How to Learn the Violin - Beginner's Guide [Upd. 2023] (2023)

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It’s the best time ever to learn an instrument. We’re not saying that it is easy to learn how to play, but if you are looking into how to learn violin by yourself then there are so many resources out there for you. There are also a lot of online communities that will be able to help you.

Violin is a truly impressive instrument to play. If you are looking to impress your friends then a string instrument like this is ideal. Plus, you can form the basis for playing other instruments too if you plan to become a full virtuoso. You’re in for a challenge, but if you are looking to learn how to play the violin then we have some top tips for you, as well as some resources you should definitely check out.

What you should know before learning violin

Before you get started, there are some things you should know about this impressive instrument. A lot of people have questions about learning the violin, you might not have even decided if the instrument is ideal for you. You might want to know how hard it is to learn to play the violin, or whether you can learn violin fast, before you buy an instrument and commit to getting started.

Is it hard to learn to play the violin?

How to Learn the Violin - Beginner's Guide [Upd. 2023] (1)Anybody that tells you that it is easy to learn to play the violin is lying. There are some courses that will promise you will learn how to play the violin in weeks. This is probably a sales ploy. It isn’t easy to learn all of the techniques involved with playing the violin.

Playing the violin will always provide a challenge. If you want to reach a professional level then you will have to practice all the time in order to keep your skills sharp.

Some of the things that people find really difficult when they are getting started include bowing.

Bow technique is incredibly hard, and even if you get it slightly wrong then it can make a big impact on the sound. It requires a lot of muscle memory. Even the posture you need to stand in can be pretty difficult.

(Video) 1 Day Vs 10 Years of Playing Violin

Violin needs you to apply just the right amount of pressure in order to create an even and rich tone. If you look through some of the bowing techniques, you’ll notice that there are also loads of different styles of playing. A professional needs to be able to play Spiccato and Legato on demand! That means a lot of practice hours.

Compare this to playing the piano, where you can hit a few notes and they will sound good almost instantly. The fact that you have to learn the technique to actually generate sound out of your instrument means that violinists have an extra challenge presented to them.

Another thing that makes it hard for people to learn how to play is the lack of frets. Violin is a fretless instrument. You have to be able to control the pitch of the instrument without the help of frets to help you to work out where you are. This involves skill, technique, and memory. This sort of thing will only be learned by putting in the hours…

How long does it take to learn violin?

If you are looking to learn violin by yourself then you need to know that it is going to take you a while to get to grips with it. The answer on how long it takes to learn the instrument varies. Obviously, the more time and effort you put in, the quicker the progress is likely to be.

Even if you go through a full course of online lessons quickly, you will probably not be able to play to a high standard, and though within 5 or 6 months you will be able to play some basic tools, you shouldn’t expect to be playing at a high level for a few years. After three years it is possible that you will reach a good level of ability, especially if you have kept up with a rigorous practice schedule.

Learning how to play a few simple tunes will be much quicker, so you might have something to show for your practice. If you are wondering how to learn vibrato violin, or more ambitious bowing techniques, it might take a bit longer.

How to choose your first violin

How to Learn the Violin - Beginner's Guide [Upd. 2023] (2)There are a couple of common errors that we see time and time again when people are trying to choose their very first violin. They tend to either spend too little, and get a low-quality product that simply isn’t reliable enough, and doesn’t provide a solid tone to build on. Alternatively, people might jump in and spend a fortune on an instrument, only to discover that the hobby is not for them and that they have spent way more than they needed to.

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As we explore in our guide to buying beginner violins, it is vital to get the right size Trusted Source Violin - Wikipedia Apart from the standard, full (4⁄4) size, violins are also made in so-called fractional sizes of 7⁄8, 3⁄4, 1⁄2, 1⁄4, 1⁄8, 1⁄10, 1⁄16, 1⁄32 and even 1⁄64. These smaller instruments are commonly used by young players, whose fingers are not long enough to reach the correct positions on full-sized instruments. . As an adult, you will probably be best off going for a full-size violin, but it is possible that this might not be the best option for a child, and it can seriously hinder their learning as the violin will be too big, and won’t sit properly on their shoulder.

We recommend this violin by Cecilio as a reliable pick that doesn’t break the bank, perfect for beginners.

Your instrument is crucial to your journey, and can impact whether you are likely to stick with your hobby or not, so choose very carefully.

How to care for your violin

How to Learn the Violin - Beginner's Guide [Upd. 2023] (3)When you start to learn how to play the violin, for beginners, one of the biggest challenges is to understand how you should look after your violin. If not, it can get warped or damaged, and you may have to pay for repairs or even to replace the violin. In many respects, violin care is one of the most important things to consider when you start to learn the instrument.

There are some simple steps to use when caring for your violin:

  • Invest in a quality violin case, and ensure that you use it whenever the instrument is not being played. It’s amazing how much protection this can give.
  • Always hold your violin using two hands, otherwise, it can break or warp due to pressure, plus it is much easier to drop.
  • Don’t expose the instrument to extreme temperatures. Leaving it in the trunk of your car in freezing temperatures is a recipe for disaster. Wood can warp as it heats and cools.
  • Replace your strings every 6 months or so. This can be a daunting job, but you’ve got to learn some time!
  • Don’t put your violin in any precarious positions. It’s amazing how often someone will put it on top of a stand that isn’t designed for the violin or rest it against a table leg. This is not a good idea, and you can quickly find yourself looking at the price of violin repairs.
  • Clean your violin regularly, but only do so using products that are suitable or cleaning a violin. You can buy specific polish for the instrument.

Even if you buy a cheaper instrument, that doesn’t mean it is “throwaway”. You should take good care of it, and you can get many years of use out of a violin.

How to learn violin by yourself

Learning how to play violin by yourself is all about the learning materials you use. 10-20 years ago, though there were good books and DVDs for beginners, it was much harder to find learning materials. What’s more, if you had questions, you might have a hard time finding answers without a teacher. Now, Google (and other search engines) are full of information so you can find out the information you need to know in seconds and choose whether to watch a YouTube video or to read an article to solve your problems.

Here are some more top tips for how to learn violin:

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Practice for at least 30 minutes every day. If you miss a day or two here or there it is okay, but if you really want to dedicate yourself to the hobby then playing virtually every day is needed.

Challenge yourself daily. Don’t just stick with pieces that you already know. They might be fun to play, but without challenging yourself you’re never really making any progress. Play pieces you know you struggle with in order to give yourself the chance to grow and learn.

Try to mix with other musicians (even better if they play violin, too). By mixing with other musicians, you can ensure that you have a network for feedback and for inspiration. You might jam together or learn songs together, and you’ll find this much easier than playing on your own all the time.

Watch the best musicians. YouTube is a great solution for this, along with online violin lessons, which can show you how to improve your technique. Learning by watching is an effective solution.

Keep yourself motivated. We can’t stress this enough. If you are going to learn how to play the violin on your own then it is crucial that you stay motivated, whatever that means for you. What are your reasons for learning how to play? Keep these fixed in your mind and find the time to practice. If you are not motivated then the answer to “how long does it take to learn the violin?” will be “forever”.

Final thoughts

If you are taking up any instrument then it is going to be a challenge.

You need to get the right learning materials to show you how to learn violin in a step-by-step way, rather than just diving in and hoping for the best. The violin is such an expressive instrument that gives you a great deal of stylistic possibilities once you have learned, but be prepared for a long road ahead when you take up this instrument. Fortunately, there are so many courses, books, DVDs and online lessons to get you started and you don’t necessarily need a teacher.

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Violin - Wikipedia

Apart from the standard, full (4⁄4) size, violins are also made in so-called fractional sizes of 7⁄8, 3⁄4, 1⁄2, 1⁄4, 1⁄8, 1⁄10, 1⁄16, 1⁄32 and even 1⁄64. These smaller instruments are commonly used by young players, whose fingers are not long enough to reach the correct positions on full-sized instruments.

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What is the best method to learn violin? ›

In-person lessons are the best way to learn the violin. If you have the ability to take violin lessons from a teacher in your area, try to make this option work first. A teacher who meets with you for lessons can help you purchase a quality violin, and then periodically assess your instrument for any mechanical issues.

How many days it will take to learn violin? ›

If you would like to play the violin professionally, commitment to many years of hard work is essential. So, exactly how long does it take to learn violin? Well, the answer is entirely up to you. With a continuous and steady training schedule, you can make a lot of progress toward your goals in three to five years.

What age is too late to learn violin? ›

Anyone can learn to play the violin, at any age. Mastering a new skill, regardless of what it is, always involves desire, discipline and determination; and learning violin is no different. Your age does have a factor in how quickly you'll be able to adapt to the instrument.

How many hours a day should I practice violin? ›

1,5 to 2 hours a day

Great to get good progress on your instrument. You can do scales, exercises and etudes and have enough time to work on your repertoire and orchestra scores.

What is the best age to learn violin? ›

The Verdict: The Right Age for Violin Lessons

If your child is motivated and able to focus, between the ages of 5-7 is the ideal time to start violin lessons. But don't be put off if your child is a little younger or older. Talk to the music center or teacher and get their recommendation.

Why is violin the hardest to learn? ›

The violin is also widely regarded as one of the most difficult instruments to learn. One of the reasons behind this is that there are no guides on the violin for finger placement.

Are cheap violins worth it? ›

It can easily cost more than value of the instrument itself just to make it playable at all, to say nothing of actually sounding good. In short, while they may be inexpensive, VSOs are ultimately a waste of money.

Is 27 too old to learn violin? ›

You are never too old and it is never too late to start learning the violin. While learning the violin can be a lot of fun at any age, there are some important reasons why learning the violin as an adult is even more fun, making right now the perfect time to learn! Let's take a look at why adults should learn violin.

Is 35 too old to learn violin? ›

In other words, there's no reason you can't become a great adult violin player - whether you pick up the bow for the first time at age 30, 50, or beyond.

What should a beginner violinist practice? ›

To get better at violin you can practice the following exercises:
  • Long notes.
  • Slurs.
  • String crossings.
  • Fourth finger exercises.
  • Scales.
  • Arpeggios.
  • Etudes.
  • Violin Studies.

Can I learn violin in 2 years? ›

You can make a lot of progress in just a few years if you practice hard and stay committed to learning the violin. It is reasonable to expect to reach a fairly 'professional' level in 10 years. But even after reaching a professional level, you can still improve!

What are the 4 main notes on a violin? ›

Without pressing your fingers down on the violin strings, the notes are known as open strings namely, G, D, A, and E. The finest and highest sounding string is E while the fattest and lowest sounding string is G. You tune the four strings of violin in fifths.

What are the 4 notes on a violin? ›

The violin has four strings

From high to low, the strings on the violin are E, A, D, and G.

How long should a 12 year old practice violin? ›

For Children Eight to Twelve years old:

We recommend setting up a regular practice schedule and trying to get between 75 and 100 minutes of practice each week. We have found that students who consistently practice about 100 minutes a week do very well.

Is violin harder than piano? ›

Violin Has A Stiffer Learning Curve

Both instruments are difficult to master, but when it comes to the start violin is much tougher. There are all sorts of awkward positions that you would need to learn. Things like how to hold the bow, placing the chin rest at just the right angle and more.

Do violins sound better as they age? ›

Antique violins are well-aged, but seasoning is not the only factor that gives vintage instruments their unique tone quality. Violins sound better and become more responsive the more they are played. Before a violin is even made, aging is already a factor.

Is playing violin healthy? ›

Violin lessons boost memory and mental capacities.

It can also improve your reading skills, language processing, speech and attention span. Research has found that children and teens who play the violin have stronger verbal and visual pattern abilities than those playing other instruments.

How can I get better at violin fast? ›

12 Best Tips to Improve Your Violin Intonation Quickly
  1. Tip 1: Use the Double Contact Points Method. ...
  2. Tip 2: Bow Softly with Little Pressure. ...
  3. Tip 3: Practice Without Vibrato. ...
  4. Tip 4: Listen to Recordings of Violin Music. ...
  5. Tip 5: Play with Others. ...
  6. Tip 6: Practice with a Tuner. ...
  7. Tip 7: Play Slowly. ...
  8. Tip 8: Use Anchor Fingers.

Is listening to the violin good for brain? ›

The neural pathways created through playing violin are often complex and increase brain function in both processing and memory parts of the brain.

Is 18 too late for violin? ›

As a violin teacher, one question I get very often is “Am I too old to learn the violin!?” A short answer is: yes, of course, you can learn the violin as an adult! On the other hand: it's not without reason that some even believe it's not even possible to learn the violin as an adult.

How hard is it to get good at violin? ›

The violin is one of the hardest musical instruments to learn. The combination of a demanding bowing technique and getting the pitch just right on a fretless fingerboard can make it particularly challenging. Like any instrument, it takes time and commitment to master.

What is the easiest violin to play? ›

The Best Violins for Beginners
  • Glasser Carbon Composite Violin. This violin is incredibly reliable and great for beginners who aren't yet versed in how to handle or treat their new instrument. ...
  • Windsor 4/4 Student Violin. ...
  • Cremona SV 500. ...
  • Cecilio Beginner Violin. ...
  • Sonart Full Size 4/4 Solid Wood Violin.
Mar 22, 2021

Is violin 1 or 2 harder? ›

That said, the first violin part is often considered "harder" because typically it shifts to higher positions and can have more virtuosic stuff in there.

What is the hardest piece to play on violin? ›

These are the hardest pieces ever written for the VIOLIN
  • Sonata No. ...
  • Partita in D minor BWV 1004 – J.S. ...
  • 'The Last Rose Of Summer' – Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst. ...
  • Caprice in D major 'Il labirinto armonico' – Locatelli. ...
  • Solo Violin Sonata – Bartók. ...
  • Violin Concerto – Ligeti. ...
  • 6 Caprices – Sciarrino. ...
  • God Save the King – Paganini.
Aug 2, 2019

What are the cons of violin? ›

We run through the 10 absolute worst things about playing the violin.
  • Violinist's neck. ...
  • Excessive leger lines. ...
  • Double, triple and quadruple-stopping. ...
  • Supporting your clearly inferior desk partner. ...
  • Severe finger trauma. ...
  • Shattered rosin all over your beautiful violin.
May 4, 2018

What should I learn first on violin? ›

Beginner Basics

First you'll learn how to tighten you bow, apply rosin, and properly hold the instrument. To do this, the fingers of your right hand lightly, but firmly, grip the bow and your left hand cradles the neck of the violin, while the base rests under your jaw.

How do you memorize a violin fast? ›

3 Tips to Help You Memorize Music Faster
  1. Sing through instrumental passages. If you're trying to memorize a piece for trumpet, violin, guitar, bass, or any instrument—even drums—try singing your part aloud. ...
  2. Practice at different tempos. Don't simply practice your piece at performance tempo. ...
  3. Transpose to another key.
Sep 24, 2021

Is violin the hardest instrument to learn? ›

The violin is also widely regarded as one of the most difficult instruments to learn. One of the reasons behind this is that there are no guides on the violin for finger placement.

Why is Suzuki method important? ›

This approach allows the child and parent to focus on how they are playing rather than on what they are playing. In other words, the goal of a Suzuki student is to focus on how well you can do something rather than on what you are able to do.


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