Violin guide for beginners

April 10, 2016

Violin guide for beginners

What you’ll need:

  • Violin
  • Bow
  • Rosin
  • Violin case
  • Music stand
  • ‘Fiddle Time Joggers’ by Kathy and David Blackwell

It is best to buy an instrument from a specialist violin shop where a professional luthier will set up a beginner instrument as well as a professional instrument. It is not possible to learn to play the violin well on a badly set up instrument. If you already have an instrument, I will be able to advise you as to whether it will be a suitable instrument to learn on.

Care of your instrument:

  • The violin is very delicate. Be very careful with it to avoid knocking or dropping it.
  • Always put the violin back in its case when not using it and never leave it on the floor or a chair where it could get damaged.
  • If the bridge falls out of place wait until the next lesson for me to put it back correctly.
  • Do not use glue on any part of the violin or bow.
  • Don’t touch the hair of the bow as grease and dirt will stop the bow from working.
  • If a string breaks buy a new one and wait until the next lesson for me to put it on.
  • If a bow hair breaks, a small amount of the broken hair must be left at the heel and point of the bow. This is because the hair is put in as a hank and held in by its own tension so removing hairs completely will risk all the hair falling out. Hair can therefore be removed with accurate scissors or clippers, by breaking the hair against the thumb or by biting the hair to cut it.
  • The bow hair must be tightened when in use and loosened when not in use. This is done with the screw at the heel-end of the bow. When in use the bow should have a gap of about the width of the wood of the bow between the hair and the wood and there should be a curve in the bow. When not in use the hair should be loosened so that it is just at the point of being floppy. Do not tighten the bow to the point that it is straight or curved outwards. Do not loosen the bow to the point that the hair is completely loose.

I will tune the violin at the beginning and end of each lesson. Beginner instruments often go out of tune very quickly. Only tune the violin yourself if I have shown you how to.

Nails must be kept short on both hands so that the pads of the fingers can be used.

Remember:

  • It takes time to learn an instrument so you need to be patient.
  • It is better to practise a little every day than to miss a day’s practice and have to do longer practice on another day to catch up.
  • Practice will only be effective if you have a desire to practise. Never enforce practice or practise when you are not able to focus.

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