Any time you learn a new skill, you will probably make some mistakes when you’re starting out. Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process, but be careful not to let an error become a habit. For violinists, this is especially important, as each skill and new piece of music that you learn will build upon the things you have just learned.
These 7 common violin mistakes might be holding you back from reaching your full potential as a musician. Whether you are a beginner or you have been playing the violin for a while, make a vow to ban these bad habits from your practice.
1. Limp Wrist
Don’t allow your left wrist to collapse or bend. Maintaining the correct wrist position will help your left-hand fingers reach notes easily and without strain.
2. Bow Blunders
Do notes sound choppier than they should? If your violin sounds rough, you might want to look at how you’re bowing. Don’t “attack” the strings with your bow. Instead, place your bow and then draw it evenly across the strings.
This will produce a more fluid, musical tone. Add bowing exercises to your practice time so you can master the motions you need in order to get great tone from your instrument.
3. Tune Up
An instrument that’s out of tune is like a broken clock; it might be right twice a day, but it would work even better if you fixed it.
Each time you practice, make sure your violin is in tune. This will help you train your ear to hear the correct pitch, plus it makes your violin sound much better than allowing it to fall out of tune.
If you need help tuning your violin, check out this step-by-step guide.
4. Elbow Room
Many violinists tend to fatigue as they play, and the left elbow creeps closer to the body. You should be holding your elbow away from you so the violin is the proper position. If your arm gets tired, take a break and focus your practice sessions on building the strength you need to hold your violin correctly.
If your arm gets tired, take a break and focus your practice sessions on building the strength you need to hold your violin correctly.
Also, check out these tips for how you can play violin pain free.
5. First-Finger Blues
Always be sure to place your first finger on the correct note, as if this note is out of tune it will bring the whole song off pitch. Think of your first finger notes as the foundation of the piece you are playing. Get the foundation in the right place, and the rest will come much easier.
Think of your first-finger notes as the foundation of the piece you’re playing. Get the foundation in the right place, and the rest will come much easier.
6. Rosin Up
Master the art of getting just the right amount of rosin on your bow. Not enough rosin and your violin will sound like a whisper, but apply too much and you’ll hear some scratchy, shrill sounds.
7. Size Matters
Are you playing the wrong size violin? Violins come in 9 different sizes. For most adults, a full-size violin should be just fine, but if you’re petite or if you’re looking for a violin for a child, there’s a variety of violin sizes for you to choose from.
Try out several in a local music shop to see what size instrument is most comfortable for you.