An electric violin is a versatile and unique instrument that can open up a whole new world of musical possibilities. Whether you're a classical violinist looking to experiment with new genres or a guitarist looking to add some strings to your sound, an electric violin can provide a range of different tones and effects that simply aren't possible with an acoustic instrument. However, with so many options available on the market, it can be tough to know where to start your search.
There are three main types of electric violins: solid-body, semi-hollow body, and full hollow body. Each of these options has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to consider your own preferences and playing style when making your selection.
Solid-body electric violins are the most common type on the market. They have a solid body, much like an electric guitar, and are designed to be played with an amplifier. They produce a very clear and bright sound that is great for playing in rock or jazz bands.
Semi-hollow body electric violins have a partially hollow body, similar to a semi-hollow body guitar. This gives them a warmer, more mellow sound that is great for playing in a variety of settings. They're often a good choice for players who want the best of both worlds.
Full hollow body electric violins have a completely hollow body, much like an acoustic violin. They produce a very warm and natural sound that is great for classical music, but they can be prone to feedback in loud environments.
When selecting an electric violin, there are a few key features that you should consider to ensure that you get an instrument that meets your needs.
Pickups: The pickup is the device that converts the sound of the strings into an electrical signal that can be amplified. There are two main types of pickups: piezo and magnetic. Piezo pickups are typically found on acoustic-electric violins and produce a more natural sound, while magnetic pickups are found on solid-body electric violins and produce a more electric sound.
Controls: Most electric violins have controls that allow you to adjust the volume and tone of the instrument. Some also have additional controls for effects such as reverb or distortion.
Weight: Electric violins can vary significantly in weight, so it's important to consider how comfortable you will be playing a heavier instrument. Lighter instruments can be easier to handle and play for longer periods of time.
Connectivity: Some electric violins have built-in preamps or audio interfaces that allow you to connect directly to a computer or audio interface for recording or performance. Others may require additional equipment to achieve the same functionality.
Just like acoustic violins, electric violins come in a range of sizes to accommodate players of different heights and arm lengths. It's important to choose the right size instrument to ensure that you're comfortable playing and able to produce the best sound possible.
To determine the right size electric violin, measure the distance from your neck to the middle of your left-hand palm when your arm is fully extended. Then compare that measurement to the following size chart:
4/4 size: For players with an arm length of 23.5 inches or more
3/4 size: For players with an arm length of 22-23.5 inches
1/2 size: For players with an arm length of 20-22 inches
1/4 size: For players with an arm length of 18-20 inches
1/8 size: For players with an arm length of 17-18 inches
It's important to note that these measurements are only a general guideline, and some players may prefer to play on an instrument that is slightly larger or smaller than recommended.
Electric violins can vary widely in price, with some entry-level models costing less than $100, while high-end professional models can cost several thousand dollars. As with any musical instrument, you can expect to pay more for higher quality materials, craftsmanship, and features.
In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300-$1000 for a good quality mid-range electric violin. However, it's important to consider your own budget and playing needs when making your selection.
When purchasing an electric violin, you may also want to consider investing in some additional accessories and add-ons to enhance your playing experience. Some common options include:
Amplifiers: Electric violins require amplifiers to produce sound, so you'll need to invest in a good quality amp if you don't already have one. Look for an amp that is designed specifically for electric violins to ensure the best sound quality.
Strings: Electric violins require specific strings that are designed to produce the best sound when amplified. Look for strings that are specifically designed for electric instruments to ensure the best tone and playability.
Effects pedals: Effects pedals can be a fun and creative way to experiment with different sounds and styles. Look for pedals that are designed specifically for electric violins to ensure compatibility.
Electric violins offer a unique and versatile alternative to traditional acoustic violins. Whether you're a professional musician looking for a high-quality instrument that can be used in a variety of settings, or a beginner who wants to experiment with different sounds and styles, there is an electric violin out there that is right for you.
By considering factors like size, price, and accessories, you can make an informed decision and choose an electric violin that will enhance your playing experience and help you achieve your musical goals.