Ready to take your playing to the next level? It can be hard to know how to go about picking out a new instrument, so we created a step by step guide to make the process as easy as possible. This guide can be used when going from a rental instrument to a nicer one, picking out an instrument for the first time, or trading your nice instrument for an even better one. For more information on our trade-in/ trade-up policy, please view the policy page under the "Resources" tab.
The first thing to figure out is the price range you have in mind for the instrument. Our step up violins start at $850, but we have instruments up to $250,000. Figure out what you’re comfortable spending, keeping in mind any trade-in from our shop. Unlike our rentals, step-up items come “a la carte,” so the bow, case, and instrument will need their own individual budgets. Our inventory is constantly changing, so give us a call to discuss what might fit into your budget.
2. Schedule an Appointment
Once you’ve worked out a budget, give us a call to schedule an appointment. Scheduling a time essentially allows us to reserve a price range of instruments for you to try, and allows us to have them set up for you when you arrive. Generally, give yourself at least 2 hours to try stuff out. We’ll check in with you as needed. Keep in mind that Fridays and Saturdays are our busiest days, so schedule early!
3. Choose Instrument
One of the toughest steps to offer advice on is how to choose the instrument itself. It’s such a personal preference, but we do have some pointers. Don’t choose by brand or by which one is most expensive. Decide if you like a darker or brighter sound. Feel out what is comfortable to play. What type of instrument is best suited for your performing style? Come with some ideas before you shop, but also know your favorite may surprise you and that’s okay!
4. Choose Bow
Quick Link: https://stringsmagazine.com/a-quick-guide-to-buying-a-bow/
Now that you’ve narrowed down what instrument you like, it’s time to look at bows. The two upgraded types are carbon fiber and wood. This online guide gives you a great idea as to the pros and cons of each. If you’re not sure, go ahead and try both.
5. Choose Cases
Quick Link: https://stringsmagazine.com/how-to-buy-a-violin-or-viola-case/
Cases vary widely in cost and quality. Violinists, violists, and cellists must decide if they want a hard case, or one with a fabric cover. Popular violin and viola cases include Pedi, Tonareli, and Bobelock. Hard cello cases start around $500 and increase in price as they get lighter. Bass cases only come as bags, but upgraded, extra padded bags are available for purchase, starting around $250.
6. Choose Accessories
The last thing to consider is any accessories you might need. Rosin, shoulder rests, endpin stoppers, mutes, pickups: we have it all! Coming up with a list of items you might need before you come is a great way to work it into your budget. Especially if you’re sizing up, consider too if items like shoulder rests will be compatible with the new size.
If you have any questions, we are happy to talk prices and options with you. Please just give us a call at 614-267-7221 or send us an email with the price range you have in mind for more details. Appointments can be made by phone or email.
The Loft Violin Shop has been providing quality rentals, services, maintenance, repairs, and instruments since 1976, A family owned business in Columbus, Ohio, team members are passionate about music and craftsmanship alike. Learn more under the "About Us" tab or visit us in-store.