Violin search: first date

Trying to find the right violin is a little bit like trying to find your significant other. In a way I feel like I’m in the dating stage with a whole bunch of different violins. Okay, maybe it’s a bit more like speed dating at this point. So far I’ve been talking to different shops, and making appointments to see violins. To find “the one” I have to know what I’m looking for in a violin. To say that its overwhelming is an overstatement. To help I’ve got a notebook to keep track of everything. This way I know exactly what violins I’ve tried, how much they cost, who made them, and what I think of them.

So, what am I looking in a violin? Ha! I thought that was going to be a really hard questions, but by the time I got through my second chance of trying violins I was getting a pretty good idea.

  • I tend to like violins with a bright sound (as opposed to dark),  but not overly bright
  • I want something with a sound that has some dimension to it, not something that is one note, or 1 dimensional. I want it to sound interesting, and want to hear more.
  • A nice strong sound
  • Responsive. I want the violin to speak as soon as my fingers change.
  • Open to modern makers or something older, but it needs to be in good condition
  • I’m putting looks last, because I feel like modern violins look very distinctive compared to older violins. That throws me a bit, but for me the most important part is the sound. If it’s pretty that’s extra icing on the cake

So far I’ve had two chance to try violins, and have played 6 different violins (remember the old saying “sometimes to find the prince you have to kiss a lot of frogs”…). Each time I’ve spent about an hour playing violins, and going back and forth amongst choices. At this point I think I may have a favorite, but the thing is after a while they start sounding the same. This little notebook of mine is going to get a workout! After this morning I brought 2 violins home to try out for a while, and to get to know them a bit more. So far the violins I like are all Italians made since 1900 (although we’re not entirely sure if one is authentic. If I like it the dealer wants to make sure it’s real before selling it. I like him!). The violin I’m most curious about is still with its owner. I keep thinking about it from time to time, and wondering what it would be like if it was “my” violin. Maybe that’s why I’m not sure about the 2 I have now. One is close. Only time will tell, and I have more appointments to make, and violins to look at.

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