Summ Best Yamaha Flute Options: If you need to know how to find the best 5 string violins, consider their quality, craftsmanship, and the strings.
If you are interested in knowing how to find the best five-string violins, rest assured that there are reputable manufacturers. But what do violins cost and how is a 5-string violin different from a 4-string?
My absolute favorite is the Fiddlerman Master 5-string Violin Outfit because it’s so well designed. It also comes with all of the accessories you need. Now, many stringed instruments come with accessories, but not all of them are high quality. The more accessories you get, usually the lower the quality is for all of them. But that’s not the case here.
My selection criteria focused primarily on the quality of the instrument and customer reviews. I also included both acoustic and electric options.
How is a 5 string violin different?
The difference between a regular violin and a five-string violin is pretty obvious: the strings.
With a standard violin, you have a wood or acoustic violin that produces sound from inside the instrument’s body thanks to vibrations along the strings. You play four strings:
With a five-string violin, usually an electric violin, you get the same strings as a traditional violin, with a bonus string:
Note: 5-string violins can be acoustic violins which means they are crafted from wood and use the regular horsehair bow to generate vibrations. A 5 string acoustic violin is a more advanced, modified version. 5-string violins can also be electric violins, requiring an electric amp and producing a metallic sound. It’s pretty common for electric violins to come standard as 5-string violins.
However, strings are not the only thing that makes the five-string violin different from a four-string violin. Because there are five strings, the spacing is much smaller at the neck, and the fingerboard is a different size. This is an important distinction because if the strings are too close together, you might accidentally hit more than one string and ruin the song, but with a 5-string design, you get the slightly modified fingerboard which helps you avoid this mishap as you learn to play.
Many people believe that a four-string violin is the correct or normal type of violin. The bigger strings range helps the instruments enjoy a better tonal range for solo and orchestral performances. However, classical violins had up to six strings during the Renaissance Era. Today, we have become accustomed to traditional four-string violins even though their predecessors typically had five or six strings. Four strings now allow for better tone quality and projection, which has become more critical than tonal range.
As things progressed, when people considered 5 strings they went to a viola and not a 5-string violin because of the smaller size. But the 5 string violin works incredibly well to amplify the lower fifth string and project more dulcet tones over that of a viola.
Today, we take advantage of the amplification technologies we have by making acoustic-electric violins that have five strings. You can even find 6 or 7 strings if you look hard enough.
Why You Should Learn How to Find the Best 5 String Violins
Just as there are five strings, I believe there are five reasons why you might want to learn how to find the best 5 string violin and play an electric violin.
Suppose you like to compose music. You might not think that adding one note can significantly change what you can write, but it can. The ability to get those lower notes rounds out your sound.
If you like to audition for groups or orchestras, that extra string can give you positions others miss out on. What’s more with the violin you have a lot of crossovers where you can perform the parts of a viola or guitar. This, again, is especially useful if you are playing chamber music and need someone to cover a viola.
Violins traditionally stick to the higher end of the scale, so if you appreciate the richness of the lower end, this can help you tremendously. You get the residents of that one additional string which significantly offers a darker, richer tone across your entire range. It is very appealing to many players who don’t want to stick with the higher registers forever.
Benefits of Using a 5 String Violin
Knowing how to find the best five-string violins and help you add another stringed instrument to your repertoire and expand the musical range you have. If you already play the four-string violin, this will open up a world of new music you can play. It will also make it easier for you to transition to a viola.
If you are an intermediate or advanced musician, you probably know that getting coveted positions in orchestras, bands, or ensembles is highly competitive. There might be dozens, if not hundreds, of people auditioning for the same stringed instrument position as you. Still, suppose you can play more than one instrument, especially something unique. In that case, you increase your chances of getting the position for what you auditioned for and potentially getting other positions even if you don’t get the original.
I had that happen when I auditioned after university. It was highly competitive, and even though I was the biggest fish in my pond, I found myself competing against all the other big fish from nearby ponds. Suddenly I needed a way to stand out. My ability to play both 4-string and 5-string was one of those ways.
How long does it take to transition from a 4-string violin to a 5-string violin?
If you already play a 4-string violin and you just want to transition to the 5-string electric violin, don’t let anxiety or hesitation inhibit this transition.
I was a little worried when I switched from an acoustic violin to an electric violin because I had a classical education and upbringing, so my view of electric instruments was that they were exclusively for metal, not for people who had completed any education on music theory. I have since been humbled and grown to appreciate that difference does not necessarily mean worse.
I was also a little worried that I wouldn’t understand how to work any of the technology that helped project my sound, and it felt much safer to stick with an acoustic instrument that didn’t require any accessories beyond a bow. That said, it didn’t take long to get over that hesitation, and I genuinely appreciate the resonating, electric sound. If you don’t know what the sound difference is and you’re still on the fence about making the switch, this video can help you prepare yourself for what a five-string violin sounds like:
The most significant adaptation won’t be the amplification technology but adjusting your fingering because of the spacing difference. It will feel a lot bigger than when you first transition, but I think of it as driving a new car. All the parts are mostly the same, but the gear selector or steering wheel might be more extensive than what you have in your vehicle. So after a few minutes, your hands adjust.
How to Find the Best 5 String Violins: Purchase Options
New or Used
You can look at new or used 5-string violins. The internet is an excellent resource for finding used instruments that don’t have a lot of wear and tear. There are plenty of people who buy an instrument and then use it for a short time before upgrading or don’t use it at all and decide to get rid of it. You can find great used models online from your local music shops or music schools.
Like rental cars, many music schools or music shops that sell instruments and have lessons might use practice models for their classes and sell them at a discount after a few years of practice.
If you can afford it, I recommend considering your budget as the primary factor here. You might also have to consider your location and what’s available. If you live in a major city, you will have significantly more options for finding used instruments. By comparison, if you live out in the countryside, you probably don’t have music stores nearby. I purchased one used violin when I couldn’t afford a new one, and it works just fine. There was superficial damage to the structure and the varnish, but nothing compromised the sound. When I was young, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Many people in my music classes and lessons had used instruments, so it wasn’t that uncommon.
However, once I moved away from the city, I didn’t have as many options, and I found that used products were going for just as much as new products. That’s when I decided to spend the extra $10 or $15 and get a new model.
If you can’t afford any of these, there’s always the option to rent. Music schools will typically rent instruments monthly, which is an excellent option if you have a child learning to play the 5-string violin. Renting also allows you to test different models and determine which one you like best.go ahead and invest in a new instrument. A new violin will have fewer potential problems, and you can make it your own.
Knowing how to find the best 5 string violins also means practicing with the violins. When you are evaluating different models or considering upgrading to an electric violin rather than a traditional 4-string acoustic violin, being able to practice the instrument or at the very least test it before you buy can give you a better command of how it functions. This also helps you determine whether you are comfortable with the string spacing. Naturally, the more you practice any foreign or new instrument or spacing, the easier it gets.
My selection criteria included the quality of materials used and how well they functioned for previous customers. I also extended my top picks to include acoustic, electric, and acoustic-electric.
How to Find the Best 5 String Violins: My Top Picks
Yinfente 4/4 violin 5 string Electric violin Full size
The Yinfente 4/4 violin 5 string Electric violin Full size is one of the least expensive options. Considering it is one of the cheapest models you will find, the reviews are decent, it is getting middle-of-the-road ratings, and responses are better than expected. Even though it is marketed as a dual acoustic and electric violin, you can’t hear it unless you have it plugged into an amp. However, once it’s plugged in, it makes a decent sound. Some customers have complained that the spacing is a little tricky when they first start and that it takes a while to tune. But once that’s done, some customers have enjoyed it while others thought it was okay but not great.
- Stunning natural finish
- Comes with accessories
- Not a true acoustic-electric violin
4/4 Full-Size Electric Violin Fiddle 5 String Silent Violin Accessories White
The 4/4 Full-Size Electric Violin Fiddle 5 String Silent Violin Accessories White is excellent for those who want an electric 5 string. Because this is an electric violin, it comes with one set of headphones, the connecting cables, rosin, a violin bow, and the case. You still need a battery if you want to power it with a battery and the headphones are pretty poor quality. They look like the headphones you plugged into a Walkman 20 years ago. But, the instrument itself is very lightweight and beautifully designed. It is crafted from solid wood and has a white finish.
- Incredibly lightweight
- It comes with a bow and carrying case
- Only electric
- Only available in white
Glasser Carbon Composite Acoustic
The Glasser Carbon Composit Acoustic is a top-of-the-line pick for those who can afford the investment. Firstly, the accessories that come with it aren’t the highest quality, and I would replace them. However, this brand is a leader in using composite material, so if you are comfortable with a composite body, this violin is built to last. It provides durability and beautiful tonal quality. It comes with a fiberglass bow, tuner, rosin, polishing cloth, and carrying case.
- Acoustic-electric model
- Made with hard carbon composite
- Available in multiple colors
- Not sold with many accessories
Fiddlerman Master 5-string Violin Outfit
The Fiddlerman Master 5-string Violin Outfit is a classic 5-string acoustic violin. This particular model is incredibly well made and worth every penny. This is a more expensive model, but many good reasons for that price. It’s made of quality spruce and maple tonewoods that have been dried for over ten years. You get ebony fittings and fingerboards. It also comes with Thomastik vision strings. You get a carbon fiber bow, premium Holstein rosin, and a range of other accessories that fit nicely into the case that comes with it. The bridge has a beautiful hand-carved design, and the finish brings out natural colors.
- It comes with an oblong case, carbon fiber bow, rosin, mute, cloth, and tuner
- Aged wood for the body
- Warms up ni9cely
- Great sound, very deep and rich, perfect for bluegrass, gospel, rock, and more
- No electric options
Answer: A 5-string violin sounds just as good as a 4-string violin, but it has lower tonal qualities, which may or may not be something you prefer. More importantly, most 5 string violins are electric and that is another factor you will have to consider in terms of your taste.
Answer: Starting with a 4-string violin as a beginner will help you learn how to hold the instrument, use it, read music, and develop your skills. Yes, a beginner can play a 5-string violin but I recommend starting with a 4-string violin. Once you reach an intermediate or advanced level, you should figure out how to find the best five-string violins to add an electric violin to your skill-set. At this level, you are likely fine-tuning the genre of music you play so you might very well learn the basics of an acoustic violin and then decide that you want to play in a jazz group. Therefore, you need the brassy, metallic sound of a 5 string electric violin.
Answer: A 5-string violin has the lower C string, which rounds out the sound. So, you get a fuller, deeper tone.
Answer: The five strings are quite similar to a viola, the same strings. So if you already have some experience playing the viola, switching to a five-string violin is easy. I wouldn’t recommend beginners try a five-string violin because the extra string is reserved for more advanced players who have developed their skills and can read music for each string. However, electric violins come standard with 5 strings so if you are trying to play the electric violin, you can pick a beginner violin with 5 strings, without a problem.
The bottom line is that a five-string violin can make an excellent addition to your repertoire and if you can afford it I recommend the Fiddlerman Master 5-string Violin Outfit. This is well worth the investment because of the high-quality construction that goes into the violin’s body and the accessories. No accessory comes with this particular model that you’ll have to throw out and replace immediately.
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