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How to Play Violin: A Lesson for Beginning Students

Around 15% of music students in the U.S, play the violin as it sounds beautiful, improves their fine motor skills, and relieves stress.

Every instrument is a challenge at the beginning so it’s important to take baby steps. Perhaps you want to learn how to play the violin but you’re not sure where to start. 

Sounds like you? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how to play the violin for beginners.

Get Everything You Need

Before you learn the violin, you must gather everything you need.

First, you’ll need a decent violin that produces a good sound as it’ll help you adjust to listening so you can identify any mistakes. You can either buy one second-hand, treat yourself to a new one, or rent one for the time being. Not sure what to look for? Then read more here to get started. 

You must also buy a shoulder rest which sits between your neck and shoulder. This is a life-saver because the violin can feel uncomfortable against your shoulder but with rest, you can play for longer. 

You’ll also need rosin, a sticky resin from trees that improves the bow’s sound when it presses on a violin string. Once that’s sorted, get music for beginners and a stand so you can play along comfortably.

Familiarize Yourself With the Violin 

Before you learn how to play the violin for beginners, try holding it. You must stand with a straight back and bring the butt of the instrument up to your neck (make sure the shoulder rest is already on). Hold the violin with your jaw so that the lower backrests on your collar bone and practice looking at your music from that angle. 

When learning the violin for beginners, your hand position is key. To do this, hold the violin steady by resting your left thumb on the neck and letting your fingers arch over the fingerboard. Keep your hand as far up the neck as possible and eventually, you’ll learn how to slide your finger up and down to reach new notes. 

Next, tighten your bow using the screw on the end. The hairs should be an inch away from the wood of the bow and then rub the rosin along the hairs for around 10 seconds.

Tune the Violin

The strings on a violin start from the lowest to the highest note, so it’s G, D, A, and E. If you’re learning alone then buy an electric tuner and adjust the violin’s pegs so it sounds the same. Only slightly off? Then use the small metal dials near the bottom, known as fine tuners, so you can make the necessary adjustments.

Learn How to Read Music

It’s important to hire a teacher so they can teach you how to properly play otherwise you may make mistakes. But, for the basics, know that violin music is mostly written in the treble clef which appears at the beginning of the sets of lines, known as a staff. 

The best way to learn the positions of the notes is by using the acronym Every Good Boy Does Fine (working from the top to the bottom) or FACE if it’s the opposite way. Once you’ve learned that, practice playing on open strings to familiarize yourself with the sounds. To change strings, raise or lower your elbow so the bow stays at the proper height.

Find a Teacher 

Finding a teacher is crucial because they can hear your play in person and help you adjust your practice to fit with your abilities. Either search for violin teachers online or reach out to your community as they may know musicians at schools or instrument stores. You should also ask your family or friends because they may know someone. 

Once you’ve found an ideal candidate, ask them about their teaching style, and see whether you can watch one of their lessons. This will show you their methods and how they will help you progress.

Practice Makes Perfect 

To learn the violin well, you must commit to practicing at least 30 minutes a day. Learn how to do basic scales, violin exercises, and practice beginner songs until they’re perfect. If that initially feels too long, start with 15 minutes and work your way up.

When you play, ask yourself whether you like how it sounds, if it’s in tune, and whether you’re using the bow correctly. To help you, record yourself when you’re practicing so you check if your fingers are in the right place.

You should also listen to violin music as much as possible to develop your ear for music. Eventually, you’ll get a feeling for the rhythm and intonation which will improve your practice sessions. And watch violinists play to see their bowing techniques and the part of the string they’re using. 

Further, try to make friends with violinists so you can practice together and attend local concerts. Friends will become your support and motivation on days when practicing feels impossible.

That’s How to Play Violin for Beginners

Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know how to play the violin.

Start by buying the instrument, necessary accessories, and music so you can start practicing. Finding a reputable teacher is key because they’ll ensure you’re not making mistakes. You must also practice regularly, befriend other violinists, and learn from the masters. Good luck!

Did you find this article helpful? If so, check out our posts on everything from careers to food. 

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