25+ Fascinating Violin Facts That Will Surprise You

violin facts

Looking for fun violin facts? Here, you’ll find the 25 most interesting facts about the violin we could round up!

People have spent their entire lives studying the possible benefits of playing the violin, its history, and how it functions. Enjoy exploring some of their findings in this short list of violin facts.

25 Interesting Violin Facts

violin facts

(This infographic was made by our friends at Venngage).

Interesting Facts About the Violin – In Detail

  1. Most people consider playing the violin an intellectual pursuit. However, a violinist can burn around 170 calories per hour. That’s equivalent to about one soft drink!
  2. Based on research measuring the different levels of cognitive processing, violinists have shown to develop faster processing speeds compared to the average person who does not play an instrument.
  3. Even though the exact year the violin was officially created is a mystery, we do know that the design of the modern violin is over 500 years old. While the violin hasn’t changed much over that time, the bow and other accessories have gone through many changes.
  4. Italy is primarily attributed with the creation of the modern violin. A lot of Italian makers, such as Stradivari, lived and worked in the small town of Cremona, creating some of the world’s oldest and most valuable violins.
  5. The word “violin” comes from the medieval Latin word vitula. What makes this one of the funniest violin facts is that oddly enough, the modern Latin translation of vitula also means “female cow.”
  6. String players, like violinists, tend to have larger brains. This is due in part to the complex motor skills and reasoning required to play the instrument.
  7. The main body of the modern violin contains 70 different parts. In high quality instruments, these parts are all made from a variety of woods.
  8. Famous violinist Fritz Kreisler served in WWI as a captain. His aural sensitivity, developed by playing the violin, allowed him to determine the location of large artillery by listening to the changing pitch of incoming shells across the battlefield.
  9. The violin was the leader of the orchestra before conductors became a main fixture. Prominent composers would often conduct their orchestral arrangements from the first violin chair or the concertmaster position.
  10. Even though Mozart was a prominent pianist and composer, he also played the violin. In fact, Mozart’s father began his son’s musical training on the violin.
  11. The modern violin was developed largely by Gasparo da Salò, Andrea Amati, and Antonio Stradivari, all of which lived in Italy during the 17th century.
  12. The violin has ancestral ties to the Byzantine empire through its distant cousin, the lyra. This archaic instrument evolved into the “rebec” and then the medieval fiddle, before finally transforming into the modern violin.
  13. The violin has become an essential instrument in cultures all over the world, from Ireland to India. Some of these cultures have developed different ways of playing the instrument. One of the most interesting violin facts is that some Indian players sit cross-legged while playing, and rest the scroll on their feet with the bottom of the violin under their chin!
  14. The parts of the brain that are responsible for the left and right hand are more sensitive in violinists. This means that violinists have greater conscious control over more areas of their hands.
  15. Some of the most popular careers for violinists include teaching, and performing in orchestras or other small groups. Highly sought after orchestral positions are extremely difficult to obtain.
  16. In 1626, King Louis XIII of France created an orchestra, Les 24 Violons du Roi. This helped launch the violin into prominence for the first time in history.
  17. Violinist Niccolò Paganini was one of the first musicians to pioneer the “rock star” image. His revolutionary compositional style and playing inspired many other performers and composers such as Liszt, Schumann, Brahms, and Rachmaninoff.
  18. Many violin facts show that playing the instrument has a significant impact on the mind. A study from Harvard University found that early training in the violin improves a myriad of cognitive skills including memory, nonverbal reasoning, and attention.
  19. The rich sound of the violin partially comes from a small dowel inside the instrument beneath the bridge, called the “sound post.” It does this by receiving the vibrations, created by the strings, from the bridge and transmitting them to the back of the violin.
  20. The most expensive violin ever purchased by a private investor was acquired for $16 million dollars. However, The Ashmolean Museum currently owns an estimated $20 million violin.
  21. Despite contracting polio as child, famous violinist Itzhak Perlman rose to prominence and is now one of the best violinists in the world. In fact, Perlman was honored in 2016 when he was asked to perform at President Obama’s inauguration.
  22. The violin and fiddle are the same instrument. Even though the term “violin” is more often used in connection with classical music, and the “fiddle” with Irish or folk music, they are in fact the same.
  23. Researchers studying the brain’s plasticity often use violinists to examine how much the brain can adapt.
  24. YouTube sensation and violinist Lindsey Stirling has over 10.5 million subscribers. Her most watched video, “Crystallize,” has over 194 million views.
  25. Want even more shocking violin facts? Violin strings were originally made from the dried intestines of cats and other animals! Nowadays the strings are made from a combination of synthetic materials and a variety of metals.
  26. The violin bow was originally shaped like a hunting bow. This changed in the 19th century when François Tourte perfected the modern bow by creating a concave curve.

These are just a few of the most interesting facts about the violin, but there are so many other wonderful things to learn. If any of these violin facts sparked your interest, or if you’ve always wanted to play the violin, check out the spectacular teachers at TakeLessons.

The violin is one of the most challenging and rewarding instruments you can learn. It is also one of the few instruments capable of matching the diversity and complexity of the human voice. Know any more interesting facts about the violin? Leave a comment below!

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  • Elber, T., Pantev, C, Wienbruch, C., et al. (1995). “Increased cortical representation of the fingers of the left hand in string players.” Science 270, 305-309
  • “Lira.” Edited by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 30 June 2017,
  • “Violin.” Edited by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 23 Mar. 2018,
  • “Music Improves Brain Functio.” Written by Phillip F. Shewe, Live Science, Purch, 29 Mar. 2018,
  • Halfpenny, Eric, and Theodore C. Grame. “Stringed Instrument.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 9 Feb. 2018,
  • “New Study Finds Playing Violin Sheds the Calories of 2 Glasses of Wine per Hour.” The World’s Leading Classical Music News Source. Est 2009., 10 Jan. 2014,
  • Lewis, Charlton T, et al. “Vitula.” Vitula – Wiktionary, Wikipedia, 26 May 2017, 16:31,
  • KREISLER, FRITZ. FOUR WEEKS IN THE TRENCHES: the War Story of a Violinist (Wwi Centenary Series). LAST POST PRESS, 2014
  • Sadie, Stanley. “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 12 Jan. 2018,
  • Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Viol.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 5 Dec. 2016,
  • Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Niccolò Paganini.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 24 Feb. 2017,
  • “These Are The 12 Most Expensive Violins Of All Time.” CMUSE, 6 Sept. 2017,
Violin or Cello

Violin or Cello: Which Instrument Is Right For You?

Violin or Cello

Choosing whether to play the violin or cello can be difficult, but this article will help you consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

The violin and cello are two of the most well-known and commonly studied instruments in the string family. Each one is central to the makeup of the orchestra we know today. Becoming familiar with the pros and cons of these two instruments will help you decide whether the violin or cello is a better fit for you.

Violin or Cello – How to Decide

Pros and Cons of the Violin

The violin’s most commonly cited advantage is that it’s practical. The violin is (on average) significantly less expensive than the cello. It’s also smaller and more portable. In addition, many people appreciate the violin’s range and tone, which is similar to that of the human voice.

Because the instrument has been popular now for around 400 years, there isn’t a shortage of repertoire to keep both budding and experienced violinists challenged. Within orchestras, spaces for violinists also tend to be the most numerous, so in that sense violinists have an advantage (especially over winds, brass, and percussion).

Compared to other string sections however, violin can also be more competitive because so many people play it. It might not be too difficult to earn a spot in the second violin section, but earning a place among the upper ranks can be more difficult.

Pros and Cons of the Cello

The cello is often cited for its practical disadvantages – mainly its size and expense. But for students who enjoy the sound of the cello more, hauling around a larger and more expensive instrument is well worth the care and effort.

The cello’s low register and tonality resonates with many musicians far more than the violin’s higher register.

Both the violin and cello have a unique range and repertoire that tend to draw different people. While violin repertoire is probably more extensive, the cello also has a well-established and diverse repertoire, including significant solo works.

Fewer students study the cello than the violin, so cellists are usually in higher demand than violinists. This tends to hold true even when taking into account the typically lower number of cellists required to create an orchestra or chamber ensemble.

Which is Harder to Play: Violin or Cello?

Many students wonder, which instrument is more difficult: the violin or cello? People who have tried both instruments tend to say the cello is less difficult due to its more natural position. The position of the violin can feel awkward at first, however advanced violinists insist that it becomes natural over time.

Many experienced musicians say that both instruments have their own difficulties. For example, although a cellist’s playing position is easier to learn, the thumb position on the cello is difficult for many students. Advanced cellists also must learn three clefs instead of just one.

SEE ALSO: How Easy is it to Switch Instruments? [Infographic]

Making the Choice Between Violin or Cello

Music students and their families can do a number of things to help them in their decision between the violin or cello.

  • First, consider what opportunities are available at school or in the community. Keep long term goals in mind.
  • Make sure the student has exposure to both instruments. This can include videos, CDs, or local concerts. Local colleges and conservatories often perform concerts for the general public and many of these feature the violin and cello. Local symphonies also put on free concerts in the park.
  • To be sure you’re making the right choice, it’s always a good idea to sample each instrument and take a couple lessons. Check out this directory of violin teachers, and this directory of cello teachers. Lessons are available both in-person and online all over the country.
  • Above all, the student should love the sound of whichever instrument they choose, whether it’s the higher and more cheerful violin or the deeper and rich cello.

What are your thoughts on whether the violin or cello is a better instrument? Let us know in the comments below!

Post Author: Carol Beth L.
Carol Beth L. teaches viola and violin in Sacramento, CA. She currently plays viola in the Rancho Cordova Civic Light Orchestra and has been teaching students since 2012. Learn more about Carol Beth here!

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Pinspiration: 13 Fantastic Pinterest Boards to Help You Learn Violin

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Believe it or not, Pinterest is one of the best online resources for all things violin! From pictures, charts, and tutorials, to infographics, how-to guides, and video lessons, it’s an amazing place to find instruction and inspiration. Here, music instructor Julie P. brings you 13 awesome Pinterest boards to help you learn violin…

Learning violin can be challenging and sometimes, you can use a little inspiration to keep you going. It may seem like you’re making slow progress, but if you keep working, you can learn to play the violin!

If you didn’t already know, Pinterest is a fantastic place to learn violin, if you know who to follow!

From violin inspiration to sheet music and tutorials, here are 13 Pinterest boards to help you learn violin!


by Allyson

learn violin

This board features helpful articles about specific topics to help you learn violin. There are practice guides and easy-to-follow tutorials.

You will find inspiration and entertainment through beautiful pictures of fine violins, performance videos, and beginner sheet music and tips.


By Catherine Blankenship

learn violin
Look through hundreds of beautiful pictures of violinists of all ages.

You can discover new artists and learn about your favorite violinists. Plus, if you picture yourself like the people on this board, you’ll be back in the practice room in no time!


By Chelsea Hopkins

learn violin
Check out this board for a mix of articles, instructional videos, and infographics.

There are also lots of pictures and helpful tips for both new violinists and intermediate players.

The Violin Player

By Lorene Lash

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When you’re learning violin, it can be fun to know a little bit about the instrument’s origins.

Learn about the violin through this board by Lorene Lash.

Pins also include artwork featuring famous violinists.


By Lishno W.

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If you’re a beginner, follow this board for violin songs and fun activities.

Violin practice should be fun, so use this board to spice up your routine!

Learning the Violin!

By Molly H

learn violin

Learning the Violin by Molly H. is packed with exercises, articles, and tips to learn violin.

It also has a bunch of easy, beginner-friendly sheet music.


By XxNikki TurleyxX

learn violin

Looking for pop, rock and movie sheet music? Check out these pins to learn some new tunes!

Learn to Play the Violin

By Revelle Strings Violins

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This board is like an FAQ page for learning the violin.

If you have questions about what kind of violin you should buy, how to get started, the benefits of playing the violin, or how to stay motivated, you will find answers here with this board from Connolly Music.


By Lauryn Gibbs

learn violin

Lauryn Gibbs put together an awesome smorgasbord of violin inspiration!

There are fun, artsy pictures, videos of violin pop covers, inspirational quotes, and violin humor.

Learning to Play the Violin

By Sissy Bates

learn violin

This board is packed with helpful how-to guides. You can learn how to tune your violin and  read about proper care and maintenance.

There are also tutorials where you can learn different violin techniques like vibrato and shifting, and helpful tips to find the right violin for you.

Violin, Music Learning

By Noell R.

learn violin

Violin, Music Learning has a good mix of tutorials, practice tips, inspiration, and fun.

If you play any other instruments or are interested in other music topics, you will find lots of helpful resources.

Violin Tutorials

By MJStreetTeam

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If you’re working on your bow hold or want to master important violin techniques, Violin Tutorials is the board for you.

From video tutorials to lessons, you can find an easy-to-follow guide to help you boost your violin skills.

Learning the Violin

By Katelyn Lucas

learn violin

From sheet music to infographics and guides, Learning the Violin is a great Pinterest board for beginners.

You can find charts to help you learn proper finger placement, infographics on the parts of the violin, and sheet music to help you learn new songs.

When you check out these boards, you’ll be itching to get back in the practice room! The more you practice, the more you can do with the violin, so get inspired and then get to work!

Which violin boards do you follow on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments below! 

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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Play Like the Pros: 5 Techniques You Can Learn From Famous Violinists

famous violinists

Don’t just watch your favorite famous violinists, learn from them! Here, music instructor Julie P. shows you the violin techniques you can learn from watching famous violinists…

You have probably seen videos of famous violinists on YouTube and various violin blogs. In fact, these videos may have inspired you to pick up a violin and take lessons.

Want to know the best part?

While these videos are inspiring and entertaining, they’re also educational. You can learn important violin techniques by watching the masters at work!

So grab your violin and your computer, and get ready to watch and learn. Here’s what you can pick up from five famous violinists.

Lindsay Stirling

Stage Presence

Lindsay Stirling is a talented violinist who enjoys her craft and adds her own style.

The famous female violinist combines playing with acting, dancing, and storytelling. The result is a pop-infused violin party.

Her performances are great examples of stage presence and how to enjoy playing the violin. Lindsey is an inspiration to dance to the beat of your own drum and make you dreams come true!

Mark O’Connor

Fast Bowing

Want to learn how to bow super fast? Mark O’Connor shows you how it’s done in this video of “Orange Blossom Special.”

He plays 16th notes at  breakneck speeds with incredible bow technique. Watch his right arm work as one unit, supporting his bow hand.

Also, notice how his right-hand fingers stay relaxed and don’t tense up. His playing is efficient, with no wasted movements.

Want to improve your finger strength? Try these exercises!

David Oistrakh

Projecting Your Sound

In this video, David Oistrakh plays the Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto,” and has no problem projecting over the orchestra.

Watch how he uses his entire bow and a fast bow speed to create more sound. Even on shorter notes, he uses a lot of the bow length to create his enormous sound. His right hand is sometimes just a blur!

His bowing engages his whole arm, which allows him to bow with speed and power without taxing his bow hand.

Taylor Davis

Creativity / Brand

For you aspiring violinists, the internet is full of potential fans, if you can find the right way to engage them. Another famous female violinist, Taylor Davis, has made her mark with a YouTube channel full of videos of her performing video game and movie music.

The millions of views have allowed her to release multiple albums and go on tour. Taylor loves playing this music, so she used her creativity to build a full brand around it.

In this video, she plays music from Pirates of the Caribbean, you can see how she has crafted a full video experience with costuming, staging, and a dynamic accompaniment.

You can learn even more about Taylor in this Q&A she did for us at TakeLessons!

Jerusalem Quartet


Watching string quartets, like the Jerusalem Quartet, is great a great way to learn about communication between musicians, which is important if you want to play with other performers or in an orchestra.

In this video, notice how the Jerusalem Quartet moves to the music, look up at each other, and gesture at various points in the music.

Solid communication will help you have a smooth performance!

The more you watch famous violinists, the more you will learn. When you find a video you like, watch it several times; you’ll notice new violin techniques each time.

Besides videos and lessons, there are lots of helpful violin resources available online. Take advantage of these materials and use them to boost your violin skills!

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 solos

The Ultimate List of Violin Solos [Video Tutorials]

violin solos

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced violinist, it’s important to be armed with a number of solo pieces to play. Here, violin teacher Naomi Cherie S. put together an in-depth guide to violin solos for players of all levels…

With thousands of pieces to choose from, the world of music can be overwhelming! In this handy reference guide, we’ve picked some of our favorite violin solos and categorized them according to skill and experience level.

From easy songs to intermediate selections and some great choices for auditions, we’ve g
ot something for everyone!

Easy Violin Solos

 “Minuet No. 1”- J.S. Bach

This is a great solo for a beginner who’s been playing for six months to a year. It’s a step up from the common early beginner folk songs, and a great introduction to classical music from Baroque-era composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

It keeps it short and simple but adds some complex rhythms and stylistic bowings.

“Minuet No. 2” – J.S. Bach

This song is a nice next level piece that takes things up a notch. The second in this series of Bach Minuets, it follows the same style and themes but increases playing stamina with length, and couples familiarity with a few new twists and turns.

 “Gavotte” – F.J. Gossec

This is a simple yet challenging beginner solo. It’s playful and lighthearted style will  impress friends and family or an audience at a recital.

It adds complexity, and again, pushes your stamina, which is a big factor when you’re starting out and getting used to playing for longer periods of time.

Looking for more beginner-friendly solos? Check out these 14 popular violin solo pieces for beginners!

Intermediate Violin Solos

“Gavotte” from Mignon – A. Thomas

This is a great choice for an intermediate violinist who has been playing for around one-and-a-half to two years.

It’s lively, melodic themes give it spark, and it’s a great segway piece for those transitioning from beginner to intermediate.

 “Minuet in G” – L. van Beethoven

This solo is a wonderful introduction to the music of legendary composer Ludwig Van Beethoven. Sitting right on the border between the classical and romantic eras, Beethoven’s lush and rich melodies are  indicative of the time period he helped define.

“Minuet” – L. Boccherini

You’ll probably recognize this one from television commercials and films. Luigi Boccherini’s “Minuet” is a great song to play at a recital.

This infectious tune will get heads bobbing and toes tapping.

Violin Solos for Auditions

“Student Concertino” – A. Huber

This three-page Concertino is a great audition choice for a student who has been playing for two to three years. It’s a longer song, so if you play it at an audition, the director may ask you to play a shorter segment or selection.

Showcase your talents through the range of styles and tones. From languidly slow to spunky and fast, this song will show off your versatility.

“Concerto No. 2” (3rd Movement) – F. Seitz

If you’ve been playing for two to three years, try this as an audition piece.

The song has a lot of variety and will allow you to show the director several different skills. It also offers clear-cut sections the director can pick and choose if he or she wants to hear certain excerpts for the audition.

“Concerto in A Minor” (1st Movement) – A. Vivaldi

A familiar, delightful tune, this Antonio Vivaldi concerto is another excellent option, especially for a more advanced audition.

If you’ve been playing for three to four years, master this piece to wow an audition director. It’s a nice advanced-intermediate piece, and on top of that, it’s a fun piece to learn and play!

Famous Violin Solos

“Méditation” (From Thaïs) – Jules Massenet

This is one of the best, most endured violin solos of all time. It’s gorgeous and lush arrangements make it a stunning piece for both personal enjoyment and public performances.

I cannot stress enough how much I recommend adding this to your repertoire as you progress on your musical journey.

“Running Dry” (Requiem for the Rockets) – Neil Young with Crazy Horse (Violinist Bobby Notkoff)

This emotive violin solo is a must-know for rock ‘n’ roll history enthusiasts or anyone interested in pop and rock music from the 1970’s classic rock era.

Performed by violinist Bobby Notkoff, it’s the perfect accompaniment to Neil Young’s melancholy vocal stylings and mid-tempo electric folk balladry.

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” – The Charlie Daniels Band

When people ask you (and trust me, they will) the difference between a violin and a fiddle, you can tell them with confidence that there’s no difference in the instrument itself; the difference between a violin and a fiddle is in the style or genre of music and some of the techniques.

There are many notable differences between the two main violin genres (classical vs. fiddle) and this song is a great example of that. “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” by famed violinist Charlie Daniels, is probably the single most infamous fiddle piece of all time. And rest assured, as a violinist, people are going to ask you if you know how to play this song.

If you want to go the extra mile and impress these hearty fiddle enthusiasts, it’s a good idea to have this song in your pocket! The fast-fingered fiddle licks are challenging to learn, but they make an exceptional parlor trick to entertain and impress crowds.

“Bittersweet Symphony” – The Verve

The ’90s anthem, “Bittersweet Symphony”, has one of the most memorable violin solos of the era.

This generation-defining song has stood the test of time and the repetitive nature of the song will have you humming the violin part in your head, making it easier to remember and pick up by ear.

This generation-defining song has stood the test of time, and the repetitive nature of the song will have you humming the violin part in your head, which makes it easy to remember and pick up by ear.

Do you have a performance or audition coming up? Check out these tips to pull off a showstopping violin performance!

Classical Violin Solos

“Sonata II” in G Minor – G.F. Händel

This is a stunning piece by one of the most esteemed composers of the Baroque era. The movements take the listener and the performer from somber to upbeat to pastoral, and back to upbeat.

It’s also an excellent example of a Baroque-period piece with plenty of clean lines, phrasing and ornamental trills.

“The Swan” (From The Carnival of the Animals) by C. Saint-Saëns

“The Swan” is one of several pieces that make up a whole known as The Carnival of the Animals. This legendary work of art by Camille Saint-Saëns catalogs some of the common creatures of the zoo, from the swan to the elephant, there’s a piece for each animal.

This elegant and whimsical piece is short, sweet, and always leaves the listener wanting more. Traditionally written for the cello, it translates beautifully to the violin and is full of life and heart.

“The Lark Ascending” by Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending” is the picture of eloquence. Written during the World War I era following his active duty in France, it stands at an epic 16 minutes.

Inspired by a poem of the same name by George Meredith, it’s an unforgettable piece that takes you on a journey through meadows, woods, and skies.

Now you have several violin solos to choose from! No matter your level, you should be able to find something you can learn to play.

Stuck on a song? Find a violin teacher to help you master your technique! 

Post Author: Naomi Cherie S.
Naomi teaches violin in Austin, TX. She is a classically trained violinist with over 20 years of experience and a diverse musical background. Learn more about Naomi Cherie S. here.

Photo courtesy Tara Kamangar

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6 Reasons Learning Violin is Hard and What You Can Do to Succeed

learn violin

Many beginner violinists wonder “is it hard to learn violin?” While learning violin can be challenging, it’s definitely NOT an unattainable goal. Here Brooklyn, NY music teacher Julie P. explains why learning violin is hard and what you can do to be successful…

Have you been told that it’s hard to learn violin? We’re not going to lie to you, it can be challenging at times, but that’s no reason to be intimidated or discouraged. With a good teacher, practice, and perseverance, you can learn violin!

So if you’re struggling, don’t worry, you’re not alone! Everyone has a hard time with some aspect(s) of the instrument, but there are ways to work through your struggles and become a better player. Here are six reasons learning violin is hard, and what you can do to be successful.


When it comes to violin, there are several different things to coordinate with your posture. It’s hard for beginners to figure out how to hold everything correctly.

If you’re just starting out, take it one step at a time…

How to Improve

Practice each part of your posture separately. Practice your bow grip five times in a row, and take a break between each round.

Practice holding the violin between your chin and shoulder, without supporting it with your left hand. From there, practice bringing your left hand to the playing position, and try to relax your body.

Need more posture practice? Try these 10 wacky ways to improve your posture

Left- and Right-Hand Coordination

Many violinists struggle to match their bowing with the notes being fingered with the left hand.

How to Improve

To improve your coordination, practice bowing slowly, back and forth between two notes that are next to each other on one string. Once you master this, try bowing slowly, back and forth between two notes on different strings.

If the bows aren’t matching up with the changing notes, determine which hand is getting to the new note first, and then adjust your other hand to match.

Tone Quality

You produce tone quality on the violin with your bow, so if you want a more beautiful sound, you need to work on your bowing technique.

How to Improve

Great tone depends on bow speed, bow pressure, and bowing angle. Use a mirror to check if your bow is moving parallel to the bridge, and to see if it’s in the middle between the bridge and fingerboard.

Try experimenting with bow speed and pressure. The more pressure you use, the faster your bow has to move to prevent a scratchy sound. If you use light pressure on the bow, you’ll have to move your bow slower, or else the tone will sound light and whispery.

When you’re working on your bow technique, play something simple so you can put all your focus on your bow. Make sure to start out with open strings and slow scales.

Playing in Tune

To play in tune, you have to put your fingers in the right place on the strings. You need to develop muscle memory for this, as well as the ability to hear when you’re playing out of tune so you can adjust on the spot.

How to Improve

If you’re just starting out, you can put tape on your fingerboard as a reference for where your fingers will go.

It takes time to develop muscle memory, but this exercise can help: Practice going between B (1st finger) and C# (2nd finger) on the A string. Listen to see if all of your C#’s sound exactly the same.

To develop a good ear for intonation, play with others, or along with recordings. The more you hear yourself play with someone else, the more you’ll start to hear when your pitches are out of tune.

Keeping Your Violin In Tune

It’s a lot easier to play in tune if you make sure your instrument stays in tune! Keeping your violin in tune takes some work, but it’s not that difficult if you keep up with it.

How to Improve

Tune your violin every time you practice. That’s right, EVERY time.

Violins are made of wood, so they respond to changes in humidity. It’s especially important to tune your instrument daily when there are sudden changes in the weather/humidity.

Use a tuner or tuning app. If you don’t have fine tuners on your violin, have a teacher help you or find someone at a music store who can install fine tuners for you.

Where to Look

Do you look at your bow or your fingers when you play violin?  Looking down at your instrument or fingers while you play may cause problems when you learn to read music since you won’t be able to look at your violin and the music at the same time.

How to Improve

You can do more than you think without looking at your instrument!

Try playing a piece without looking, just to see how you do. Then, look at your bow and fingers and play an easy measure. Try to memorize how everything feels.

Now, try to play the piece without looking. Notice what improved, and where you struggled. Try the whole thing again and make adjustments where appropriate.

Learning Violin is Hard, but You Can Do it!

If you’re struggling with any aspect(s) of learning violin, don’t be discouraged! All violinists, including the professionals, have had to work on these things.

The important thing is that you don’t give up. There are tons of different ways to practice and improve, and with some time and effort, you will get better at the violin.

Have fun!

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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taylor davis

How Violin Star Taylor Davis Turned Her Dreams Into Reality

taylor davis

If you’re learning violin, you probably know a thing or two about Taylor Davis. Tayor is a talented violinist, arranger, composer, and a YouTube sensation. Her love for video game and film music helped her launch her YouTube channel ViolinTay, which has over 150 videos and one million subscribers!

In addition to her viral YouTube videos, Taylor has released five full-length game, anime, and film-themed albums. Her self-titled original album debuted at #10 on the Billboard Classical Charts.

Following the success of her first headlining U.S. tour, Taylor recently completed a tour Europe. The talented star took some time to chat with us about violin and her love for music, and to share her insight and inspiration for aspiring violinists.

taylor davis

photo by Aga Jones

TL: Being a touring violinist is something most people only dream of doing. What do you love about it and what was surprising to you? What advice do you have for anyone who gets nervous during a big or small performance?

TD: I feel so incredibly blessed to be touring now because it’s truly a dream come true to perform the kind of music I love for an audience that loves it just as much. So much of what I’ve done over the past six years with my music has been online via my YouTube channel, and while I love my audience on there, it’s sometimes tough to only interact with them online because you really miss out on that personal element. What I really love about touring is the chance to actually see people out there in the audience while I’m performing, and meeting them after the shows and talking with them because it’s so nice to have that type of personal interaction.

The most surprising thing about touring was how much I enjoy it! I was pretty nervous to start on my first tour last year because I really didn’t know how I was going to like it, but I had such an amazing experience and am so excited that it’s becoming a regular part of my career now.

One of the things that has helped me get over nervousness during a performance sounds so simple but it’s so true, and that is to just make sure that I feel like I’m prepared. If I think I could have practiced more, or there are still a few parts of a piece that I needed to work on more, then I sometimes get nervous during a performance because I’m not fully confident. If I feel like I truly prepared as much as I could, then it’s a lot easier for me to relax and enjoy the performance.

TL: You released your first self-titled original album after working on game, anime, and film albums; how was this different, were you more nervous or excited? The album has been very successful, does this mean more original projects in the future?

TD: I love working on cover songs, but it had always been a dream of mine to release an album of original music. I was definitely nervous since I am mostly known for my covers. I was really proud and excited about the original music but I really didn’t know how my audience was going to react since I hadn’t released much original music to that point.

I had such a supportive group of fans cheering me on through my Pledge Music Campaign that it really inspired me and made me feel a lot more confident about the project. I’m so glad that people are enjoying the album now! When I get back from my European tour, I’m going to immediately start working on another album of original music.

taylor davis

photo by Aga Jones

TL: You’ve been studying violin since you were eight, what was your inspiration early on, how did you stay motivated to practice and improve? You’ve said your mom was one of your biggest supporters, why is it important for music students to have a strong support system?

TD: I will be honest, I was incredibly unmotivated to practice and pretty much did everything I possibly could to avoid it when I was younger! I did study with a private teacher, but it was very casual and they were short lessons. My mom is truly the only reason that I am a violinist today, because there were so many times where I wanted to quit, but she was always incredibly supportive and found creative ways to incentivize me to practice.

If I wanted to play video games, I had to at least practice 30 minutes of violin first, so that was a pretty huge motivator for me. haha! Now, I actually really enjoy practicing, but it took me a long time to get to this point. I think it’s important for a music student to have some sort of support system, or a strong role model to look up to for inspiration.

Learning an instrument can sometimes be very discouraging because you have to be so patient and work very hard to continue practicing, and sometimes it feels like you’re not even improving. If you have someone in your life to cheer you on, or someone you look up to who can inspire you to work through those discouraging moments, I think that can make all the difference.

TL: Let’s talk about starting your (wildly popular) YouTube channel ViolinTay. How did you decide to share your videos on YouTube? Were you surprised by the response that you got from fans, how did this help you to continue pursuing your passion for both video game music and violin?

TD: I started my channel almost six years ago after I graduated from college. I never thought that I would have a career in music, but I started to get really sad right before I graduated because I realized that I might not do anything more with music in my adult life, since I fully intended to get a business-type job.

I started thinking of ways that I could keep music in my life, and one day when I was randomly searching for some of my favorite game music on YouTube, I saw a few people had posted videos of themselves playing video game music. I was really shocked to see that people were interested in it because I thought I was one of the only people who liked this type of music. I grew up being a “nerd” and was made fun of a lot for my interests in video games and other nerdy things. I figured I had nothing to lose by putting up a few videos of myself playing video game music and decided to start posting my favorite tracks.

I was surprised to see that people were finding my videos and seemed to be enjoying them. It was really slow at first, and I was working a business day job at the time, but as my channel grew, I gradually started upgrading my equipment and tried to improve the quality of my videos as much as I could afford to.

It’s still hard for me to believe that this is what I’m doing for my career now and that my really low-budget videos I filmed in my parents’ spare room ended up leading to this. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that I’d be able to have a career playing my favorite type of music, and that so many other people would be enjoying it with me. I can’t tell you how grateful I feel for where I’m at.

TL: What’s the coolest thing about being on tour and performing live?

I think, like I mentioned before, that personal connection that you feel when you’re performing to a live audience is really amazing. I’m usually always working alone from my home and sometimes it can get very lonely, so being out on tour is a really nice change of pace, not only for interacting with my fans in person, but for also working with my tour team.

My piano player, Salome Scheidegger, has become one of my best friends and we had so much fun together on the first tour, and my tour manager is a wonderful person and so much fun to hang out with. Even though I’m a solo artist, I definitely feel like I’m a part of a team when I’m out on the road, and I love that feeling.

TL: You worked on an awesome Star Wars violin medley and even made a really cool video! What was that like for you? The video must have been an intense but unforgettable experience!

TD: Yes, I’m really proud of that music video! The director, Landon Donoho, is someone who I’ve been working with for years and he’s incredibly talented and fun to work with. We talked about the video concept before I had created the arrangement, and we had the idea to do the light side vs. dark side type feel, so I really tried to create that feeling in the music as well.

Landon also suggested that I try out some body paint for this one, and I was a little scared about that at first since I’ve never done anything like that, but I’m so glad that we did that because I think that really ended up making the video really special. The makeup artist did an amazing job!

I also really wanted to take the music in a different direction from my normal arrangements because I always like trying new things and experimenting, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s definitely a different style and I won’t always arrange new pieces like that, but it was so much fun to try something new!

TL: Between your YouTube channel, the albums you’ve worked on, and touring and playing music, you’ve been able to combine two of your biggest passions and achieve your dreams! What advice would you give someone about trusting the process and keeping the faith while chasing a dream?

TD: I think that one of the most important things to keep in mind, that I think is difficult for some artists to understand, is that you really need to think of yourself as both an artist and a business. I think there’s sadly a negative feeling sometimes towards the business aspect of any sort of creative career and a lot of artists either think they’re “selling out” to engage in it, or they simply don’t want to deal with it because they only want to be creative and not worry about everything else it takes to build a career in this industry.

In my opinion, and what has certainly been true in my own career, it’s absolutely crucial to be comfortable and confident with both the creative and business side of things. It’s almost crazy to think that you can solely be an artist nowadays and that someone will randomly discover you and offer to handle everything else for you to turn your art into a sustainable career, that just realistically doesn’t happen.

I didn’t sign with a management team until last April (that was 5 years after I started my channel), and while they help me now with tour planning and general advice/resources, I still very much manage all of my video projects, albums, website, and social media myself. I think it’s really important for an artist to stay involved in those aspects because you won’t find yourself in a position where you’ll get taken advantage of, and if you’re the one ultimately calling all the shots, it’s a lot easier to stay true to yourself and your vision.

There are plenty of days where I end up not being able to work on music and have to handle tasks that I don’t enjoy and that aren’t fun or creative, but they’re necessary to continue sustaining and growing my career. I’m still not at the point where I can afford to delegate all that kind of work to other people, and having to still do that kind of work definitely makes me feel grateful for the days where I can just be creative and work on some new music or spend a lot of time with my violin. For me, it actually feels like a nice balance.

Again, a huge thank you to Taylor Davis for taking the time to chat with us! To learn more about Taylor and keep up to date with her latest projects, bookmark her website and subscribe to her YouTube channel!

Ready to turn your violin dreams into reality? Sign up for lessons with a private teacher today! 

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violin practice

The Perfect 15-Minute Violin Practice Routine [Video]

violin practice

Think you don’t have enough time to practice violin? Think again! We all have days where we’re short on time, but that doesn’t mean you should skip practice altogether. Here, Austin, TX violin instructor Naomi Cherie S. shows you how to get an effective violin practice session in only 15 minutes…

We’ve all heard it before: “Practice makes perfect!” However, an intelligent five-year-old violin student improved this saying when she told me “Practice makes better!” It’s a nice reminder that while perfection is something we should always strive for, it’s important to be patient and remember that we’re only human.

How you practice is just as important as how much you practice. In this article I will outline the perfect 15-minute violin practice, and also break down important components for any practice that will help you improve.

Good Practice Habits

As a violinist, practice is essential to develop your skills, and it can determine how quickly you will progress on the instrument. Practice can also be one of the biggest challenges we face in our studies.

With the fast paced lifestyles most of us live today, it can be hard to fit in time to practice consistently. For beginners, I recommend that you practice at least five days per week for 30 minutes to an hour at a time.

Building Your Practice

In music (similar to athletic training), it’s a good idea to gradually increase your practice session length while you’re developing muscles, flexibility, finger callouses etc. so that you don’t overdo it and end up with sore hands, wrists or arms.

Aim to work up to one to two hours (or more) of practice per day. The more you practice, the faster you will improve!

Consistency is Key

Remember, it’s important to maintain consistency over time spent (quality over quantity).

For instance, I’d rather you practice for five days a week, even if you could only play for 15-30 minutes on some days, than waiting until the last day before your lesson to do an extra long practice session.

Our brains need time to process what we practice, and repetition is key to perfect your skills. Sometimes, even when you don’t feel like you’re improving during a practice session, you will start to see progress over time, if you keep at it and look at the big picture.

Think of your violin journey as plants in a garden: you can’t see them growing, but eventually, with love and care, they blossom and reach new heights.

The Perfect 15-Minute Violin Practice Session

As a beginner, it’s crucial to keep your momentum going and avoid skipping more than a day or two of practice. For the first several months, your budding skills are very delicate. Without consistency, you can easily backtrack, and you’ll have to re-learn certain concepts if you go too long without practice.

This is where the 15-minute practice session comes in. It can take a lot of self-discipline to practice daily, and with busy work and school schedules, sometimes it just doesn’t seem feasible.

This session is perfect for those days when you’re on the go and just don’t think you have time to practice. Think about what squeezing in 15 minutes of one-on-one time with your violin can do to boost your playing and bridge the gap between longer playing sessions!

Here are the basic goals of this 15- minute session:

  1. Tuning – Tuning is a great way to warm up your ears and “fine tune” your ear training skills. It’s also imperative to have your violin tuned up and ready to go each time you play. You can tune by ear with a keyboard/piano or a pitch pipe or you can use an electronic tuner or a tuning app.
  2. Abridged Scale Warm Up – In this video, I demonstrate a really thorough scale warm up. For your abridged scale warm up, you can skip a couple of the exercises and just stick to the basics. Using your G Major scale, start with half notes, then play quarter notes and eighth notes.
  3. Song Warm Up – Next, choose a song you’ve been working on or have been wanting to learn. Start from the top of the piece and work your way through. Try to move quickly, without stopping to fix mistakes, and play through to the end of the piece while taking mental notes of your problem areas.
  4. Go Back and Fix Mistakes – Take a pencil and write in some notes. Add parenthesis around your problem measures. Pencil in “x5” above the measures that really need some work and then go back and play those spots five times in a row (or more) until they sound smooth.
  5. Take the Song From the Top – Once you feel comfortable about your problem areas, go back and run the piece from start to finish. By this time, your 15 minutes will probably be up, but if you have some extra time, go ahead and go through the piece again, constantly taking notes of your improvements as well as sections that still need work.

And that’s it! Remember, when it comes to your musical journey, every little bit helps and it’s important to remember that a short practice is better than no practice at all!

Ready to get started playing violin? Find a violin teacher near you!

Post Author: Naomi Cherie S.
Naomi teaches violin in Austin, TX. She is a classically trained violinist with over 20 years of experience and a diverse musical background. Learn more about Naomi Cherie S. here.

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learn violin online

14 Fantastic Websites and Resources to Help You Learn Violin Online

learn violin online

When you’re learning violin, it’s always a good idea to have some helfpul websites bookmarked to help you practice and learn between your lessons. Here, music instructor Julie P. shares 14 websites that will help you learn violin online…

If you want to learn violin online, there are TONS of resources available. You can find almost anything you want to know about the violin online, including information about equipment, playing technique, music theory, and inspirational videos. We picked out some of our favorite sites that we recommend to help you on your violin-learning journey!

Bookmark these sites for easy access, and let us know which ones you like best!

Jump to any section of this article here:

Learn Violin Online


learn violin online

FiddlerMan has a number of different resources for beginner to intermediate violinists. He even has a special section devoted to people who have never touched a violin before.

Bookmark the site to access video tutorials, and resources on music theory and playing technique. Fiddlerman also has an online violin and fiddle tuner, a blog, and lots of violin sheet music.


learn violin online

This site has tons of articles with pictures on how to care for your instrument, posture, playing basics, practice tips, and more. It’s very user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Violin From Scratch

learn violin online

As soon as you get to this site, you’re greeted with a message from Deborah, the site creator and experienced violinist. Deborah shares the encouraging message that you can learn violin, even with no musical experience.

Besides, the positive welcome message, Violinfromscratch has free beginner articles and a paid violin video course.

Violin Tutor Pro

learn violin online

Tons of free videos and articles from a team of  teachers and enthusiasts.  There are video lessons and you can subscribe to receive daily violin tips.

Violin Tutor Pro is fantastic for beginner, intermediate, and advanced violin and fiddle students.

Beginner Violin Tips

learn violin online

Beginner Violin Tips provides a step-by-step guide for a first-time violin learner. The guide includes everything from equipment, care and maintenance, sheet music, and violin accessories.

You can also browse tips on various violin-related topics, and read articles on violin technique on the blog.

Online Violin Lessons

You can take online lessons right here at TakeLessons, and there are some other great sites that have fantastic online lessons that you can use to practice between your private lesson with your teacher.

Violin Lab

learn violin online

Violin Lab has hundreds of video lessons on everything from basic equipment to advanced techniques.

Red Desert Violin

learn violin online

Red Desert Violin provides subscription-based online video lessons for beginner and intermediate violinists.


learn violin online

Subscription-based online video lessons with Nathan Cole, an LA Philharmonic violinist.

Maestro Musicians

learn violin online

Maestro Musicians is the website for Maestro Musicians Academy, greater Boston’s premiere music school.

Check out the website to choose from a collection of pre-recorded video lessons for beginners.


learn violin online

Don’t forget, right here at TakeLessons, we have both online and in-person violin lessons!

If you don’t already have a teacher, search for a violin instructor near you!

Online Violin Tuner

If you want the best sound from your violin, you need to make sure you tune it properly. With these online violin tuners, you will never have to worry about showing up to practice without your tuner!



This free online violin tuner plays each note for you, so you can match your strings.

You can use it for standard GDAE tuning, and there is also a new feature for alternate tunings.




In addition to a fantastic selection of violin sheet music (see below), 8notes has a great interactive tuner with pitch detection.




Play Violin Online

No violin? No problem! Here are some sites where you can play online. Even if you do have a violin, these sites are a lot of fun to use!

Virtual Violin Online


You can play the violin using your computer, or upload your own audio files to play.

Virtual Violin online also has an interactive fingering chart for beginners.


In addition to all the beginner-friendly articles, Violinonline also has an interactive violin fretboard to help you learn violin fingerings and notes.

Violin Games

Practice your skills and have fun between lessons with these online violin games.

Violin Flash Cards


A fun twist on flash cards; match the note shown to its place on the fingerboard.



Check out the learning tools section of the site to access the rhythm game, violin fingering game, and intonation game.

Violin Sheet Music

In order to play new violin songs, you need sheet music! Here are some of the best online resources to find violin sheet music.

Image courtesy


Violinonline has classical music with melody parts, and separate harmony parts scored for viola, cello and bass.


Violin Sheet Music


Hundreds of pieces of free sheet music, mostly classical.



8notes has free sheet music for lots of genres: classical, folk, holiday, pop, rock, film, wedding, Christian, etc.




If you want to learn the violin online, there’s more than enough information available. Pick out a few of these sites to check out first, and explore their learning resources.

Everyone is different, so use the resources that work best for you!

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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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? Brooklyn, NY music instructor Julie P. is here to help you answer that question…

A common question for violin students is how long does it take to learn violin? The truth is, everyone learns at a different speed, so there’s no way to tell you exactly how long it will take you to learn how to play the violin. Of course, your learning speed also 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 in at church or in a band with your friends, you can make a lot of progress towards your goal in three to five years.

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.

New rhythms: 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.

New Rhythms: 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. Your violin tone starts to improve, and 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: 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.

New Rhythms: 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: 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.

New Rhythms: 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. Good luck!

how long does it take to learn violin

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The best way to learn the violin is through private lessons with a qualified instructor. Find a violin teacher near you!

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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