Spring Sale through May 31 | Strings, Sheet Music, Books, Cases & More!

Why is it called a Violin "Outfit"?

The violin is a fascinating instrument to learn, especially for those new to playing the violin. However, if you’re buying a violin, you may encounter the term "violin outfit" and wonder what it means. Surprisingly, it's not a wardrobe choice, but a collection of items that are essential for playing the violin. This violin set consists of the violin instrument, the bow, the case, and sometimes additional accessories like a tuner or a shoulder rest. With a violin outfit, you get everything you need to enter the amazing world of violin music in one package.

It's not about your clothes

Full violin outfit with various accessories including bow, case, rosin, tuner, and cleaning cloth

You can easily buy violins, or violas and cellos for that matter, at local shops, online, or large chain music stores. The challenge is selecting the appropriate models, size, and accessories for your needs. Fortunately, a violin outfit can help you with that, especially if you’re a beginning violin player.

But what do you look for in a quality violin outfit? To help determine if all the outfit components meet the standards for a beginner level, here are a few things to look for:

  1. Bow: A fiberglass bow is a common and acceptable choice for a beginner. However, carbon fiber bows are sturdier and stronger, as well as less sensitive to heat and moisture. The Pernambuco bow in particular is regarded by many as “the best,” but both Pernambuco and Brazilwood bows are more pricey. This is partly because they are in limited supply due to deforestation in their native Brazil.
  2. Violin: Violin strings and pegs need to be calibrated just right; not too high or low, too tight or loose. Furthermore, the string spacing, or the “bow clearance,” should be enough that the bow does not hit the sides of the violin when the outer strings are played.
  3. Case: A dedicated student with a more expensive violin might want a case that has a humidifier, thermometers, and hygrometer to measure humidity. But for students with a first violin, you only need a simple case with these features: a secure place for the bow, a spare compartment to store rosin and a cloth, and a cushioned interior that matches the instrument's shape. The exterior should be hard, and made of wood, dense foam, or carbon fiber. 

Whether you're a student seeking guidance or consulting a luthier, understanding the specifics of these key components will help you make an informed decision about your musical gear.

Finding the perfect fit

Choosing from the many student violin outfits that are available is similar to exploring the world of fashion, where finding the perfect fit is essential. Violin outfits should be the complete package -- thoughtfully curated and designed to provide everything you need to start playing the violin. So, don't settle for less than what you deserve. Find your ideal violin outfit today and unleash your musical potential.

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

Located in Newton, Massachusetts, Carriage House Violins is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument.

Learn More


Whether searching for a job, learning about the "Mozart Effect," looking for a summer music camp, or choosing the right instrument string, you need look no further.

Learn More

Johnson String Project

A charitable foundation whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in under-served communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts.

Learn More

JSI Blog

Information and helpful articles about the music and instruments we love.

Learn More


Helpful "how to" videos and useful information about JSI and the products and services we offer.

Learn More