Violin Family

Frequently Asked Questions - For Parents and Students

Whether you just don't know where to start, or if you're simply interested in knowing a bit more about learning a bowed instrument, here are a few frequently asked questions.

Q.

Should I buy or rent?

A.

If you are just starting to play, renting for a short while can be good to test your interest or that of your child. If you decide to keep the instrument, you can apply up to 4 months rent to the purchase of the instrument you are renting or any other instrument (consignment instruments excluded).

Q.

What happens when my child grows out of a smaller size?

A.

If you own your instrument, you can trade and use it towards the purchase price of the next size up for your child. If you are renting, you could just exchange the instrument for a larger size and your rent will continue uninterrupted.

Q.

How long does it take to rent one?

A.

Usually about 20 to 30 minutes.

Q.

How many kids do Kim and Byron Myhre have?

A.

You'll have to wait a few years before answering this one.

Q.

Does my style of music suggest certain options or choices about the instrument I play?

A.

You may need an instrument that is set up differently to play your musical preference. Certain strings can work better for different styles of music. Your violin can also be “set up” in different ways (see next question) to suit a specific playing style as well.

Q.

What is a "set-up?"

A.

"Set-up" in a nutshell means how high off the fingerboard the strings are and how curved or rounded the bridge might need to be. Fiddle players tend to have the strings lower with a slightly flatter bridge. Classical players tend to have a higher action (string height) and a more curved bridge.

Q.

What type of strings should I use?

A.

Gut and/or synthetic gut strings are ideal for classical music. They are a lower tension strings with a mellow and usually sweeter tone. Steel strings are great for country or fiddle styles and can also be a good alternative for students just starting since they are very durable and tend to last a long time. Your teacher may have certain ideas and/or preferences on what strings your instrument should be set up with.

Q.

Can I choose an instrument size that is slightly large for my child so that it will last longer?

A.

There are differing opinions on how to choose the proper size of instrument for a child. Our advice is to get an instrument that is comfortable to hold (i.e. not too long). A violin that is too large or long makes it quite difficult to hold and play in tune.

Q.

How is the best size for my child determined?

A.

Ideally, you should bring your child to our store and we will measure him or her to determine the best size. If your child is unable to visit our store, the following chart should help you determine the correct size. Have your child stand up with their left arm fully outstretched, palm up. Measure with a ruler from the left side of the middle of the child’s neck, straight out to the middle of the left palm. That measurement will determine the appropriate size for your child.

Q.

How is the best size for my child determined?

A.

Ideally, you should bring your child to our store and we will measure him or her to determine the best size. If your child is unable to visit our store, the following chart should help you determine the correct size. Have your child stand up with their left arm fully outstretched, palm up. Measure with a ruler from the left side of the middle of the child’s neck, straight out to the middle of the left palm. That measurement will determine the appropriate size for your child.

 

Child’s measurement
14 1/8 - 16 7/8 inches
16 7/8 - 18 1/2 inches
18 1/2 - 20 3/8 inches
20 3/8 - 22 1/4 inches
22 1/4 - 23 3/4 inches
23 3/4 inches and up

Violin size
1/16 Size violin
1/8 Size violin
1/4 Size violin
1/2 Size violin
3/4 Size violin
Full or 4/4 size violin

Q.

Should I talk to my teacher before I come in to buy/rent?

A.

That’s a good idea. Most teachers have a list of things they would like their students to have, whether it be certain instructional materials or perhaps a specific type of strings on the instrument. Talking with your teacher first can save you a trip back to the store (but we are happy to see you often!).

Q.

What does a violin outfit come with?

A.

Each of our outfits comes with everything you need to start playing or taking lessons. You receive a violin, case, bow and rosin. Each outfit comes equipped with a wooden bow with horse hair and high quality student strings like Dominants or Pirastro Piranitos. All four fine tuners are set up and tested by Mr. Alfie Myhre (founder of Myhre's Music), Byron Myhre or the lovely Catherine Robertson (violinist extraordinaire). Now you’re ready to go!

Q.

What can I expect to pay?

A.

Violin outfits generally sell for $250 to $600. Of course there are extremes on each end of the scale, but this is the rough range. You can rent for anywhere from $20 to $40 per month. (See Rentals.)

Q.

What maintenance is required?

A.

There is little maintenance required to keep your instrument in good playing condition. However, you should be somewhat careful about the environment in which the instrument is stored. Sudden and extreme changes in temperature can be damaging for any instrument. For example, don’t leave your instrument in a vehicle for more than 20 minutes if the temperature is above 25C. Doing so will cause the instrument to come unglued at various seams. If the instrument gets very cold and then you bring it into a warm house and open the case to the warm air, the wood and/or finish can possibly crack. Just simply try to keep the instrument at the same temperature that you yourself find comfortable.