Techniques to Become a Superior Violinist in No Time

Learning to play the violin is all about the violin techniques. Once you get the basics down pat, you are well on your way. People ask what’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin? It’s the techniques, not the instrument. How does a beginner violin player get to be a virtuoso? By mastering the techniques. There is a song about an old violin in an estate sale. Everyone was bidding pennies until a man came up and began to play it. It sounded so beautiful the bids changed to hundreds of dollars. Violin techniques make all the difference.

One of the first techniques to learn is how to properly tighten and rosin the bow so it will glide over the four strings and not drag, which causes a squeaky noise. Over-rosin the bow, and the sound will be tin-like. Rosin just right, and the strings will vibrate in full, melodious tones. In order to properly tighten and rosin a bow the first time, let a professional instructor or luthier (an expert who deals only with stringed instrument care and repair) do it and explain the steps as you watch.

One tip is to take a No.2 lead pencil and gently slide it between the fine bows for sale hairs and the rod of the bow, then tighten the bow hairs until they touch the pencil by turning the screw clockwise. Just as important is to loosen the bow hairs after you are finished playing each and every time. Then tighten it again before you play. It is not a good idea to use your pinkie finger as a guide because the natural oils in our skin can coat the string like those spray oils coat a cooking pan. The rosin will not adhere well.

To rosin the bow, slide it through three or four times in fluid, full stokes. How often should you rosin your bow? In the beginning follow your instructor’s guidance. As you develop an ear for the notes, you’ll be able to tell when the strings need more rosin. A general rule of thumb is after two to three hours of playing, but that can vary.

The next of the violin techniques to master is how to properly tighten the violin strings. There are four strings in varying thicknesses, starting with G as the thickest, then D, A and then E, which is the thinnest. Each should be tuned first by twisting the peg in the scroll to being within a half note of their true sound, then using the fine tuner at the base of the strings below the bridge.

While you are tightening remember these two things. First, tighten the strings uniformly, not one at a time. If you tighten one at a time you may place undue pressure on the instrument causing it to warp or the bridge to collapse. The bridge is the upright piece of wood where the strings pass before they reach the fingerboard on the neck. The second involves the bridge, which is purposely not fixed in place. Make sure at all times that the bridge remains upright, and doesn’t begin to lean under the pressure. Have an expert there the first few times you tune your violin to reassure you are tightening each one to produce the correct sound. Using a violin tuner from then on will also assist you.

There are two more techniques to learn. The first is how to properly hold the violin. Rest your left jawbone on the chin rest, not the tip of your chin or you’ll get a neck cramp. Your head’s natural weight will put ample pressure on the instrument. Next, extend it straight out in front of you, cradling the fingerboard in your hand in the wide space between your thumb and forefinger. Bend your elbow to form a triangle with the violin then tilt the instrument slightly down. Even though this may be awkward at first, soon it will feel perfectly natural.

The final technique is learning the various scales and positions. Most likely you will master the first position and G scale first, then the A, D and E in major chords, move to the minor chords, etc. Even professionals practice their scales each time before they play. To learn these basic violin techniques and use them is like an athlete stretching before a game. You’ll just perform better.

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