Should I Buy Or Rent My First Violin?
Learning to play the violin is a wonderful, rewarding accomplishment. The violin is a timelessly classic instrument, but it also offers fantastic depths for any music genre. Indeed, every new generation discovers a wealth of possibilities and adds its own distinctive mark on human existence through this versatile and beautiful instrument. From classic compositions to modern pop hits, the violin truly does meld with any type of music.
However, if you’ve recently decided to undertake the challenge of learning to play the violin, you are probably asking yourself (and others) all sorts of questions. New students are often curious about the basic construction and functional aspects of the instrument, but many also wonder (as well as their parents) whether to rent or purchase their first violin.
Yet, since this is a question filled with conditional provisions, it’s best to look at your specific situation to determine whether buying a violin or renting one makes sense for you—because basically, the only thing that matters is your own experience and what will provide the best solution for you.
Typically beginners find a measure of comfort in renting their first instrument. renting allows you to judge for yourself whether or not the violin is for you. Some reasons include sizing considerations and personal commitment.
If the student plans to start learning violin at a very early age (under the age of 6), renting may very well be the best option. Violins aren’t like a piano or a flute; to play them properly you must play the correct size instrument. Indeed, playing on too large an instrument can cause serious physical harm, so you’ll need to make sure that the violin you choose fits your size.
If you need to start playing on anything other than a full size or ¾ size violin, renting gives you the ability to trade up as you grow, without having to buy a new instrument each time. Many instrument shops and dealers offer rental programs that are designed specifically for the budding violinist who’ll need to advance to a larger size instrument(s) later.
This is another ‘case-by-case’ basis. You’ll need to honestly assess the level of commitment you feel, and consider previous hobby experiences. Learning to play the violin is a fulfilling, beneficial skill, but if you have a tendency to show enthusiasm early on for a new activity only to have it wane within six months, renting an instrument may be the better choice for you at first.
If after a certain amount of time, you can’t imagine ever being without a violin to play, then you can look at purchasing an instrument. Many dealers and music shops (but not all) offer discounts on purchases if you have a rental history with them.
Gather Expert Information
Both your music instructor and your instrument dealer will be able to help guide your decision concerning rental or purchase. These individuals love music and are almost always ready to share their experience and knowledge with beginners. Plus, they are in the unique position to help you choose the best option for your level of ability.
It’s Time to Buy when…
Making the decision to purchase your first violin can be a little intimidating. The prices and variety of instruments available can be confusing to beginners, but don’t let it worry you. When it’s time to buy your first violin, there are many resources available that can help you navigate the process. This checklist can help you know when it's time to purchase:
- I know that I want to play the violin, and that it is a skill I want to become proficient in
- The size violin needed for my height and proportions is at least a ¾, or it is a full size
- I want an instrument that facilitates learning through excellent tone, craftsmanship, and accessories
If you answered ‘yes’ to all three, you’re ready to buy.
Depending on the situation, sometimes it makes more sense to purchase your first violin. For example, if rental fees for one year will equal or come very close to the purchase of a great beginner instrument, buying your violin is a better choice. There are some excellent brand outfits available that flawlessly combine artisan quality construction with superior strings and a composite bow, along with a hard case for protection.
Whether you rent or purchase your first instrument, learning how to play the violin is an awesome skill. It has the power to increase both your physical and mental abilities, and it splendidly offers a lifelong outlet for personal expression.