violin jokes

20+ Violin Jokes Guaranteed to Make You Laugh out Loud

violin jokes

While it’s always important to practice violin scales and songs, sometimes you just need a little break to recharge your batteries and renew your motivation. Get ready to relax and laugh with this list of violin jokes (some original, some classics from around the web) from Lukas Stanley from Music Pick Up Lines (@CMCPickupLines)

You won’t need your violin or your bow, but make sure you have your sense of humor. Tickle your funny bone with these violin jokes, riddles, and puns!

Violin Riddles

Think learning violin is no laughing matter? When learning any new skill, it’s always important to be able to laugh at yourself.

Keep some of these violin riddles in your back pocket and see if you can stump your musical friends!


violin jokes

Q: How many first violinists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: One. They just hold it in place while the world revolves around them.


Q: How many second violinists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: It doesn’t matter, they can’t get up that high.


violin jokes

Q: What’s the difference between a violinist and a dog?

A: A dog can hear very high pitches.


Q: Which musicians are known for being very religious?

A: Violinists. They all think they’re gods.


violin jokes

Q: How can you tell if a violin is out of tune?

A: The bow is moving.

If you have experienced this problem (and we all have), check out this beginner’s guide: How to Tune a Violin [Instructional Video]


Q: What does the difference between C and B-sharp sound like on a violin?

A: Usually about a semitone.

Need help reading violin notes? Check out this easy-to-follow guide for beginners.


violin jokes

Q: What is the definition of a semitone?

A: Two violinists playing in unison.


Q: What’s the difference between the concertmaster and the back of the violin section?

A: About half a beat. And all of the bowings.


violin jokes

Q: What do a violinist’s fingers and lightning have in common?

A: They both move too fast and never hit the same spot twice.


Q: Why do violinists excel at pre-school but often flunk out of kindergarten?

A: They can’t figure out how to count past four.


Q: What do you call a violinist who shows up on time for rehearsal?

A: An anomaly.


violin jokes

But seriously, don’t throw away your violin! If you’re looking for a new one, check out this guide to the best violin brands!

Violin Jokes

“Did you hear the one about the violinist…” Here are a couple of long-form violin jokes to add to your arsenal.

Violinists are like perfect little snowflakes: no two are exactly alike. Especially when playing a unison melody. And when you put a bunch of them together, everything gets very icy, and everyone is generally pleased once they go away!


One day a conductor falls ill and the orchestra manager is in a pinch to find a replacement for the concert that night. Meekly, the last chair second violin raises his hand and says, “I studied conducting…” so he goes on that night and conducts a great concert. The next morning, in rehearsal, his stand partner asks him, “Where were you last night?”


Late one night, a violinist accidentally left his instrument in the trunk of his car. When he woke the next morning, he discovered that the car had been broken into, for there were not one, but TWO violins in his trunk.

Music Puns

Who doesn’t love a little play on words when it comes to music? Whether you’re a beginner or experienced musician, you can probably relate to some of these music puns!

It only leads to treble…

violin jokes

These jokes always fall flat….

I’ve been told I’m pretty sharp…

violin jokes

Hey — give it a rest…

violin jokes


violin jokes


Looking for more music fun? Check out these piano jokes, quotes, and puns.

Have you heard any other violin jokes or music puns? Share them with us in the comments below!


Guest Post Author: Lukas Stanley
Lukas is a student at Western Michigan University. He’s studying music composition and music education. He’s also the moderator of the popular Twitter account Classical Music Pickup Lines (@CMPickuplines), which has  been spotted in Buzzfeed and Classic FM articles. When he isn’t composing, teaching, or inventing Liszts of witty music puns, he can be spotted playing piano with his band Blarney Castle, a progressive Celtic band. Learn more about Lukas here.

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Gamification in Education: It’s Time Education Leveled Up [Infographic]

Explore the exciting world of education through gamification. See how and why it works on kids and adults for improved retention, knowledge, and more in this guest post from our friends at JoyTunes…

How many students have been scolded by parents to put their video game away and get their homework done?

It’s been a common household quarrel for decades, but kids across the globe are finally celebrating the new data that supports gamification as a means of advanced education and learning.

Check out how it’s being applied to students young and old who are learning to play the piano for the first time.

Gamification: What it is & Why it Works

Gamification is the process of utilizing gaming elements outside the standard gaming model to present an idea or achieve a goal. In the field of education, gamification is currently being used to help students learn better.

Jane McGonigal enlightens the world to the benefits of education through gamification in her TED Talk here:

In short, gamification techniques allow students to relate to the material and learning process in a whole new way, a way that is more engaging, interactive, attractive, and quite frankly, fun.

Kids and adults can tackle issues from new angles, relate to the assignment more personally, visualize the problem at hand, organize and compartmentalize tasks, and achieve success based on motivating factors that speak to the individual.

This is Your Brain, This is Your Brain on Gamification

Here are a few facts about gamification that might clue you into the popularity, efficacy, and power of this under-utilized educational tool:

  • By 2015, the gamification industry is projected to exceed $2 billion dollars, while the projected rates are meant to reach $5.5 billion by 2018.
  • Close to 80% of students unilaterally stated that a more game-like atmosphere would increase productivity.
  • 89% of people polled liked the point system for upping their engagement during an eLearning app session. People enjoy the charge that comes from scoring points, out ranking others, and being able to measure their accomplishments with concrete numbers.
  • Skill-based knowledge assessments increased 14%, factual knowledge went up 11%, and retention was even improved by 9% for adults who used eLearning tools with gamification.
  • Of course, not all gamification methods work as well as others. Some less popular techniques for getting the job done (or in this case the lesson learned) included receiving virtual gifts, being part of a story, and avatars.

Gamification in Education

Music Gamified

Learning to play the piano or any instrument is a challenge, no doubt. But mastering this beautiful art is easier, more manageable, and a lot more fun when you combine the strengths and incentives implied by gamification to your music lessons.

Innovative music apps, like JoyTunes, use gamification to help kids and adults learn to play an instrument faster. The principles are simple:

  • Games make learning more fun: The piano lesson is taught in the form of a game.
  • We all like earning points: Points are gained when scales are performed properly.
  • Games require repetition: Repetition makes for good music incorporation and learning. Hence, games equal excellent musical training grounds.

Pretty smart, huh?

Give it a Try!

The infographic above tells the long story of gamification at a glance. The extent of this processing is yet to be discovered, but one thing can be said of gamification for sure: those who tap into this innovative method for teaching, learning, and training are guaranteed to see extraordinary results.

And those that don’t…well, they’ll just be left in the dark.

Guest Post Author: Mya Achidov
This is a guest post from JoyTunes. Mya Achidov is the Blog Editor-in-Chief at JoyTunes, a company that develops award-winning apps to teach you how to play music.

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famous violin players

Which of These Famous Violin Players Are You? [Quiz]

Do you love playing the violin? From Heifetz to Perlman, there are dozens of famous violin players who have helped inspire us all.

Whether you’re just starting to learn the violin or you’re a seasoned professional, chances are there’s a certain violinist who you’ve channeled more than others.

Find out which of these famous violin players is your alter ego in the quiz below! Be sure to share your results with your fellow violinists.

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Which of the famous violin players did you get? If you’re struggling to emulate your favorite violin player, you might want to consider sharpening your skills by taking some violin lessons.

Your violin teacher will be able to teach you certain techniques so you can rock like Lindsey Stirling or shine bright like Joshua Bell. All it takes is a little practice and some confidence!

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Expert Tips: How to Play the Violin with Accompaniment

play the violin

Playing the violin with accompaniment can be difficult, as it requires different skills. Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares some expert tips on how to play the violin with accompaniment…

If you want to play the violin with an accompaniment, you might find that there are a few new skills you need to develop.

When you play the violin by yourself there’s no one you need to coordinate with for tempo, dynamics, and rhythm. But as soon as you add someone else to the mix, things can start to get complicated.

Not only do you have to listen to what you’re playing, but you also have to be cognizant of what your partner is playing. Sometimes it’s tricky to line up both parts and make it sound like one cohesive song.

Below are eight songs that demonstrate the different styles and skills used in playing the violin with accompaniment.

1. Setting the Tempo

I’m Yours — Jason Mraz

The first thing you need to determine with your partner is tempo. Oftentimes, the accompanist will begin the song alone with a short intro.

However, if you’re planning to start the song together, you must communicate your tempo beforehand.

The musicians playing this fun Jason Mraz cover demonstrate one straight-forward way of counting off a tune.

Some people count off quietly, while others are so used to playing with each other that a simple breath before the downbeat is enough.

2. Playing to Strummed Chords

Shake It Off — Taylor Swift

One of the most difficult things to learn how to do is play along with the rhythm of strummed chords. Guitarists have different strumming patterns that create different rhythms.

Each song gets its own strumming pattern, which helps create the atmosphere for the music. It can be difficult to know where your violin fits within the strumming rhythm.

To practice this, have your accompanist play his or her part along with a recording of the actual song. This way, you can hear how it fits with your melody line.

You can also ask your accompanist to make a recording of his or her part so that you can practice with it and get used to hearing the two parts meshed together.

3. Using Guitar as a Percussion Instrument

Royals — Lorde

Guitarists can create rhythmic accompaniment by using their instrument as a drum.

In this cover of Lorde’s song Royals, the guitarist uses the heel of his hand to hit his guitar as part of his strumming pattern, which creates a different texture from the times when he’s just strumming.

As a violinist, make sure you lock into the rhythm of this percussive strumming pattern. If you’re having trouble with this kind of pattern, ask your accompanist to make a recording of it for you so you can listen to it and get it in your head.

4. Strumming Without a Chord

Happy — Pharrell Williams

Guitarists can also create rhythmic interest by strumming without fingering any specific chord.

They simply rest the fingers of their left hand on the strings without pushing the strings down. This keeps the strings from vibrating, giving them a metallic sound when strummed.

The guitarist in this video uses a few different patterns with this kind of playing. As a violinist you may feel that there is less harmonic support for your playing when a guitarist isn’t playing a chord, so make sure you’re confident on your part.

5. Broken Chords

Dust In the Wind — Kansas

Sometimes your accompanist will not play strummed chords, but will break up the chords into individual notes plucked one at a time.

There is less rhythmic intensity with this kind of playing, which is perfect for the above cover of Dust in the Wind.

6. Trading the Melody

Stay With Me — Sam Smith

When playing with an accompanist, it’s often effective to step out for a while and let the accompanist take the melody.

For example, pianists can easily play melody in one hand and accompaniment with the other.

A talented guitarist can also do this effectively. The above video shows the pianist taking a turn at the melody in the middle of the song.

7. Creating an Interesting Arrangement

Game of Thrones Theme Song

If you’re covering a recording made by a large group, you won’t be able to recreate all of the musical colors and textures with just two instruments.

However, there are a number of things you can do to make your arrangement interesting and true to the spirit of the original.

The two sisters in the video above do a great job of this. The violinist plays the initial melody first in her low octave, and then on the repeat she plays it up an octave.

In the middle section, the guitarist changes to a broken chord accompaniment pattern to lessen the rhythmic drive, which also brings down the dynamic level. Later on in the song, the violinist uses double stops to create more interest and a thicker texture.

8. End Together

Yellow — Coldplay

There’s nothing worse than hearing a great duo give a fantastic performance and then watching them fall apart at the end because they never decided on an ending!

How you end the song is just as important as how you begin. Oftentimes, a simple ritard at the end of the song is all you need, as shown in the video above.

If you want to get creative, write your own ending or have your accompanist finish with a vamp of the strumming pattern.

Now that you’ve seen what’s possible, go find an accompanist and try one of the above songs. If there’s some other songs that you’ve had on repeat for a while, try your hand at making your own arrangement.

Photo by Ctd 2005

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons 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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violin exercises

5 Violin Exercises to Help Build Finger Strength

violin exercises

Just like athletes, musicians must build certain muscles to help them better perform. Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares some fun violin exercises that help build finger strength…

Finger strength is very important for violinists. The fingers in the left hand control the pitches on the violin, while the fingers on the right hand control the bow.

For this article, we’ll focus on violin exercises that will help build your left hand finger strength so that you can play in tune as well as any tempo.

Students who haven’t developed finger strength in their left hand often struggle with pushing the string down all the way to the finger board.

When a string isn’t pushed fully down, the tone quality of the note suffers and it can sound scratchy.

This especially becomes a problem when students start using the fourth finger (pinky) as it is one of the weakest fingers.

Finger strength is also important for playing fast. So much is demanded of the left hand for fast passages of music that sometimes violinists will find that their left hand hurts after playing.

It’s important, therefore, to build up the proper finger strength so that you don’t fatigue your left hand to the point of injury.

Below are five violin exercises you can practice outside of your violin lessons to help build finger strength.

1. Four Little Monkeys

For young violin players, the nursery rhyme “4 Little Monkeys” is a great way to develop coordination and initial finger strength.

First, the student holds the violin in proper playing position and taps one of his or her fingers on a string to the beat of the chant.

The number of monkeys determines which finger gets tapped. As the song counts down from four to one, each finger on the left hand gets a turn.

If you’re not sure how the song goes, here’s a reminder:

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell down and bumped his head
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

“Three little monkeys jumping on the bed…”

2. Left Hand Pizzicato

A great way to strengthen the third and fourth fingers on the left hand is to play pizzicato with the left hand.

This is usually done with just the third and fourth fingers, and requires a lot of control in those fingers to pluck only one string.

Make up plucking patterns on open strings, or play simple songs and insert left hand pizzicato notes whenever open strings come up in the music.

3. Harmonics

Harmonics are high notes that are created by dividing a string in a certain spot. The way you do this is by lightly resting a finger (usually the fourth finger) in a specific spot on the string without pushing it down.

Practicing harmonics will help you develop finger strength because it requires you to move out of first position, as well as use your fourth finger.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to play harmonics:

4. Finger Tapping on a Table

Here’s a violin exercise you can do without even using your violin! Try tapping different finger patterns on a table or hard surface, as if you were playing the piano.

Challenge yourself by writing out patterns to tap slow, and then fast. Or, try “playing” some of your music this way.

Try these patterns to start (index finger is 1 and pinky finger is 4):
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4
1 3 2 4 3 1 4 2
1 4 2 3 4 1 3 2

5. Trills

Trills are a great violin exercise to develop finger strength. To play a trill, you’ll play one note and then quickly alternate it with the note above.

The fast movement of the trilling note will challenge your finger strength. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to play trills:

The violin exercises above will help you build your left hand finger strength so that you can play the violin even better.

If you’re looking for more help with building your left hand finger strength, try asking your violin teacher for some more violin exercises and specific advice.

Photo by Changjin Lee

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons 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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best violin songs

Best Violin Songs and Tips for Wedding Performances

best violin songs

Violinists get ready because it’s wedding season! Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares the best violin songs for weddings as well as some helpful tips and tricks for preparing and performing…

Wedding season is both an exciting and stressful time for violinists. For much of the summer and fall, violinists are in high demand, as the violin is one of the most popular instruments requested for weddings.

If you’ve been asked to play solo or in a larger mixed-instrument ensemble, you might be feeling a bit stressed. After all, you want to make sure the bride and groom’s day goes off without a hitch.

To help you prepare, review this quick guide to playing the violin at weddings and list of the best violin songs.

Initial Meeting With The Couple

Typically, you’ll be asked to play the violin during the ceremony and/or the cocktail hour. Different kinds of music are appropriate for these events, and sometimes clients will even have specific requests.

When discussing the best violin songs to choose ahead of time, try to be as detailed as possible so you can get an accurate picture of what the couple wants.

It’s very helpful to have demo tracks of your violin playing to give to prospective clients. If you don’t have demo tracks, you can use YouTube clips to make sure you’re clear on the style of the music the client wants.

For example,”Signed, Sealed Delivered” by Stevie Wonder is typically played pretty funky, but maybe the client wants a version arranged for string quartet as seen in this video.


Some couples will have no idea what violin songs they want played or when they should even be played. In this case, it is very helpful for everyone involved if you have a standard list prepared that you can show them.

For a wedding ceremony, you’re list should include the following:

  • Prelude music
  • Entrance music for the mother-of-the-bride and groom
  • Entrance music for the bridesmaids
  • Entrance music for the bride
  • Special music for the middle of the ceremony (might be hymns that are sung, music played during a unity ceremony, or during communion)
  • Recessional music for the bridal party
  • Exit music for the guests

For a cocktail hour, you are much freer to choose whatever music you like playing. Just be sure to find out what style of music the couple wants you to play. Cocktail hours can run the gamut from classical to jazz to bluegrass to pop.


Once you’ve ironed out some of the details, it is always a good idea to prepare a contract that you can present to the couple.

Not only will having a contract make you look more professional, but it’s a great way to protect your time and make sure all parties are on the same page regarding the details of the gig.

If you’re not sure where to start in creating a contract, here’s an excellent example from Shaw Strings.


The way you and your ensemble dress is very important. Make sure you ask about the dress code, as every wedding is different. You want to fit in and not distract from the ceremony itself.

It’s also important to have promotional materials that reflect the level of professionalism of you or your group, as well as the range of styles and settings you can play.

These materials will often be the first contact prospective clients have with you, so you want to make sure that your pictures and recordings are as appealing as possible.

Playing Outside vs. Inside

If you’re playing outdoors, heavy music stands and music fasteners are crucial. Almost every violinist has played at a wedding in which their music blew away or their stand toppled over in the wind.

Sometimes such a music fail is inevitable, but be prepared as best you can. Sometimes photocopying the music to put in a binder is best, and clips like these can be lifesavers. Since your instrument is valuable, ensure that you will not have to play in rain or direct sunlight.

Building a Repertoire List

These days, wedding music can range from traditional classical music and hymns, to pop and rock songs. For whatever instrumentation you’re playing with, it’s good to have a wide variety of repertoire prepared.

The more diverse your repertoire list, the wider the range of customers you will attract. If you’re looking to build a great repertoire list, here are 10 of the best violin songs to play.


Pachelbel’s Canon

Ave Maria, Schubert

Bridal March, Wagner

Air on the G string, Bach

Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, Bach


All You Need is Love, Beatles

At Last, Etta James

Can’t Help Falling in Love, Elvis Presley

What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong

I’m Yours, Jason Mraz

Use these tips and the list of the best violin songs to help you prepare for your first wedding gig. Remember, weddings are joyous events so sit back and enjoy your time there!

Looking for even more songs to play? Check out this list of 50 easy violin songs!

Photo by Pbkwee

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons 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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famous violin players

How Well Do You Know These Famous Violin Players? [Quiz]

From Bach to Heifetz, there are dozens of famous violin players who’ve made major impacts on the violin community. If you call yourself a violin aficionado, then test your knowledge of these famous violin players in the quiz below.

[playbuzz-item url=”//” info=”true” shares=”true” comments=”false” recommend=”false” margin-top=”720″]

How did you do? If you’re not happy with your results, there’s no need to worry. Simply, ask your violin teacher to help you study some violin trivia or brush up on these famous violin players on your own.

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10 Wacky Ways to Improve Your Posture for Better Violin Playing

violin playing

Proper posture is essential for good violin playing. Standing or sitting up straight not only improves tone production and control, but it also prevents injury and discomfort.

Many violin players, however, struggle with their posture, which can lead to poor technique and cause both short and long term injuries. Not to mention you’ll end up looking like Quasimodo.

Poor posture can be a result of many things, such as sitting or standing without interruption for long periods of time, lack of muscle tone in the back and abdominal areas, or bad habits developed over time.

The good news is bad posture can easily be fixed by performing a few simple exercises a day. Below are 10 wacky, but effective, ways to improve your posture for better violin playing and overall health.

1. Swap your desk chair for an exercise ball

Sitting in an office chair or school desk for eight hours a day can wreak havoc on your posture. To prevent you from slouching, swap your desk chair for an exercise ball.

Sitting on an exercise ball strengthens your abdominal muscles, which leads to better alignment of the spine. While you might get strange looks from your colleagues, you’ll enjoy better posture, less stress, and improved violin playing.

2. Duct tape an X on your back

Using duct tape or another thick, non-stretch tape, have a friend tape a giant X on your back starting from one shoulder to the opposite hip. Make sure that you’re shoulders aren’t rounded when placing the tape.

It sounds uncomfortable, but doing this will help retrain your back. If you don’t want to walk around with duct tape on your back all day, start by taping your back during violin practice.

3. Practice yoga moves at home

Not only does yoga help relieve stress, but it can also counteract bad posture. There are many easy yoga poses—such as child’s pose and mountain pose—that will help you stretch and correct the body.

And the best part is you don’t have to attend expensive yoga classes to learn and perform these moves. You can practice yoga in the privacy of your home or practice space.

4. Post photo reminders in your practice space

Print out some pictures that show proper posture and pin them up around your practice space. These pictures will serve as mental reminders to straighten up when you’re practicing the violin.

5. Ditch your shoes

Most people stand with their weight bearing on their heels, which applies unnecessary pressure on your ankles, hips and lower back.

To strengthen your feet— which in turn helps align your body—try going barefoot while lounging around your house or practicing the violin.

6. Set a reminder to adjust your posture

Set a reminder on your phone or watch for every 20-30 minutes to correct your posture. While it may sound a little extreme, overtime you’ll start to see major improvements in your posture and overall violin playing.

7. Stop crossing your legs

Believe it or not, crossing your legs is bad for your posture. The proper way to sit in a chair is to place your feet completely flat on the ground.

Breaking the habit of crossing your legs can be difficult. However, once you practice how to properly sit in a chair, you’ll become more conscious of when you’re sitting incorrectly.

8. Place a pillow in your lap

When you’re lounging on the coach with your tablet or laptop do you ever get a burning sensation that radiates between your shoulder blades? This could signal that you’re hanging your head too low.

To fix this, sit with your back against the rear of your couch or chair. Then place a pillow in your lap to support your arms.

9. Form a posture police

Oftentimes, you don’t even realize that you’re hunching over for hours at a time. Ask your family, friends, and violin teacher to alert you when you’re slouching.

Not only will this help alert you when you don’t notice that you’re hunching over, but it will also help hold you accountable.

10. Go hands free with your smartphone

Your smartphone addiction could be contributing to your bad posture. Most people tilt their head to one side while talking on the phone or slouch forward while texting—all of which leads to bad posture.

To avoid straining your neck while talking on the phone, go hands free with a Bluetooth or earplugs. If you’re texting, bring the phone level with your eyes so you aren’t learning forward.

Whether you’re an advanced or beginner violin player, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to your posture. Use the exercises above to help improve your posture for better violin playing or ask your violin teacher for alternative ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo by Pawel Loj

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how to hold a violin bow

How to Hold a Violin Bow: Step-by-Step Guide [Pictures]

how to hold a violin bow

Learning how to hold a violin bow is vital skill. Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares some tips and tricks on how to master this important violin technique…

Oftentimes, the most difficult part of learning how to play the violin is mastering proper bow technique, as it can feel very unnatural for beginner and intermediate students.

While it can be frustrating, learning how to hold a violin bow is extremely important–especially for those who are just starting violin lessons. After all, the movement of the bow is what creates the sound of the violin.

With proper bow technique, you can essentially produce whatever tones, strokes, and dynamics you want. However, if you have trouble controlling the bow, you’ll end up making a squeaky or unsavory sound.

The foundation of a great bow technique is all about how you hold the violin bow. The correct bow grip will give your right hand and arm flexibility, power, and control, all while eliminating tension.

So what’s the secret to gaining the proper bow grip? Below is a step-by-step guide on how to hold a violin bow the right way.

Step One: Make a Bunny

To get an idea of how to hold a violin bow, practice making a bunny with your right hand.

  • Start by making the shape of the letter C, with your fingers and thumb curved.
  • Then, touch your thumb to your middle finger and ring finger to create the chin and nose of the bunny.
  • Next, raise your pointer finger and pinky (keep them curved) to create the bunny ears.

This is the basic shape of the bow grip. Practice making this hand formation until it becomes second nature.

how to hold a violin bow

Step Two: Place Your Thumb

When learning to properly place your right hand, it’s helpful to hold the bow stick with your left hand. Be careful to not touch the bow hair with your fingers.

First, place your thumb on the underside of the bow stick, next to where the frog ends. Usually, there will be a small space between the frog and the leather or wire finger grip. That’s the spot where you want to place your thumb.

how to hold a violin bow

Step Three: Place Your Middle Finger

Next, the middle finger is placed opposite the thumb on the bow stick, with the ring finger placed right next to it.

Let your middle and ring finger relax so that they curve over the top of the bow and rest on the frog. The placement should feel similar to when you made the bunny.

how to hold a violin bow

Step Four: Place Your Pinky Finger

Then, place the tip of your pinky on top of the bow stick, slightly away from the ring finger. It’s very important that the pinky is curved so that it points down onto the top of the bow stick.

Otherwise, if the pinky is held straight, you’ll lose a lot of control of the bow.

how to hold a violin bow

Step Five: Place Your Pointer Finger

Finally, place your pointer finger on the finger grip, contacting the bow close to the middle knuckle. Keep the pointer finger curved and pointing slightly back toward the other fingers on the bow.

If all your fingers are placed properly, you should be able to press down through the tip of your pinky and make the bow go up. This hand position may feel unnatural to you at first, but over time it will become automatic.

how to hold a violin bow

Exercises for Strengthening Your Bowing Hand

When you’re first learning how to hold a violin bow, your wrist and fingers might become sore or tired, as you’re not used to using these particular muscles.

Implement the following exercises into your existing practice routine to help strengthen your bow hand and improve your overall violin playing.

  • Repetition: Repeating a certain motor task helps with muscle memory. Try making 10 bow grips in a row, going through all the steps at once. By the fifth or sixth repetition, chances are you will no longer need the pictures or explanation to guide you.
  • Crawling: Holding the violin bow vertically in your right hand, start to crawl or inch your fingers up to the tip of the bow and back down without the help of your left hand. This exercise will help strengthen and improve flexibility in your fingers.

Looking for more ways to practice your bow hold? Here are 10 sure-fire ways to boost your bow hold

Having a good bow grip is an excellent step toward becoming a better violinist, so keep working with your violin teacher on your bow grip until you master it.

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches violin, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons 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!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Photo by Luis Hernandez

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You Know You’re a Violin Player When…

You Know You're a Violin Player When...

Let’s face it; not everyone can be a violin player. It takes a certain individual to master such a complex instrument that requires immense dedication and concentration.

From rough finger tips to grueling practice sessions, violin players are challenged both physically and mentally whenever they step onto the stage.

Whether you’ve just started taking violin lessons or you’re a seasoned violin player, chances are you can relate to more than one of the following things…

1. Every piece of clothing you own is black.

You capitalize on every opportunity to wear bright colors because you’re sick of wearing all black ensembles. And don’t even get us started on those bulky blazers and billowy dresses.

2. You have impeccable posture.

Your posture is so good you could run a marathon while balancing books on your head.

3. You’ve lost all sensation in your fingertips.

People think you’re a construction worker judging by your callused fingertips.

4. You did yoga before it was cool.

Before Lululemon came along, you were doing yoga in your living room to relieve tension after a long performance.

5. You wear turtlenecks in the summer to hide your violin hickeys.

People can’t help but glare and giggle at the violin hickeys on your neck. You’re embarrassed by them, but they secretly give you a sense of pride.

6. Violin stock photos.

Enough said.

7. You have a recital face.

You try your hardest to smile during a violin performance, but you can’t help but put on your stern recital face.

8. Somehow everything you own has rosin on it.

No matter how hard you try, you seem to get that sticky gross stuff–better known as rosin–all over everything.

9. One hand is significantly more dexterous than the other.

You might be right handed, but your left hand is much more dexterous.

10. You can’t help but want to scream when someone mistakes your violin for a viola.

For the last time people, a violin and a viola are NOT the same thing.

Beginner and advanced violin players will all agree that playing the violin is a wonderful and rewarding experience. However, there are bumps along the way to becoming a master of this unique instrument.

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