Thursday, February 19, 2009

The basics of starting the violin

Learning how to play the violin can be incredibly tedious at first, but extremely rewarding when becoming used to it. Learning the violin takes a lot of skill and time. As a violinist, you will know how to tune the violin, how to hold the violin and place your fingers in the right space on it and much, much more!

The first important thing is what violin size you’ll need. For most people, a full size (4/4) violin will be the correct size. If you are younger or small in height, a smaller sized violin may be required.

Where should I get my Violin from?

I thoroughly recommend that you search around for the best deal of a case, bow and violin and these are often sold in a set (may be called a “Violin Outfit”). Many retailers sell cheap violins at competitive prices. Online stores can be very good, or if you prefer a cheap set, maybe check out Ebay. A nudge in the right direction may to look for the "Stentor Violin" ;)

There are also many violin accessories which you may need to buy at some point. For example, having a violin shoulder rest will make it a lot more comfortable and easier to hold the violin.

Tuning The Violin

If you have a keyboard or piano, then it’ll be easy for you to tune the strings. Otherwise, I would highly recommend buying a cheap violin tuner as your ears will train themselves quicker, and before you know it, you will not need a violin tuner to get the correct pitch of the violin!

There are two adjusters to change the pitch of the violin: the pegs by the scroll and the fine tuners behind the bridge. You should only use the pegs when the violin is deeply out of tune. The way to make the sound a lot higher (sharper) is to twist the violin peg clockwise for its selected strung, but at the same time PUSH in. Otherwise, the violin string may snap due to too much tension. The fine tuners are only used for small differences in pitch; these will be used to tune the violin most of the time. Twist the fine tuner clockwise for making the sound “sharper” and anti-clockwise to be “flatter” (lower).

What to do first

Take the violin out of its case and leave the bow. What I would stress the most when having your violin is to hold it the correct way. Place the chin rest slightly to left of your chin, and place your left hand at the neck of the violin; pulling the elbow around so the fingers are tilted over the strings and thumb resting at the side of the neck. Become accustomed to “plucking” the violin’s strings; placing your right hand’s thumb to rest against the black part of the fingerboard and using index finger to pull the string.

Whilst doing all of this, make sure your chin rest stays intact with your head and keep the violin held up with your left arm. The wrist should not be cocked up to the neck, let it rest down; imagine there is a prickly bush and you don’t want your hand to get scratched! The left arm should be stretched out all the way to the back of the neck. Whether standing up or sitting down, make sure the scroll (the end) of the violin is at around head level; also keep your back straight! That’s it, you have now learn the basic principles of how to play the violin!


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  2. Violin really produces sweet sounds that is why many people really love it. But there is one thing that really make as problematic and that is how you play it. There is also a way how we can truly learn and that is through the help of instruction DVDs that contains procedures in playing a violin.

  3. I really love the sound coming from the violin. Every time that i listen this rhythm because make feel comfortable and i can improve my mood too. I like to read useful information too, so this blog is amazing. I must to say that i found another one,that i consider interesting too, this is costa rica investment opportunities i invite you to visit it.

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  5. i just started violin and many things you have said are helpful but a Question if i may i have fingers built for a pianoist how does one pluck comforable when their thumb doesnt fit against the finger board?

    any help is greatly appreseated