A password will be e-mailed to you. Cancel

  • Most Respected Classical Music Platform
  • #classicalForever

Yi-Ping Yang — How to Test String Instruments to Find the Right One For You

The Violin Channel recently caught up with Yi-Ping Yang, Co-Founder of the Contemporary Violin and Bow Makers Exhibition



“When you’re presented with a large selection of string instruments, what are the systematic ways to test them? How do you narrow down your search? What are the things you’re testing for?”


1. Start in groups of three or four at a time. Many instruments that make the initial cut can then be compared to the next group, and so forth.

2. Play the same passage of a piece that you’re very comfortable with on each instrument.

3. Also test a basic scale over the four strings of each instrument.

4. Make sure to keep other things constant, like the bow and rosin.

5. Although physical factors can be adjusted, test for playability and comfort.

5. If you can, play the instruments at least twice. You’ll find different factors when you revisit it

6. Look for a connection with the general voice of the instrument. If it seems compelling somehow, keep it in play.

7. Pay attention to the ones you’re immediately attracted to.

8. Write everything down. You might think you can remember everything, but it’s like an assignment, you should take notes when making this big of a decision.

9. Once it’s whittled down to a small group, then a more thorough analysis of projection, response, and balance is necessary.

10. If there is a wolf note, remember that it is actually a good thing; it means the instrument is vibrating really well. There is a misconception that it is bad, but in time, good players learn how to overcome it as the relationship with the instrument develops.

11. If possible, take them to different settings to hear the instruments in different acoustics.

12. While playing it for colleagues, friends, and teachers can be helpful, remember it’s your opinion that matters the most. You’re the one that’s playing and convincing people that this is your musical voice.

13. If buying from a contemporary maker, remember that you could be the very first owner of the instrument, so it’s quite possible to get one that is as close to your ideal as possible.

14. Take into account that it’s crucial to take the time to adapt and explore the full range of possibilities of each instrument. In time, a front runner will emerge.



New York's Contemporary Violin and Bow Makers Exhibition Co-Founders, Julie Reed of Reed Yeboah Fine Violins and Yi-Ping Yang


2021 celebrated the 10th anniversary of New York's Contemporary Violin and Bow Makers Exhibition — hosted annually by Julie Reed Yeboah of Reed Yeboah Fine Violins and Yi-Ping Yang




upcoming events

june 2023

28mayAll Day16julSitka International Cello Seminar(All Day) The Miner Music Center at Stevenson Hall, 104 Jeff Davis St. Sitka, Alaska 99835Event Type :Other Event TagsSitka International Cello SeminarFOLLOW

02junAll Day10Michael Hill International Violin Competition(All Day) Auckland Town Hall, Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New ZealandEvent Type :competitions Event Tagscompetition,Michael Hill International Violin CompetitionFOLLOW

07jun8:30 pm10:30 pmVirtual EventNorth Shore Chamber Music Festival Presents: Fairy's Kiss8:30 pm - 10:30 pm Event Type :Streams Event TagsNorth Shore Chamber Music FestivalFOLLOW

08junAll Day18Bachfest Leipzig(All Day) Leipzig, LeipzigEvent Type :Other Event TagsBachfest,LeipzigFOLLOW

10jun8:30 pm10:30 pmVirtual EventNorth Shore Chamber Music Festival Presents: Your Heart's Desire8:30 pm - 10:30 pm Event Type :Streams Event TagsNorth Shore Chamber Music FestivalFOLLOW

23jun9:00 pm11:00 pmVirtual EventMinnesota Orchestra Presents "Juneteenth: Celebration of Freedom"9:00 pm - 11:00 pm Event Type :Streams Event TagsMinnesota OrchestraFOLLOW

july 2023

03julAll Day09Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition(All Day) Melbourne Recital Center, 31 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006, AustraliaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsMelbourne International Chamber Music CompetitionFOLLOW

07julAll Day15The Malher Competition(All Day) Joseph-Keilberth-Saal, Konzerthalle Bamberg Mußstraße 1 96047 Bamberg GERMANYEvent Type :competitions Event Tagsconducting competition,The Malher CompetitionFOLLOW

14julAll Day23Festival Napa Valley — 15th Anniversary Edition(All Day) The CIA at Copia, 500 1st St, Napa, CA 94559Event Type :Other Event TagsFestival Napa ValleyFOLLOW


Get ALL our latest conveniently by EMAIL

Our newsletter is trusted by over 100,000+ industry professionals around the world

We deliver news straight to your inbox and will never share your data.
You'll never miss a beat!

click left click right