The simple fact is that there are many different places where you can go to look for a violin, and you may even find more than the ones listed here.  Certainly I would recommend starting at my own website, lukonisviolins.com, because it was uniquely designed to include as many pros as possible.  But I also understand that I simply may not have the violin that you are searching for.  In which case, it's great to know your other options.  Personally, I have bought from traditional and online violin shops, used craigslist for both buying and selling, and purchased through Ebay and Amazon - all with great success.  I've also known friends to obtain great instruments from estate sales, flea markets, and relatives.

So which place is best for you?  Surprisingly, I have found the answer to that question depends a lot on your personality as well as your level of playing experience.  If you are more traditional, value security, or seek professional expertise, you will most likely lean towards going to a privately owned violin shop.  If you are a diligent bargain hunter, embrace variety, rely on your own judgements, or you're just strapped for cash, you will probably gravitate towards any of the online venues.  If you love the thrill of going out and exploring, finding that once-in-a-lifetime treasure, or have a flair for bargaining, estate sales and the different markets may be your arena of choice.

These are, of course, just generalities.  But the good news is that you don't have to limit yourself to any one of them.  Explore them all if you desire!  There really is no "best" place to get a violin.  It's really a matter of what you are looking for "right now".  Where are you in your violin learning?  Are you just beginning or are you an accomplished violinist?  Do you have an affinity for a particular violin maker with a specific sound quality or are you just looking forward to playing your first C note?  Do you want an aged, well-played instrument with a long history behind it or do you love the smell of a freshly varnished new violin that beckons you to be the first to forge its own history?  And of course, what is your budget for even investing in a violin?  These are all questions that will help you clarify where to seek out a violin for yourself, as it did for me.

There are many more questions you may want to ask yourself, but these are a great place to start getting the creative juices flowing and narrowing down the possibilities of where to start looking.  Once you've got a general idea of what kind of violin you are looking for, then you can begin a closer examination of their individual qualities when out searching.

Now that you've got your foot into the door of the "Violin University" it's time to start digging deeper into the individual aspects and qualities of a violin itself.  Not only will the knowledge you gain from learning how a violin works and how it's made be useful when looking for a violin, it will also help you become a better musician.

So let's get moving!  To the workshop we go!

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