- Max Kuehn
If you’re interested in learning how to play violin, this guide is for you! We’ll cover the basics of getting started with playing the violin, including how to hold the instrument, bow, and make simple melodies.
The Correct Instrument
If you want to get out on the right foot when learning to play the violin, be sure you have the correct gear.
Purchase A Suitable Beginner Violin
It’s a lot simpler to say than it is to do. Choosing the correct violin for you might be difficult with so many options available. Take your time with this selection, as it is significant.
Learning to play the violin for the first few years might be challenging. When you begin this trip, a high-quality violin will make a great sound and be easier to play, encouraging you and assisting your success. On the other hand, a poor-quality violin with a terrible sound that is difficult to play can deter students, who may not want to play at all as a result!
Recognize Your Options: Decide whether you’re going to buy or rent a violin first.
When you’re unsure if you’ll enjoy playing the violin, renting one is an excellent choice. This way, if you decide that playing the violin isn’t for you, you won’t have invested too much in the instrument.
A violin with a size of 12 or less is required. The violin size must be increased regularly as young student develops and their physique changes. If you decide to purchase the instrument, this can become quite costly.
Long-term rental instrument fees can add up quickly, so buying is wise. It’s crucial to remember that you may get an excellent entry-level violin for less than a year’s worth of leasing payments.
A well-chosen violin will hold its worth over time. Most outfitters enable you to trade in your instrument for an upgrade if you buy from a violin store, which can help offset the expense of a new and upgraded violin.
Any damage to a rented instrument is frequently subject to liability.
Many of the hired instruments are in poor condition. Dings and scratches, tape markings or glue on the fingerboard, and other common faults.
When purchasing a violin, seek high-quality materials and craftsmanship. Although handcrafted violins are more expensive, many high-quality violins are mass-produced.
Your violin’s body should be composed of high-quality wood.
- Examine the area for symmetry and cracks.
- Your fingerboard should be made of ebony, and you should avoid using plastic pegs (unless you choose to use Wittner Finetune pegs).
- The strings should easily press down.
- The chin rest should be relaxing.
- Your shoulder rest should promote proper posture and feel as natural to you as feasible!
Before you go out and buy a violin, take a look at my quick guide:
Keep in mind that your first violin does not have to be costly. You can always start with a less expensive option and improve the sound with methods.
Purchase additional equipment
The following items are required to play the violin successfully:
In my essay “Violin Bow Materials and Which Ones Are Best,” I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of several types of bows.
Click here for helpful hints on the ideal rosin for your sound preferences.
Learn which shoulder rests are best and how to utilize them appropriately to maintain a comfortable grasp.
Though it’s likely that your violin already has one, if you don’t have one or find yours is uncomfortable, see my recommendations here.
I recommend the Gewa Violin Case for storing and traveling with your violin. Maestro
Scales, concertos, compositions for all abilities, and various enjoyable songs to perform are all available on sheet music.
You can select a lightweight or orchestra stand to hold your sheet music.
Tuner: A separate device or a free internet tuner may be required.
Again, a metronome might be a real device or an online app.
After each practice session, use a duster cloth to remove the rosin from your violin.
The following are some more accessory options:
- Fine tuners are used to make tuning easier.
- Respect your family and neighbors by remaining silent.
- Instrument care kit: for extra cleaning and polishing every now and then if one set of strings breaks.
- Beginner violins are commonly sold as a kit, which contains a violin with a chinrest, a case and bow, as well as maybe rosin and a shoulder rest. When purchasing a violin from a maker, the bow and case are usually purchased separately.
How To Play The Violin
How To Read Violin Sheet Music
This is just the beginning; if you want to learn more about reading music, I recommend finding a non-internet-based teacher.
The treble clef is used in most violin music (see image of the clef). That sign will appear at the start of a group of lines known as a staff. Five lines and four spaces make up the staff.
Each of those lines and spaces corresponds to a note. The letters A through G are used to name notes in music. The following are the names of the lines and spaces:
From the bottom up is a useful approach to recalling the arrangement of the lines and spaces. The lines form the acronym “E very G ood B oy D oes F ine,” while the spaces form the word FACE from bottom to top.
After you’ve figured out the names of the notes, you’ll need to figure out how to count them.
Measures are used to separate a piece of music. These measures are made up of a set number of beats, usually four.
The digits indicate the time signature at the beginning of a line, which tells the musician how many beats are in a measure and how to count each beat. I’ll talk about the time signature of “Hot Crossed Buns” because each measure includes four beats.
The song “Hot Crossed Buns” is in “four four time.” (See image) Each measure has four beats, with a quarter note receiving one beat.
What is the meaning of a quarter note?
One-quarter of a measure, or one beat, is represented by a quarter note. On the other hand, half notes last two beats or half a measure. Whole notes last the full measure, and eighth notes last half as long as a quarter note or an eighth of a measure.
Rests are likewise measured at the same intervals as notes, but they have a different appearance. You’ll notice that there’s a variation in the image.
It’s also worth noting that the violin’s strings correspond to notes. When looking at the violin from left to right, the G is closest to the left, followed by C, A, and E. The sequence is also from the lowest to the highest pitch.
Have you gotten all of that? Now let’s move on to the next step!
1. Prepare your music and set up your stand.
2. Place the violin on your shoulder, mostly using your chin and shoulder to hold it.
3. Hold the bow by curling your fingers around the bow’s wood and placing your thumb on the tip between the wood and hairs, as indicated in the figure.
4. To make music, drag the bow over the strings. Simultaneously, place your left hand’s fingers on the strings to change the notes.
Learn How To Hold The Bow
How to Handle a Violin Bow
The bunny technique is the simplest way to learn how to hold the violin bow. You can do it in just six simple steps! Following that, work on relaxing your bow hand.
When learning to play the violin, I want to emphasize how a relaxed and accurate bow grip is the key to producing a beautiful-sounding tone. After that, you’ll be ready to study advanced bowing techniques in the future.
Make Your Violin Hold Perfect
Your violin grip should be based on what feels most natural to you. This is about the body parts required to execute the violin playing technique—your arm, hand, and fingers—and how you would judge perfection. It is possible to get pain if you are not comfortable.
Playing on Open Strings is a skill that may be learned.
You’ll develop a feel for bowing without the added challenge of using your left hand this way. After all, it’s preferable to learn one subject at a time until you’re comfortable with it, rather than trying to absorb too many things at once. Concentrate on one thing and make it fantastic!
Make Good Use of Your Fingers
You can add the use of your fingers once you’ve mastered simple bowing. Each finger is assigned to a certain area on the fingerboard for placement, and it’s worth noting that a violin fingerboard lacks frets, unlike a guitar fingerboard.
Violinists spend many hours honing their muscle memory and much more time training their hearing to recognize the correct pitch of each note.
Tape your fingerboard with tape.
To find the perfect pitch, beginners utilize fingerboard tapes as a reference. To put these on your violin, see the video below:
Learn How to Play Your First Simple Scale
A scale is a set of notes organized by pitch, beginning with the lowest and ending with the highest, referred to as the tonic.
Scales are the road to getting better at playing the violin. It may seem tedious to play the same series of notes repeatedly.
Scales, in particular, are the most effective technique to improve:
- Muscle memory
- Finger speed
- Developing your hearing ability
On the one-to-ten scale, I propose that all of my students learn A Major first. By watching the video below, you can learn your first scale.
Learn How To Play The Violin In New Ways
Learn the Most Common Arpeggios and Scales
When you realize how much progress you’ll make by practicing scales and arpeggios, it’s a lot of fun.
Looking at sheet music closely, you’ll see several hidden scales and arpeggios.
Do you wish to write your songs or perform jazz or fiddle music improvisations? No matter your eventual objective, practicing scales and arpeggios will help you grow.
Do you want to participate in a special teaching program, take a violin exam, or join an orchestra? Scales and arpeggios will be required for the audition.
All Violin Bowing Techniques Must Be Learned
To learn the approaches violinists employ and how they are notated in sheet music, read my article “All 25 Violin Bowing Techniques with Examples & Symbols.” After that, take a look at the video examples.
It will take some time, and keep in mind that you do not need to master all bowing techniques during your first year on the violin. Instead, concentrate on one or two at a time and work on them diligently.
All Left-Hand Techniques Must Be Learned
When playing the violin, your left hand is a true multitasker. Depending on the note you’re playing, the fingers move up and down vertically, changing positions and horizontally. They glide, vibrate, and cross strings.
Finally, you should master the following seven left-hand violin techniques:
- Double Stops Shifting Trills
- Pizzicato Vibrato (Left Hand)
Improve your note-reading skills on a regular basis.
Take your note-reading skills to the next level by learning the musical concepts underlying the numbers and beats, which will allow you to perform a wide range of musical styles.
The tempos of jazz and swing music are different. Learn more advanced rhythms, such as tuplets, and go beyond triplets. In an ensemble, you can hear the composite rhythm. Syncopation, repeated patterns, and other sophisticated rhythms must all be mastered.
Beginner’s Playing Instructions
On a violin, a double sharp/flat can be played. Unlike guitars, they do not have fret markers; therefore, instead of playing in semitones, you can play a double sharp or double flat (this is the note in between one semitone and another).
This does, however, imply that intonation is crucial to master. A violinist must know where to lay their finger to the millimeter to make the correct sound, which is challenging for beginners to grasp.
Use the fingers you’ve placed on the string to direct you to the following note when playing the violin. Use your 2nd finger to guide your 3rd finger into the correct position if you play a C# on the A string followed by a G on the D string. This will make it easy for you to play in tune and allow you to play faster.
Timing, speed, and rhythm are crucial when learning to play a musical instrument. If the timing of the notes you play is off, it’s typically best to slow down and work on the piece until you can play it perfectly – then speed up.
A metronome is a useful instrument for timing. Fortunately, here at Get-Tuned.com, we have an Online Metronome that can assist you in learning to play the violin.
Techniques for Advanced Playing
Plucking: Violinists commonly pluck the string while holding the bow in their hand, using the pad of their index fingers. Because some plucking sections are only one or two notes long, it’s crucial to practice quickly transitioning from plucking to bowing.
Vibrato is a technique in which a violinist shifts the pitch of a note by rolling their finger back and forth on the string. This necessitates a fairly loose grip. Never slide your entire finger up and down the string; the technique demands you to roll your finger forward and backward instead of sliding it up and down the string.
Harmonics are high notes that only require minimal string pressure to play. By laying the finger as delicately as a feather on the string, harmonics can be played halfway or a quarter down the string.
Artificial harmonics can also be performed by altering the length of the string by firmly pressing one finger on the string and softly registering the desired harmonic with the other finger above the firmly placed one. In the popular work Czardas, penned by Italian composer Vittorio Monti, artificial harmonics are introduced near the end.
Spiccato: Spiccato is a technique in which the bow bounces very quickly at its balancing point. This approach is taught in several online tutorials and master workshops. This technique is best learned through film or in person because it necessitates demonstration to grasp the movement’s complexity.
Luckily, you found these helpful hints for beginning pupils to be enjoyable. Keep an eye on our site for additional advice regarding the violin. Fidlar hope you found this article beneficial, and let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below!