The Ultimate Guide on how to play violin: Step-by-Step Instructions.
When someone asks others about how to play violin, you hear people saying with confidence “I taught myself how to play violin” I often exclaim. Sure, I had many amazing musicians to talk to and learn from, but I’ve never had any consistent official tuition on any of the instruments I play, with the exception of the violin.
I basically taught myself how to play most instruments on my own.
I’ve taught myself to play the piano, guitar, and a variety of other instruments over the years so that I can play in bands and music groups.
When you combine that with the fact that I’ve been a violin instructor and player for over 16 years, I believe I have a lot of useful information to provide about how to play violin on your own.
So, what exactly were my ruses? How did I manage to study so many instruments all by myself? And how can you learn to play the violin on your own?
There’s no avoiding the truth that it takes a long time and a great deal of personal commitment. Any violinist who promises to be able to master the instrument in a few months is lying. After a fast crash course with a violin teacher, you might be able to play a simple piece, but that won’t be enough to join a jam session, play in an orchestra, or even play along with a play-along without squeaking.
Learning to play a musical instrument is usually a rewarding experience. Playing an instrument can help you enhance your memory and attention span, as well as your posture, stress relief, and sensory development. The physical, mental, and social benefits of playing a musical instrument are well-known, but the violin has a few unexpected bonuses. You might be shocked to realize that playing the violin has numerous good, lifetime benefits and that learning to play it, like any other endeavor, merely requires the correct equipment and coaching. Here are some pointers on the fundamentals of violin playing that we hope will assist you in your studies!
- GET THE ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT
The first step in becoming a violin beginner is to purchase a violin. Depending on the student’s age, the violin comes in a number of sizes. A violin bow, violin case, and violin rosin are usually included when you buy a violin. Other accessories, such as a violin shoulder rest, music stand, and violin mute, will be useful.
THE PRINCIPLES OF HOW TO PLAY VIOLIN
Due to the physical demands of the instruments, the violin has a higher learning curve than other instruments in the beginning, possibly even more so for young children. Below are a few basic suggestions to keep an eye out for in order to have a smooth violin learning journey.
When learning the violin, it is critical to hold the instrument correctly. It is critical to maintaining proper posture when holding the violin and bow, as it is the cornerstone of a skilled violinist. Ensure that your shoulders are relaxed and not lifted. Slightly tilt your head to the left so that your violin rests on your left shoulder. Check that your right thumb is bent, your pinkie is on the bow, and the rest of your fingers are relaxed when holding the bow with your right hand (bow hand). If the weight is too heavy, use a pencil to practice the right-hand position.
Arco and Pizzicato
The four strings are one of the fundamentals of violin playing that you will master when starting off. To acquaint yourself with the four open strings of the violin, do a few exercises on pizzicato, or plucking the string with your right index finger while practicing holding the instrument. G D A E is the open strings of the violin (Left to Right). Using a mnemonic, Great Danes Are Enormous, is an easy method to remember.
It’s time to play with the violin bow once you’ve become used to holding the violin. For the violin to make a pleasing sound, the bow should be placed on the string between the bridge and the fingerboard. The tone produced may be more difficult to regulate if you are too close to the bridge or fingerboard. Make sure the bow is parallel to the bridge and your right wrist and shoulders are relaxed when drawing the bow across the open strings. Slowly perform the exercise and listen to the sound it produces to determine whether it is too light or too heavy.
One of the next phases in violin playing will be some exercises to introduce the use of fingers on the fingerboard after numerous lessons on the open strings (G, D, A, E). Your violin will be marked by your tutor to help you find the point on the fingerboard where you should place your fingers. If you place your fingers incorrectly, it might lead to poor pitching, so check it frequently and try to memorize it by listening.
AT LEAST 30 MINUTES PER DAY, PRACTICE SCALES AND FUNDAMENTAL VIOLIN EXERCISES.
Wait! Please refrain from leaving the article just yet. I recognize that practicing scales isn’t your preferred method of exercise. Most of my pupils dread scales when they first start playing the violin.
After all, we started playing the violin to play our favorite tunes. Isn’t practicing uninteresting scales a waste of time?
Surprisingly, after a while, most of my violin students like practicing their scales.
The problem is that if you want to learn the violin effectively (and not take 20+ years to perform a melody well), learning scales is THE WAY TO GO.
Scale practice can be seen as a means of improving intonation.
You will, of course, acquire intonation as you practice songs. If you practice your scales and arpeggios, you will learn three times faster.
Scales are the most efficient way to focus on all of your essential playing skills, such as intonation, violin hold, bow hold, tone production, and so on.
You won’t want to quit once you see how quickly your violin playing improves.
If you’re going to practice scales and exercises, make sure you pick ones that will get harder as time goes on. As a result, with each scale and workout you practice, you will discover new skills.
So, to ensure that you learn as well as possible, begin practicing scales right away.
Remove the most challenging elements from the pieces and just practice them.
Listen to yourself if there’s one tip to learning to play the violin beautifully on your own.
If you don’t have access to a teacher, this is very important. If you practice for hours a day but don’t listen to yourself and examine your playing for errors, you may not see any growth.
When you’re rehearsing your parts, make sure you’re paying attention to yourself.
Do you agree that this is a good idea? Is the arrangement well-balanced? Do you know how to correctly bow it so that it sounds nice?
And, if not, what can you do to make it better?
Then concentrate solely on the aspects of your game that require improvement.
Listening to yourself and playing at the same time might be tough. There are a lot of things to check for when studying the violin, especially if you’re just getting started: proper bow grip, violin position, and if your fingers are in the right spot.
It’s even more challenging when you have to examine yourself as well.
So, what’s the best course of action?
The solution is simple: use your phone!
Videotape yourself while you’re training and analyze it later to evaluate your performance.
AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, LISTEN TO VIOLIN MUSIC.
One of the most challenging aspects of violin playing is maintaining accurate intonation, which necessitates a keen ear.
LISTENING TO MUSIC is one of the best ways to improve your ear.
Violin music, in particular.
When I initially started playing the violin, I used to listen to it almost nonstop every day.
Over and over, I listened to all of the classic violin concertos, Bach, symphonic pieces, and even the CDs from my Suzuki Violin Method book…
Listen to violin music as much as possible if you want to make the most of your time. This will aid in the development of your ear and the improvement of your musicality, rhythm, and intonation.
CHECK OUT THE PERFORMANCE OF OTHER MORE EXPERIENCED VIOLINISTS.
And don’t just stand there and watch them; try to understand what they’re saying. What kind of bowing methods do they employ? What part of the string are they playing to get their tone?
Seeing other violinists perform can teach you a lot, even if you aren’t aware of it.
Attend a local concert if you have the opportunity. There is generally a profusion of low-cost violin performances to pick from if you live in a city. Many music schools will even invite you to a free concert presented by one of their students so that they can gain public performance experience.
Immerse yourself in a setting where other violinists can be heard and seen.
ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER VIOLINISTS.
As the phrase goes, “you are the average of your five closest friends.” Yes, you’re correct.
Learning the violin is much easier in a pleasant setting surrounded by individuals who share your passion for music and understand why you are dedicating hours each day to mastering an instrument.
The violin is a challenging instrument to master. If you want to succeed, you’ll need the help of a supportive group of people.
Your violin friends will sympathize with your struggles and encourage you to persevere. They’ll tell you that for a few months, it’s normal to sound like a crying cat and that it’s all part of the healing process. They’ll be blown away by the complexity of the pieces you play, as well as the amount of practice you’ve put in to get there.
Your violinist friends will motivate you to keep practicing.
One of the most important factors in my ability to play a number of instruments is having a supportive friend group and family who encouraged me to practice and keep trying.
THE PURPOSE OF YOUR PRACTICE MISSION SHOULD BE LARGER.
Consider why you want to learn how to play the violin in the first place…
Do you want to strengthen your bonds with the people in your life?
Do you want to be able to express yourself in a unique way?
Do you wish to join a jam session or an orchestra in your town?
Do you wish to brush up on your skills by studying something fantastic?
Is there anything you’ve wanted to do since you were a child that you’ve never gotten around to doing?
You will find the motivation to practice even when it appears hard to learn the violin if you have a clear concept of why you want to learn the violin.
So there you have it: the phases of learning to play the violin solo.
Someone will compliment your violin playing and inquire as to how you learned to play the violin so well if you follow these steps in the same order.
Then you’ll be able to proudly proclaim, “I taught myself!”
Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse!
Finally, when learning to play the violin, it is critical to developing healthy practice habits. Your learning process will improve quickly if you cultivate good practice habits. It’s more important to practice every day, even if it’s only for 20–30 minutes a day if you can than to practice only once a week. Slowly play your practices, recognizing the exercises and rhythms that your teacher has assigned to you, before speeding them up. Accuracy is always prioritized over speed. If you begin with slow daily practice, you will learn your violin technique quickly.
Whether it’s tone, articulations, dynamics, or phrasings, pay attention to what you’re looking for in practice.
A good and patient teacher who can guide and coach you in your quest to perfect the violin is also essential. Finally, remember to have fun with what you’re doing!