October 19, 2015
Choosing the Best Violin Case
If you’re in the market for a new violin case, you may be wondering which is the best. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer, as finding the right violin case is almost as complex as purchasing the instrument itself. There are a wide variety of options, ranging from basic cases that sell for under $300 to handcrafted pieces of art that can cost upwards of $1,000. Whether your child is new to playing the violin or has been playing for years, finding the right violin case is crucial. The last thing you want is to purchase your child an exquisite violin only to have it badly damaged a few weeks later. When deciding which violin case is right for your child, consider the type, material, and frequency of use.
Type of Violin Case
Because of their sheer durability, hard-shell violin cases are a popular choice for musicians looking to protect their violin. The traditional disadvantage to hard-shell cases is their weight, as they can be difficult for small children to carry around. Fortunately, many manufacturers have been introducing lightweight cases to the market. Though they’re lighter than hard-shell cases, they’re designed to hold the violin snugly in place and provide a good level of protection. Finally, if you’re happy with your current case and wish it was easier to carry and had more room for accessories, consider purchasing a case bag. They provide extra padding, have pockets for accessories, and their built-in handles and straps make the case easier to carry around.
Number of Compartments
Whether it’s carrying the violin from class to class or state to state on an airplane, your child will likely be traveling with their violin in some capacity.Will they be traveling with a portfolio case? Sheet music? Cleaning cloths? Generally speaking, cases have between one and four inner compartments, and a sheet music compartment running the length of the case. Some include outer pockets for extra storage while others feature detachable exterior pockets for carrying portfolios. With this in mind, ask your child what they’ll be carrying in their case on a day-to-day basis and make a decision. Just make sure there’s enough space for your child’s bows, violin, and essential accessories.
Although violin cases are available in a variety of materials, wood and fiberglass are the most common. Wood cases are the more economical choice, but don’t offer the same level of protection as fiberglass. Fiberglass cases are a bit heavier than their wood counterparts, but are much stronger and usually come with more space for accessories. If your child can comfortably carry a fiberglass case without dropping it, this is almost always the best choice. While it’s the violinists responsibility to keep their violin safe, a strong and sturdy case can help. If the violin is being transported often or if your child is very young, a stronger case is ideal. If the violin will mostly stay at your house, any of the other options will work.
Hygrometer & Humidifier
If you live in an area with extreme climate, you may wish to consider including a hygrometer or humidifier with your purchase.While some cases come with these features built-in, in most cases it makes more sense to purchase a basic, stripped-down case and purchase these separately. For some background, hygrometers measure humidity levels and let you know if your instrument is too wet or dry, while humidifiers actually correct dryness through a small tube filled with water-saturated material that releases in a controlled rate. Regardless of which you need, they’re easy to find and purchase separately from the case. If you aren’t sure if your child’s violin requires either of these, speak with your child’s violin teacher for more info.
Suspension cases have become the norm for most manufacturers, as they are well padded and prevent your instrument from resting flat against the bottom of the case. In the event that the case is dropped or banged, this can mean the difference between a damaged and protected instrument. Sometimes referred to as “air suspension” due to the idea your violin is surrounded by a cushion of air and rests only on end blocks, suspension systems are almost always the best choice.While the majority of violin cases on Music & Arts are suspension cases, check the description of each case carefully for any mention of suspension.
Room for Two?
If you think your child will play the violin throughout grade school, junior high, and into high school, it may be a good idea to invest in the double case, or a violin case that has room for two violins. While this may seem unnecessary if you’re purchasing a violin case for a small child, students who play the violin through high school will appreciate the extra space, as carrying a back-up violin is often a necessity. If you suspect your child will stop playing the violin before high school or are unsure if their interest in music is just a passing phase, stick with the single violin case– they’re easier to find and far less expensive than double violin cases.
Finally, the hardware of a violin case can mean the difference between a well-protected violin and one that’s in need of costly repairs. If you’re purchasing a violin case in person, watch out for sturdy latches that close all the way. If you’re concerned about your child’s violin being stolen, purchasing a case with a built-in lock may help give you peace of mind. Since locks are often optional, you should choose the type of case that makes sense for your situation: if your child will travel with the violin frequently, purchasing a violin case with locks may make sense. Regardless of what you choose, always make sure the violin case has a lot of padding.
Need a violin, too? Check out our Violin Buying Guide.
Want more info about the violin? Check out this video: