Buying Fractional (small) Sized Violins

March 25, 2016

Purchasing lower priced fractional (small) sized violins.

It is the tendency of parents to spend as little as possible on a child`s first violin. This is often a small fractional size instrument. This is entirely understandable, yet is not without pitfalls.

Fractional sized instruments are always a compromise. The smaller body size takes away the instrument`s ability to amplify the strings. There is no way around this. If you take a regular sized and small violin of equal quality, the larger instrument always sounds and plays better. The smaller the violin the harder it is to get good tone. This is ok on good higher end models. In this case, the smaller violin is still acceptable, even though it is not nearly as good as the larger sizes. The problem occurs when you are purchasing a lower grade model that does not sound good to begin with (in 4/4) and is just barely playable. Where a $100 full sized (4/4) violin may be playable, a 1/16th size of the same model may be terrible. Violins in this price range have way too many corners cut, for them to work well in smaller sizes.

Upgrading to high-end strings can be a big help, however, the first step is to get a fairly good violin to put the strings on.

The smaller the violin, the more you should plan on spending.

The low cost violins are fine to learn fingerings and the basics. Once a child actually begins playing, the shortcomings will be apparent.

We do a lot of setup work on our small violins. Most of this is specifically to improve the tone.

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