If you pay more, will you get a better instrument? Many composers, particularly those who write for cello, suggest starting at around $200 for a beginner’s violin. That’s a lot of money, but then you can expect decent sound—and that makes a fine violin worth it.
What I have found is that some of my most popular pieces have been written with inexpensive violins. I write my most popular pieces on inexpensive violins for reasons that are obvious but bear noting. I’ve made the decision that I’m not a teacher of music, and I’m not going to get any better. So, I just pay my violin dealers the amount they charge my cello instructors, and they do their best to make sure I can afford to play music of quality. So, the reason to try these kinds of instruments is that they will give my players the absolute best of both worlds, because their violin is going to be good enough and cheap enough to have good sound.
But now that the story is starting to make a bit of sense, let’s get back to the viola.
The Viola: An Ideal for a Beginner Violinist
I’ve previously written about a good violin that was only priced at $150. The instrument was a very poor quality instrument, and it cost me only $150. The only good thing was that both of my cellist colleagues were blown away with it. They said they’d been playing their cello, and that it was just fine and they wanted to get the viola. I was so thrilled that they would be willing to pay the $150 for a well-made instrument. It’s a wonderful idea.
What I don’t like in a violin is that the lower register (bowing and playing on the lower strings) and the upper register (blowing out the lower notes) of the viola makes the instrument very difficult to learn. You can’t really go to a viola for a lesson unless you’re very advanced. Most people who want to develop a taste in music do it in a band, or in a concert band, and that is the right way to do it. If you want to learn to play cello, then you should never, ever pick up an instrument unless you’re absolutely certain that you are capable of playing it.
That being said, here is my advice:
Beginner violin lessons should only be done with violas. That is a rule in which you are absolutely certain
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