The fiddle or violin is one of the most challenging instruments to learn and even though it requires hours of dedication and practice, it can be extremely rewarding especially you have hopes of becoming a concert violinist.

Of course, when it comes to learning violin for beginners, your first step is to use the internet to search violin for beginners or use a tutoring website like Superprof where the credentials of every violin tutor are verified.

There are not many people who don’t like music, it is something that everyone can enjoy. It is worthwhile dedicating a whole article to the joys of beginning a musical learning journey especially since becoming a virtuoso like Paganini.

If learning violin for beginners, reading sheet music, learning arpeggios, using tablature, studying music, and expanding a repertoire is on your bucket list of dreams, why not think about taking violin for beginners?

Alternatively, if you are already a player and want to progress in your violin ability then a private violin tutor could help you to reach your goals.

There are many frequently asked questions when it comes to learning the violin. Some of these are:

  • How long will it take to learn to play the violin?
  • Is it possible to learn to play violin online?
  • Where can I find good supplementary resources to help me progress?  
  • When is the best time to begin violin lessons?
How long does it take to learn violin?
It can take a few hours per week of practice in order to become an adept violinist. (Source: Monoar)
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How Long Does Learning Violin for Beginners Take?

One of the first questions you should ask yourself before embarking on your first violin lesson is how much time you have to dedicate to learning violin for beginners.

This is an important question because it can take a long time to learn to play violin especially if you are at the violin for beginners stage and have ambitions of becoming a professional musician at some stage.

Even a student who has had years of instruction can still struggle to play a simple melody without hitting a few wrong notes. But don’t let this put you off learning violin for beginners.

The trick is to commit to learning for at least a year and knowing upfront that it will not be a journey that you can complete in just a few months. By comparison, piano lessons usually offer more immediate satisfaction than violin for beginners. When it comes to the violin, apart from finding just the right violin tutor for you, you will need to learn about adopting just the right posture, and this can differ slightly between right-handed players and left-handed players.

Why not commit to learning violin for beginners for at least a year because this is how long it can take to see tangible results. Remember that learning any new instrument, but especially one as complex as the violin will take dedication, commitment, and practice, so don’t give up even if it feels like you are not seeing immediate results.

If you decide to choose to teach yourself, you may become easily demotivated especially when your violin lessons inevitably get tough. When this happens, instead of giving up, remember that the more regularly you practise, the faster you will progress.

This time investment required for your violin for beginners education will be directly related to your existing background as a musician.

It makes sense that those who have studied music theory or other instruments, like the bass, accordion, cello, electric guitar, or flute will already have the basic language needed for violin for beginners. These are the foundations that will make it easier for your violin tutor to whisk you through basic violin lessons.

For those with an experienced musical ear, violin lessons will also be easier. Ear training undoubtedly makes it easier to understand pieces through listening to them so that your brain can successfully reproduce them.

Ear training is an important habit to adopt when learning any new musical instrument. If you have never learnt music, you will need time to learn these skills so don’t become too disheartened or overwhelmed. Simply, practise, practise, practise.

To speed up the learning process there are a few tips you could try. For instance, use tablature to teach you songs even if you don’t read sheet music. Alternatively, you could ask your violin tutor for advice.

In addition, make sure that you invest in the appropriate accessories when you buy your violin. These are all wide-ranging in terms of material types and price. You will need a shoulder rest and a chin rest and of course a violin mute which absorbs sound so that you can practice to your heart's delight without annoying your family and neighbours. All of these accessories are essential if you want to play violin and are available at leading retailers in South Africa like Marshall Music.

Regularly working on your fingering and finger placement can also help you learn much more quickly. In fact, there are exercises that you can do wherever you are, whether on the bus, at work, or waiting for an appointment.

Which are the best books for learning violin?
There are plenty of good books for learning to play violin. (Source: Moritz320)

Which Materials Do You Need for Violin for Beginners

To learn to play violin, regardless of whether you are learning with a private tutor, online or in a classroom setting, you will need supplementary resources like violin books, online tutorials, and smartphone apps.

If you’re questioning where to find handy materials to help you hold your violin bow properly, tune your instrument, or play as a left-handed musician, the best thing you can do is have a private violin tutor who can meet you at your current ability.

Of course, in addition to your violin tutor, there are endless online resources that cater to violin for beginners. Here, it can be helpful to read reviews from other customers before buying what you need. One of the great things about buying anything online, including violin accessories, is that you can read other customer reviews before purchasing anything.

For instance, this could prevent you from purchasing a book for intermediate or advanced players instead of violin for beginners. A good review will include information about how easy the book is to read, how clear the images are, and what type of exercises you can expect to find in it.

Many musicians collect books that end up never being read, this doesn’t mean they are not good books, it just means they were not for them.  

Having said all this, there is no doubt, nothing can replace the expert help of a private violin teacher. Even though books can certainly provide structure to the learning process, they are especially beneficial under the guidance of a trained professional.

Using the right violin books alongside general books on music theory is sometimes all you need to stay motivated and keep improving.

There are books like Max Jaffa’s How to Play the Violin that are highly recommended. You will find others by chatting to fellow musicians and experts in music stores.

Which are the best violin YouTube channels?
You can use YouTube channels to learn to play violin. (Source: Mohamed Hassan)

The Possibility of Violin Lessons Online

While books and violin manuals are fairly comprehensive, if you have a basic musical background, it is also possible to try and learn how to play the violin with the help of the internet.

For beginners, it can be a useful way to progress. Alternatively, once you reach a certain level, you will find that you need more than just online resources.

You can use the internet to find tablature for popular or classical music, and there are many channels on YouTube where you can learn the basics of the instrument.

You could use the internet to access tablature on places like YouTube channels to learn instrument basics as well as contemporary or classical songs and how to play them.

There are plenty of YouTube channels with beginner violin lessons looking to learn the basics of the instrument.

Free or otherwise, there are detailed videos on how to practise many basic techniques, like holding a bow for instance.

So whether you choose to use free resources, or pay an online course subscription, your progress will always be down to you. To advance, keep the following in mind:

  • Practise regularly: set aside dedicated time to practise as this will be what makes all the difference.
  • Establish a schedule and stick to it: it’s not easy to fit everything into life, but if you are serious about mastering a musical instrument, you will need to set aside dedicated time to practise.
  • Find a programme that works for you: Whether it is getting in touch with a private tutor or buying a book to teach yourself, make sure that your process is one that suits how you like to learn.  

When you need further advice, checking out dedicated violin forums is a good idea, and remember that there are many other violinists and musicians who can help you.  

Why not consider finding a video that can teach you how to play a particular ensemble or solo piece?

When should you start learning violin?
No matter your age, you can start learning to play violin today! (Source: HCE70)

Is Violin for Beginners Available at any Age?

10? 30? 45? 80?

It is never too late to start a musical education; you can learn to play violin at any age.

In fact, violin is sometimes taught in retirement homes to help keep the elderly active and to help exercise memory. It is not easy getting older, but that does not mean that the brain is not capable of learning new things even though manipulating violin strings can be tricky at an older age.

Therefore, the main thing is that the violin can be learnt by students at any age, it just depends on how you go about it.

One of the reasons adults struggle to learn the violin is because of their other commitments rather than because of their advanced years!

Learning an instrument means setting aside dedicated time to practise every week or attend lessons at a music centre or school. Additionally, tuition for music schools and universities can be very expensive.

Juggling the responsibilities of adult life like family, work is difficult enough without adding in the time to practise a new instrument.

Be honest with your capability, and choose a time in your week where you will be free.

When it comes to children learning to play the violin, the challenge is their inability to focus for long periods of time. It is therefore not recommended that children self-teach a complex instrument like the violin. It is advisable that they work with a private tutor, or attend group lessons at a music school.

Choose a tutor who has experience with children and is able to adapt their teaching to students of any age.

In fact, music classes for children can even include learning several instruments at once (recorder, ukulele, saxophone, singing, violin, guitar, etc). This means that they can then choose to focus on one that they like the most. If a child learns to love the piano, encourage them to continue with it.

If, however, your child does enjoy playing violin, do keep in mind that there are smaller violins available for smaller hands.

What About Teenagers?

Beginning brand new music lessons as a teenager depends on the child. Getting a teenager who doesn’t necessarily listen to violin music, to play the violin, can be tricky.

Remember that playing the violin can take years of study and perseverance.  

One way of keeping children and teenagers interested in violin is to use resources like games, apps, and other techniques to keep them interested. Smartphone apps (for Android or iPhone) can also be truly useful, especially considering the amount of time that children spend on them.

Finally, there are violin teachers who specialise in teaching adolescents and many of these can be found on Superprof where there are private violin tutors situated all over the country. If you cannot find one near you, you could still embark on private lessons via webcam and internet software like Zoom or Google Meet.     

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Niki

Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.