Since the 20th Century
, the world of stringed instruments has offered the musician a choice between the traditional acoustic violin
and its more contemporary electric counterpart
. As the electric violins have gained more popularity, there are some musicians who favour the new instrument and some who prefer to stick to the classical violin that has been around for centuries. We are all different, therefore, I have compared the two based on reviews and opinions of other musicians to help you choose the right one for you
Acoustic violins are the hollow-bodied
looking and sounding violins, usually made of wood
and produce the sound through f-holes
located on both sides of the instrument. There is no need for amplification, although it is possible to do on an acoustic instrument.
No doubt, acoustic
violins offer the best representation of the real sound
of a violin. Some better quality electric violins come close, however, you will always be able to tell the difference. This is the main reason why teachers
recommend the acoustic instrument to start with so that you know exactly how a violin is supposed to sound and get the correct feel of the instrument. A decent acoustic violin will also be much cheaper
than a good quality
electric violin that will be comfortable to hold and represent a sound that is very similar to the acoustic violin.
Within an orchestral setting
, traditional recital
and school performances
, the acoustic violin will have the upper hand in terms of representation of the bright, resonant sound. Another great thing about an acoustic violin is that there’s no need to carry an amp
with you – set up is extremely easy, once you have ensured your violin is in order you’re good to go! This is also great within a traditional setting as sometimes, there may be no facility to amplify your electric violin.
If experimenting with sounds
is what truly excites you, acoustic violins probably would not be the best choice
for you. You can certainly still amplify your violin through a pick up
, however, it takes longer to set up and you will not be able to achieve a number of creative tones and options as you would with an electric violin on the spot.
These are the solid bodied
instruments, that are mainly made for added creativity
and will have a more artificial
sound than their acoustic counterparts. The electric violin is amplified through jack output
and also allows for silent practice through an inbuilt headphone amp
Ideal for performances within more contemporary
genres of music such as jazz
, where the classical tone is not as crucial, the electric violins offer a range of creative features
and world of experiments
for the violinist who is looking to expand their range. The e-violin
offers you the ability to amplify your instrument easily using a jack to jack instrument cable to let it rip, or, using the inbuilt headphone amp, you can practice silently
. Some violins will offer the option to practice along to a backing track
. You can also use things like various effects
and loop pedals
, similar to an electric guitar, that will further expand your options and range of sounds.
is made easy
with these violins and some of the e-violin models offer a very unique
look that is a great spin on the classical instrument. Most electric violins will be quieter than a muted acoustic during silent practice and some will even produce no sound at all.
Most musicians will not recommend
electric violins as a beginner instrument
and most teachers would rather teach
you on an acoustic
. This is because electric violins will not produce the same, resonant sound of an acoustic violin purely because the sound travels through wires and technology rather than resonates itself from a hollow wooden body
. The feel of an electric violin also will not be the same. Unamplified, electric violins
will produce a very muted
, tinny sound that is not great for practicing. If you are looking to perform in a very traditional environment
and your repertoire consists of mainly classical music
, you are better off opting for an acoustic
violin that will fit in much better in terms of its sound, looks and also will not require amplification, making the set up much and transportation easier.
The happy medium - Electro Acoustic violins?
For those of you who can’t choose between the two or have limited funds, electro acoustic violins
would be an excellent choice to combine the traditional looks and sound of an acoustic instrument with creative opportunities and options of an electric. These are hollow-bodied
, traditionally crafted
instruments with the option to amplify them through a jack output
. Although an electro-acoustic
violin does not offer a silent practice
through headphones, it is great for those who would like the best of both worlds
. An electro-acoustic instrument will be suitable for beginners
and open to creative experiments, amplification
and different effects same as the electric violin without losing that natural sound
. Very versatile
for use in different environments and settings.
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