May 8, 2018

How to Purchase an Instrument

When to Purchase

The following are some of the many reasons a family may decide to purchase a violin, viola, cello, or bass.

  • The student plans to participate in orchestra into and beyond high school.
  • The student is grown enough to be playing on a full size instrument (note that 3/4 is considered “full size” for bass).
  • The family prefers to own, rather than rent an instrument.

Purchasing Tips

A trustworthy instrument maker and seller should allow the following:

  • Credit towards an upgrade in the future.
  • Allow the student to “borrow” an instrument (perhaps more than one) to take home to test and show their teachers to help come to a good decision on which instrument to purchase.

Instrument Cost

First, there is no limit to the cost of a stringed instrument. A professional instrument can be many thousands of dollars or even in the millions. But for students, the following ranges are typical for quality instruments. Anything cheaper (operative word) will be of poor quality, won’t sound good, and can even cause pain to the performer. These prices may or may not include a bow and a case. Bows can also cost in the hundreds, thousands, and even millions.

  • Quality Violin/Viola for MS/HS Student: $500 – $1000. College level $1500+
  • Quality Cello for MS/HS Student: $1000 – $2000. College level $3000+
  • Quality Bass for MS/HS Student: $1500 – $3000. College level $5000+

Reputable Companies

The following companies are reputable luthiers (instrument makers) that provide quality instruments to many students here in District 95. (updated 10/2014)

What to do next?

Talk to your instructor/director and they should have a list of trustworthy businesses that make and sell instruments.