The violin is a beautiful string instrument perfect for musicians of all ages to learn. Along with having a qualified violin teacher to instruct you, the right violin books are your most valuable tool for learning to play the violin.
What Are the Best Violin Books for Beginners?
Which violin instruction books are the most useful and informative for beginner students? Which ones take you beyond the basics to a more advanced skill level? Here’s a look at 10 of our favorites:
- The Violin Fun Book: For Young Students
- Essential Elements for Strings
- How to Play the Violin: A Beginner’s Guide
- Violin for Dummies
- Suzuki Violin School
- The ABCs of Violin for the Absolute Beginner
- Rubank Elementary Method for Violin
- Introducing the Positions for Violin
- Fiddle Primer
- Violin Play-Along Series
The Violin Fun Book: For Young Students
The Violin Fun Book: For Young Students is the perfect violin book for beginners. You can find innovative teaching methods for elementary-age students such as plucking, learning the bow grip, time signature, and more. It also comes with resources for online play-along tracks and online lessons.
Essential Elements for Strings
Essential Elements for Strings is very useful for beginners and is one of the best violin teaching books. It includes engaging, familiar songs and instrument-specific exercises that let you focus on the unique characteristics of the violin both in the book and with an included interactive resource.
It also details specially designed exercises that translate well in the classroom. That means if you’re in an orchestra and the teacher uses this book, practicing with it at home can speed up the learning process.
How to Play the Violin: A Beginner’s Guide
Learn the basics of playing the violin with How to Play the Violin: A Beginner’s Guide. It’s one of the most comprehensive violin books for beginners as it teaches you violin basics, how to read music, and step-by-step tips for playing songs. Whether you’re brand new to playing the violin or you’re a violinist looking to learn more, this guide is exactly what you need!
Violin for Dummies
Whether you’re preparing for your first violin lesson or you want to give your studies a little boost, Violin for Dummies could be one of the most important violin books in your collection. It begins by introducing music fundamentals, including reading musical notation and understanding harmony. Then it focuses on violin specifics, such as tuning your instrument, holding the bow correctly, and cleaning the strings.
The accompanying CD includes audio and video clips and tutorials to help you get started. It also features mp3 files of every song and exercise in the book.
Suzuki Violin School
The first violin book of this 10-book series takes violinists from near-beginning stages to a moderately advanced level. The Suzuki Method is based on the principle that all children have the capability to excel at music and that a nurturing environment can help develop and enhance that capability. Whether you’re a young child or well into your adult years, the Suzuki Method is appropriate for harnessing your ability to play the violin.
The Suzuki Violin School book contains limited note reading and musical theory information. So, it’s not ideal for students who are teaching themselves. However, it’s exceptionally useful if your violin teacher uses the Suzuki Method in your lessons.
The ABCs of Violin for the Absolute Beginner
The ABCs of Violin for the Absolute Beginner is a best-selling instruction book that features many beginner-level melodies, short warm-up exercises, and study pieces designed to help you improve your violin skills. Other features include a glossary, a note-reading worksheet, a practice chart, simple duets, and scales exercises.
The included CD consists of 34 songs with violin and piano accompaniments, piano-only tracks for playing along, and printable PDF files of the piano accompaniments. This series of violin books is a truly valuable resource for students in the early stages of violin exploration.
Rubank Elementary Method for Violin
Rubank Elementary Method for Violin is a useful violin book that’s been around for many years. It’s remained popular since the 90s for its incredible value with individual instruction and same-instrument groups. It employs an all-encompassing approach to teaching the violin, including scales and arpeggios, articulation and technical studies, solos and duets, and studies for musicianship. Well-known songs make it fun to progress through each section.
Introducing the Positions for Violin
Classrooms and private studios alike use violin books from this series to help students progress beyond the basics into intermediate and advanced violin playing. The most-used positions are introduced in Volume 1 (third and fifth), followed up by the next most important positions in Volume 2 (second, fourth, sixth, and seventh). If you’re eager to hone your skills, this is an irreplaceable component in your training.
The violin is a well-rounded instrument with the ability to showcase everything from classical to bluegrass. If you’re ready to learn fiddling techniques, Fiddle Primer is a must-read. It begins with introductory information regarding good bowing techniques and playing in tune. Then it progresses to specific fiddling techniques with recognizable songs, including “You Are My Sunshine”, “Old Joe Clark”, “Cripple Creek” and more.
The included CD features all the songs played at two different speeds, one for practice and one up to tempo when you’re ready to perform. An accompanying DVD shows the precise technique and hand positioning for several of the songs featured in the book. On-screen notation and close-ups of both hands ensure you can exactly imitate what you see on the screen. “Fiddle Primer” is a great place to start if you want to learn the foundation required to play rewarding fiddle music.
Violin Play-Along Series
The Violin Play-Along books cover a huge variety of songs and genres with more than 40 volumes, including Classical Favorites, Country Hits, Christmas Songs, Jazz, Classic Rock, Popular Hits, and much more. The series is designed for intermediate to advanced students who want to learn more of their favorite violin pieces. These books feature notations for many of your favorite songs. Lyrics are also included, as are chord symbols if you wish to elaborate on the melody.
As the name of the series suggests, each book comes with a CD you can play along with. One set of tracks features an accomplished violinist playing each song so you can get a feel for how it should sound. Then, separate backing tracks accompany you as you play. The CD works in any CD player, but pop it into your computer to enjoy enhanced features, such as custom tempo adjustment without changing the pitch.
Enjoy Learning With Your Violin Books!
Which violin books are you most interested in? Let us know in the comments below!
In addition to books, there are a lot of great resources available to learn the violin online. One of the best resources is a qualified violin teacher. Your teacher can offer recommendations based on your age, current skill level, and specific goals. Good luck on your journey as a violinist!
Photo by Nina Matthews Photography