#17131 Reply

Dianne Adkins
Moderator

Hello! I don’t own an electric violin, yet. I do really want to own one though! I’ve given this very question a bit of thought! I’ve taught classical violin for over 30 years and earned a Master’s degree in music. So all my experience has been with traditional, old school acoustic violin. Quite a lot will depend on the settings you want to ultimately perform in. Do you want to play in church, around a campfire or in a band or orchestra. Each venue will push your decision in one direction or the other.

The pros of using an acoustic violin is that it most closely represents the true sound of a classical violin. Dimensions are universal, although they can vary a bit, but for learning, I would definitely prefer to learn on an acoustic instrument, so you get a good idea of how a violin is supposed to sound. Some electric violins come close, but you can always tell the difference.

Having an acoustic violin also allows you the opportunity to eventually play in an orchestra, recitals, church settings, and if you want to mic an acoustic, you can always add an external device and perform in a band.

If you want to experiment with sound and amplification, looping, backtracking, and a host of other nifty contemporary features, then electric is the way to go. The electric violin is also most ideal for silent practice. The e-violin also comes in some seriously eye catching designs and colors. You can get a 5 string acoustic, but that is an unusual novelty. With electric violins, a 5th string is pretty standard.

Electric violins vary a little more also from the universal measurements and dimensions set up by the old master acoustic violin makers. So they may feel different in the hand, and be harder to play sometimes if you’re used to the feel of the acoustic violin.

There are also electro-acoustic models that allow a little of both worlds. You get to play with a hollowed out instrument for an acoustic sound, while having the option of experimentation with electric sounds and amplification when you want. These version would never pass in a serious orchestral setting though, and they don’t have the capability for silent practice.

Hope this helps!