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
- Intermediate Violin Solos
- Violin Solos for Auditions
- Famous Violin Solos
- Classical 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!
“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.
“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!
“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!
“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!
Photo courtesy Tara Kamangar