If you’ve decided to choose to learn to play a new instrument then it will come as no surprise to anyone if you have a burning desire to push yourself on as quickly as you can.
Take note though, because bad habits you pick up from the start can hinder any progress you make and cause great delays in mastering the instrument. With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks to keep you on the right track when you learn to play the violin.
5 Tips for Learning to Play the Violin
More Haste, Less Speed
Learning to play the violin is easiest when done at a steady pace. The old adage “more haste, less speed” rings true here. For those of you who are impatient, well, you will have to try and slow down a little at the beginning, but fret not, because the rewards are more than worth the wait.
A good basic understanding of the violin at the beginning will boost your confidence and speed you up later on.
Avoid that Old Temptation of Glancing
When you’re using your violin you must try and avoid that old temptation of glancing at your left hand to see what it’s doing (or vice versa if you are left-handed).
Similar to touch-typing on a keyword, you will soon become accustomed to finding your way around the fingerboard but if you keep looking at your hand, it will only slow you down.
Playing the violin requires all of your attention to be focussed on the music score in front of you, so learn to trust your left hand and (literally) feel the music.
Statue of Liberty
If I asked you to sketch the Statue of Liberty in great detail in one hour you’d probably rather jump off the top of you. But if I asked you to do it one square yard at a time, no rush, you might start to find it more manageable.
It’s the same thing when learning to play the violin. You have to do it in little parts, one technique at a time. If you can truly get to grips with one small part then it will give you huge amounts of confidence for the next piece you learn and then in no time at all you’ll be playing the violin.
Picking Up the violin
As you are picking up the violin, as with any other skill you learn, you will certainly make a lot of mistakes and screw up regularly. No doubt you will also be tempted to give the whole thing up, but don’t! You must persevere because bad habits picked up while learning to play the violin is really hard to get rid of later on.
Practice as best you can and as often as you can. Go back and put right all those silly errors and you will come on leaps and bounds in no time.
If you think you can get away with simply memorizing pieces, you’re in for a shock. All of the world’s best players learn to play the violin with a score sat in front of them.
It’s certainly a skill you need and you will soon learn that tricky pieces are too complex to simply memorize. Playing the violin has many elements and reading music is one of the most essential skills you will need to master.
Violin Notes for Beginners
If you’re just starting to learn to play the violin, you’re probably going through a difficult time. Fret not though, because it does get easier. Here’s a great introductory video that will get you on your way to learning to play the violin.
To play the violin, you must be patient and find a good violin instructor. You should play a tune with the left hand and then use the right hand to make a warm tone. This video is from a professional violinist who has some great tips.
The majority of folks figures that starting to play the violin is tricky, impossible, and a huge effort. But the same as learning any new skills, learning to play the violin requires patience, guts, determination and oodles of enthusiasm. If you really want to succeed in your efforts to learn to play this great instrument, you must remain dedicated during the entire learning process.
Having the correct mindframe is a serious contributor to any person’s success when learning the violin. If you reckon practicing your instrument is a hassle, then you probably won’t like learning and you will just end up giving up. There are lots of people who have a natural gift for the violin and there are some who pick things up a little slower.
If you aren’t one of the gifted ones, don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to those who do things more naturally. Rather, you ought to assess yourself on how much effort you have put in to learning your instrument.
Figure out if you want to sign up for group or private lessons with your violin.
Generally your budget will make this choice for you. If you don’t have enough cash for a private violin tutor, signing up for group lessons is a great way to go. There are lots of different avenues to explore in this respect, but the key is never to give up.
How difficult is it to learn to play violin?
Of course, learning an instrument is difficult, even if you have a musical background. The violin, however, is a more challenging instrument, which takes a lot of practice.
Some people will advise you to start learning the piano first and get a good grasp of that to help make learning any instrument easier. It’s like a solid. Of course, it is worth it and will be a lot easier if you take a bit of piano first, so you develop a sense of rhythm and an ear.
If you are seriously questioning it, it may not be worth it. It is going to take a lot of work and time. It can be very enjoyable at any age. Some have started in their senior citizen years. If you decide to do it. Find live help from someone who knows the kind of music you want to do. Lessons or even classes at the community college are usually reasonably reasonable.
How long does it normally take someone to learn to play the violin?
This depends on if you have a good teacher or if you are self-taught. The length and dexterity of your fingers is a huge factor as well as the passion you have for playing. I would say about 8 months or more.
Have fun, stay focussed and keep up the hard work to reap the benefits.