Hellmich Violins

What is important in a good beginner instrument


First of all, I advise against buying an obviously broken instrument without expert advice, without being able to estimate repair costs and sound. Often, supposed “bargains” hide huge cost traps and even private sellers will often not be able to give you the expert advice that you can expect from violin makers and should expect for this important investment. Collectors may be interested in such a purchase, but this article is aimed at people who want to buy an instrument that is already intact and ready to play.

A good beginner instrument must do one thing above all: work

Quality features are playability, solid material and good workmanship. Since sound is quite subjective, it can only be evaluated individually.

The vertebrae:

Since especially beginners Tuning often difficult, special attention should be paid to the vertebrae. These should be made of a hard material like ebony, professionally fitted into the provided peg holes, and should turn well. A fine tuner is also appropriate for beginners.

The fingerboard:

Should be made of ebony or ebony alternatives and have a slight hollow so that the vibrating string does not hit the fingerboard, causing a clang. If there is too much hollowing, playing becomes very strenuous for the gripping hand. Humps on the fretboard surface also make it difficult to play cleanly.

The neck:

Should not be too thick and have no irregularities. Comparing different necks, you develop a feeling for which size is suitable for your own hand shape.

The fingerboard slope:

Should not be too flat, otherwise the bow can hit the center bow when playing.

The jetty:

Must be set accurately. The distance between the strings and the fingerboard depends on it, as well as the playability of string transitions. A rounder top edge of the fingerboard makes it easier to play the individual strings, while a flatter curve favors playing double stops and fast transitions. For a beginner, a stronger rounding is advantageous.

The bridge height should be set so that the strings can be pressed easily, but do not hit the fingerboard. The same goes for the top nut, the strings should not be too high and not too flat over the fingerboard.

If, in addition to these functional factors, you still value sound and response, the instrument should be customized to your specifications by a luthier. This can be influenced to a certain extent by the choice of strings, bridge and position of the voice.

All instruments made by good violin makers are already tested for the above criteria.

This is usually not the case with violins from the Internet, and making them playable is much more expensive than the value of the instrument itself. You’ll find out exactly what else makes the difference in another blog post.

My special offer:

I will set up the fingerboard, bridge and voice to your specifications when the purchase contract is signed. We set the sound together and purchase in installments is possible after personal examination and agreement.

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