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.
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.