Whether film soundtracks, classical music, or rock ‘n’ roll, the violin (or fiddle) is attracting new fans. But before you start playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, you need to have a look at a few tabs or study some music theory.
Learning music theory (treble clef, bass clef, keys, reading sheet music, etc.) can take some time. You’re not going to become the next Vivaldi during your first lesson, after all.
Music requires a lot of concentration, motivation, and teaching skills, learning to read sheet music and understand music theory needs to be done progressively, and the violin can be one of the hardest musical instruments to learn.
If you want to learn music in more interesting ways, there are some who choose to learn violin with apps and new technologies. There are plenty of ways to learn to play the violin on the internet (websites, YouTube videos, etc.).
Which methods should you use in order to learn as effectively as possible?
How do you avoid picking up bad habits without a tutor there to correct you?
Set Clear Goals
Why do you want to learn how to play violin?
This is the first question you should ask yourself before you go online or start looking for violin teachers.
Your goals won’t be the same if you’re wanting to become a professional violinist as they would be if you just want to play violin music with your friends on the weekends.
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While the basics will be the same for both, an amateur musician can skip over a lot of music theory and focus on violin playing while someone aspiring to go pro will need to be well-versed in the international language of music.
This is why you’ll need to understand what your goals are and why you’re learning. This can also help you focus on your learning and stop you giving up when things get tough. This is especially true when you’re teaching yourself as you’re the only person you have to answer to and there’s no music teacher spurring you on.
Motivation can come in many forms. You might have a show at the end of the year, be playing at a friend’s wedding, you might have joined a band, or you might be applying to a music school at the end of the year. Find a reason to stick at it.
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Put Together a Programme For Online Violin Lessons
Once you know what your goals are, you need to move onto the following step: putting together a plan. When it comes to music lessons, it can be tricky putting together a coherent plan to follow.
For example, you might find a video on vibrato you want to watch right after learning how to correctly position your hands.
These two lessons can’t really be put one after another. Vibrato is far too complicated for somebody who’s just learnt about where to put their hands. In order to make sure you’re progressing as you should, you need to make sure your lessons follow a coherent structure.
So how do you do this?
You could find books on violin playing in a library or even go on websites specialising in learning how to play the violin. Music schools also tend to explain the structure of their courses.
You need to find the right order for all the violin topics you’re going to teach yourself:
- Positioning your hands
- Improving your posture
- Holding the violin bow and bowing technique
- Note value
- Music training
- Finding sheet music for violins and broadening your repertoire
- Performing a concert as part of an symphony orchestra, quartet, or soloist
- Composing music
- Maintenance such as changing violin strings and tuning your instrument
Some programmes might not suit your needs, either.
Don’t hesitate to change things by adding or removing certain lessons if they’re not suited to what you’re trying to learn.
Practising the Violin Regularly
To succeed in music, or any other art for that matter, you need to regularly practise:
- You should be able to practise the violin at any given moment.
- Don’t regularly change your daily schedule.
If you leave too much of a gap between your lessons, you’ll start forgetting things you learnt in previous lessons. Studying regularly is key to retaining information you've taught yourself or learnt from a violin teacher.
The more regularly the practise, the less likely you are to give up. By setting aside an hour each week for practising the violin, you’re forcing yourself to work on your playing.
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Play as much as Possible
Just like friendships, you need regularly work on playing the violin. Your efforts will be in vain if you only practise the violin every two months. As we said, you need to practise regularly if you want to make any significant progress.
If you only practise once a month, you’ll not make as much progress as someone practising regularly even if you practise for just as much time. About an hour per week is the very least you can practise.
It can be quite difficult to schedule 10-minute practice sessions. By the time you get your violin out, choose a video, and learn in such a short time. Between 30 minutes and an hour is generally enough time to get settled and learn effectively.
This gives you enough time to go back over the last lesson and build upon it with new topics. If you are learning the violin as an adult, remember that learning new things will take more time than if you were still a child. That, and everyone learns at their own pace - you will get there eventually!
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Learning the violin can take a lot of time. The more you practise, the closer you’ll get to your dream of quickly mastering classical pieces by Vivaldi, Mozart, or Bach. So go get your violin!
Listen to Violin Pieces
Even if you don’t have perfect pitch, you can work on it by regularly listening to violin pieces. You can then move onto playing these pieces. By regularly listening to violin pieces, you’ll get better at hearing mistakes and correcting yourself.
Without a teacher, it can be difficult to notice your own mistakes. So here are a few songs that are great for those learning how to play the violin:
- Palchelbel’s Canon
- Lindsey Stirling - Crystallize
- Louise Attaque - Je t’emmène au vent
- Jean-Jacques Goldman - Tournent les violons
- Amazing Grave - Traditional
- Shostakovich’s Second Waltz
- Perfect - Ed Sheeran
You can also find plenty of YouTube channels with these songs and tutorials on how to play them.
You might become the next big thing on the platform like Lindsey Stirling.
Why not film yourself playing and put your performances on YouTube?
If you're still looking for music for violin, why not check out some of the greatest violinists of all time:
|Johann Sebastian Bach||1685||1750|
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart||1756||1791|
|Pablo de Sarasate||1844||1908|
Choose the Right Online Violin Lessons and Resources
When you learn the violin online, you have to carefully choose which resources you use. It’s very easy to get lost in all the resources available on the internet.
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It’s important that you consider who’s teaching the lesson you’re going to follow.
Are they a real violinist?
How many years have they played?
Are they a good teacher?
You should check out a few of their videos before deciding on whether or not you’re going to follow their course. It’s useful listening to other beginners so that you know which common errors you should avoid before embarking on your journey.
Find various online violin classes here on Superprof.
Choose the Right Resources for Your Learning Style
Some classes will be better than others depending on your background as a musician and your learning style. Take the time to get to know the resources you’re going to use.
Try finding complete courses that don’t stop once you’ve learnt the basics. There’ll come a time where you’ll have to go from a beginner to an intermediate player.
Be Motivated and Persevere
Every musician will tell you that motivation is key to learning a musical instrument. You shouldn’t really look at naturally gifted musicians such as Mozart to inspire you but rather look for rags-to-riches musicians.
Sometimes a lack of time can cause problems, but a lack of motivation will always cause you problems. In addition to setting up a programme and following it to the letter, make sure you actually want to learn to play the violin.
If you have the necessary motivation, learning will come naturally to you.
When you’re motivated, it’s a lot easier to put the effort in.
“Music is the language of emotions.” Immanuel Kant
Don’t forget to bring your passion for music to teach of your lessons. Beginner violin lessons can end up being quite dry before you learn how to play anything of note. The same goes for any other music classes (guitar, saxophone, piano, clarinet, flute, ukulele, accordion, harmonica, bass, drums, harp, trumpet, synth, etc.).
After all, when it comes to music theory lessons, using the bow, left hand fingering techniques, and violin scales, violin lessons and music classes aren’t always really exciting. This is especially true when you’re teaching yourself to play the violin. Motivation will play a major role in this case.
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