20 Best Viola for Beginners 2017 – Viola Reviews

If you are a lover of beautiful classical instruments, then you are obviously no stranger to the mellow, earthy, and sorrow sound this beautiful instrument produces. All of this, of course, hinges in you buying a viola that is of high quality and best viola brands. If you fail in that, you will be left with a beautiful box capable of producing some unappealing sounds.

If you are going to start something, then you want to start it off right. Therefore, when you want to get a viola, it is important that whatever brand you choose is one with the highest quality. Your first viola should make you fall in love with the instrument and not leave you running away from it. For this simple reason, you need to purchase the best viola for beginners.

2) Mendini MA250

Mendini 12-Inch MA250 Natural Varnish Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

Mendini 12-Inch MA250 Natural Varnish Solid Wood

  • Trustworthy Brand
  • Hand-Crafted
  • Solid Spruce Top
  • Lightweight

1) D’Luca CA400VA

D'Luca CA400VA-15.5 15.5-Inch Orchestral Series Handmade Viola Outfit

D'Luca CA400VA 15.5-Inch Orchestral Series 

  • Excellent Quality
  • Lightweight
  • Flamed Maple Sides
  • Ebony Fingerboard

3) Cecilio CVA-400

Cecilio CVA-400 14-Inch Solid Wood Flamed Viola

Cecilio CVA-400 14-Inch Solid Wood Flamed Viola

  • Gratifying Artisanship
  • Natural Color
  • Euphonic Sound
  • Flamed Sides

A common misconception most people have is to confuse good quality with a high price when the reality is not always so clear-cut. To make your choice easier, we have conducted a review of some incredible viola that you can check out. The prices vary so while you will not be seeing any price comparison, you can rest assured that they are all of the best beginner brands of violas.

Best Viola for Beginners and List of Best Viola Brands

1) D’Luca CA400VA-15.5 15.5-Inch Orchestral Series Handmade Viola Outfit

D'Luca CA400VA-15.5 15.5-Inch Orchestral Series Handmade Viola Outfit

D'Luca CA400VA-15.5 15.5-Inch Orchestral Series Handmade Viola Outfit

This handmade viola is likely to be one of the finest options if you are looking for an excellent quality music-tone. Besides D’Luca viola is made in the customary style. An old solid spruce, particular flamed maple sides and back and inlaid purling allow the softer wood top to check its splitting.

What is more? An ebony fingerboard provides a robust and durable alternative. This endures the repetitive tapping pressure of your fingers on the fingerboard. Plus, the professional workmanship promises a matchless excellence and incomparable worth.

The orchestral music instrument boasts to have a light weight case and a Brazil wood Bow with actual horse hair. The inclusive package embraces two bow holders and an extra set of viola strings as well. Now, let us get to the chant or melody it produces.

D’Luca viola creates a deeper, softer, mellower and concordant sound than can craft a mellifluous impact on you. So, if you can meet the expense of a sophisticated and a great quality model, then D’Luca viola marks to be a decent instrument for you.

2) Mendini 12-Inch MA250 Natural Varnish Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

Mendini 12-Inch MA250 Natural Varnish Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

Mendini 12-Inch MA250 Natural Varnish Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

This critical instrument hails from a trustworthy brand: Mendini. This is competent to provide just what you expect to get out of it. Along with a positive reputation, this viola is a hand-crafted piece that has a solid spruce top and maple back and sides.

What else do you get in the package? The complete package includes pegs that are detained together to one side by friction, chin rest.

In addition to a light weight hard case, you get rosin and a bridge. Plus, the Brazil wood bow with Mongolian horse hair and an alloy tailpiece along with four incorporated fine tuners adds to the quality. Moreover, slack strings are stuck strongly to the maple fingerboard.

3) Cecilio CVA-400 14-Inch Solid Wood Flamed Viola

Cecilio CVA-400 14-Inch Solid Wood Flamed Viola

Cecilio CVA-400 14-Inch Solid Wood Flamed Viola

Here is one more congenial viola review from a respectable and acclaimed brand -Cecilio. You can trust this product for its admirable and gratifying artisanship. You can discover its elegance and grace in the accordant melody and euphonic sound it produces.

Likewise, the brand promises to offer exceptional quality products for years. The Cecilio viola delivers an attractive glistening finish of inlaid purling with flamed sides. Along with the Brazil wood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair, you get a natural color rosewood pegs and a fingerboard.

Now, coming to the limitation, the Cecilio viola does not have ebony fingerboards. This makes it a feeble and weak alternative. Being not so robust, you may need to take it for maintenance and repairs more often.

All the same, Cecilio viola serves to be the finest quality product if you are a beginner. My absolute verdict on Cecilio viola is – Though, it might not be a great deal if you are a professional violist but it is a dependable student viola.

4) Mendini 16-Inch MA-Purple Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

Mendini 16-Inch MA-Purple Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

Mendini 16-Inch MA-Purple Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

Next viola review is yet again from the brand – Mendini. The brand promises an assurance of a valuable and durable instrument. Mendini is one of the most renowned and prevalent viola varieties on the market.

This is for the simple reason that it offers an array of excellent and abiding instruments. The set comes intact with a maple fingerboard, pegs, an alloy tailpiece with four integrated fine tuners and a Brazil wood bow.

These fittings are enough to give the viola a lavishing impression. The hand-constructed features make it cool for beginners to adjust to holding and playing the instrument better.

The designers of this product have offered a gorgeous purple color to the viola. While the quality of tone you get will not be as heartfelt as you may desire. But in the primary phases of learning, this may not be observed.

This viola is ideal for families that are on a reasonable budget, and for those who would be put off cheering kids to pick up an instrument.

5) Mendini 16-Inch MA-Black Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

Mendini 16-Inch MA-Black Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

Mendini 16-Inch MA-Black Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

I am preluding the viola review from the same beloved company that creates outstanding violas. We cannot rule out this brand from the list of amazing instruments at the rate that will not break your bank at all.

Awfully reasonable, this viola makes an incredible novice instrument. The fingerboard is made up of maple wood. The Brazilian wood bow with genuine Mongolian horse hair and a lightweight hard case resembles the finest craftsmanship. In addition to being handsomely crafted, you achieve a dazzling, mellow, and unfailing tone.

You would appreciate that the instrument is equipped with a firm spruce top and maple back and sides. So, you can rest reassure yourself that your viola can be set up for melodic tune and playability. Above and beyond, there are no queries as to why.

6) The 13-inch Merano viola

The 13-inch Merano viola

The 13-inch Merano viola

The great thing about this particular viola brand is the student outfit it comes with if you were to purchase one. The specifics of the student gear include a music stand, an extra set of strings (which is always appreciated), an additional bridge, the mute, a shoulder rest, a Metro Tuner, and a Rosin.

The body of the Merano 13-inch viola is made with spruce for the top, while the sides, the back, and the neck are made from maple. The pegs, fingerboards and chin rest are all made from hardwood, while the tailpiece is constructed from alloy and includes four built-in tuners.

The bow is made using genuine horsehair, the frog from rosewood and the stick from wood. It also comes with a lightweight case and a shoulder strap, so your kid will not have any problem carrying it around.

If you are looking for a viola that your child can start with that is both durable and of high quality physically as well as in its performance, then you can do no wrong with the Merano 13-inch viola.

7) Yamaha Model AVA5-140S ‘Braviol’ Student Viola

Yamaha Model AVA5-140S 'Braviol' Student Viola

Yamaha Model AVA5-140S 'Braviol' Student Viola

For those that are familiar with musical instruments, the Yamaha name should be quite known to them. While most people may know them for their pianos – both electric and grand, they are also makers of other very fine musical instruments such as the AVA5-140S ‘Braviol’ Student Viola.

The AVA5-140S ‘Braviol’ Student Viola is made from spruce and maple, that is, spruce for the top, and maple on the back. Both the tuning pegs and the chin rest are made from rosewood while the fingerboards are made from ebony, which lasts longer than those made from hardwood do. The tailpiece is constructed from Wittner, and the viola also comes with four fine tuners.

This product also includes a case, rosin, a Brazilian bow, and D’Addario Prelude strings. Of course, if you want a different sound, you are always free to change the strings.

The Yamaha Model AVA5-140S ‘Braviol’ Student Viola has been handmade in China using only the finest items and is designed primarily for the child learner.

Looking for a viola that you can use to teach your child the beauty of playing, then the Yamaha Model AVA5-140S ‘Braviol’ Student Viola is an excellent pick to go with.

8) Cecilio CVA-500

Cecilio CVA-500

Cecilio CVA-500

Just like the Yamaha viola mentioned above, this 16.5 inch Cecilio CVA-500 also comes with D’Addario Prelude strings. This beautiful musical instrument is a solid hand carved viola with a spruce top. The neck, back, and sides are constructed using flamed maple, and it is inlaid beautifully with purfling. To top it all off, the viola also has an antique satin finish making it a real beauty among violas.

The pegs, chinrest fingerboard, and tailpiece are all made from Ebony for that long lasting effect. The tailpiece comes with 4 removable nickel-plated fine tuners.

The Cecilio CVA-500 viola package also contains a Cecilio chromatic tuner along with a metronome, a lightweight hard shell case with straps and pockets, so it is easy for you to carry it to school or the orchestra.

The bow is from Brazilwood and authentic Mongolian horsehair. It also comes with a rosin cake and a bridge. One thing that makes this viola such a great buy is the 1- year warranty against any manufacturer’s defects that it comes with.

So, if you’re looking for a viola for a beginner or perhaps you’re looking for something that can replace an old viola, then the Cecilio CVA-500 is a good choice to try out.

9) 15.5-inch Handmade D Z Strad Viola Model 400

15.5-inch Handmade D Z Strad Viola Model 400

15.5-inch Handmade D Z Strad Viola Model 400

The D Z Strad Viola is one of that high-quality musical instrument that is always going to be worth your money. This is one of those instruments – made by incredibly talented top of the line viola makers (luthiers) – that is especially suited for discerning string players.

The neck, back, and sides are all made from maple while the top is solid carved Italian spruce. It is then hand rubbed with antique varnish. D Z Strad employs old world traditional European practices in the construction of their violas, so you know that every viola is of the highest quality.

The 15.5-inch Handmade D Z Strad Viola Model 400 also comes with a Bam case, a D Z Pernambuco Viola bow, shoulder rest, and rosin.

Whether you are a beginner, a professional, or an advanced viola player, you are bound to fall completely in love with this viola with its unique and warm characters, as well as its great tone.

The D Z Strad Viola is one musical instrument that would leave you spellbound and play continuously. With sounds so beautiful, you will not even want to stop.

10) Primavera Prima Loreato Intermediate Viola

Primavera Prima Loreato Intermediate Viola

Primavera Prima Loreato Intermediate Viola

The Primavera Prima Loreato Viola is an excellent choice of viola for the advanced player. If you are currently progressing through the ABRSM grades, then this viola is for you.

The Primavera Prima Loreato Viola is made from maple and spruce, that is, maple for the back, sides, and neck and spruce inlaid with purfling for the top.

Because Primavera wants to ensure that the fingerboard lasts for as long as possible, it is made with Ebony. The top nut is also made from ebony. The Swiss model pegs are also made from ebony while the chinrest is made from Teka. The tailpiece is constructed using a metal alloy, and with the shaded satin varnish, it is altogether an excellent instrument.

The viola package also includes a (student proof) composite bow, a Styrofoam oblong case complete with full-length music pockets, backpack straps, with additional safety features, and a half mounted ebony frog.

The 16 inch Primavera Prima Loreato Intermediate Viola is capable of satisfying all you need in a viola. It is beautiful, comes with a vase so it is easy to carry, and makes beautiful music that every music lover can truly appreciate.

11) 16 inch Cremona SVA-150 Premier Student Viola Outfit

16 inch Cremona SVA-150 Premier Student Viola Outfit

16 inch Cremona SVA-150 Premier Student Viola Outfit

The 16 inch Cremona SVA-150 Premier Student Viola Outfit is made using only selected tonewoods – such as spruce, ebony, and hand-carved marble – to ensure that it produces only the finest sound quality.

Because the Cremona SVA-150 is a well-known student viola outfit, the strings are US-made Prelude strings, which are excellent for beginners. However, you can always switch to higher quality strings for better sounds. Changing the strings can make a whole lot of difference in the quality of sounds produced.

The Cremona SVA-150 uses traditionally shaped hardwood fittings of ebony and boxwood to complete its construction while also ensuring proper intonation. This also increases the ease of playability. The fingerboards are made using rosewood and ebony for durability and a smoother play.

The Cremona SVA-150 viola outfit has an upgraded A. Breton VP-61 alloy tailpiece that comes with four built-in tuners to make tuning easier. It also includes a Kaufman-style chinrest, J. LaSalle octagonal Brazilwood bow made with ebony frog and Mongolian horsehair, rosin and of course, an ultra-light oblong case.

If you are in the market for a high-quality beginner model viola, then you cannot do wrong with the Cremona SVA-150. The resale value is relatively good, and with excellent artisanship that you have come to expect from European master luthiers, you know you are going home with a solidly crafted instrument.

12) 15-inch Cremona SVA-175 Premier Student Viola Outfit

15-inch Cremona SVA-175 Premier Student Viola Outfit

15-inch Cremona SVA-175 Premier Student Viola Outfit

If you’re looking for a musical instrument that you can use to kick-start your kid’s musical career, or more ambitious, instill in them a love for the beautiful art of music, then the Cremona SVA-175 is suited for the job.

The 15 inch Cremona SVA-175 Premier Student Viola Outfit is constructed using only carefully selected tonewoods – such as spruce, ebony, and hand-carved marble – to ensure that it produces only the finest sound quality.

As the Cremona SVA-175 is a well-known viola outfit, the strings it comes with US-made Prelude strings, which while excellent for beginners, will not give you the best sounds possible. However, you can always switch to higher quality strings for better sounds. Changing the strings can make a whole lot of difference in the quality of sounds produced.

The Cremona SVA-175 uses traditionally shaped hardwood fittings of ebony and boxwood to complete its construction while also ensuring proper intonation. This also increases the ease of playability. The fingerboards are made using rosewood and ebony for durability and a smoother play.

The Cremona SVA-175 viola outfit has an upgraded A. Breton VP-61 alloy tailpiece that comes with four built-in tuners to make tuning easier. It also includes a Kaufman-style chinrest, J. LaSalle octagonal Brazilwood bow made with ebony frog and Mongolian horsehair, rosin and of course, an ultra-light oblong case.

13) 15.5 inch Yamaha Model AVA5 Viola Outfit

15.5 inch Yamaha Model AVA5 Viola Outfit

15.5 inch Yamaha Model AVA5 Viola Outfit

Like all Yamaha products, the Yamaha AVA5 Viola Outfit has been designed specially to bring you the best quality musical instrument. This aesthetically pleasing musical instrument does not only look good, but it also plays like a dream.

The tailpiece is constructed from Wittner, and the viola also comes with four fine tuners.​

The 15.5 AVA5 Yamaha Model Student Viola is made from spruce and maple, that is, spruce for the top, and maple on the back. Both the tuning pegs and the chin rest are made from rosewood while the fingerboards are made from ebony, which lasts longer than those made from hardwood do. 

14) Z ZTDM 16 Inch Acoustic Viola

Z ZTDM 16 Inch Acoustic Viola

Z ZTDM 16 Inch Acoustic Viola

This 16-inch acoustic viola is a great gift for the music lover with its antique satin finish. The viola is made using high-grade natural wood so that little deformations and cracking can be prevented and you can use the product to the maximum capacity.

The back, neck, and sides are made from basswood while the top is made from maple. Both the chinrest and the tuning pegs are constructed from Blackwood while the fingerboard is made from aluminum alloy.

The Z ZTDM 16 inch acoustic viola also comes with a bow made from the Arbor and four integrated fine tuners as well as a viola case to make transporting it easy. It also comes with a rosin.

This viola outfit is an excellent choice for beginners who wish to learn the basics of playing the viola, and all that is involved in the care, maintenance as well as the A, B, Cs of Viola Play.

15) Grace 13 Inch Gold Viola

Grace 13 Inch Gold Viola

Grace 13 Inch Gold Viola

The first thing that is going to capture your attention and undoubtedly draw you towards this outfit is the Gold color of the viola. After all, it is not every day that you will come across a gold colored viola. So if you love a little color in your life, then here’s a viola that just screams your name.

Like most violins, the top of this viola is made from spruce, while the back, sides, and neck are made from maple. The fingerboard, chinrest, and pegs are made from hardwood while the tailpiece is constructed from alloy and includes four built-in tuners.

The 13 Inch Grace Viola also includes in its outfit a rosin, a lightweight case with a shoulder strap, a rosewood frog, authentic horsehair bow, and a wood stick.

This is an excellent product choice for kids and beginners alike. Learn to play one of the fascinating musical instruments out there and stand out from the crowd with this unique gold colored viola.

16) Palatino VA-350 Campus Viola Outfit

Palatino VA-350 Campus Viola Outfit

Palatino VA-350 Campus Viola Outfit

The 16 inch Palatino VA-350 Campus Viola Outfit is greatly suited as a student practice viola. While it cannot be compared to some of the higher end violas (like the Yamaha viola outfit, the D Z Strads, or the Cremona viola outfit), it produces some very rich and warm sounds. It sounds nothing like the traditional violas or what you would think a “cheap” Viola would sound like.

This beautiful hand carved viola is made with spruce (for the top) and maple (for the Neck, back, and sides). The fittings are all made from ebony, so it plays better and lasts longer. The Palatino VA-350 Campus Viola Outfit also includes a Mongolian Horsehair bow.

All of this means you or your child would be carrying quite a bit of load around. Luckily, the outfit comes with a featherweight suspension case, so it is easy to move both the viola and the bow around without having to feel like you’re taking multiple items.

If you’re looking for an affordable viola capable of producing great sounds, then the Palatino VA-350 Campus Viola Outfit, the student’s favorite, may just be what you’ve been looking for.

17) D Z Strad Viola Model 101

D Z Strad Viola Model 101

D Z Strad Viola Model 101

This 12-inch viola is another excellent high-quality musical instrument. It is particularly favored by Suzuki as well as other private teachers. The hand feels, the consistency, playability, and the warm and rich tones that this instrument produces will motivate even the hardiest of students to learn.

The D Z Strad Viola is one of that high-quality musical instrument that is always going to be worth your money. This is one of those instruments – made by incredibly talented top of the line viola makers (luthiers) – that is especially suited for discerning string players.

The neck, back, and sides are all made from maple while the top is solid carved Italian spruce. It is then hand rubbed with antique varnish. D Z Strad employs old world traditional European practices in the construction of their violas, so you know that every viola is of the highest quality.

The outfit also comes with a case so you can very easily your viola around, and a Brazilwood Viola Bow.

Whether you’re a beginner, a professional, or an advanced viola player, you’re bound to fall completely in love with this viola with its unique and warm characters, as well as its great tone.

The D Z Strad Viola is one musical instrument that would leave you spellbound and play continuously. With sounds so beautiful, you will not even want to stop.

18) Louis Carpini Viola Outfit

Louis Carpini Viola Outfit

Louis Carpini Viola Outfit

The Louis Carpini Viola Outfit is one of the highest rated viola/violin product on Amazon. It is sold and assembled (so once you open the case, it is ready to play) by Kennedy’s Violins, professional luthiers in the state of Washington.

The outfit includes a beautifully, solid-carved viola with figured spruce for the construction of the top and maple tone wood for construction of the sides, neck, and back.

The pegs, fittings, and fingerboards are 100% ebony, so you are sure of two things; its durability, and the excellent quality sounds. The outfit also includes a hand-carved French Aubert bridge and to tie it all together, the viola is hand-rubbed with an oil based finish and not lacquer.

The Louis Carpini Viola measures all of 15 inches and has D’Addario Helicore strings pre-installed, as well as a high-grade Brazilwood bow. The bow is made from Mongolian horsehair, includes a metal mounted ebony frog, and authentic mother of pearl accents.

It also includes four built-in fine tuners, an extra set of backup strings and a Kaplan Artcraft Rosin.

As if that is not enough, the product also has a one-year warranty on all the accompanying accessories, a full suspension, and a professional wood shell case. The shell case comes with music pockets, padded straps, YKK zippers, ample storage, and locking latch with keys, and four bow holders.

19) Cecilio 16 Inch CVA-600

Cecilio 16 Inch CVA-600

Cecilio 16 Inch CVA-600

The Cecilio 16 inch CVA-600 is hand-carved with highly flamed maple for the back and sides, using wood that is over seven years, and a solid grained spruce for the top. It also has a beautiful inlaid furling and is then hand-rubbed with an oil finish to bring the design together.

The pegs, chinrest fingerboard, and tailpiece are all made from Ebony for that long lasting effect. The tailpiece comes with four clip-on nickel-plated fine tuners.

The 16-inch Cecilio CVA-600 viola package also includes a Cecilio chromatic tuner together with a metronome, a lightweight form fitting hard shell case with straps and pockets, so it is easy for your child to carry it to school or the orchestra.

The bow is from Brazilwood and authentic Mongolian horsehair. It also comes with a rosin cake and a bridge. One thing that makes this viola such a great buy is the 1- year warranty against any manufacturer’s defects that it comes with.

So if you’re looking for a viola for a beginner or perhaps you’re looking for something that can replace an old viola, then the Cecilio CVA-600 is the instrument you may be interested in trying out.

20) 16 Inch Merano MA2OO

16 Inch Merano MA2OO

16 Inch Merano MA2OO

If you are looking for a beautiful piece of the musical instrument, then look no further than the Merano M200.

The great thing about this particular viola brand is the student outfit it comes with if you were to purchase one. The specifics of the student gear include a music stand, an extra set of strings (which is always appreciated), an additional bridge, the mute, a shoulder rest, a Metro Tuner, and a Rosin.

The body of the Merano 16-inch viola is made with spruce for the top, while the back, sides, and neck are made from maple. The pegs, fingerboards and chin rest are all made from hardwood, while the tailpiece is constructed from alloy and includes four built-in tuners.

The bow is made using genuine horsehair, the frog from rosewood and the stick from wood. It also comes with a lightweight case and a shoulder strap, so your kid will not have any problem carrying it around.

If you’re looking for a viola that your child can start with that is both durable and of high quality physically as well as in its performance, then you can do no wrong with the Merano 16-inch viola.

Conclusion of Best Viola for Beginners

Picking a viola for kids or yourself is more complicated than it seems. Your final choice will affect your child’s perception of music. It could make it kill or fuel the passion the little one already has. Before picking a viola, you should know its features to weigh your choices. Always opt for one that is durable.

2) Mendini MA250

Mendini 12-Inch MA250 Natural Varnish Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

Mendini 12-Inch MA250 Natural Varnish Solid Wood

  • Trustworthy Brand
  • Hand-Crafted
  • Solid Spruce Top
  • Lightweight

1) D’Luca CA400VA

D'Luca CA400VA-15.5 15.5-Inch Orchestral Series Handmade Viola Outfit

D'Luca CA400VA 15.5-Inch Orchestral Series 

  • Excellent Quality
  • Lightweight
  • Flamed Maple Sides
  • Ebony Fingerboard

3) Cecilio CVA-400

Cecilio CVA-400 14-Inch Solid Wood Flamed Viola

Cecilio CVA-400 14-Inch Solid Wood Flamed Viola

  • Gratifying Artisanship
  • Natural Color
  • Euphonic Sound
  • Flamed Sides

Kids will be kids, and the viola must be strong enough to let them be kids. Apart from being sturdy and durable, the viola you pick must be easy to carry along. It should be lightweight as well because kids will not be able to carry it comfortably. It should be a fun instrument and not a burden. It should not also be a waste of money. So consider the best viola brands and all these tips before making the final choice.

If this review about viola for beginners has helped you with just one thing, then hopefully, it is in making your choice of a viola that much easier. Instead of having to contend with over hundreds of Viola’s that are available in the market, you have only to choose from 20 of what some may argue is the best viola products in the market. They have been tested by professionals and take the front row of top quality products.

Every one of the product on this list can be found on Amazon, so you can always check out the price and make a purchase according to your budget.