In the world of violin and fiddle, a left-handed musician is actually quite rare. Therefore, the best left-handed fiddle can be rather hard to find. Unlike many other string instruments, which have started producing many models of left-handed instruments, fiddles continue to be made almost exclusively for righties.
Being a right-handed player myself, I hadn’t thought much about this problem until one of my new students brought it to my attention. With that in mind, I decided that this article needed to be researched and written for both readers of StringVibe and my student!
I’ve picked out violins in three different price ranges, from super budget, to a few in the range I usually would expect for a beginner fiddle, to a lovely model that my current student picked and is extremely pleased with!
Best Left-Handed Fiddle For Beginners
D Z Strad Left-Handed Violin Model 510
- The Engelmann Spruce is from Russia, known for its hardness
There really wasn’t much competition. The D Z Strad Model 510 was by far the best left-handed fiddle that I played when shopping around for my student. The bridge curvature on this fiddle is slightly more than I’d recommend for a true beginner, but as long as you can overcome that, this is the instrument you should choose!
This Violin is made from Russian Englemann Spruce, a great wood that is known for its hardness and resonance. The top appears to be one piece, while the back is a 2-piece flamed spruce that is perfectly varnished.
When I first picked this instrument up the tone was quite muted and I was worried that was all it had. After about 30 minutes of playing the instrument really started coming alive. I’ve seen this before with instruments that haven’t been played much recently, and after a little warm up the volume and tone really started to warm the room.
Early in my shopping efforts, I was quite disappointed with the left-handed options out there, but boy did this violin redeem my hopes. This is a truly well-crafted beginner to intermediate instrument that will serve you well for years!
Jinqu Acoustic Violin Left-Handed 4/4
- Jinqu violin is handmade by our experienced luthiers,top spruce and maple back&side
- Advance Violin 4/4 size Ebony fingerboard and pegs,tailpiece,chinrest.
- Hand-Purfling Inlay! All done by hand in traditional way
- Without violin bow, if you need you can contact me by message, I will suggest you the bow and case with the best price.
- 30 Days Unconditional Money Back Guarantee Backed Up By Our Awesome Customer Support, you can rest assured to buy our products.
In the violin world Jinqu is a rather new brand, being started in 1998, but the handcrafted instruments they make and has quickly become one of the bigger and better manufacturers in China. This is the first of their instruments I’ve been able to play myself, and it didn’t disappoint!
A very nice flamed maple back and sides is paired with a solid spruce top. This was the sharpest sounding instrument that I played, brighter but not quite as warm as the other instruments.
The one big drawback of this instrument is that you’ll need to buy a bow separately. As an instrument made for beginners I’m surprised it was not included as many beginners won’t have extra bows laying around. For many instructors or schools, this might be a non-issue, I simply found it strange though.
Shutian Handmade Left-handed Violin
- Material:100%hand-painted, selected solid spruce panels, the sound is more transparent than ordinary wood, the resonance is better, the weight is lighter, and the deformation is more resistant. Naturally air- dried selected seasoned flamed maple backboard, ribs and scrolls, naturally air- dried ebony fingerboard high- quality strings.
- The violin is 100% handmade with hard- carved boxwood or ebony nails, tailboard and jaw rest. The violin not only looks beautiful, but also has outstanding sound quality.
- Every violin is handmade, we cannot guarantee that every violin is exactly the same as the picture, but we can guarantee you 95%similarity.
- The violin looks exquisite. Its warm and round tone, playability, feel and consistency will keep you motivated. It is an ideal choice for friends, family and relatives, and can produce warmth and better resonance.
- This violin is suitable for students, beginners, schools, concerts, gifts and players of any level.
When I first grabbed this instrument I was skeptical, I’ve never heard of the brand and that usually isn’t a good sign. I was pleasantly surprised to find a very warm tone from the instrument right away! It is set up well for really good playability and sound quality.
The makeup of this violin is fairly traditional, with maple being used for the backboard, ribs and scrolls, and an ebony fingerboard. The top and other panels are solid spruce. The combination of this makes the violin quite light and resonant, being only about 3.5lbs.
As with any good violin, this instrument is handmade and really shows the attention to detail a quality instrument requires!
Cecilio CVN – 320L Student Violin – BEST BUDGET LEFT-HANDED Violin!
- Size 4/4 (full size) LEFT-HANDED violin with solid spruce wood top, maple back, neck and sides with inlaid purfling in antique varnish
- Ebony fingerboard, pegs chinrest, and tailpiece with 4 detachable nickel plated fine tuners
- Strung with D'Addario Prelude Strings (Note: Does not include extra set of strings)
- Includes: Cecilio chromatic tuner, lesson book, lightweight hard case, 2 x Brazilwood bows with unbleached genuine Mongolian horsehair, quality rosin cake, adjustable shoulder rest, and an extra bridge
- 1 Year Warranty Against Manufacturer's Defects
Cecilio has done an amazing job creating fiddles for beginners at a much more reasonable price than previously available. This model is no exception. For the price the quality and sound are more than reasonable, making this a very good budget pick for a beginner.
Like many other instruments, this violin has a solid spruce top. Maple and laminates make up the other pieces, which should be expected for this price. Cecilio makes their instruments in China and the quality checks them in California, so hopefully, the quality is as good for most of the instruments as the one that I played!
No, this isn’t the same quality, tone, or sound as the other instruments on this list, but considering the price difference, if you aren’t sure you or the person who you are buying a violin for will stick with it, this is a perfect starter/budget option!
Why Are Left-Handed Violins so Rare?
Traditionally the violin has a major role in the orchestra and large, classical-style concert hall performances. If you look at a picture of these, all the instruments are lined up and pointing one way. This means that a left-handed violinist, or any string musician, would stand out like a sore thumb. Your bowing hand might just bump elbows with the right-handed musician next to you!
This has led to many lefties learning to play the fiddle with their right-hand bowing in the traditional sense. With the fiddle and violin gaining mainstream acceptance and places in bluegrass and folk bands, the need and acceptability of left-handed artists have become more of a thing. We hope that more and more models of left-handed violins will become available in the future!
Should A Left-Handed Person Play the Fiddle Right-Handed?
For most other instruments the answer to this is no, but due to the very small number of good left-handed violins currently on the market, it may be a wise move. If you learn to play with your right hand, you’ll fit into orchestras or classical music organizations that may struggle to fit in a left-handed string musician.
Can I Play my Right-Handed Fiddle from the Left Side?
You may wonder if you can simply get a new chinrest for your right-handed fiddle and then play it left-handed. Unfortunately, this will not work. The left-handed Violin is a mirror image of a right-handed model, not it’s opposite.
The peg holes, bass bar, and soundpost all need to be put in the correct location to make the resonance of the violin work properly, and these things can’t just be flipped around! Left-handed models must be crafted specifically due to these things.
The Final Note
Most people are naturally right-handed, so it’s no surprise that most violins are made for a right-handed person. But does this mean that lefties can never play? Not at all! There are many steps to making a left-handed violin, but it is possible with some extra work.
Thanks to advancements in manufacturing and the push for more options, the best left-handed fiddle was a little harder to decide this time around!
Ruby has spent much of the last 20 years touring both North America and Europe in a number of Orchestras, playing lead chair for several. More recently, she has started to teach kids and young adults both the fiddle and violin, with interest in spreading the love for both bluegrass and classical music.
Last update on 2022-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API