Captain Fiddle Music

Ryan and Brennish




Fiddle and Violin Buyer's Guide

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The Fiddle and Violin Buyer's Guide - $19.95

Second Edition*

by Ryan J. Thomson,  32 pages, 8.5" by 11",

comb bound, soft cover, illustrated, includes: a

detailed discussion of each part of a violin;

locating good instruments; choosing between a

new or used violin; selecting the proper bow;

determining the quality of construction;

selecting an instrument by its sound, buying on

eBay vs buying from a dealer, special section on

how to buy a left handed violin, more. ISBN

978-0-931877-11-7, - $19.95

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Reviews of The Fiddle & Violin Buyer's Guide:

American String Teacher's Association (ASTA): "It does provide a handy introduction to

the world of instrument dealers and the process of selecting an instrument. Thomson adds

references to standard periodicals and resource guides, catalogs, and articles, reproduces

photos of violin labels, supplies, and the like. He describes basic equipment and gives

diagnostic tips for spotting the problems underlying a buzz in the fiddle."

Tennessee Folklore Society: "Now the area of greatest need for this book obviously would

be with all the beginning fiddlers. Also, the intermediate violin students who have

reached the point where they feel they are ready for a better instrument will find the

advice contained here to be invaluable. In addition, I feel that a lot of the knowlegeable

("old pro") violin makers and players who know exactly what to look for in a new or used

instrument will want this book for reference purposes. It also is a fascinating book which

will allow one to "compare notes and opinions" on this fascinating subject. In short, there

is a wealth of material presented here. It is all most useful and clearly presented."

Folk Legacy: "Whether you now play, or want to play the violin or fiddle, they are

essentially the same instrument. This book is packed with unusual and useful information

about how to purchase a good instrument and a good bow. Choices and alternatives are

offered: will it be new or used? (And what to look for in both); handmade or factory-made?

price range and what you get for it; looking for flaws, judging the finish, what to look for

in the bridge, the f-holes, soundpost, strings, tailpiece."

Bluegrass Unlimited: "What will help you on your fiddle-hunting expeditions is to take

along a knowledgeable friend and a copy of the Fiddle and Violin Buyer's Guide. Ryan

Thomson, the author of several other fiddle-related books, wants to help people find the

best fiddles that they can afford, and to that end, he's packed a wealth of information,

advice, and insight into this handy little book."

Victory Music Review: "The Buyer's Guide is valuable for all fiddlers, giving specific tips on

locating, selecting and caring for an instrument."

Dirty Linen: "I have never seen another publication that assembles so much useful

information on violin buying and maintenance."

Sing Out!: "A very practical little book, it explains the many details of violin construction

and repair. The author gives simple tips for buyers and players, providing a reliable manual

on the construction, attributes, features, qualities and selection criteria to consider in

evaluating instruments. Included are also helpful hints on the care and repair of the

fiddle and a limited discussion of price ranges and brands. A short bibliography leads

the reader to more detailed information."

From happy customers:

I received the " Fiddle and Violin Buyers Guide " and am very pleased with it.


Hi Ryan,

I just purchased your fiddle buyer's guide. Good book and thanks again. I managed to pick

up a nice Schweitzer copy at an auction recently.



Hi Ryan,

I just wanted you to know that I received the book (Fiddle and Violin Buyer's Guide) and

am very pleased with it. I started reading it almost right away and had a hard time putting

it down. Very interesting! Thanks a bunch

C. B.

Hello! Ryan,

Thank you for sending the two books. I received them yesterday. Your books are


ALMANAC. Thank you for your autograph, too. I am truly impressed with the way you run

your business. Truly.




The Fiddle and Violin Buyer's Guide arrived safely today. Thanks! I enjoyed

reading it.


* the first edition of this book is out of print

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