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Learn Violin Basics in 30 Days: How To Teach Yourself To Play The Violin

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Table of Contents

 

A violin, in comparison to other instruments, is significantly more difficult and requires a great deal of commitment. To become good at violin, you must put in a lot of effort, patience, and commitment. Some adults might think it is a far-fetched dream and could take a long time. However, that might not totally be the case especially when you have the right attitude and strategy. You can check out an article I wrote a while ago about some of the myths about learning the violin here. Starting out as a beginner can be overwhelming and this is quite understandable. However, you can make good progress within a month by applying the steps I will give you in this article. The following are five key guidelines that you, as a beginner, should follow if you wish to learn violin in 30 days.

Week 1 focus

Posture

So, the first week of getting you to master the violin is all about getting your posture right. 

It is vital to hold the violin and the bow properly while learning. Because excellent posture is the cornerstone of getting it right. Wrong holding of the violin or bow can affect the quality of your sound and this habit can be very difficult to correct in the future. Make certain that your shoulders are relaxed and not lifted. Tilt your head slightly to the left so that your violin rests on your left shoulder. While holding the bow, make sure your right thumb is bent, your pinkie is on the bow, and the rest of your fingers are relaxed. If the weight is too heavy, practice the right-hand stance with a pencil. You can check out how to hold the violin properly in this video below.

Week 2 focus

Master the violin’s four strings

In week 2 we’ll be focused on repeating what we did in week 1. That is keep mastering your postures and holds.

Plus, you will also start mastering the four violin strings. It is good to get comfortable with playing with open strings. When practising holding the violin, you may practice a few pizzicato exercises, which entail plucking the string with your right index finger to familiarise yourself with the four open strings on the violin. The open strings on the violin are G D A E. (Left to Right). You can start out by playing just open strings. You can download open strings exercises here

Week 3 focus

Perfect your bowing

Bowing is one of the most important aspects of learning the violin. It is basically the movement of the bow on the strings which determines that a sound is made and your fingering will determine the quality of the sound. One mistake you do not want to make is neglecting this fundamental. 

Learning how to hold the bow properly from the initial stage will save you a lot of trouble down the line. At first, it might not be easy, but with a good amount of bowing exercises, you will get better and more comfortable holding the bow. Watch the video below to learn 3 great exercises to help you with your bowing.

Fingering on the violin

Following a series of lessons on the open strings (G, D, A, E), fingerboard exercises will be one of the next stages in violin playing.
Incorrect finger placement on the fingerboard may result in bad pitching, so check constantly and attempt to recall it by listening. 

Although I do not recommend using stickers on the violin’s fret, however, they can assist you to identify where you put your fingers on the fingerboard when starting out. The downside of having the stickers is that you tend to really on the stickers instead of your ears. This can slow down your ear training which helps you to identify the correct pitch and intonation. Only use it if absolutely necessary.

You also must have a strong practice habit which is crucial while learning to play the violin. Developing solid practice habits can help you learn faster. It is vital to practice regularly, even if just 20 – 30 minutes a day is feasible, rather than once a week. Slowly complete your practices, remembering the exercises and patterns taught to you by your instructor before playing them at a quicker tempo. Accuracy is always prioritized above speed. 

Week 4 focus

Scales and songs

 

This is the week where we will bring it all together plus add another very, very crucial skill.

That is practising scales. 

A scale is a set of notes that rise and decrease in a sequence of steps (typically 8, occasionally 5) that begin with one note and conclude with a higher or lower version of the same note. The D Major scale, which begins on the open D string, is a simple (and beneficial) scale for beginners. Place your fingers down in the following sequence and play each note: D (open), E, F sharp, G (which should be produced by your third, or ring, finger). 

To finish the scale, play the next highest open string, A, and then repeat the sequence on the A string with your third finger to play B, C sharp, and finally, D. When performed correctly, the D Major scale (and, indeed, any major scale) should sound like the renowned “Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do” singing scale. You can watch the video on how to play D Scales

More so, you can start learning some easy violin beginners song. Choosing a song that you’re already familiar with can also fast-track your progress in the beginning. Of course, with time it will be helpful to choose songs that you’re unfamiliar with. This will help you to grow all around as each song brings its own peculiarity and dynamics. I listed some of these songs in this article

Rimma showing how to hold the violin properly

Useful tips

 

Practice every day

Begin with a small period (15 or 20 minutes) and work your way up to an hour, or until you can’t find any more time to play. Serious violinists often practice for three or more hours every day; yet, many violinists at that level are paid to perform. Practice as much as you can and don’t give up. Even sounding good enough to perform a few easy tunes might take months, but things will finally start to fall into place. If you only have 15 mins per day to practise, then check this article on how to utilize it productively.

 If you’re serious about learning violin and are truly passionate about it then you can also check out Rimma Strings Academy here. It is one of the best online violin academies for learning violin in a fun and engaging way without having to feel lost and overwhelmed.

girl in pink long sleeve shirt playing violin 

Conclusion

Learning how to play the violin by yourself can be daunting but doable. However, I do highly recommend that you get an instructor if you want to progress well.  It will take more than 30 days to learn how to play the violin very well, however following the guidelines above will get you going. If you want to go from holding a bow to creating a beautiful tone in just 3 days then you can also check out my FREE 3-Day Online Violin Bootcamp here

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