Every new violinist have wondered about how to rosin a bow. Especially if there has never been lessons before. Nobody ever explained it and you are left wondering how to rosin the bow.
So out you go and get a new piece of Rosin from Amazon or from a violin or music store. You come home and try to rosin the bow only to find out that you don’t actually know how to do this.
First let me explain why it is important to rosin a bow and then I will get to the “how to” part. Rosin is what makes the bow make a sound on the strings. If you have tried to make a sound on the violin strings and nothing has worked, no sound whatsoever, chances are that you need to rosin the bow.
The first thing we need to remember about putting Rosin on a bow is that it needs to be chipped. This gives the rosin a better chance of giving off residue or powder if you want to call it that. So chip the rosin against your music stand or against another hard object. Never chip it against an instrument or this will cause harm to the instrument itself.
You then take the chipped part of the rosin and rub it up and down the hair of the bow. If its the first time you apply rosin, you need to apply it quite generously. But if it has had rosin on before, you do not have to rosin the bow so generously.
I hope this has helped you figure out how to rosin a bow. For more information, please check out my YouTube channel.
Types of violins
The types of violins and which one would be right for you. There are so many types of violins to choose from. When just starting out with the world of violin, you can be confused as to what type of violin you need.
There are electric violins, semi electric violins, acoustic violins, student violins and professional violins. All these types of violins can bring confusion, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking at or what you are doing.
If you are a brand new violin student, the type of violin you need to look at is probably an acoustic violin, a student violin at that. The acoustic violin will assist you in proper learning of technique which the electric, silent and semi electric violins cannot do. The acoustic violin is also used for classical training.
The electrical type of violin which includes the semi electric and silent violins are specifically designed for contemporary violin and does not really work in a classical setting. The types of violins are different, depending on the genre you want to play. Acoustic can be used for contemporary violin too.
When you just start out, I would recommend getting the type of violin that would teach you technique. A good student violin which is acoustic will serve this purpose well. Later on, when you do contemporary stage performances you can spread out your collection and get other types of violins but to start with, get yourself a good acoustic student violin.
I hope this clears up the confusion around the types of violins. To find out what you need when starting violin lessons, please go to my article on it or click on the link.
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.
Tuning pegs keeps popping out
A violin is a great instrument to play. It can be temperamental though. It has a mind of it’s own. When the tuning pegs keeps popping out, it can make one fly through the roof with frustration, especially if you’re trying to practice for a recital, lesson or exam.
When the tuning pegs keep pooping out, it’s usually easily fixed. The problem originates with the violin itself and the fact that the violin is made out of wood. Because it’s a woodwind instrument, it gets altered by the weather. Just like wood contracts and expands in hot and moist environments, so the violin does too.
For example, if you leave the violin in a hot car all day, your violin will be very out of tune by the end of the day, and difficult to tune up again. It is because the heat has affected the violin. In the same way, the heat affects the tuning pegs. Sometimes it seems like the tuning pegs are too small for the holes they go through.
When the tuning pegs keeps popping out, it’s easily remedied. All you need to do is to push them in quite hard. If that does not work, you will have to take them out and rub some rosin on. Once you’ve done that you can put them back in and you will find that they stick. Sometimes more than what is needed.
The next time your tuning pegs keeps popping out, try this remedy and see if you can make it work.
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.