How to Tune Your Violin Without an Electronic Tuner

The first important thing to remember when you are tuning your violin is to listen to the sound you are tuning to first! Don’t just start playing the strings first. You need to hear the correct pitch before you can adjust your strings.

Basically, the idea is to listen to the note and to adjust the string until it matches. This can be harder than expected if you have never tuned an instrument before. However, if you have tuned before or if you have had ear training before, you should be able to get the hang of it.

So first, we talk about tuning your violin WITHOUT an electronic tuner and in the second part of this post, we’ll look at how to tune your violin WITH and electronic tuning device.

How to Tune Your Violin

Tuning your violin is usually something you leave to your instructor or another more experienced player, because of the possibility of breaking strings. However, sometimes, you don’t have that luxury! Because of that, we will cover how to tune the violin all by yourself on this page.

Note: There is always the possibility of breaking strings when you are tuning. Most of the time, when a string breaks, it doesn’t damage anything or anyone. However, be very careful when tuning. There is always the slim chance that a string will break and strike you. Beginners are more at risk of breaking strings, usually by changing the pitch of a string upwards too fast or too far.

The two parts of the violin that are used when tuning are the pegs and the fine tuners. It’s very common to accidentally try to tune using the wrong peg or tuner, so pay attention to what peg/fine tuner you’re turning!

Learning to Play the Violin

Learning to play the violin can be very well possible if you keep five things in mind. Whenever you learn anything you have to follow basic guidelines, whether you are experienced or a beginner, you have to follow the basics well.

If you will ignore the basics, you will never able to learn the violin with proper technique. Learning to play the violin involves both mental and physical activity. Mentally it involves strategy, solid determination, and true commitment.

Physically it involves dexterity, muscle activity, and involvement of your eyes and hands. Here are five important things that you can not ignore to learn to play the violin in a perfect way. These are as follows.

How to Maintain Your Violin

First of all, remember that taking care of your violin is very important. You cannot skip wiping off the strings or be loosening the bow very much at all. Your violin is fairly delicate and does not tolerate much abuse. There are a few simple routines to follow that will keep your instrument in excellent health!

Violin Bow Maintenance – Tighten your Bow Properly

Most bows only require two or three full turns of the screw, which is the metal (usually) octagonal piece on the non-pointy end of the bow. Turning the screw makes the bow hair more or less taut.

To make sure the hair on the bow is at about the correct tautness, look at the space between the hair and the stick in the middle of the bow. The width of that space should be about the width of a standard pencil. The hair should not be much further from the stick than that. If it is, the bow is over tightened and this stresses where the hair is fastened on the bow, causing hair to fall out eventually.

How to Choose the Right Rosin

What is Violin Rosin?

Violin rosin is a hard block of specially prepared sap from specific kinds of trees. You put it on the hair of the violin bow, so the bow’s hair will be rough and sticky enough to make the strings vibrate when you bow on the strings. If you get a bow that has never had rosin put on the bow hair, the bow makes no sound at all when you try to play on the violin with it!

If you use a lighter rosin (for example an amber rosin) then it will be less sticky. This means that the bow hair will glide more on the strings, rather than stick and grab on them. This is usually better for the beginning violinist because you’re still learning how to best control the bow on the string. However, it can mean that you can’t get the full range of volume from the violin.

If you use a dark, soft rosin, then you will notice that your bow hair will stick to the strings more as you play. By “stick to the strings”, I don’t mean that the bow won’t move! I mean that the bow hair will be just a little harder to move when it touches the strings. The sound may be a little harsher, especially for beginners. This can mean that you’ll be able to draw more sound (volume) from your instrument, but you’ll have to control the harshness while you’re playing.

Best Violin Bow

What is the bow?

Your bow is a wooden or fiberglass stick that has horsehair stretched on it, kept tautly. If your bow’s stick is made of wood, it is usually one of the following woods:

  • Cherrywood
  • Brazilwood
  • Pernambuco

Typically, the black parts of the bow are plastic or ebony wood. The screw is metal. Sometimes there is mother-of-pearl on the frog (the dot on the frog) and sometimes that’s plastic. Take also a look at this video about relatively cheap and expensive bows:

The bow hair, which is white horsehair, has rosin applied to it that makes the normally smooth horsehair sticky. Rosin’s stickiness is what makes the hair create the violin’s characteristic sound when it is drawn across the strings.

Violin for Kids

There are a lot of great benefits for teens who practice and play the violin! Most of these benefits remain the same no matter what age your young adult is and no matter when they started playing. Young adults often get experiences from the violin that will impact positively while going through some of the toughest parts of your lives.

Violin in School, a Social Experience
Most teens learn to play violin in school, so most of this page focuses on that. However, some are homeschooled while learning to play, but most homeschoolers simply go to a local public school to participate in the orchestra class there.

Teenagers, you may generally continue to learn violin skills in school, continuing your orchestral journey from elementary school. Generally, you may identify not only with being part of the musical group but also with your instrument!

Violin vs Viola

Violin and Viola – the differences

We often are asked what’s the difference between a violin and a viola. Well, the shape of the instruments is identical, the number of strings is identical, and the sounds these instruments produce is similar, or at times, almost identical.

At orchestral performances, violins and violas are usually adjacent, strengthening the perplexity about the instruments. This makes the distinction between a violin and a viola all the more challenging. The fact of the matter is also that some parts of viola solos are speaking and sounding much like cadenzas on a violin, which raises the question “What are then the real differences between a violin and a viola?”

Well, first of all, the strings used on the instruments are tuned differently. The four strings of a violin are tuned (from low to high) G-D-A-E. The thinnest string, the E-string, can produce thin, bright, birdlike sounds. Through this string, the musician can produce unusual, very high pitches, the perfect tunes for songs that are meant to pierce lasting impressions into your heart.

Do You Want To Learn To Play The Violin On Your Own?

How to learn to play the violin without expensive lessons is a million dollar question for those violin lovers who cannot hire a private teacher or join traditional violin classes because these are usually a costly option.

But at the same time, you can not learn to play the violin without having violin lesson or proper guidance. Check out this great video on how to hold the violin and the bow correctly for properly learning how to play your instrument.

We all know that necessity is the mother of invention, so if you really have the passion and love for this instrument, you need to be little creative and you need to spend some time searching for free online violin lessons that can really help you a lot to learn the violin with full perfection.

How do online lessons work?

Well, if you are out of a budget and you don’t want to spend money for an instruction book to learn violin playing, you need to be open-minded and try to take guidance from free online violin lessons.

Featured

Missing Violin

A couple of years ago, Minnesota Orchestra violinist Chouhei Min had her Guadagnini violin (price tag: over $500,000) stolen from the Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

Min said ‘This really is every musician’s nightmare who owns such a fine instrument’, and she added: ‘It sounded just like something that belongs to me, my personality sounded in it, the instrument responded to the way how I worked on it. It’s just like raising your child, and when you are a decent parent, you will raise a decent child.’

Wouldn’t you think that a church could be the safest place to keep such a treasure while you’re having a coffee with members of the audience after a recital? Well, apparently not, as Min’s 231-year-old valuable violin was stolen from Minneapolis’ Mount Olive Lutheran Church on Sunday night, May 16th.

It is a violin by J B Guadagnini, Turin, bearing his label dated 1778, and is a good example of violins of that period. The varnish has a red-brown color, and the instrument’s belly is spruce with open grain. The back is a one-piece maple, and the maker added some pieces in the lower flanks. The violin was originally from a George Hart collection and is listed in a the Guadagnini book by Doring (The Ex-Hart).