Have you struggled to move your left hand up and down the violin fingerboard? Consider learning how to find the best left-handed violin.
Even if you’re right-handed, playing a left-handed violin can take the stress off your left hand. Then, you can recover from an injury without taking too much time off from practicing.
How To Find The Best Left-Handed Violin
If you find that you can’t play a regular violin, you should consider how to find the best left-handed violin. That way, you can still pursue your passion of playing music.
But you don’t have to learn an instrument that you don’t love as much. And you can still enjoy playing solo or with other musicians, even though you need a special instrument.
Just like looking for any violin, you should consider the following steps when looking for a left-handed model.
Consider Your Level
The first thing to determine before buying a left-handed violin is to consider your playing level. If you’re a beginner, you may want to look for a beginner model to help support you as you start learning.
On the other hand, if you’ve played the violin before, you can get a more advanced instrument. That way, it will be easier to upgrade from a different model or even to switch from a regular violin.
When your instrument meets your needs, you’ll be able to enjoy playing. And when you enjoy playing, you’ll be able to get even better at the violin.
Sadly, you can’t find a left-handed violin as easily as a regular model. If you’re intent on playing a left-handed instrument, you should do your research to find available options.
They do exist, and you can find a good left-handed violin, but it will take more time and effort. Be sure to research different brands and makers, which can be different from popular traditional violin brands.
While the production process is similar, some companies may not want to go to the trouble of making a left-handed violin. So consider the companies that do offer one and how you can get your hands on one.
Determine Your Budget
Once you know your level and what models are out there, you can figure out how much you’ll need to spend. Just like other violins, left-handed models come at a variety of price points.
As a beginner, you can look for more affordable left-handed violins. Meanwhile, a more experienced player might need to save up more money to get an instrument that meets their needs.
Prepare to spend anywhere from $150 to thousands of dollars on a good model. That way, you’ll have the instrument you need to enjoy playing and get better at music.
Choose Some Music
If you can already play the violin, you should look for some music to use to test different models. While you may not be able to test a ton of models, you should test what you can.
Choose music that covers the entire range of the violin as well as soft and loud pieces. You should also find technical music and more lyrical works to test the tone.
Once you select your music, keep the music the same on all of the violins you try. That way, you can reduce the number of differences that could affect which instrument you choose to buy.
Test Some Violins
Now, you’re ready to start testing a left-handed violin or two. You probably won’t be able to do this in a local music store, so look online for where you can try or buy an instrument.
If you can’t order one for trial, make sure the website offers a return policy. Then, you’ll have a chance to test the violin for yourself and make sure it’s the right fit.
While you’ll have to pay upfront, it’s a good way to help you test multiple options. You can send the violin back and exchange it for one that does work for you.
Think About Renting
If you aren’t sure if you’ll like playing the violin, you may want to look into renting one. As with buying, finding a left-handed violin that you can rent will be more difficult than finding a regular violin.
However, it can be an excellent option if you want to test out playing the instrument. You don’t have to commit to spending the full price, but you may be able to buy it if you do decide to continue with it.
Look online at different rental programs or contact music stores. Ask if they have a left-handed violin that they can rent to you, and test it out to see if it’s the right model for you.
Check The Used Market
Another way you can save money but get a good left-handed violin is to buy a used model. Since left-handed violins are relatively rare, they may be hard to find.
However, they can be hard for current owners to sell, so they may be more willing to negotiate the price. Odds are, you’re going to be the only person interested in buying the violin.
That can give you more leverage to get a better deal on the instrument. If you’re willing to look around and wait for a left-handed violin to hit the market, you may save hundreds of dollars.
Get A Second Opinion
When shopping for your perfect left-handed violin, you may want to get some input from others. If you know a violin teacher or an advanced player, get their thoughts on the instrument.
Ask them if they think you should play a left-handed model or if you should get a regular violin. If they think a left-handed instrument is better for you, ask them for help finding one.
A teacher or professional player may know of more violins up for sale. That way, you can have more options to try when looking for your perfect instrument.
Because of their rarity, there’s a good chance you won’t find your ideal left-handed violin the first time you try some. So be patient and give yourself time to look around at different models.
Contact more music stores and websites, and find other teachers and players to help with your search. The more people you know who are looking for you, the quicker you might find a good instrument.
Soon enough, you’ll find the right violin for you, and you will be able to learn to play it or continue playing it. And you don’t have to worry about forcing yourself to use a regular violin.
When To Use A Left-Handed Violin
As you consider how to find the best left-handed violin, you should decide if it’s the right option for you. Unfortunately, choosing a left-handed violin isn’t as easy as choosing a left-handed baseball glove.
You need to consider a lot of factors, aside from your dominant hand, before you get a left-handed violin. Because if you play the violin this way, you can face a lot of setbacks in your musical journey.
There are a few scenarios where playing a left-handed violin makes sense. So consider if any of them apply to you.
One of the best reasons to use a left-handed violin is if you have an injury in your left hand. You could develop the injury from playing the violin or from something else.
If you find it hard to move the fingers of your left hand, you might not be able to play fast on a traditional violin. On the regular model, you use your left hand to press down the strings.
As you overcome an injury in your left hand, playing a left-handed violin can be good. You’ll use your left hand for the bow, which doesn’t require as much precision to play and get a good sound.
Dystonia is a neurological condition where your muscles spasm, and focal dystonia affects small muscles. A sub-type of focal dystonia is focal hand dystonia.
Some musicians will develop focal dystonia, especially if they play a lot. If you tend to practice for hours, you may notice your fingers stop responding properly.
To keep from having to quit playing, you might choose to switch to a left-handed violin. That way, you will be able to play the violin, but make sure you don’t overuse your right hand and develop dystonia there.
Lack of Mobility
If you have mobility issues in your left hand for any reason, you might want to play the left-handed violin. This can also be a good option if you’ve had to amputate your left hand or arm.
You can use a prosthetic arm, and some are capable of holding a bow. Then, you can use your right hand to press down the strings and play violin music.
Don’t let a lack of mobility in your left hand keep you from playing the violin. You may need a different setup, but you can make it happen.
When Not To Use A Left-Handed Violin
While there are a few situations where you should use a left-handed violin, being left-handed isn’t one of them. The standard violin position is over your left shoulder and using your left hand to press the strings and your right hand to bow.
It doesn’t matter if your left or right hand is dominant, you will play the same way. Of course, it can be confusing since plenty of people play the guitar left-handed.
However, left-handed violins aren’t as common. You really should only use one as a last resort, whether your dominant hand is your left or right.
Best Left-Handed Violins
Once you determine that the left-handed violin is your only option, you can figure out how to find the best left-handed violin. But you still need to decide on the best one for you.
Whether you’re a beginner or are switching from a regular violin, you should consider a few models. That way, you’ll find one that sounds good and that you enjoy playing.
Here are a few left-handed violins you should try.
D Z Strad Left-Handed Violin
The Left-Handed Violin from D Z Strad is an excellent choice with a spruce top and back. Russian spruce is a hard wood, so it’s relatively durable and can sound good.
It’s the left-handed version of the D Z Strad 510 model, so it’s an intermediate option. You can use it to get a clear and open sound, so you can project over an ensemble.
The violin is easy to tune, so you can play with a group and not stand out too much. Plus, you get two bows to use, so you have everything you need to play.
- Good quality
- Comes with what you need
- Easy to play
- Only one size
Another option to consider, especially as a beginner, is the Cecilio CVN-320L. This left-handed violin is perfect for new players and anyone on a budget.
It features a spruce top with a maple back and sides, so it looks and sounds fantastic. You also get a set of D’Addario strings, and two bows come with the violin.
The four fine tuners make it easy to get the violin in tune, so you can play in a small or large ensemble. And you get an adjustable shoulder rest and some rosin to help make the violin feel and sound better.
- Comes with accessories
- Easy to tune
- Not for smaller players
KAILINGBAIHUO Left-Handed Violin
The KAILINGBAIHUO Left-Handed Violin is yet another excellent model to try. It uses maple, spruce, and ebony, which all help the violin look and sound good.
This model is also lightweight, so it can be good if you have overuse injuries throughout your body. Plus, it offers a lot of resonance, so you can project your sound.
You will get a handmade violin, so there may be some unique nuances. But that can be a great thing if you want your sound to stand out from other violinists.
- Looks and sounds good
- Easy to play
- Only one fine tuner
TANGIST Left-Handed Violin
If you want another option to try, the TANGIST Left-Handed Violin is worth considering. This violin takes inspiration from Stradivarius violins from the 18th century.
The woods are all European, so you can get a good, traditional violin sound. Unfortunately, there’s only one fine tuner, so you’ll need to use the pegs to tune most of the strings.
However, the violin can sound just as good as any other model, and it’s not too expensive. So you can use it to start learning the violin or if you need to switch from a regular violin.
- Looks and sounds good
- Easy to play
- Good quality
- Only one size
JITAZHIJIA Left-Handed Violin
The JITAZHIJIA Left-Handed Violin is a stable, durable model that you should try. It uses maple and spruce for the body, so you can get the same sound as other violins.
You don’t have to worry too much about the weight, and it can sound very resonant. This handmade model is perfect for serious players who need something on a budget.
Whether you want to switch from a regular violin or upgrade from a left-handed model, this one is perfect. However, you will need to use the pegs to tune since there’s only one fine tuner.
- Good sound
- Hard to tune
Fiddlerman Left Handed Concert Violin Outfit
If you want one of the best left-handed violins, you can’t go wrong with the Fiddlerman Left Handed Concert Violin Outfit. This model looks and sounds great thanks to maple and spruce.
Fiddlerman lets the wood age and dry for six years to help you get a good sound. Unlike some other left-handed models, this one is available in different sizes, all the way down to 1/4.
This setup comes with a bow, rosin, a shoulder rest, a mute, a cloth, and a tuner. Everything comes in a convenient case that will protect your gear when you aren’t playing.
- Great design
- Sounds good
- Available in different sizes
- The strings aren’t the best
FAQs About How To Find The Best Left-Handed Violin
Answer: A left-handed violin features strings in the reverse order of how they rest on a regular violin. The left-handed model also reverses other features, such as the nut, bridge, and bass bars.
You’ll also notice the chinrest is on the opposite side of the violin. That way, you can rest the chin on your right side when playing the model.
Answer: You can technically convert a regular violin, but you shouldn’t. Because the bass bars and other features are opposite, you might not get as good of a sound if you switch the strings and chinrest.
If you want to try playing in the left-handed configuration, you can change your current model. But make sure to change it back and get a left-handed violin as soon as you know it’s the right setup for you.
Answer: Ideally, a beginner would learn on a regular violin, even when they’re left-handed. I know one person who plays a left-handed violin, and it affects where she can sit in an orchestra.
If you’re left-handed, you might actually have an advantage on a regular violin. Your dominant hand will do much of the technical work by pressing the strings.
Answer: While quite a few left-handed people play the violin, left-handed models are rare for a few reasons. First, there’s tradition and the fact that regular violins have been around for centuries.
It’s also easier for violin teachers to teach the instrument when everyone plays them in the same way. Plus, it helps a violin section of an orchestra look more uniform when everyone plays a regular violin.
Answer: Fortunately, left-handed violins aren’t as expensive as you might expect. Sure, some models are more expensive than others, but you can find a few options on a tight budget.
However, you may not find a good left-handed violin that easily. So consider if you’re willing to shop around to get a good deal.
Final Note On How To Find The Best Left-Handed Violin
Knowing how to find the best left-handed violin can come in handy if you develop an injury. But you shouldn’t just get one because you’re left-handed.
If you do have an injury and need to play a left-handed model, consider the D Z Strad or the Fiddlerman model. Then, you can get a good quality instrument to support your playing.
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