes as part of a set with a shoulder rest, a tuner, and rosin included so it is a great choice for anyone starting out that needs all the accessories too.

Build Materials: As usual, the Mendini MV400 has been built using Maple and Spruce wood for the back and front of the instrument. It has been fitted with Ebony pegs, chinrest and fingerboard, which is great for younger players as it means it will really last through a little bit of wear and tear.

Finish: The unique finish on the Mendini MV400 utilizes a deep orange color, to help your child’s instrument stand out from some of their friends’ models.

Bottom Line: The Mendini MV400 is a great choice for your child’s first violin. It is considered cheap to buy, yet still gives off a great sound for what it is. Most importantly, it is very lightweight and easy to use, so your child will not have issues carrying this around to rehearsals or to school. Overall, I would say this is the best beginner violin for kids. For the money, it’s simply hard to beat!

12. Cecilio CVNAE (Best Electro-Acoustic)

Cecilio CVNAE

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Estimated Price: $160
Violin type: Electro-Acoustic
Available sizes: Full Size
Note: 3 Colors Avaliable

My Review: The Cecilio CVNAE violin is the perfect choice for anyone that wants the best of both worlds; Acoustic and electric! It is a great beginner’s violin for anyone that wishes to try out playing the acoustic violin and electric violin. The differences in sound between an acoustic and an electric violin are significant, so this is the perfect purchase for those wishing to try their hand at both. This particular model is one of the most popular models sold by the brand Cecilio. It comes in full size, and also includes a bow, auxiliary cable, rosin and shoulder rest. There is no need to purchase many more accessories for your instrument with this Cecilio model. The sound quality produced by the Cecilio CVNAE is above average compared to other beginner’s models on the market, and it even comes in a wonderful white color so you can really stand out!

Build Materials: The Cecilio CVNAE violin is made from Maple wood, both in the back of the body and the front. Maple, as has been previously mentioned is a popular choice for beginner’s violin models. Constructed with Ebony fittings for such a low price is a wonderful addition to this great violin. The Cecilio CVNAE also includes a tailpiece with 4 nickel-plated fine tuners.

Finish: The finish on the Cecilio CVNAE is superb. Not only does it come in a beautiful white color, but it is also varnished with an antique finish, producing a shine that gives the impression that the instrument is much more expensive than it is.

Bottom Line: The Cecilio CVNAE is the best choice for beginner players who wish to purchase a violin that will give them acoustic and electric capabilities. For this price, there is not another violin of this standard on the market that will give you this option.

13. Cecilio CEVN-2BK (Best Electric for Under $200)

Cecilio CEVN 2BK

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Estimated Price: $160
Violin type: Electric
Available sizes: Full Size

My Review: If you’re on the hunt for an electric violin for beginners that won’t cost you too much money, then the Cecilio CEVN-2BK violin is perfect for you. This violin not only sounds great, but it looks great too! It is a sleek stylish black frame, making it look a lot more expensive than it actually is. It comes with everything you would need from the tone and volume controls, chinrest, and a tailpiece for tuning. Electric violins on the market right now can become incredibly expensive when you factor in the accessories that are needed also. The Cecilio CEVN-2BK is a great alternative to this. It sounds great and you get all the accessories included for a budget price. It even includes a set of headphones so you can practice late at night without bothering anyone!

Build Materials: For the price of $160, this violin is a great steal. The build is decent, however, it will not be of the same level as other more expensive models on the market. Understandably, when you are buying an electric violin at this price, there are some drawbacks in terms of the quality of the build. The body is made from solid maple, and all the fittings are ebony, which is surprising considering the price of the instrument.

Finish: With a black metallic finish and a mother of pearl inlay, this electric violin is beautiful, especially given that it is a budget choice.

Bottom Line: The Cecilio CEVN-2BK is the perfect choice for beginners who are looking for an electric violin on a tight budget. The package includes everything you need to get you started, without breaking the bank!

14. Bunnel EDGE (Best Electric Violin for Under $300)

Bunnel EDGE Electric Violin

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Estimated Price: $250
Violin type: Electric
Available sizes: Full Size

My Review: The Bunnel EDGE is an electric violin model made from the company, Kennedy. Kennedy is world-famous for its production in electric violins. They also have some of the highest ratings for electric violins on Amazon. The Bunnel EDGE is a great choice for beginner violinists who are looking for an electric violin. As it is priced under $300, the Bunnel is the perfect balance between price and quality. With the Bunnel EDGE, you will get a great violin without breaking the bank. The Bunnel EDGE is handcrafted with maple wood and all fittings are made from ebony. It even has a piezo-ceramic pickup, which is surprising given the low price of the instrument.

Build Materials: The entire body of the Bunnel EDGE is made from maple wood, so the sound will not be compromised with this electric violin. It has pearl features to give the impression of a more expensive model and the bow is made from Brazilwood, a material making it very easy to lift and play with.

Finish: The Bunnel EDGE is one of the most attractive electric violins you can choose from. With pearl accents and a black finish, you can look stylish while on stage performing with this violin.

Bottom Line: The Bunnel EDGE is a great choice for beginner players who want to try out an electric violin without spending too much money. As the Bunnel is not the cheapest, the design and craftsmanship will help beginner players find their tone and develop their technique.

15. Yamaha YSV104 (Best Electric for Premium Quality)

Yamaha YSV104 Electric Violin

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Estimated Price: $775
Violin type: Electric
Available sizes: Full Size

My Review: The Yamaha YSV104 electric violin is a great choice for those beginner players who can afford to splash out on a premium quality electric instrument. Although the price tag will not be suitable for most beginners, this top of the range electric violin is definitely worth every penny. If you can afford it, I recommend the Yamaha YSV104. The SRT powered system produces the most magical sound when played, and the feasibility of practicing on this instrument is the reason why the price is so high. This is why the Yamaha YSV104 is so perfect for beginner players – The instrument will do most of the work for you! If you are an entry-level player who is really struggling to perfect their tone, purchasing the YSV104 will help you out tremendously. There are two reverb options with the Yamaha YSV104, which makes it a great choice if you need to practice with the sound acoustics of a performance hall, but have not yet performed publicly.

Build Materials: The Yamaha YSV104 is a solid body violin with an SRT Powered system, which gives it the sound production of an acoustic violin but with the ease of playing of an electric.

Finish: The finish on the Yamaha YSV104 is a beautiful matt black, which is perfect if you wish to look extra stylish while performing on stage. With pearl accents and unique outer body shape, the Yamaha YSV104 really stands out in terms of look compared to other electric violins.

Bottom Line: If you are on the market for your first electric violin and are willing to spend premium prices, then the Yamaha YSV104 is definitely the instrument for you. This violin will help beginners get to grips with not only playing the violin but an electric one at that. The instrument is designed for playing to be as easy as possible, so it is great for developing your technical skills.

16. Yamaha Electric Violin YEV105NT (Best Electric 5-String)

Yamaha Electric Violin YEV105NT

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Estimated Price: $599
Violin type: Electric
Available sizes: Full Size

My Review: The Yamaha YEV105NT electric violin is a great choice for any beginner player who wants to start learning on a 5-string violin.  This model is extremely lightweight and easy to hold, making it ideal for a beginner learner.  You don’t need to worry about having aches and pains from playing too long with the Yamaha YEV105NT.  This model gives the traditional look of a violin a modern twist.

Build Materials: This unique Yamaha model actually uses 6 different types of wood, including Spruce and Maple Wood.  This gives the Yamaha YEV105NT a natural and resonant sound that is unique compared to other models on this list.  All fittings are Ebony, so you can be assured that these will last you a long time.

Finish: The beautiful design of the woodwork on the Yamaha YEV105NT gives this violin its edge.  The colour combination of the wood gives it an earthy look, while also adding to the overall sound production.

Bottom Line: For anyone in the market for a non-traditional violin with 5 strings, then the Yamaha YEV105NT would be a great choice for you.  It is very lightweight to accommodate beginner players, and the sound production will help to enhance your tone and technical development also.

17. Kinglos Wood Violin Kit (Best to Stand Out From the Crowd)

Kinglos Wood Violin Kit

Check Price on Amazon

Estimated Price: $165
Violin type: Acoustic
Available sizes: Full Size

My Review: Last on our list of the best beginner violins is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a unique instrument that will help them stand out in orchestra rehearsals! Kinglos has a unique take on the traditional look of the violin and produces instruments with patterned designs painted on the body, such as roses. It is still made from Spruce and Maple wood, so the crazy designs do not deter from the sound quality. The funky design patterns are always a great way to keep your child engaged with their lessons and practicing!

Build Materials: Even though the Kinglos violins have unique designs painted on the body of the violin, the materials used are still Spruce and Maple wood, ensuring that the sound quality is of the same standard as the other models mentioned on this list.

Finish: The finish on the Kinglos student violin is what makes this purchase so unique. You are able to choose from a variety of colors and patterns to ensure you really stand out on stage. The finish is of high quality and does not deter from the overall sound production.

Bottom Line: It is perfect for a child who needs extra engagement, or for anyone playing in a rock band looking to add a touch of edge to their performance. It’s a great student violin but it can also be used by more advanced players.

Violin Buying Guide

Following this, I have then included a long list of my top favorite violin models that I think would be just perfect for someone at the beginner’s level. These products will range in quality, price, and sound, so you are sure to find the right choice for you somewhere in this list!

Before we get into the buying guide, I think it is best that we go through the basic anatomy of the violin. As a beginner, it can be confusing what parts are called what on the instrument. In order to fully access what would be the right model for you, you will need to know what everything is on the instrument!

Anatomy of the Violin

The Bow

The Bow is separate from the actual violin instrument, however, it is vital when playing so it is included here. The bow is a large, long stick with tightly wounded material (usually horsehair) stretched between both ends. The horsehair section of the bow is used to run over the strings in order to produce the sound.

The Scroll

As you can see from the accompanying picture, the scroll is at the very top of the instrument. It is usually beautifully decorated, with various designs carved into the wood. Some may think that the scroll is purely for decoration purposes. However, you need to use the scroll to ensure you know if the violin is the appropriate size for you or not. As the violin comes in a variety of sizes, it can sometimes be difficult to know what size is best for you. You should be able to hold the top of the violin, with the instrument under your chin and with your hand around the scroll. Your arm outstretched should only have a slight bend at the elbow. If you can not reach the scroll and curl your hand around it, then the violin is too large a size for you and you will need to try a smaller sized model. If your hand is able to stretch much further than the top of the scroll, then the violin is too small for you, and you will need to try a larger-sized model.

Tuning Pegs

Just like every other stringed instrument, the violin will need to be tuned regularly. You can use the tuning pegs to do so. They can tighten or loosen the string depending on whether you need the pitch to be higher or lower. On the violin, there are four separate tuning pegs.

The Neck

The neck of the violin is very delicate and should be handled with care. It is usually made up of at least two different types of wood. One for the underside, and one for the fingerboard (where you will place your fingers to change the notes).

The Body

The main area of the violin is what we call the body of the instrument. Usually, it is made from at least two different types of wood and will act as the soundboard when you are playing and causing the strings to vibrate. The type of wood the body is made from will have a great influence on the sound quality of the violin.

The Bridge

The bridge supports the strings when they are tightly pulled down the body of the instrument. You use the bow to play the strings above the bridge. Playing below the bridge will cause you to produce a very high pitched and not so nice sound!

The Chin Rest

The chin rest is contoured and smooth, to ensure that the player will experience maximum comfort while playing. This is a vital accessory so if your new violin does not have a chin rest, you should definitely purchase one. Having a chin rest will mean that you can play comfortably for long periods of time, and it will also improve your form and posture, enhancing the quality of tone production.

Overall Quality Considerations

Obviously the most important thing you need to think about before purchasing your new violin is the quality of the instrument. The materials used to make a violin can range in quality immensely, so it is vital that you take your time and consider what materials are right for you, your level, and your budget.  All the materials used to create the violin, from the wood to the pegs, to the bridge, will all contribute to the sound output of the instrument. That is why it is so important to find an instrument that has the best quality as possible for your budget.

The best wood to look for when you are purchasing your first violin would be solid wood. Solid wood could include maple or spruce. Solid wood will ensure that your violin will produce the best sound possible, and is definitely the most popular choice for beginner players. The way in which the wood has been cured will also have an effect on sound production and the overall quality of the violin. When the violin has been cured properly, then all the proportions will be consistent throughout the instrument, therefore, enhancing the sound production. If solid wood is used then this usually indicates that the instrument has been properly cured. Overall, this aspect is very difficult to know just by looking at a violin, especially if you are a beginner. Because of this, ensure that you purchase your violin from a reputable company or luthier.

It is not only the type of materials used that will affect the sound quality of the instrument, but it is also the craftsmanship. You want to ensure that the wood has been joined tightly and properly fitted and that the instrument has good symmetry. A professional luthier will be able to discuss all of these things in detail according to the particular instrument. However, even as a beginner, you will be able to detect easily if the instrument has been crafted well or not. A reputable luthier is your best bet in ensuring great quality craftsmanship. It once was the case that the only decent violin models were those handcrafted, and thus, were much more expensive. However, nowadays, many manufactured models have combined cheap manufacturing processes alongside great craftsmanship. So you can get the best of both worlds! Here are some points that you should look out for in your new violin to ensure that it has been crafted well:

  • Joints that are solid: You can see clearly if the instrument’s joints are fitted tightly together. If you press lightly on the body of the violin there should be absolutely no movement or noise emitted.
  • Symmetry: We mentioned this briefly before. When you look at the instrument, everything should be fitted in a symmetrical fashion across the instrument. This is an easy detail to spot even for a beginner.
  • Gaps between the pegs and the wood: Any violinist will understand the frustration when your pegs are ‘slipping,’ i.e. the instrument will not stay in tune as the pegs do not properly fit into the peg hole. This can happen to instruments over time, and usually is not a big deal. However, if you are purchasing a violin it should not already have this defect. This is a sign that it hasn’t been properly refurbished, or it has been sitting unused for a long period of time.

Remember, as a beginner player you will want all the help you can get to sound better. A great quality violin will help you immensely with this. The better the sound of the violin, the more motivated you will be to continue learning and moving up through the levels.

Size

I have previously mentioned how a violin will come in a few different sizes. The violin will range from up to a 4/4 size. A 4/4 sized violin is classified as a ‘full’ sized one, and an adult player should only be playing on this particular size. However, if it is your child that is learning the violin for the first time, then they may need one of the smaller sizes. It has been mentioned at the beginning of this article how to decide which size is most appropriate for you, but in case you’ve forgotten, let’s go over it briefly again; If you cannot comfortably wrap you left hand around the scroll at the top of the violin, with a slight bend in your arm, then the violin is too big for you and you need to go down to a lower size.

Selecting the appropriate size is so important in ensuring that a) you will be able to play comfortably, and b) that you can develop your technique well. Playing on a violin that is the wrong size for you can cause serious technique issues, and may even cause you pain and discomfort in your shoulders, back, hands, and arms. You definitely do not want to suffer from chronic injuries just because you picked out the wrong size of violin! An experienced player or luthier will be able to help you choose the correct size for you, so trust their advice.

One thing that many parents think they can do is purchase a violin for their child that may be too big for them, but hoping that they will ‘grow into it’ so as they will not have to purchase another instrument in the future. Please take my advice seriously on this, do not do it! It is not worth the extra money you will save as you may cause your child to suffer a serious, long-term injury as I have mentioned before, or your child will not be able to develop their technique and all the money spent on violin lessons will be a complete waste! It is always better to purchase the appropriate size for them at the time.

Sound Production

Another vital factor when purchasing your new violin; the sound! We have mentioned how the craftsmanship and quality of the instrument will have a huge effect on the sound produced, however, each violin will have its unique sound output, also. No two violins will ever sound the same. Each violin will have its own distinct tonal ability, range, and depth. Analyzing the sound quality of a violin may be tricky when you are a beginner, and an expert will always have a better ear for these kinds of things. However, even as a beginner player, you will have your own opinion and taste of what you like a violin to sound like. Only by playing on a variety of models will you understand what sound you prefer.

Rent or Buy

All intermediate to advanced players will want to purchase their own instruments. However, as a beginner, renting is an option. Perhaps you are not 100% committed to the idea of playing the violin long term and you don’t want to fork out quite a lot of money buying a new instrument. Perhaps you know you only have a short amount of time to dedicate to learning the basics and therefore you only want the instrument for that amount of time. Whatever your reasoning, renting a violin is a great way to start playing without the long term commitment or large expense of purchasing one.

If you are not completely sure the violin suits your taste, then renting it for a couple of months is a great way to try it out before handing over all your cash! Also, if the violin is for your child and they need a small instrument, renting one until they are able to play on a full-size violin is a great idea. Any shop or seller of violins will have instruments in stock for the purpose of renting. Just be careful, as the instrument is not yours, you will need to be extra careful that it doesn’t become damaged.

Price

Obviously, another very important factor for many when they are purchasing a new violin is the price of the instrument. It is a common fact that violins can be extremely expensive, even if you choose a beginner’s model. Many people on a budget will need to think carefully about what model they are going to buy and where they are going to buy it. Purchasing a good quality violin for a cheaper price is definitely possible, but it will take more time researching and planning before you find the right instrument.

Ideally, for most people, you will want to find the best quality instrument for the lowest price possible. Each instrument will differ in price depending on where you buy it, whether it is new or second hand, and on the quality, so giving exact prices is difficult here. Usually, a good quality beginner violin will cost you around $600. Again, this price is not accurate and will depend on many factors. You may wish to lower the price to suit your budget and accept a lower quality instrument, or you may wish to raise the price in order to find a very high-quality violin. All of this will depend on your personal budget and how much you are willing to spend. My first violin cost $400, which to many seems very cheap, however, I played on this for three years before moving onto a more professional model. Even if your beginner violin is not exactly the kind you want, you can always change it in a few years after you have developed your technique and have had more time to shop around.

Branded or not

When you are browsing violins you will come across numerous models that are branded, and some that aren’t. There are many conflicting views about this. On the one hand, an unbranded model may be cheaper for the same quality of a branded model, but as it doesn’t have the allure of a brand name, the price must come down. On the other hand, having a violin with a reputable brand name will put your mind at ease that it is of good quality. This decision will depend on what your own preferences are. Some popular brands for violins are Prelude, Arioso, and Virtuoso.

Modern or Old Instrument

You may have already seen the conflicting views online on whether you should purchase a brand new violin, or an older, secondhand model. It is true that the older the violin becomes, the better the sound quality. This is because as the wood ages, the sound also develops. However, you only really need to think about this when you are at the intermediate or advanced levels. For a beginner’s violin, there should be no problem with buying a brand new model. Of course, if you wish, you can always purchase an older instrument, but it will be a lot more expensive. If you are not sure that playing the violin will be a long-term commitment for you, then we would definitely recommend not splurging out on an older model and instead, purchase a cheaper new model.

Online or In-Store Purchase

You will find a variety of different opinions on whether you should buy your violin online or in person at a store. Many have the opinion that you must only purchase a violin after trying it out at the shop first. However, we believe this is quite an outdated opinion. Yes, if you are an advanced player and are purchasing a violin worth thousands of dollars, then, of course, you will need to take your time and try out the violin in the shop first. In fact, most sellers of violins at this price will allow you to take the violin home for a week or two to really understand the instrument and its sound.

However, as a beginner player, there is no need to put so much effort into trying the instrument out before you purchase. Fortunately today we live in the digital age, which means purchasing an instrument on the internet is now easier and safer than ever. Many companies that sell musical instruments online should also include a time period in which you can send the instrument back and receive a full refund, should it not suit your tastes. As always, if you are purchasing your violin online, be sure to purchase through a reputable company and read the reviews of the instrument beforehand.

Strings and Accessories

With all of this discussion on purchasing your new violin, you may have forgotten some other vital accessories that will need to be purchased also, namely, a bow, strings, a case, and more. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as purchasing a violin and then you are good to go. There are many other things needed to ensure you can comfortably play each day, and that you can look after your new instrument. Here is a list of the top accessories needed and why they are important (Note: We will discuss the bow later as much more detail is required for this):

  • Strings: Obviously strings are vital as without them you can not play the violin! When you are purchasing your new violin it will come with a set of strings, however, these may be over-used and old. We recommend buying a new set of strings that suits your preferences of sound quality, feel, and price. The store where you are buying your strings will be able to recommend the perfect set for you and your new violin.
  • Chin Rest: As has been previously mentioned, a chin rest is vital to ensure that you can comfortably play the violin for long periods of time without discomfort. Many believe that the chin rest will also help improve your posture and technical development. Most violins will come with a chin rest, but if it doesn’t then we recommend you purchase one. Even if your new violin does include a chin rest, it may not suit you and it may be more comfortable to purchase one with a different shape.
  • Should Rest: A shoulder rest is similar to a chin rest in that it will improve posture, technical development and will ensure that you are more comfortable playing. However, it is connected to a different part of the violin and looks very different also! A shoulder rest will attach to the lower end of the back of the body of the instrument and will rest on your shoulder. A shoulder rest will increase the distance between the violin and your shoulder. Trust us, this accessory will do wonders for ensuring you do not have any neck or shoulder pain after a long day of playing!
  • A Case: A durable and reliable case will be vital in ensuring that you do not damage your instrument while transporting it around. Many people fail to invest money in their case and regret it at some point. Your case will also ensure that your violin is kept at the right temperature, as overheating can cause the wood to increase in size, thus reducing the sound quality production.
  • Rosin: Purchasing rosin will be vital in ensuring that your bow will be able to move across the strings of the violin. It is a small block of sticky substance that helps the soft bow hairs pull the string and make the vibration needed to produce a sound.

The Bow

The next vital piece of equipment that you will need to purchase alongside your violin, is the bow. You can’t play the violin without one! Some people believe that the quality of the bow doesn’t matter as much as the violin itself, but these people are mistaken. Having a good quality bow will be important in producing a great sound and to ensure that you can technically develop. You must remember that the bow is equally as important as the instrument itself. There are many different materials that the bow can be made from, and which one you choose will depend on your personal preferences and your budget. Here are two of the most common materials and a short description of each:

  • Carbon Fibre: Carbon Fibre is becoming very popular as a choice of material for bows. It is incredibly light which makes it ideal for a beginner who is not used to holding the weight of the bow yet. Carbon Fibre is also much more durable than other materials. However, it can be more expensive.
  • Brazilwood: Brazilwood has been a popular material for bows for a long time. These types of bow are very fragile and tend to warp very easily. However, they are cheap to produce and buy, and because of this, they are the most common among beginner players.

Before you purchase your bow you should try it out with your instrument first. Not every bow will be a great match for every violin, and its important that you feel comfortable with both. Different bows will produce a different sound on every violin, so take your time on deciding which sound is best for you. There are also many lengths, weights, and balances of bows. When purchasing the bow the shop owner will be able to discuss these differences with you. Choosing the perfect bow for you and your violin will ensure that the sound production is of top quality and you will be comfortable enough to play for hours on end!

Insurance

Taking out insurance to cover your instrument is an important first step in playing. Even if, in your eyes, your instrument did not cost too much, it is always worth having the peace of mind that if something did go wrong, you are covered. Accidents do happen, and so often many musicians are left heartbroken because their instruments been damaged and they can’t afford to fix it. Find a reputable insurance company that specializes in musical instruments so they will understand the ins and outs of being a musician.

Get advice from a teacher

We would always advise you to take your teacher along with you while you are purchasing your violin, bow, and accessories. Aside from being able to give you their expert knowledge on the subject, they will also know a great deal about your playing and your technique. This will help immensely when trying to decide what violin and bow to go for. If you don’t have a teacher just yet, then you should ask a professional player to come along with you to help you out. Although the person selling the violin should know a great deal about the instrument, it is always worth having someone there that can guide you. If you can’t take someone with you, check with the luthier or the shop owner if you can take a couple of violins home for a week or two. Generally, sellers are more than happy for you to do so. If this is the case, choose your top two or three favorites. It would be wise to choose ones at the lower end of your budget and then also the higher end of your budget. You and your teacher can then spend an hour or two trying them out together before you make your final decision.

Some good advice when you are purchasing a new violin is to take your time and do not rush into any decision too fast. Purchasing a new instrument can be a big commitment and you want to ensure you find one that is the absolute perfect fit for you. Don’t be afraid to go back to the same seller a couple of times to re-try instruments you are not sure about. It’s better to be safe than sorry with a decision like this.

Conclusion

To conclude, I hope that you have found this article helpful, and in fact, I have no doubt that you will have chosen your perfect beginner’s model from this information. Remember that although purchasing your first violin can be a daunting and stressful task, it is also a wonderful opportunity. Playing the violin is a rewarding hobby and will bring you joy for many years to come.  Even if a model has the top ratings online, don’t feel pressured into buying it if you don’t think it is the right fit for you. The right violin for you will depend a lot on your personal budget and preferences. Just remember to stick by our top tips of what you should be looking for in your first model and you will have no problem purchasing the most appropriate violin for you, or your child.

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