The Definitive Checklist for Buying a Student Violin

So, your child has been playing the violin for a while now, and you’re looking to upgrade because they’ve either outgrown their current instrument or they’re ready for something a little nicer. It can often be difficult for parents to know how much of a leap they need to take at this stage in their child’s musical education – how good (read expensive) does their next violin need to be, and what price and quality considerations should they take into account?

In order to assist you through the transition, we’ve put together this handy guide that runs through the key factors to take into account when upgrading to an intermediate violin! Let’s get started…

  1. Brand is still important

While you’re not yet anywhere near the stage of buying a hand-crafted violin from a small European workshop, you should still take the brand of the violin into account. There are some nice brands in the intermediate level price range and while some of them are student brands there are still some more high-level brands too. Gliga is one of the ones we’d recommend: they make a nice range of violins for both beginners and intermediate players. Hidersine and Arioso are another two that produce some good instruments. Each brand has their own individual tone so it can help to visit a violin store in person so that you can hear how they sound when played.

View the full range of Intermediate Violins available for purchase in our online store.

Simply for Strings is Australia’s largest stockist of beginner and intermediate string instruments.

  1. Don’t be afraid of a big sound!

A lot of students get very familiar with the sound that they’re hearing as they play. Even if the sound is bad, they’re used to it under their ear and they start to trust that it is the “right” sound. This can mean that they’re put off by a nice sounding instrument because it’s not what they’re used to. It can take a lot of reassurance from their teacher and others to finally understand what a good tone sounds like!

When you’re looking to upgrade your instrument, be sure to compare the sound of everything that’s available – even if it’s out of your price range. This will give you and your child an idea of the tone that they’re trying to get to, which is usually a much bigger, more mature sound. This will help you to buy the best sounding instrument in your price range.

Listening helps too.
The sounds that students produce are very simple, and sometimes the complexity of a sound can be off-putting to them – but it’s what they should be striving for. Better tones and better sounds have a lot more complexity, which allows for more emotive, complex playing. Sit down with your child and listen to some recordings of professional violinists in order to familiarise them with the more complex sounds. You can also ask staff in-store to demonstrate and analyse the sound of different violins with you so that you can understand what you’re really hearing.

Our team of expert musicians are happy to help! Visit us in-store for a proper demo.

  1. Experiment with strings

When you graduate to a higher level of instrument, strings start to play a much bigger role in the generation of sound. The thickness or the material that strings are made of can affect the tone that you produce when you play, such as the sweetness or the brightness of the sound.

Read the guide.

  1. Give it a bow

Make sure that the bow you select for your violin is well-considered. The bow you use is important to the sound and the technique that you develop while learning to play. There is a wide range of bows available, and you may want to purchase a higher-quality bow than the one you already own. If you buy your new violin as part of an outfit you’ll receive one – however, you may choose to purchase one separately if you’re not happy with the quality.

Learn more About The Bow or browse the full range of Violin Bows in our online store.


  1. Trade it in

Trading in your current instrument can help get you a better price when purchasing your next instrument. Your violin will need to have been well looked after and in reasonable condition, if you want to get a good trade-in value from it (most of the value is in the instrument itself, not necessarily the case and bow.) A valuation can be done on the spot so, if you’re ready to upgrade, you can save time by bringing in your old violin at the time of purchase.

  1. Get accessorised

There are some key accessories you should pick up in order to make the most of your new instrument:

  • Rosin: Make sure you match the rosin to the strings that you’re using. String manufacturers will usually produce their own rosin to suit their strings, and there are lots of different types you can choose from. (Shop Rosins)
  • Violin Case: Make sure that your new instrument is adequately protected from heat and cold. A decent quality case will help to reduce the fluctuation of temperatures inside the case itself. (Shop Cases)
  • Shoulder Rest: As your child practices more, it will become extremely important for them to be really comfortable. A shoulder rest should be properly fitted to their body, and this can be done in-store at the time of purchase. (Shop Shoulder Rests)


Remember, you don’t need to spend a fortune when upgrading your child’s violin! Following the tips above should help you find a value-for-money intermediate violin that produces good sound and tone. If in doubt, visit us in-store or get in touch and one of our knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you may still have about upgrading.

If you’re in the market for your first violin, check out our Complete Guide to Buying a Beginners Violin.