Learning the harp - how to take the first steps
Hardly any other instrument is known for its comparably beautiful sounds like the violin. This makes it all the more enjoyable to practice on the violin at a young age and to learn which methods can be used to constantly improve your own playing. With a little practice and passion, nothing stands in the way of your success on this special instrument. But how exactly can you learn the violin and what do you need to pay attention to? In this article, we'll show you in more detail which methods are worthwhile for you in the long run.
If you are looking for an instrument that can be used in many genres and directions, then the violin is just the thing. But it's not only its sounds and the wide range of possible applications that are special. The comparatively small instrument is also very easy to transport and take on the go, which means you can flexibly vary your location when practicing. For its size, the violin is one of the most versatile instruments that is also extremely handy.
Another advantage of the violin is that you don't need any special knowledge to get started. Even though it's not one of the easiest instruments to play, with regular practice you can play your first songs pretty quickly. You can even start without sheet music. Especially for children, this is explicitly offered in some music schools, behind it is the so-called Suzuki method. Later, however, you should also incorporate sheet music into your routine, in order to develop from the first steps to more demanding exercises. In this way, you combine theory and practice in an optimal way to be able to dedicate yourself better to the desired pieces over time.
While most instruments come into their own either as a solo instrument or as an accompaniment, the violin does well in both roles. Because of this, you can play your own violin solos, which is even more effective thanks to the special sound of your instrument. As with many string instruments, the violin depends on a good feel as well as the proper handling of the bow. This makes the sounds of the instrument even more intense.
If you want to learn the violin together with other musicians, the orchestra or music groups are a great option. However, you should have acquired basic knowledge in private lessons or through self-teaching beforehand. Often in such constellations not only a violin is represented, but also, for example, violas, cellos and other string instruments, which makes the sounds and tones of the instrument even stronger and clearer.
In order to learn the violin, you first need a suitable instrument. It's best to decide on a certain quality from the start so that you don't have to change your violin again after a short time. Depending on the design of your violin, an upfront investment from around 400 to 600 euros is not uncommon. If that price tag is a little too steep, especially as you're just starting out, violins can also be rented. This would give you enough time to test whether this is the instrument for you. Renting is also a good idea for children who initially play smaller versions such as the ¾- or ½-violin before they are big enough for a full-size instrument.
In addition to the violin itself, you will also need other accessories. These include a handy violin case, with which you can transport your instrument safely and without damage. It is also advisable to use rosin to care for the bow hairs. This ensures optimal contact between the bow and the violin. An additional shoulder rest is also good for beginners to ensure correct posture from the start and to protect the shoulder and neck area. A music stand should also be at home for practicing. If you can't rely directly on your hearing, you should also have a tuner and a metronome. The latter will help you keep time and get a feel for tempos.
If you want to learn the violin, you should not go without suitable sheet music for too long. These can help you play the most beautiful pieces and move from improvisation to professional learning on the instrument. For the first steps on your violin, however, you can do without additional theory at first. It is more important to get used to the correct posture, to be able to grip the sides well and to pay close attention to the correct use and pressure of the bow. Once you have understood and implemented these basics during practice, you can move on to more complex applications. Therefore, posture and application are much more important than simply knowing the notes, which in turn comes later.
How quickly you can effectively learn the violin depends on the intensity of your practice. Some musicians can play their first simple pieces after just a few weeks. For others, however, it takes several months until the violin's sequences can be sufficiently well internalized. It is important to remember that the violin is a difficult and demanding instrument. Keep that in mind and don't be too hard on yourself! Especially in the beginning, you should be motivated so that you don't lose your desire to play the violin.
Should you want to train important qualities such as discipline and focus in addition to the violin, you will probably acquire these with learning the violin as well. Not without reason, many children and teenagers practice the violin from a young age to become really good.
To make your start on the violin a success, we recommend that you purchase a lesson book. There you will not only find practical tips on how to use the violin, but also receive many details in the area of theory. Also sheet music and starter pieces are often integrated in such books. You will usually get these books automatically at a music school. If you are self-taught, go to a specialized store and ask for advice. Alternatively, you can also find a lot of sheet music on the Internet that will make it easier for you to practice your violin. Here is a small selection for you:
Note: Here you will find 300 exercises and practical instructions for the violin by Simon Fischer for all areas of violin technique for beginners and advanced players.
Notes: If you're more advanced, this one is a nice recommendation. 50 classical pieces arranged for violin with piano accompaniment of medium difficulty for advanced players.
Despite the complexity of the violin as an instrument, many fixed criteria are attached to the foundations of learning. The most important thing is your inner conviction to successfully overcome the hurdles during the learning process. You should therefore keep the following criteria in mind when it comes learning you new instrument:
In order to practice the violin successfully, it is important to have the right posture. Handling your instrument therefore requires a certain coordination, which will probably still cause you problems at first. The bow must sometimes move in a completely different way than the fingers on the fingerboard, and the fingers themselves sometimes move very quickly. With time, however, you will get used to it and develop a unique coordination, especially in your hands.
A decisive factor for initial success in learning the violin is always concentration. You should therefore ensure a high level of focus and not allow yourself to be distracted too much by external influences while practicing. This will ease the learning curve and increase your success.
Hardly any other instrument can be played with the same filigree as the violin. In order to be able to hit the right notes quickly, it is important to use the instrument dexterously and with a sense of ease. Above all, the type and intensity of the bowing with your bow as well as the grasping of the notes with rapid changes on the long fingerboard require experience and dexterity.
Even if things don't work out so quickly when practicing the violin, this doesn't have to be a reason for stress and a bad mood. Serenity and a certain amount of relaxation are crucial in order to be able to play more and more pieces over time and not let yourself be thrown off track. Because learning the violin takes time, diligence, and discipline.
As mentioned above, the violin is very difficult to learn without effort and focus. Therefore, just playing the violin at home is not the best solution for everyone. Additional learning paths like a music school or private music teachers will support you to approach learning the violin correctly from the beginning. Especially for younger learners, having a standing appointment at the music school is usually the right approach to maintain interest in the instrument too quickly. If, on the other hand, you only practice independently at home, it is usually much more difficult to maintain focus and improve your playing.
In addition to the pure focus on learning success, time and cost factors also play an important role in the choice of the respective form of learning. Adults in particular often lack the capacity to practice on the violin every day and attend weekly lesson appointments. Therefore, it is crucial to set the right priorities and to maintain the necessary enjoyment of the instrument. Whether music schools or rather private lessons are ideal for your learning is something you can read more about in this article.
The violin is an exciting instrument. Through the sensitive guidance of the bow, you decide at any time how your violin should sound. If you are also interested in other instruments such as the piano, or drums, then take a look at the appropriate articles on our blog. If you also want to expand your network, we offer you the perfect basis with our personals for musicians. Simply register directly here at mukken.
Originally published on February 13, 2023, updated on February 13, 2023
Main topic: Billie Eilish and the tragic