How to Buy a Violin | Violin Sizes & Types

How to Buy a Violin | Violin Sizes & Types

Posted by Austin Bazaar on 30th Jan 2015

If you're thinking about buying a violin, there are a few things that should be considered to determine which violin is just right for you. Do you want to play acoustic melodies or shred onstage with an amplified electric violin? Picking the right violin size is also important. Read on to learn how to buy a violin.

What Size Violin is Best

Buying the correct size of violin can make or break your experience. So, get out a tape measure and determine how long your arms are (this may require some one-handed acrobatics unless you have someone to help you). 

Violins are available in fractional sizes. The standard full size violin is referred to as a 4/4 size, with smaller violins being referred to in relation to this size, such as 1/2 size. Violins can even be made small as 1/32 and 1/64 size, though these usually need to be custom-made.

Different Types of Violins

The modern violin is primarily available as an acoustic or electric model. The wood of an acoustic violin will resonate and project sound naturally through the "F holes" of the instrument when you use the bow on the strings. This is the more traditional type of violin.

An electric violin converts the sound of the bow on the strings to an electronic signal, which is then projected through an amplifier or headphones. Electric violins are nearly silent without some type of speaker or amplification device. The sound of an electric violin is slightly sharper than an acoustic violin, and thee are generally better suited for more advanced players.

If you want the best of both worlds, acoustic-electric violins are an option that will allow you to enjoy the classic appearance of an acoustic violin with the ability to amplify it for a more modern sound.

Acoustic Violins

Acoustic Violin

Acoustic-Electric Violins

Acoustic-Electric Violin

Electric Violin

Electric Violin

Anatomy of a Violin

Alright! So you're ready to buy a violin. Here are some basic terms to help you as you begin your search. 

The violin's main sections are named like a human body: the neck, belly (front), back and ribs (sides).

Other parts of the violin:

  • Scroll: a decorative part located at the top of the violin
  • Tuning Pegs: Used to tune the strings
  • Nut: helps keep the strings the proper distance apart from each other and the fingerboard
  • Bridge: vibrates as the string does which delivers the vibration to the body of the violin to become sound
  • Fingerboard: the strip of wood on the neck which sits behind the strings
  • F Holes: the 2 F holes allow sound to come out of the violin
  • EQ & Volume: allows for control of sound on an electric violin
  • Tailpiece: holds the strings so that they are the proper distance from the bridge
  • Chin Rest: allows ease and comfort while the violin rests beneath the chin

Anatomy of a Violin

Need help choosing a violin? Feel free to email or call us at 800-511-1322 for additional information.