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What is a luthier?

If you are looking to invest in a new violin; either for your own musical ventures or if you are looking to invest in a new violin for your child; chances are you have been hearing the word luthier being discussed as you are attempting to find a new violin to purchase. Understanding who a luthier is and the important role they play when it comes to violin ownership can help you move forward with your violin purchase with greater confidence and ease.


A luthier

By basic definition a luthier is a professional instrument builder who focuses on the creation of bowed string instruments. The term luthier, which is actually taken from the French word for lute (luth) not only defines someone who creates instruments but who also repairs them as well.


With instruments such as violins; if you are getting a high quality instrument you will likely be investing in a violin that has been hand made by a luthier; as opposed to a machine made or mass produced instrument. There are some who will turn to luthiers because of their experience in constructing violins while many consult these professionals with assistance with instrument repairs and maintenance. This is because professional luthiers understand the intricacies involved with violin making and they can help you understand how to get the best performance out of your instrument; no matter what type or style of violin you may own.


If you use your violin regularly you will find that luthiers can be a valuable asset when it comes to maintaining your instrument and keeping the instrument in prime working condition. Your instrument needs to be and should be adjusted over time to keep it in prime working condition and luthiers can provide the basic maintenance needed to keep your violin in working order.

Optimizing your instrument

Luthiers will be able to help find a comfortable violin set up for you and they can provide important services such as sound adjustments that will coax the best sound from your violin. There are several basic repairs that many luthiers provide the average violinist with including assistance with stiff or slipping pegs. Things such as environmental factors, poor initial peg fit and poorly wound strings can cause issues with your violin’s pegs. If you have an issue with your violin’s bridge; keep in mind that this fragile and important piece of your instrument should be precisely carved by expert luthiers;  they can help not only extend the life of your current bridge but outfit you with a replacement bridge if necessary.


Breakage and extensive wear in the instrument’s seams as well as issues with cracks and rehairing of your bow are also be handled by luthiers. There are a number of fact that can impact the playing quality of violins over time; such as, extensive use and environmental factors. These can cause your instrument to lose its ideal sound. Your violin can be adjusted and  important routine maintenance can be performed to ensure the instrument is always producing the best sound possible.

Luthiers can be  important service providers for many violinists from child student players to professionals who you may need to consult from time to time. Whether you are looking to buy a hand made instrument, need violin repairs or want to make sure yours is working at its best possible level; the right luthier can be instrumental in your experience with owning a violin

photo credit: KellyCDB via photopin cc

photo credit: wietse? via photopin cc

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