Violins are the highest sounding of the orchestral string instruments. They are extremely popular among beginners for their melodic qualities and beautiful sound. Violins are well known for being a mainstay in classical music but are also used in folk, pop and jazz; there is plenty of great repertoire out there to choose from!
Usually, violins are made from a combination of woods, both for a strong, projecting sound and good construction. Spruce is used for the top, whereas the back, sides and neck are usually carved from figured maple. Figuring is a natural growth which creates lines and swirls in the grain of the wood. Depending, on the violin, slightly different woods may be used and on some entry-level instruments, plastic and metal parts tend to be a feature. Violins have four metal strings, tuned in fifths: G, D, A, E.
The violin as we know it today emerged in 16th Century Italy, although its roots can be traced back much further. Aspects of the Lira da braccio (‘viol for the arm’) and viola da gamba (‘viol for the leg’), merged, becoming the modern violin. Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati made instruments are amongst the most sought after violins for both collectors and performers.
The violin is the smallest of all of the orchestral string instruments and is quite manageable, even for smaller framed players. To produce a sound, the player pulls and pushes a bow across the strings. The bow is coated in ‘rosin’ which creates friction and allows the strings to vibrate fully.
Violins are very diverse and cover a wide price range, they start for around £100 and can go well above £25,000 for a master built instrument. Also, they come in a wide range of sizes to suit different ages: 1/64, 1/32, 1/16, 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 7/8 and full size. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure which size is right for your needs, our string specialists can help out.
Beginner outfits are available, which often include a violin, case, bow and some other useful accessories. We are always able to set up and upgrade string instruments to your choosing so please get in touch for more details. Below is a short list containing all you need to start playing the violin, all for under £170 at Alan Gregory Music.
– Quality Violin Outfit: Stentor Student I Violin Outfit – £119
– Shoulder Rest: Fom Standard Plastic Violin Shoulder Rest – £12.74
– Beginner Book: Essential String Method for Violin – £9.99
– Music Stand: TGI Music Stand & Case – £19.51
– Handy Accessory: Hidersine 3V Rosin – £3.74
We stock many alternatives, as well as additional accessories to those listed above. We are always happy to help and offer advice, so please get in touch and one of our string specialists will assist in finding the right products for your needs.