Where do I start with learning the violin?
Are you considering taking up an instrument but cannot decide which instrument to try? Have you considered the violin? It is not one of the obvious choices such as the guitar or piano, but it does come with a lot of benefits. The violin is a versatile instrument. You can decide that you want to play alone, join with a pianist or three string quartet. And of course there is not only the classical violin, cultures from all over the world have put their spin on this versatile instrument. So if this has persuaded you that the violin is the instrument for you, read on.
The first bit of advice is to find a good teacher. Signing up with an experienced teacher will enable you to progress faster. They understand how to tailor the sessions to meet your individual needs and will give you the confidence to get started. Ideally you want to find a teacher who you feel comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to try out a few before you find the right one. Of course you can also use online tutorials. We’ve reviewed some websites that support you with learning the Violin, take a look at our review of The Violin Lab, Fiddlerman or our highest rated website Beginner Violin Tips.
The key to playing the violin well, is to get the foundations right. Violinists need to warm up their arms, fingers and wrists prior to practice or performance. Failure to do so could cause injuries and set you back with your learning schedule. It may seem a little mundane, but scales, scales and more scales are the way forward. These scales are the foundations of any piece played on the violin. It is also important to think about your posture and positioning. Experiment with different shoulder rests and don’t be afraid to move the upper body and hips when you play.
It has been said that the violin is one of the hardest instruments to learn. Therefore any tips and tricks to help you along the way should be heeded. Consider charting your progress in a violin diary, so when you are feeling frustrated you can look back and see how you have developed so far. Take some time to listen to accomplished violinists and note their style, pitch, rhythm and tone. This will help you to develop your own ear and will reflect in your playing.
Many students decide to rent a violin for practice, just to ensure it really is the instrument for them. However there are pitfalls associated with renting. For example, rental instruments may be a little worse for wear and long term rental fees can add up quickly, equating to the cost of purchasing a student violin. A student violin is usually made from a lower quality wood when compared to more professional violins. It has durable plastic parts such as tuning pegs and chinrests. Prices vary between $70 / £45 – $750 / £500 – we’ve gathered a small selection in our store (click here to visit the Violin section) which is fine if you know what you’re looking for or are after a basic started violin. Anything else we’d recommend you visiting your local music shop.
The old adage, practice makes perfect, definitely applies to learning the violin. Don’t think about how long a practice session should be but rather set yourself goals to achieve. It is about the quality of practice and not the quantity. Repetition exercises can be helpful but ensure that this is not mindless practice.
Wishing you the very best of luck 🙂