how long does it take to learn violin feature

How Long Does It Take To Learn Violin? [Infographic]

how long does it take to learn violin

If you’re interested in violin lessons or you’re just starting to play, you’re probably wondering – how long does it take to learn violin?

Of course, your learning speed depends on how much you practice! If you would like to play violin professionally, you’ll have to commit to many years of hard work.

On the other hand, if you’re just looking to play for fun or to join a band with some friends, you can make a lot of progress toward your goals in three to five years. Keep reading for more details!

How Long Does it Take to Learn Violin?

One common question for many violin students is: how long does it take to learn violin? If you take violin lessons and practice four to five days a week, here is an estimated timeline to illustrate how long it takes to learn violin.

Month One

In your first month, you’ll start with the basics. You’ll learn the parts of your violin and proper care. (If you need to invest in a violin, here are our picks for the best violin brands for beginners).

Your early lessons will focus on posture, bow hold, and plucking techniques. In your first month, you will be introduced to basic note reading, violin scales, and music theory. You’ll also learn how to pluck and bow open strings, and learn about quarter notes and quarter rests.

Month Two

This month, you’ll continue to develop basic skills, and you’ll become more comfortable holding your violin and bow.

At this time, you should start using your left-hand fingers (1-3) to play notes other than open strings. You’ll develop the ability to pluck simple melodies, and gain greater control bowing open strings.

You’ll also learn about bow directions and markings (up bows and down bows), and learn about half notes and half rests.

Month Three to Six

These months are exciting because you’ll start to play some simple songs you recognize.

You’ll learn lots of new notes, including the notes on the D and A strings using fingers one, two, and three.

Gradually, you’ll switch to using your bow to play songs instead of just plucking them. Some new rhythms will be whole notes, whole rests, eighth notes, and eighth rests.

Month Seven to 12

At this point, the range of songs you can play really opens up because you know so many notes and rhythms!

You’ll learn to use your fourth finger and some notes on the G and E strings. You’ll also learn to use your second finger to play F natural and C natural on the D and A strings.

You will continue developing your bowing technique. As your violin tone starts to improve, you’ll learn about slurs and hooked bowing, as well as how to cross strings more proficiently. You’ll also learn the difference between staccato and legato bowing.

New rhythms you’ll pick up will be ties and dotted half notes.

Month 13 to 18

By this time, you’ve probably finished your first beginner lesson book and have moved on to the next book in the series. At this point, you can play many pop, classical, folk, and holiday songs. You may still need help figuring them out, but with some practice, you can play lots of different songs.

You’ll learn about more natural and flat notes with all four of your fingers, which allows you to play in keys other than D and A major.

Slurs and hooked bows are common in your music, and you’re able to coordinate the bow with your fingers. You can play faster music without losing your tone quality. You’ll also learn about dotted quarter notes and syncopation.

Month 19 to 24

At this point, you can really branch out into music you like to play. You might start learning basic classical solos meant to be performed with piano accompaniment, or get a book of music from your favorite movie or pop singer.

You’ll learn all of the notes that you can play, in first position, including sharps, naturals, and flats, and you’ll learn how to bounce the bow and play faster with more accuracy.

Rhythms you’ll learn at this point are sixth notes and dotted eighth notes.

Year Three

This might be the time you start to feel like you can really play the violin!

In your third year, you’ll solidify all the notes in first position, and become comfortable playing in flat keys. Your bowing will become more complex and varied, and you’ll learn about double stops and triplets.

Year Four

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations, you’re pretty dedicated to the violin, and by now, you’re pretty good!

Now it’s time to learn about shifting into third position, which opens up the range of the violin, so you can play higher notes.

You might also learn how to play with vibrato, which will give you a more sophisticated sound and greater range of musical expression.

You probably don’t need a beginner lesson book series anymore, and you can further your learning by working in scale, etude and solo repertoire books.

Year Five and Beyond

The sky’s the limit for what you can learn and where you can go. The more time you dedicate to practicing the violin, the faster you can increase your skills and learn more music you love to play.

If you practice hard and stay dedicated to learning the violin, you can make a lot of progress in just a few years.

So, how long does it take to learn violin? That depends on your individual goals and how far you want to go. To stay motivated, keep this map where you can see it, so you can always keep your goals in sight.

how long does it take to learn violin
The truth is, everyone learns at a different speed, so there’s no way to tell exactly how long it will take you to learn the violin.

Overall, the best way to learn the violin quickly is through private lessons with a qualified instructor. Click here to find a violin teacher near you.

How long did it take you to learn the violin? Let us know in a comment below!

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. is a music teacher in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

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11 replies
  1. Oli
    Oli says:

    Does it really take that long? I could play tunes on the mandolin within a couple weeks and was out busking with a friend making good money with it about three months in. It’s the same tuning, so the only difference is learning to use a bow

    • Lysandra
      Lysandra says:

      Depends how much you practice, I played with the school band after 3 months (with people who’d been playing for 3 years) but I practiced every day for 2 hours over the summer. Even then I didn’t do so well in the beginning, struggling with basic songs but now I look back to the beginning of the year of band and I can now easily play a piece I struggled with because of all my practice at home and school, and lessons.

  2. Richard B
    Richard B says:

    Hi Julie – I’d love to print or purchase the graphic to post in my orchestra rooms. Is there anywhere to find it?


    • Jessica Dais
      Jessica Dais says:

      Hi Richard! We’re thrilled you like our infographic. Feel free to copy the image in this blog post and have it printed at your local printing shop. As long as you keep our logo at the bottom, we’re more than happy to have you share it in your orchestra rooms!

  3. Zoë
    Zoë says:

    i played
    for 7 months I learned all four string and four finger ( starting my fifth). I played three solo peices. at this rate, when do you estimate I would be able to aling the bow the right way on the violin every time I try?

  4. Jean-Paul G.
    Jean-Paul G. says:

    The author of this article has done a great job at explaining the impossible. I’ve been playing for over 30 years and can’t seem to explain this question. You see, as you learn more things, your expectations get higher and you realize yet again that you know nothing lol.


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