Guide to Student Violins

Choosing a well set-up violin is the key to any pupil’s enjoyment and success. Many beginners start with a Chinese mass-produced violin outfit; the quality of these can vary (especially those sold via the internet), however, a well setup student instrument such as the Stentor or the Primavera can offer all students an excellent start to their violin studies.

Setting Up a Violin – Why is it important?

A violin needs the Pegs, Bridge, Soundpost, Nut and Tailpiece to be correctly fitted and adjusted; instruments sold without this are often very difficult to play and produce a thin poor sound.

What we do

Pegs – Are shaped and fitted correctly so that they move freely but at the same time do not slip - holding  the string at pitch when tuned. It is important that as much of the peg touches the lining of the hole as possible, that way the peg offers the maximum resistance to turning with the minimum inward pressure into the tapered hole.


Bridge – On almost all our student violins we fit a new Aubert bridge (where a violin is fitted with a quality bridge we adjust to maximise sound and playing ease). It is very important that the bridge holds strings at the correct height above the fingerboard , the feet of the bridge must fit the belly of the violin (with no gaps showing) and the bridge must stand so that the back of the bridge is at a 90 degree angle to the violin top table. The bridge is then thinned to maximise the tone quality.

Soundpost – The soundpost (small piece of dowel) needs to be placed correctly behind the E string bridge foot and fit snugly to the top and bottom table with no gap showing. In many ways this is the most important part of the setup and has the greatest bearing on tone quality.

Nut- Small piece of ebony at the end of the fingerboard needs to be shaped and the correct string height set.

Tailpiece- All our student violins are supplied with a quality tailpiece fitted with fine adjustable tuners.

Finally we upgrade the strings – all entry level violins are fitted with D’Addario Prelude strings and this in included in the price. However we are able to offer a wide range of strings - Dominant , Pirastro, Larsen, Helicore, Jargar, Pro Arte and Corelli – this will incur an additional fee.

All of the above usually takes about one and half hours of work.  This may seem a lot for a student instrument but we firmly believe that this work enhances the student’s initial experience of music and helps to make learning enjoyable and achievable.

An  early 20th century workshop violin beautifully restored by Alan Ward

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