Different violin strings
When you are just starting out with violin, you may wonder what the four different strings on the violin are. What are the different violin strings called and how do they sound.
The first violin string is the G string. It is the G below middle C. That is the lowest note of the violin. The Google string in first position is played and ends at middle C or even D. Further positions can take it up to E or even F in the second octave above middle C.
The next violin string is the D string and ranges from the D above middle C to the A. In different positions it can even go up to the second octave above middle C.
The next violin string is A. It starts on the A above middle C and goes up to E in first position. Different position can take it up to F in the third octave above middle C.
The last violin string to mention is the E string. It’s the highest string and starts on the E in the second octave above middle C. It can go all the way up to C in the third octave above middle C.
So in other words across the different violin strings you can reach about three octaves. Your basic beginner will only be able to play the basic position though which will allow two octaves. More advanced players will be able to reach three octaves as they know how to navigate the different violin strings.
Online violin teacher
Choosing an online violin teacher can be tricky. How do you know that the online violin teacher that you’ve chosen is actually going to teach you the correct stuff?
Violin is not like other musical instruments. It takes a lot of physical training to play the violin correctly. Sometimes the violin teacher will adjust the grip on your bow and assist you with the bowing physically. This makes having an online violin teacher really complicated. The online violin teacher is not able to help you physically with the bowing or holding of the violin.
When looking for an online violin teacher, the best thing you can do is to find someone that will teach you the comprehensive techniques to playing the violin, but also someone that is willing to put in the time to help you over Skype or Google Hangouts. This person will have to sit and assess your playing via the computer screen and then give feedback. You would then need to go back and practice this hard, hoping that you understood correctly.
The online violin teacher would also have to be someone who doesn’t progress fast but keep to the pace that you set. There is no use moving along fast if you haven’t practiced the previous work. After all, an online violin teacher is there because you don’t have time to physically go to lessons right?
Another thing to look out for when looking for an online violin teacher is to make certain that this person has violin experience and also some sort of qualification. Depending on the genre that you want to learn, a qualification can be very important.
For modern music, qualifications aren’t really that needed. But when you are looking at classical or orchestral training then you would need someone who has at least a grade 8 or above. In Canada this would be about about level 10-12.
I hope this article is useful in your search for an online violin teacher. Remember to find the online violin teacher that will be suitable to the style you want to learn.
My violin bow isn’t making a sound
My violin bow isn’t making a sound. I often here this from new students who have just bought their first violin. Especially when it comes to a new violin.
Yes, when you unpack a new violin, the bow isn’t going to be making any sound. Especially not if you’ve just taken the violin bow out of the plastic. The bow is new, it has not been used and not been treated. Therefore, it won’t be making a sound.
You may wonder if your violin bow isn’t making a sound because there is something wrong with the strings or the violin itself, but this is not the case either. The violin bow isn’t making a sound because it has never been rosined. It has never had any Rosin rubbed onto the bow.
For a violin bow to be making sounds, it needs to be treated with Rosin. A violinist always has to have some rosin with them. If not, this is going to be a problem later on. The violin bow needs a thorough rubbing of Rosin before any sound come from it. Especially if it’s new. If it’s brand new, you would have to put a tripple dose or even more of Rosin on for the violin bow to be making any sound at all.
Another reason that the violin bow isn’t making any sound could be because you’ve touched it with your fingers. Remember, fingers are oily and the rosin that you’ve put onto the bow could have come off onto your fingers. This means that the hair of the violin bow is no longer covered in Rosin and therefore the violin bow isn’t going to be making any sound. A new coating of Rosin is needed to correct this problem.
You need to remember that a violin bow is delicate. If it’s not been tightened to the correct tension and it does not have the right amount of Rosin on, the violin bow isn’t going to be making any sound, it doesn’t matter how hard you try.
I hope this has helped you determine what the problem could be when your violin bow isn’t making any sound. It most likely is a Rosin problem.
Having the correct violin posture
Playing violin has a lot to do with having the correct violin posture. From the way you stand to the way you hold the violin and the way you rest your violin on your shoulder.
If you do not have the correct violin posture, you will find yourself struggling to play correctly and also in some cases have aches and pains in places you did not know existed.
When standing, it important to stand correctly. Lessons from a Suzuki violin teacher or professional private violin teacher would help you and teach you the correct posture. It is very possible that your posture would have to be corrected the first couple of times as you get used to this new way of standing with the correct violin posture.
The same goes for holding the violin. There is a correct violin posture that needs to be maintained when holding the violin and the bow. If you fail to maintain this correct violin posture, you will find that it affects your playing and your sound.
The correct violin posture is something that needs to be sorted out in the first couple of lessons. Failure to address posture problems will result in difficulty later.
Starting violin lessons
The essentials to starting violin lessons are described below. If you are new to violin or want to start learning violin, you might be wondering now what. What do you need to know? Do you need any previous musical experience? Do you need a violin? In this article I will explain everything you need to know about starting violin lessons.
Violin is a complex instrument. Having a solid musical understanding can be extremely helpful. This means, having a background in Piano is a good thing. I always recommend that students have a year or so of piano lessons before starting violin lessons. The reason is that the piano gives a solid and good foundation of music, the different keys and a bit of theory. Once you understand the piano, you understand music basics. And the basics will help you when starting violin lessons.
The next thing to determine is whether you want to learn professionally, and what you want to learn? Do you want to learn classical for orchestral and classical music or do you want to learn rock or pop? If you want to be starting violin lessons with the purpose of just playing contemporary, you could probably go to any violin or music school in your area and they will be able to help you. But if you are looking at classical training, you would have to look at starting violin lessons with a Suzuki teacher or a private teacher. These will help you to get a thorough understanding of music and a thorough and complex training of music. If you can play classical, you can play anything. Church bands, pop, classical and others – nothing will be too difficult. But if you learn contemporary, you will find difficulty with playing classical and other genres.
Starting violin lessons also requires you to make a commitment to practicing. Violin is not an easy instrument. You need to dedicate time and effort into it to master the violin. The time and effort you put into it will determine your progress. If you put ten minutes a day in, you won’t get very far. But if you put an hour in every day, you will get a lot further faster, and master it easily.
Starting violin lessons also requires you to have your own violin. You can rent a violin from a music school or you can buy your own. There are good second hand options out there, or you can buy a brand new one. Amazon has some nice violins, as well as music stores. Once again, when starting violin lessons you do not need a professional violin. A good student violin will do. To know more about violins and the types of violins, see my article on the type of violins there are and determine what you would need.
I hope this has been helpful in determining if you are ready for starting violin lessons. Hopefully you have the determination and want to move ahead. Starting violin lessons is a great hobby or art to learn and will bring many hours of enjoyment and relaxation.
Knowing how to clean your violin
Many people learn how to play the violin but they never learn from their violin teachers how to clean their violins. Your violin is something that needs to be kept in tip top shape at all times.
If the violin is not cleaned, eventually residue from the Rosin on the bow will settle on the violin and cake onto the violin, making it hard to get off. Then it needs to go to a luthier to fix. So before it happens, here are some helpful hints in how to clean your violin and keep it in good shape.
The first thing is to get a soft dust cloth. Each time you have played the violin, you should softly and gently clean your violin and wipe off all dust or residue from the rosin and bow. This step is important to maintain the violin in mint condition.
The second thing you can do to clean your violin is that if you have neglected cleaning your violin and you see the rosin starting to cake on the violin’s body, is to take a damp (thoroughly wrung out) cloth and gently wipe it across the violin. It must not be dripping or you can cause damage to the wood. It must be decently wrung out.
This is how you clean your violin and maintain the violin. Make sure you do this on a regular basis so that the violin stays in good condition.
Holding the violin bow
Holding the violin bow correctly is a skill that needs to be mastered over time. It takes many many hours of practice before the skill is properly mastered.
To hold the bow correctly, one’s fingers are stretched in an abnormal way, making it feel like the bow is about to fly out of your hands. If it feels like the bow is about to fly out of your hand, the bow is held correctly.
Many people struggle getting the hold of the bow correct. There are several methods, but the most popular method is the one I will show below. To hold the bow correctly, you need to curl your thumb into the frog, hold your ring finger and middle finger together over the frog on the side, and point your little finger at the top of the bow by the little mechanism that winds the bow. Your pointing finger kind of just rests over the bow. The following image illustrates holding the violin bow correctly.
If you do not hold the violin bow correctly, you will find that your sound will be affected as you play. You will also find that when you play fast, you might actually have the bow fly out of your hand. These are the two main reasons you need to hold the bow correctly. But there are more reasons too.
Holding the violin bow correctly also influences how you bow. Every good violin student is taught to bow straight. But if you are not holding the violin bow correctly, you will not be able to bow straight without huge effort and it will affect your performance.
There are several ways that you can practice holding the bow correctly on the violin. On Amazon you can buy a bow grip which you attach to your bow to help you grip the bow correctly. Or some of my students have actually used elastic bands to train their middle finger and ring finger to stay together.
There are many ways that you could practice holding the violin bow correctly, but whatever you do, make sure that you practice it right, and don’t practice holding the violin bow incorrectly. This is a very important part of playing the violin.
Violin is the most difficult instrument to play
Yes, that’s right. Violin is the most difficult instrument to play. Google and you will find that out for yourself. But why is violin listed as the most difficult instrument to play and master? Surely it can’t be that complicated!
Well the truth is, it is a difficult instrument to master and play. There are so many aspects of the violin that is just practically impossible to learn in one day or lesson. Some do, but those are people with a lot of talent. For the most people, it takes years to master how to play the violin.
One of the reasons the violin is the most difficult instrument to play is because holding the violin and the bow incorrectly can alter the sound a big amount and it will no longer sing. Sometimes people can still get away with it but it will never sound as good as it can and professional unless the posture and holding of the violin and bow is correct.
Another reason is that if the violin is not held correctly, the bow will not go straight and that will also alter the sound. It will also make it very complicated to actually play it, especially later on when more advanced work is done.
Violin is the most difficult instrument to play because of all the technique that needs to be mastered to make it work. It can take years to master the technique that is needed to be a good violinist.
Why holding the violin correctly is important
Many people start out with the wrong posture and learning how to hold the violin incorrectly. They practice the violin, sometimes for years, and then realize that getting further is going to be complicated. This is why holding the violin correctly is VERY IMPORTANT to playing correctly.
When you hold the violin the wrong way, not only do you not make a beautiful sound, but you also hamper your progress in the long run. Later on, when you get to more complicated pieces to play you will find one of the following scenarios if you have not held the violin correctly from the start
- Your sound will be horrible and won’t sing
- Your bow will be playing skew
- Your fingers won’t be able to reach the fingerboard properly
- You won’t be able to play in position correctly
- You muscles and bones will hurt
- You won’t be able to play vibrato
The list goes on. But I cannot stress enough how important it is to hold the violin correctly from the start. This is paramount to any successful violin playing in the future.
Many students have arrived at my music lessons holding the violin incorrectly. I then need to first teach them the basics again of how to hold the violin correctly before I can move on and proceed to continue teaching them where they left off. This is why holding the violin correctly is such an important part of getting the basics right.
Soon I will start writing about the violin and so on. Keep an eye on this page.