Choosing a Violin

I answered some violin-purchasing questions for a student of mine, and I thought I would share the answers for your benefit.

1. Would I look weird if I brought my shoulder rest when “trying on” each violin?

It wouldn’t look weird at all. Very little looks weird in a music store when it comes to music or instruments. You’ll have a lot of instruments to try so you’ll probably get tired of taking it on and off and will probably just go without to hear the sound of each. Then when you start narrowing it down you’ll probably put the shoulder rest back on to get a better sense of the violin.

2. I’m assuming I get to play a little on each violin. Is that correct?

Yep, play on each string to see how the violin sounds for each of them. Play all the fingers on all the strings. Play a quick song or scale you are very familiar with, preferably using most or all strings. (On a good violin, playing is easy and it makes you want to keep playing. To me that’s the sign of the right violin.)

3. Would the chin rest be considered an accessory? The one I am renting now has an elevated chin rest which I like. Could I buy one of them or do I need to use the one that comes with the violin? I want to know if the chin rest that comes with the violin should be a part of my purchasing decision or is it disposable.

Every violin is slightly different and since they are from different countries, time periods and makers, they are all going to be slightly different. For example the neck on mine is a little slimmer and the violin is lighter overall. Some bodies are slightly thicker than others. Different violins require different chin rests because of this. That being said the chin rest is something every violinist modifies and you may not get it on the first try. The Wittner center chin rest you are using has different heights so it would be smart to buy one and try out the various height options on the new violin. But yes, don’t consider it on the purchase decision.

4. I’m going to assume that the strings that come with the violin are basic. Do you recommend I also purchase new strings?

Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad, sometimes they’re old, sometimes they’re new. On a new violin you’ll typically have new average-level strings but on a used violins your strings might be ancient. Ask the employee at the shop. I do recommend getting the warranty at Sam Ash because it includes a set-up of the violin and you can bring you violin for any damages for I believe the first year, and it’s pretty cheap. Up to you though.

5. Any other advice?

Start with the best violin there and then work your way down to your price range so that you know what “good” sounds like. Look for similar qualities in the violins in your price range. The best violin is usually but not always the most expensive one. Sometimes you find a really nice one for cheaper. Also the sound you are looking for is what YOU like, not necessarily what someone else would consider is the best. Two great violins can have two totally different sounds. It’s about what you like and want. I like warm, deep, rich, complex and rounded sounds. Some people like brighter, clear sounds that project more. You can get one with an older sound, or a cleaner sound, or a silvery tone, or a “woodsy” tone. It’s whatever feels good to you. When you’re playing it, you should want to keep playing it.

Lastly, don’t worry about how it looks but do be aware of any damage that has or hasn’t been repaired. New or used is irrelevant except for that. If it’s a repaired damage you have to decide if it’s worth it. Some cracks aren’t that big of a deal, whereas some are, depeding on their size and placement, and if they’re going to grow or distort your sound. Sometimes you can get a good discount because of repaired damage, but sometimes even that is not worth it.

Good luck!

Group violin class – save your seat now.

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NYC Violin Studio offers Group Classes as a vital supplement to private lessons. Since semesters are only 12 weeks long, we encourage every student to get the most out of their lessons by taking private and group lessons simultaneously.


       Beginner Class

– Learn the basics of how to play the violin. We will get into the juicy stuff soon, but not so soon that you don’t understand what you are doing.
– Learn several songs. Songs are split into Violin I and Violin II parts for our listening pleasure and enjoyment.
– In classes of 6 or more, an assistant teacher will be present to help you with your individual needs throughout the class.
– A concert will be held at the end of the semester to show off your new skills. You are encouraged to invite friends and family.

       Intermediate Class: Student Orchestra

– Minor scales will be introduced.
– Drill exercises together and learn new technique.
– Practice sight reading with your fellow players.
– Increase your repetoire with a higher volume of pieces.
– Since it will be Spring, votes can be taken on playing in the park’s beautiful weather           later in the semester.


Every Sunday 1:00 – 2:00 PM for Beginner class
Every Sunday 12:00 – 1:00 PM for Intermediate Class
March 5th to March 20th :
March 4, 11 (Daylight Saving Time!), 18, 25
April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
May 6, 13, 20
+ concert on or near May 20th


Studios 353
353 W. 48th St, 2nd Floor, Studio #5


The cut-off date for enrollment is Februrary 26th, but save your seat early as only 8 students are allowed in each class. If you miss a class or two, your teacher will cover the material in the private lesson. No group class make-ups will be allowed without express permission from the head instructor and can only be made in another group class.


$10 discount for registering at least two weeks in advance for the Group Semester and any Packages. In the unlikely event that the minimum number of students is not met, tuition will be refunded or applied towards lessons or classes. You may finance tuition by signing up for a monthly or weekly automated credit/debit charge.

Refer and get rewards. Bring a friend to group class, get $20 referral bonus for a package signup.

Orchestra and violin teachers: refer your student, get a 4% referral commission on whatever they sign up for. We want to stregnthen your student’s core technique and give them the ensemble experience they need to excel in their lessons with you.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact Antoinette at (646) 801-1787 or

Beginner Adult Group Classes Starting!

NYC Violin Studio is proud to announce that First Day Beginner Adult Group Classes will be starting in March! This class is geared towards complete beginners on the violin who have no prior experience with the violin.

A number of students have come to us for private lessons because their group class was not delivering what they expected. What sets this class apart from other classes is the comprehensive learning experience. We take a modern approach and give you a wide and varied skill set. Some other classes focus on Suzuki repetition only, but not all students want to learn classical music only and they don’t all want to play the same song over and over for weeks on end. Our classes provide variety and keep the classes fun and interesting with a performance at the end to invite your friends and family to.

If you’ve been dreaming of playing the violin because you never have or because you used to when you were younger, take this opportunity to join the fun now.

Here’s how to stay in touch:
1. Check back here for updates.
2. Join our mailing list here!
3. Email us at to find out the latest info.

Sign up here!