Buying Violin Stuff at AliExpress + VIOLIN GIVEAWAY CLOSED | Violin Lounge TV #387

by | Oct 21, 2020 | 46 comments

I bought all kinds of weird violin accessories, useless gadgets and learning aids, to give you my opinion as a violin teacher

Read for a good old rant video?

I bought all kinds of weird stuff at AliExpress: cheap violins, bow corrector, finger trainer, fingerboard stickers and I review all of it. My kids review a toy violin, haha!

Violin playing is hard and takes a long time to learn. I know a lot of people want a short cut in the form of learning aids and are buying these things. I just wanted to test those things out to give you my honest opinion, rants and some alternative ways to train violin technique without this stuff.

Find my full review of the $ 29 violin set right here.

Watch my review of bow hold learning aids right here.

Buy the violin tuner I recommend instead of an AliExpress one or fingerboard stickers.

Video content:

  • 03:57 ball
  • 04:45 finger stretcher
  • 05:29 finger trainer
  • 07:12 6 exercises that DO help your finger strength and flexibility
    Etude books I recommend for finger speed and security: Hans Sitt and Henry Schradieck
  • 09:44 bow corrector
  • 14:45 my rant about fingerboard stickers
  • 21:04 my kids review a $ 12 toy violin

And the winner is…

Hi! I'm Zlata

Let me help you find a great bow for your violin, so you can improve your bowing technique and sound quality:


  1. Darion

    You should do a video with your husband, to see how well he can play the violin or maybe a guess the song on violin. I would like to win the set in the video because I have been in foster care all of my life and I have been wanting one for a long time. I live in Louisiana so I probably won’t be able to get one.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Awesome, hmmm… my husband is really hard to convince to appear in videos. 😀

  2. Ian

    Great reviews, enjoyed your humour throughout Yr video.
    Agree the toy violin is a danger for any youngster.
    I’m mid 50s and starting out on this journey of learning the violin.
    Any advice for someone with large fingers. I seem to catch a string I’m not intending to play quite frequently. I’m using a Forenzo Primo 2 full size violin as my starter kit.
    Thank you

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Welcome, Ian! A tip would be to focus on finger placement: round coming from above and not stretched or anything.

      • Ian

        Hi Zlata,
        Ill get the finger stretcher out
        Is there a “knack” to get Yr finger in that position or does it come with time? Agree with John re vids.

        Like that Yr toddlers are enjoying themselves in pic.

        P. S. Not interested in giveaway. My wife has told me I have enough toys

  3. John Gane

    Hi Zlata
    I’m 64 years old so nothing much surprises me. I took up the violin 2 years ago and love it. I also love your videos but don’t find the time to watch them as much as I’d like to. Bowing is my problem and I know that is your speciality. I’m happy seeing more videos on bowing even if they partly repeat previous ones. I would like to see you playing more as it is great to learn by example. Hope that helps. I live in southern England. Best wishes. John

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Awesome, John, I’ve got some interesting performance videos coming up and certainly some videos on bow technique :).

  4. Thisbe van Leeuwen

    The testing of all the stuff was very funny! That stickers must be terrible, you have to look for your sheet and the stickers at the same time But everyone thinks after the first lesson this can be a solution. No teacher is advising this, I hope…
    I am curious about digital music sheets. Paper is so easy because I like to make many notes. What about the benefits of e-sheets?
    And how do you collect and file your sheets?
    Thanks for all your video’s!!!
    And if no one wants the violin I can use it for wedding shoots, a bride with a white violin on the beach must be a perfect shot!!!

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Oh, I was thinking about switching to iPad for sheet music… would save me some chaos in the house of piles of sheet music… but I think iPads are a bit pricy compared to a couple of prints.

  5. corbin hamm

    my video idea is to make a live video with emailing your online students a day before you start it so online students like me can have a chance to ask you things and have a chance to see you live. also i am interested in winning the violin my adress is 1811 49 ave #5 Lloydminister Canada.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Awesome, really thinking about that! However live with three babies is a bit of a struggle, haha! I’ll think of something… maybe a ‘Zlata reviews your playing’ series.

      • Corbin Hamm

        nice i like it

  6. Rae-ann

    Hi Zlata,

    I have a question about the tuner you recommend… actually about electronic tuners in general. I use a Korg tuner and keep it on while I’m practicing but all of my previous teachers have discouraged that saying that I should use my ears instead of the tuner. What’s your take on the use of tuners to correct intonation while playing? As well, using a tuner to tune the instrument means tuning each string individually rather than listening for the 5ths to tune.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Rae-ann

      Just to let you know: I ordered the tuner through Fiddlerman rather than Shar Music, the company I usually use, based on your recommendation. (The price plus shipping was the same.)

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Yes, they are right that you should use your ears, but you can use the tuner to train your ears. If you use it all the time, you become dependent, but if you use it sometimes as a check it can be very effective. I’ve used it myself a lot for first violin orchestra scores that are in high positions and sometimes hard to imagine.

  7. Susanne

    Helaas kan ik niet via youtube reageren dus hoop ok dat het hier mag. Ik zou de viool wel graag willen winnen omdat ik sinds kort de online vioolcursus volg bij jou. Nu is het zo dat mijn zoon het ook erg leuk lijkt te vinden en we dus om de beurt spelen. Hoe leuk zou het zijn als we samen kunnen oefenen! Als idee voor een volgend filmpje zou ik graag reviews zien op lesmateriaal. Ook vind ik het interessant om de verschillen tussen elektrisch en akoestische viool te ontdekken.

    • Susanne

      Oh en nog iets. Waar hangt de kwaliteit van een viool allemaal vanaf.

      • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

        Ook een goed idee… al staan daarover al veel video’s en artikelen op deze website!

  8. Guy

    I love your videos. I find them very informative. Although I am not interested in this giveaway I want you to know I fully support whatever criteria you choose as you are the one who is giving away something. As for ideas I don’t know if you did a video on how to tune a violin “safely” (how to hold it when tuning, how much pressure to place on the tuning pegs,etc), I would appreciate your advice on this subject.

  9. Luvenia Spotswood

    i would like to see a video where you take a violin and disassemble it . I would like to feel more comfortable being able to understand the inner workings. I would never use a bow guide as the one I bought made a scratch on my new violin. It made me sick. But everything you mentioned in this video is great for a beginner to know. I love my tuner and it is quite helpful.
    I would love to win the violin/”stuff” to actually learn how to change my strings (that scares me to death) so from a beginner, thanks for making this very informative video on what not to buy! I live in Satsuma, Alabama 36572 , suburb of Mobile, Alabama. I am 77 years “young” and never to old to learn. Thanks again.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Here‘s a video on how to change strings. Great video idea, maybe something to do together with a luthier post-pandemic.

  10. Silviu Tcaciuc

    Have you tried to do a commentary on the playing of professional players? Maybe compare and contrast how different violinists will play the same piece yet give it their own character. Or just judge youtube videos of of people that are playing violin wrong and describing ways to correct or prevent them. I would love a chance at the violin for my niece. Want to get her into music but not sure if she will stay with it if I buy her something. Live In Chicago, IL USA.

  11. Laura

    Thank you very much for all the learning you give! I’m really lost with trying to learn and havn’t started yet as I can’t afford to but I love watching what you share so I have some idea when I can start. I’ve always loved the sound of the violin so it’s so wonderful to start learning before I can start. I’m not sure if you’ve shared thoughts on it before or not, but what do you think of someone playing a lefthanded violin? I’ve heard so many opinions both ways for it and good thoughts either way as well.

    Thank you for the chance to win a violin as well, it’s amazing that you’re doing something like this and I am sure whoever you send to will be very joyful!

    I live in Chandler, Arizona. I’m sure that would be too much cost to send to, but all the same I would like a chance for such an amazing gift.

  12. Mary Ann Montgomery

    Everybody loves videos that include animals. And, it has been my experience that all animals love music. So my suggestion for your video would be to include the two. I know that when I practice my violin outside, all the farm cats gather around to listen. More than the usual number of birds also gather in the nearby bushes. Give it a try!

  13. Isabella Voltattorni

    I play my violin in a band instead of an orchestra so I have to play oboe music and it sounds awful. However when I play my own violin sheet music it sound great. do you know any way I can fix that?

  14. Isabella Voltattorni

    I would appreciate a video on country fiddle Technics. I live in Michigan in the USA, and am interested in the violin. I have six younger siblings and some of them are interested in learning the violin, However I do not want them playing my expensive one so this violin would come in handing just to let everyone see if there interested in playing this instrument. I also am the section leader for the violinist at my school and I know that there are some people who don’t have the money for a violin and I could use this free one to expand my section.

  15. Ingeborg Cneut

    Hi Zlata, First I want to say, congratulations how you successfully combine family and musical professional carreer with using online tools in this world of changes every day! I’m plenty of ideas but I’m not sure if they are not already shown. I couldn’t follow all your video’s yet. I especially liked your video about all types of bowing: legato, spiccato, sautille, etc.,… What about making a video with several professionals that all have a different bow hold and analyse that? Different sizes of hands and muscle tendensy makes all kinds of influence, talking about Franco-Belgian, German and Russian Bowhold? In these corona times co-working is not that easy, but many musicians have more time than they used to…? Or what about compare a couple of violins in different sizes of rooms, to find out which type of violin works best in small pub, living-room home concert set-up, concert-hall and dry studio? Another idea could be to have a few examples with students to show their progress after you teach them in a comparable way? …I like your dentist-bright shining white violin! Could be usefull in our white swan act…

  16. Mitali Chatterjee

    Hi I am from India. You cam make videos on how to read sheet music and show us the fingering and bowing as well. So that any beginner can learn from that.

  17. Linda Stockstill

    I think you are wonderful. Music to relax by. In this stressful world we live in any reliever would help. I bought one of the 49 dollar violins with case and everything. While sound isn’t great it did save me some and helped me to see if I can move forward at it. I would love to have a better sounding instrument. I am from Picayune, Mississippi USA.

  18. Maria

    I would really want to win this violin. I’ve been looking at thrift stores to buy really cheap ones, but no luck. I am a college student, so there are a lot of bills to pay. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the violin but the teachers were way too expensive for my mom. Violin is so peaceful and calming, but I really don’t have any money to buy one. I may have spare cash but it’s not enough and I have to prioritize my needs over my wants. I really hope I win this. Also, I watch your beginner tutorials, and I often practice holding a bow using a pen. Thank you!

  19. Christiana Walter

    Hello Zlata Brouwer , I love your videos and hope I can learn to ! I want to start my journey playing ,but on a very cheap violin.Around a $30 violin ,and I’m not sure where to start.Please give me some tips.


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