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A Violin Shop Should Have Everything You Need

Buying a violin can require a substantial investment, but for most players it doesn’t stop there. The career of a violinist will probably involve purchasing multiple instruments and bows, as well as regular maintenance work -- including restoration and repair. Accessories are also part of the picture, between strings, rosin, cases, tuners and metronomes, and similar items.

Look for a Shop That Is Focused on the Violin

Many music stores stock a wide variety of products, including violins. However, shops that specialize in classical stringed instruments -- violin, viola, cello, and bass -- will provide a depth of knowledge that is invaluable. Besides offering a myriad of instruments and accessories, this type of shop will also have superb craftsman.

When choosing a violin shop, you need to ask yourself: “Do they have a workshop with fully trained professional luthiers?” says Matthew Fritz, director of sales and acquisitions for Johnson String and Carriage House. “It’s not only important when you purchase the instrument, but also in the future. Stringed instruments are not maintenance-free.” A good violin repair shop will understand every aspect of the instruments, which means having a workshop with violin makers as well as specialists in repair, restoration, and setup.

Find a Shop That Supports Your Whole Musical Journey

Many beginning players are advised to rent a violin, but as their playing progresses they will move to more advanced instruments. Look for a program that allows you to apply some of your rental costs toward purchasing an instrument of your own in the future. As you become ready for ever better violins, a shop with a varied inventory of instruments is critical.

“At Carriage House Violins for instance, if you buy a violin and you’re ready for an upgrade, we’ll give you what you paid -- the full purchase price minus any reconditioning that’s needed -- as a trade-in credit toward a more expensive violin,” Fritz affirms. “So we can really work with students as they progress, or those players who, maybe after several years, just find they need something different or maybe a little nicer.”

Is the Violin Shop Online?

In order to support more than just their local community, a modern shop must provide a good website as well. Of course the quality of the website experience is critical, but it must be supported by the ability to work with musicians from different parts of the country.

“We do work with clients who are out of state. In the buying process, we are able to send instruments on trial while they’re deciding and also deliver purchased instruments to the player,” Fritz confirms. “We also offer the option to ship your instrument in for repair.”

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

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

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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.

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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.

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

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