The violin is arguably the most elegant sounding and looking instrument there is. And if you've always wanted to learn one, this guide is all you need to read.
Generally, the first step would be to buy one. And the next logical step would be to hire a private tutor; however, we will just stick to the first step for now.
Choosing the right violin for yourself isn't as easy. And same is the case with finding a good instructor to teach you to play violin flawlessly.
You must have heard how larger violins produce a better sound. But you need to consider more than that when finding the right sie.
Read ahead and find out how to choose the right instrument as a violin beginner.
How To Choose The Right Violin For Yourself
The best violin for you might not be the best for others. Therefore, picking the perfect one will take a lot of research and guidance.
Fortunately, we've got you covered! Here is how you can get it right:
Buying a violin for beginners is complicated, as several factors are involved in the purchase. The playability and tone are essential considerations for a first-time purchase.
These factors are dependent on the construct of a violin. Hence, the all-integral soundboard is made of tonewood and establishes amplification of the sound from the strings.
Moreover, the build of the spruce is also another major determinant. It also helps to know that several species of the tree are used to manufacture violins.
However, musicians could prefer one over the other. And the way they differentiate between either kind is through the conditions of the grain.
Moreover, the quality of maple wood used may also differ. For example, the necks of the violin may be made out of tightly grained wood, but other attributes are also customizable as per one's budget.
Meanwhile, the fingerboard is usually crafted out of ebony. However, wood could also be used in a cheaper variety.
But when shopping, you should look out for plastic chin rests and low-quality bridges – hallmarks of a cheap violin.
Additionally, the finishing and coats also define the price of a violin. Thin coats of varnish and careful polishing are the qualities of expensive varieties.
Once you're sure about playing the violin, it is best to purchase one rather than renting or borrowing. Owning an instrument makes you more committed to playing it while also being more careful with it.
You will be mindful of how you store it, rest it, or maintain it. Who knows, you may be able to keep it feeling brand new even after years of use.
Also, keep in mind that it is always best to purchase a local brand. This way, getting it repaired will be easy for you. Instead of mailing it in each time, you could simply take your violin to the local shop.
Furthermore, it is well-known that locally sourced parts and repairs are much more accessible than imported items.
This is especially true for a violin because there are several playability factors you have to affirm before accepting it from repairs.
One can only judge the quality by having the item in hand. So, opt for the violin shop near you, rather than online platforms.
Violin sizes are usually expressed as fractions. For example, a 1/32 could be well-suited for toddlers, while a 4/4 is commonly called full-size for adults.
To get yourself the right size, check the size of your hands against your height.
If you have smaller hands, a 7/8 might be good for you. However, it is best to look for professional advice before investing in the instruments.
There are other specifications to note too. For example, a considerable gap between the strings and the fingerboard can ruin the playability of your violin.
Furthermore, low-quality strings will also cause a lot of trouble because you will spend more replacing them. Hence checking for signs of quality is essential; here's how:
- The pegs on the top are responsible for keeping the strings tight. If you notice them sticking out in varying degrees, the instrument may be faulty
- Look for the thin slip of string-supporting wood attached to the body. If it extends for 90 degrees with no bends, it's a quality piece
- The bridge must not be too long, or it will be harder to press onto the strings
Cheap bows made out of low-quality plastic hair can not keep a grip on the rosin. This will affect the friction, which produces sound.
Hence, the weight of the bows is vital to get right; the lighter it is, the cheaper the material used to make it.
How To Play Violin
Learning to play the violin is fun. And if you've always been into music, the process will be easier and more fun. Hence, make learning to play the violin easier by reading on:
1. Tighten And Rosin The Bow
The hair should not be too light or too loose. Keep it parallel to the wooden segment of the bow. Additionally, remember to keep your hands oil-free so that the strings produce the best sound.
Rubbing rosin on the bow is also an important step. Remember, a newly-haired bow will require more rosin application!
2. Tune The Violin
Violin strings must be tuned from the lowest tone to the highest one; G, D, A, and E. And if you don't know how to do that, you can even purchase an electric tuner separately.
The violin parts that allow tuning are the tuning pegs — the wooden plugs sown into the instrument's top.
3. Grip The Bow And The Violin
Even out the weight as you hold the bow. The middle and the ring finger must rest on the middle of the bow. The thumb should be under the stick. Remember not to let your palm rest on the bow.
And when adjusting the violin, make your chin rest in place. Next, keep your back up and stick the lower back of your violin to your collar bone.
4. Play The Strings
Adding pressure will increase the intensity of the sound, while playing too near to the bridge may sound rough.
Instead, keep your bow tilted towards the scroll and practice open strings. Gradually you may move to higher scales and new notes.
Warmup Exercises As A Violin Beginner
Preparing yourself before performing is integral. Hence, warmup exercises will help your mind, fingers, brain, and confidence align.
Although these exercises may vary from person to person, here are a few beginner violin exercises for you:
- Long Open Strings: Doing this will help you judge the bow's speed and weight. Practicing in front of a mirror will help you visualize the bow, strings, and bridge placement. Practicing up to 5 up and down bows for each string can be beneficial
- Placement Of Fingers: Try playing the most simple scales as a beginner to learn correct finger placement. As a result of this, your fingers will remember where they belong on the fingerboard
- Slurs: With a slur, you can play two notes in a single stroke. These are steady bow movements across the strings, with presses at defined intervals; continue exercising two notes per stroke
- String Crossing: the ability to move from one string to the other is essential. So, practice playing long bow strokes with your arm and the bow in the same pane. Make sure your movements are as natural as possible
Tips for Violin Beginners
Violins are complex instruments and require effort to master. Hence, here are a few violin tips to guide your path to perfection:
- Tune Your Violin: The first step should be to tune the instrument. Changes in humidity and temperatures can affect the wood used to manufacture a violin, and the same goes with new strings. Therefore, use the clip-on tuner and a tuning fork to do this
- Loosen The Bow When Not In Use: Releasing the stretch when the instrument is not in use will add durability to your bow. Don't forget to do this during breaks in practice. And remember, righty-tighty, lefty-loosey!
- Replacement Of Strings: Replacing your used strings with fresh ones will significantly enhance the sound produced. Hence, for consistent sound quality, make sure you always have adequate strings in place
- No Rosin, No Sound: The hair on the bow needs rosin to produce friction to vibrate the strings. Ensure that you regularly replenish the amount of rosin on your bow hair. Additionally, rosin may lose its essence over time. Therefore, consider changing the block every year
- Playing Posture: Sitting uncomfortably for long durations can cause injuries; hence, relaxation is key. Maintaining a death grip on the violin or putting too much pressure on your neck will keep you uncomfortable, affecting the quality of your music. As a result, you should focus on your posture before settling down
- Consistent Practice: Learning how to play the violin requires the utmost dedication and hard work. Only consistent practice will give you the motivation to keep learning and playing the violin
Learn Violin With A Private Tutor From Superprof
As discussed, the violin is beautiful, fragile, meticulously designed, and undoubtedly melodious. However, learning to play is not very easy.
The journey begins with finding a teacher to guide you. Then, you must invest in the right quality of instrument as a beginner.
And if you find a good enough instructor, they may even help you determine the right equipment choice for your skillset.
And to help you find the perfect instructor, visit Superprof and discover a directory of experienced violinists. In addition, they have tutors for children alongside beginning violin lessons for adults!
The reviews provided on the website will help you pick one that fits your specifications. Connect now and begin your journey!
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