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When is it Time to Upgrade Your Violin?

At some point in your string playing career, there may come a point where your violin is the exact right one for you and never needs to be upgraded. Until then, most beginning and intermediate violinists go through two or three different violins before they invest in “The One” that lasts a lifetime.

Here are some of the signs that it is time to upgrade your violin.

You have outgrown it

If you started playing as a child, odds are you started on quarter-,  half- or three-quarter size violin. Playing a violin that fits your body is essential to ergonomic health as well as your ability to develop good playing habits and technique. 

One violin sizing “rule of thumb” is that the violinist should be able to hold it in position with their chin, stretch out the arm underneath the violin and comfortably wrap the hand around the scroll, so the fingers wrap around by the tuning pegs. 

Read, How to Pick the Right Size Violin… to assess whether you may have physically outgrown your violin and require a larger model.

It is damaged beyond repair

A luthier can do a pretty amazing job when it comes to minor and major violin repairs. However, some violin repair jobs aren’t worth what they cost. If the cost to repair a violin is around half of what it would cost to replace it, you may want to think about upgrading to make the most of your investment. Read, Is This Violin Worth Repairing, for more on that topic.

Your favorite instrument shop or an experienced luthier will be able to tell you whether the repair is worth it and/or whether the sound quality can be upheld. If not, take their word for it and look for a new violin that is the correct size and quality for your playing level.

You’ve upgraded your skill set

We don’t recommend investing in an expensive, top-level violin when you’re first starting to learn. However, beginner violins are just that. They are designed to produce decent sound for an affordable price, but they are made with cheaper materials. Once you become an intermediate and advanced player, it is time to invest in an instrument that delivers the sound your upgraded skill set deserves.

As an intermediate or newly advanced player, you should be playing a high-quality instrument that produces warm, rich tones. Not only will you sound better, but there is also something to be said about the milestone of playing an instrument that matches your playing ability. It is inspiring, and even your practice time will be more rewarding.

Read, How Do You Determine the Quality of A Violin, to learn more about what to look for when you’re shopping. We also recommend exploring the Revelle Violin line, which offers high-quality intermediate and advanced violins at competitive pricing.

Poor sound quality

There is a range of reasons why a violin may produce poor quality sound. Obviously, the skill level of the player is the first consideration, and proper bowing technique goes a long way towards improving a player’s tone. If you're no longer a beginner, and your violin still sounds brassy, scratchy, or whiny, your violin teacher will begin looking for structural issues. 

  • Do you need new strings?
  • Are you using a high-quality bow? (Stay tuned for our upcoming post, What are the characteristics of an excellent bow, to learn more on that subject)
  • Is there a structural or anatomical abnormality causing problems?

If the latter is the issue, the next recommendation is to upgrade to a fine violin.

You are ready to invest

Sometimes, none of the above is the case, but a player is ready to invest in a beautiful, top-notch violin. As we alluded to in the section about achieving intermediate or advanced player status, something reaffirming about knowing you are worthy of playing a valuable instrument. It is the feeling of “I have arrived,” and it energetically realigns you with your commitment as a string musician.

Are you ready to make the upgrade to a new violin? Don’t forget to visit us at the Connolly Music Company online store where we sell some of the finest violins, violin strings, instrument cases, and accessories for string musicians.