Product: Gliga Gama Outfit, including bow, case and other accessories
Buy It Now From: Amazon
My Rating: 9/10
Set Up: Set up to meet or exceed MENC specifications and standards.
For those of you who’ve previously worked with a Gliga, you’ll no doubt be in love with the rich, warm tone and ease of playing that the brand is renowned for. Although many students want something more unique for their ‘forever’ violin, the price tag that comes with these one-off instruments is often something that parents, or even students themselves cannot afford. I purchased a full-size Gliga Gama Outfit (4/4 size) for Reese, my second eldest daughter around a year ago and we’ve certainly enjoyed using it. Many of my older students also use this brand of violin; we find the quality of sound to be excellent and more than adequate for grades 4 – 7 material. Many students have also gone on to keep their Gliga Gama for grade 8 and beyond.
When Do I Need A Violin Upgrade
As soon as possible! If you’re serious about your playing, you don’t want to be working with an instrument that doesn’t work with you!
Of course you need to weigh up the costs versus the benefits, so if you’re a beginner violinist or the Gliga Vasile is a bit out of your price range, you might want to check out the following reviews:
My Stentor Violin Review
My Arioso Violin Review
My Gliga III Violin Review
Many of my students start their violin journeys with a Gliga I or II, so by the time they get to grade 5 or 6 standard, a Gliga Gama is the natural progression. By this stage, they are needing an instrument which will enable them to play with strength and flair in a range of positions as well as something that will project a strong sound.
A Bit About The Gliga Brand
Gliga is the name given to the Romanian brand started in 1991 by Vasile Gliga. Fast forward 20 years and the Gliga brand is well known amongst teachers and students alike for it’s warm sounding violins, beautiful craftsmanship and affordability.
The Gliga Gama is handcrafted in workshops which are directly supervised by Vasile Gliga; they are made from naturally aged sycamore maple and close grained carpatian. Like all Gligas, you’ll notice that extra care and attention has been given to the scroll and that its features are deeply etched and beautifully highlighted.
My relationship with the Gliga brand began back in 2006 when I bought my eldest daughter’s first violin. I was not in the market for a small violin at the time but was pursuaded to try some new brands that my local luthier was thinking of bringing into stock.
I had worked with a range of beginner instruments in the past but was taken aback by the wonderful sound quality of the Gliga and the ease at which it could be played beautifully. I left that day with not one, but five Gliga instruments in differing sizes that I use to this day with my little students.
Why I Recommend The Gliga Gama 4/4 Outfit
Although it’s not as affordable as some of the beginner violins I’ve reviewed, this is not a beginner instrument and the quality you get for the price you pay is excellent. For many of my students using this instrument, it is their parents who have made the purchase. Often, buying an expensive full sized violin is not high on the list of parental priorities; especially if your child started learning at school on a free to loan instrument! One minute, they’re playing Busy Busy Stop Stop for a bit of fun, the next you’re being asked to fork out thousands of dollars on a violin you know nothing about!
Unless you’re in a position to spend big on your new instrument, a Gliga Gama 4/4 is a good choice; it won’t set you back an insane amount of money and will give you the quality of sound you need to continue progressing at higher levels. Because it is potentially the last violin that you’ll ever need to buy, you want to make sure that your full size instrument is one that is capable of supporting you as you work through to the highest levels.
You Do Need To Service Your Violin Every So Often
My eldest daughter just had her bridge replaced for the second time in as many years and I just got my bow rehaired. Two of my students needed their fine tuners replaced and one had a ‘whistling’ E string so had it looked at by our luthier. These things are normal and part of maintaining your instrument to it’s highest standard.
That being said, you want a brand new violin to be fitted with quality parts that won’t deteriorate easily or quickly. I often complain about the tail piece and fine tuners on cheaper violins because of their poor screw thread. After a very short time, you can’t use the fine tuners easily, if at all. I haven’t had this problem with any of the Gligas I’ve worked with so you shouldn’t worry about this when purchasing a Gliga Gama; you’ll find that the parts are all of a high standard.
Beware The Missing Outfit!
The Gliga Gama I’ve reviewed here comes with absolutely EVERYTHING you need to play right away. This is not the case with most advanced instruments; it is common to have to buy a case and bow separately, thus adding to the overall cost. It’s also very disappointing when your brand new violin arrives but you can’t play it straight away!
There’s no use having a beautiful instrument that you can’t play properly because you’re using a cheap and nasty bow. You also don’t want to leave your violin lying around; it needs a good quality case so that it is protected from knocks and dints and from changes in the weather.
Included in the Gliga Gama outfit is a case, brazilwood bow, shoulder rest, rosin, tuner, polish kit, sheet music stand and travel music stand.
The Perfect Upgrade
In Summary, if you’re an intermediate to advanced student, you’ll find the Gliga Gama to be excellent for your developing skills. If you have any questions, or would like to leave a comment about your own experience with the Gliga brand, please do so below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
Founder of myviolinbff.com