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Learning the Violin as an Adult

Updated on August 23, 2017

Have a go

Do you want to start learning the violin as an adult? Just go ahead and do it. You will never know how good you could have been until you give it a try. It takes a while to get past the scratchy stage but once you do all the hard work is worthwhile. You can just enjoy it on your own or join an amateur orchestra, or a small chamber group.Here I will give encouragement and some helpful tips, with photos to check you are doing things correctly.

Not an Easy Instrument to be Learning as an Adult

The violin has its difficulties. First you have to put up with sounding rather awful for quite a while, whereas piano sounds reasonably O.K. from the start. It is worth it to persevere. When you can play a little tune try to find someone to accompany you on the piano. The violin is intended to be played with other instruments. Once you have the harmonies supporting you it makes your melody line glow.

If you can afford lessons have them, but you can still have fun on your own, if you keep practising regularly. Little and often is the best way.

I had a seventy-year-old farmer come to me for lessons. He had made a start as a boy but not continued. Despite his gnarled farmer's hands he made good progress and joined in ensemble playing as an adult.

Follow the pictures below and you will be able to develop good posture of the hands. You should stand with your feet slightly apart with your left leg under the violin, to keep your centre of gravity correct. Place the violin with shoulder pad along the line of your collar bone, turn your head to the left slightly and drop it firmly onto the chin rest. The weight of your head should be sufficient to clamp the violin in place, leaving your left arm free to let go of the violin without dropping it. Now your left hand fingers are free to do their work.

I wish you every success in your playing. If you have anything to ask me ask in the guestbook below.

Advantages and Disadvantages

As an adult beginner on the violin everything is not stacked against you. The child has the advantage of supple fingers but you have the advantage of a life's experience. You will have the discipline to practise, once you set your mind to learn. You will know how to manage your time to fit practice in, whereas a child is reliant on a parent to do this for him.

You will also have experience of how a violin should sound, even though you will find it difficult to emulate at first. You will also probably have more chance to play with other people. Your determination to succeed will probably be greater than that of most children who will rely on a parent to keep them enthused. Your progress in reading music and understanding finger patterns will be faster than that of a child. So do not feel that the situation is helpless.

Almost an Adult When I Learnt the Violin

I was fourteen years old when I took up the violin. When I was nine I had taught myself to play the piano with the help of one piano book and a little guidance from my mother. Then at the Grammar School I had piano lessons when I was thirteen. When I was fourteen a new music teacher came on the scene. He had grey curly hair and a beard to match and looked a bit like Brahms. After assembly he asked for anyone interested in playing an orchestral instrument to stay behind. I had wanted to play the violin for some time. He was a great teacher and very dedicated about getting an orchestra started. He gave up most of his lunch time breaks so that he had time to teach us. We learnt in a group of about six.

One advantage of learning late like this is that you remember the difficulties you had with certain techniques and so can understand the problems your pupils are having.

The Parts of the Violin

The Tailpiece and Chin Rest

Here you can see the chin rest, obviously for your chin to rest on and also the tail piece which has the strings attached to it. We will see the fine tuners in another photo.

The Scroll and Pegbox

Here we see the pegs in the peg box. The strings pass through a hole in the peg and the peg is turned to hold the string. The peg at the left hand side on the top of the picture holds the G-string. the one on the right the D-string. The pegs at the bottom of the picture are the E-string on the left and the A-string on the right.

The Bridge

The bridge is shaped so that the strings are kept at different angles so that the bow can play them individually. You cannot bow a guitar because the strings are all in the same plane. In one sense the bridge keeps the strings up, but also the tension of the strings keeps the bridge in place.

As the strings vibrate the vibrations are directed by the bow towards the bridge. The vibrations are then passed down the sound post and around the body of the violin and out again by way of the F holes.

To send the vibrations along the strings the bow has to be held with the wood slightly away from the direction of the bridge, so that the hair of the bow will be slightly nearer the bridge, in this way the vibrations are directed towards the bridge.

The E string on the left of the picture would cut into the bridge if it did not have the protective, plastic sheath.

You need to check that your bridge is kept in the right position. It is possible for it to collapse if you do not do this from time to time. It is held in place by the tension of the strings, but it can be knocked out of position or move gradually out of position.

The Fine Tuner Screws

At the tail piece end of the violin the strings are attached to little attachments with screws. From here the violin can be fine tuned if there is difficulty tuning with the pegs.

The object shown here across the strings is a mute which can be moved into position on the bridge as required in various pieces of music. This produces a silvery, ethereal tone.

An F hole

The sound escapes here from the body of the violin.

The Sound Post inside the Violin

The sound post sits inside the violin connecting the belly to the back. It is positioned just under the bridge and transfers the vibrations, that is sound waves, to the sound box which has the typical violin shape which produces the distinctive sound of a violin. If the bridge falls down, the sound post will usually fall down too and need to be expertly positioned again. The position of the sound post makes a difference to the sound, according to how it is positioned in relation to the bridge.

Correct posture

Some Photographs to help you get the right positions of the hands, fingers and arms

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You Really Need a Shoulder Pad

Make sure you choose your shoulder pad carefully. Some of them fall off too easily. It is helpful to have one that will fit in your violin case. You also need the right depth according to how long or short your neck is.

For Comfort Most People Need a Shoulder Pad

Hold the Bow with a Gently Bent Thumb

It is important to keep your thumb bent while holding the bow. If you keep your thumb straight you can damage the joint and possibly cause strain further up the thumb. This end of the bow is called the frog. The other end is the tip. When you draw the bow across the string, starting from the frog, it is known as a down bow. When you start from the tip it is an up bow. The French have a much better idea and call them pull and push.

The Bow Hold From Above

The fingers are gently curved and spread out

Very Bad Left Hand Posture

This is the way some beginners try to play and will just stop any real progress. Begin as you should go on. You will eventually need to move further up the finger board which is impossible this way as the wrist will bump into the main body of the violin and impede progress

That's Better

Look at the distance here between the hand and the body of the violin. In this picture you can clearly see the peg box. The four strings are attached to four separate pegs through a hole in the middle of the pegs. To make the strings give a higher note you gently turn the peg away from you clockwise and also push into the box to wedge them in place. This must be done carefully or the strig might break. At the other end of the strings you will fine fine tuners which are easier to use.

The Left Arm is not Supporting the Violin

Place the violin under your jaw and along the collar bone. Raise your head, look left and let your head sink onto the chin rest. This will gently clamp the violin in place and your left arm will be completely free to do all the things it needs to do

Look at the Distance Between Thumb and Finger

Again I want to point out that the violin is NOT held up by the left hand. The violin is held by the shoulder and jaw. The left hand is simply brought up to the violin and completely unhampered so that the fingers are free to move and the arm to move up the violin when required.

See How the Fingers are Spaced on the Violin String

The fingers are placed on the A string. If we bowed with just the first finger it would give us the note B. If we bowed the second finger it would give us Csharp; and with the third finger D. If we played the open string that is without any fingers we would have A. If we play A,B,Csharp,D that would give us the first half of the A major scale. To complete the scale repeat the same pattern on the E string.

The Bow is Kept at Right Angles to the String

The bow has to be kept at right angles to the string in order to make the string vibrate evenly and produce a good tone

The Angle of the Bow on the E String

The right arm is low and relaxed to play the E string.

Get Some Tips on How to Play Twinkle, Twinkle

The Angle of the Bow on the A String

The Angle of the Bow on the D String

Angle of the Bow on the G String. Note the Raised Right Arm

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Oh! To be able to play the violin like this.

Inspiration

There is nothing quite as inspiring as going to a concert with a world class violin soloist. Study the way they play and make up your mind to do the best you can to imitate them. We forget what vigour needs to be put into playing the violin. I have a friend who says that the violin is a man's instrument. What she means is that to play well you have to put a lot of physical energy into your playing. Watching orchestral players is also very rewarding.

If you are tackling quartet playing yourself, by all means watch and listen to a quartet playing. You might think that watching and listening to these wonderful players would make you lose heart, but I have always found it inspiring. Although live performances are the best there is much to be gained by watching good players on You-tube, such as the one below.

Let Some of Charlie Siem Rub off on You

Playing the violin with other adults

It is so much fun to play your violin with other people. At first this should be a pianist. Your efforts will sound so much better if your melody line is supported by the harmony a piano can give you. The violin is not meant to be played on its own except in the case of advanced and gifted players. When you have gained confidence from your sessions with a pianist it is time to join an amateur orchestra.

This is great fun and as violins are split into first and second violins you can join the second violins who play a lower part which is easier for you. This is extremely good for your sight reading as you have to keep in the right place on the music and no- one is going to stop if you get lost, you just have to find your way back in again.

It can be a bit hair raising at first but very worthwhile if you can keep your cool.It is all part of learning as an adult. The conductor is likely to be sympathetic as string players are always needed. They are much harder to find than wind players.Just be confident and have a go.

Chamber music is great fun for the learning adult

When you play your violin in the orchestra you have others with you playing the same part; when you play in chamber music, of which quartet playing is the most popular, you have a part all to yourself and you have to keep in time with the others. It is a good idea to find a fairly competent violinist to take the top part as in the quartets of Haydn and Mozart the top part is the most difficult. You need someone in charge to decide if things are going astray and to take everyone back to the beginning if things have got in a muddle.

Learn a piece bit by bit. You will be surprized how things improve as you practise. As with orchestral playing you will most likely be able to take the music away with you to do that all important practice. If the viola player and the cellist are a little better than you and the first violin still more competent you should have hours of fun together.

Sight Reading

This means reading a piece of music for the first time and playing it as you go. It is very important to note the time signature and count the beat. For 4/4 time you will need to count 4 in your head, over and over. If you do this when you make a mistake you will know where you should be and then can join in again. Practise on your own being able to play a new piece right away.

This skill is necessary if you are to play in quartets. You need to find people who are not too impatient, to play with at first. The more you play with others the more your sight reading skills will improve. If you feel it would help to tap the beat with your foot don't do it, it will annoy the other players. However you can wriggle the end of your toes inside your shoe in time with the beat and no one will know.

If you play with players of your own standard you may breakdown a lot in the music and be unable to sort out what has gone wrong. It is better to play with better players who are tolerant and patient with you. If they see you make progress they will continue to play with you.

My journey

When I was fourteen a new music teacher came to our school and asked for volunteers to play various musical instruments. He started with strings, in order to make a good basis for forming an orchestra. I volunteered enthusiasticly. I had a violin at home. When I brought the violin in to school it was rejected by the teacher, but he supplied me with one to borrow from his small collection of instruments. I was so excited to be learning the violin.

We practised every day during the dinner hour. My enthusiasm was noted by the teacher and soon he was giving me individual lessons and my progress was rapid. Fourteen,for a starting age is very near to the experience of an adult and so I have written this page from my experience as much as anything.

Many people recommend learning the violin at a much earlier age, but that is no help to you if you did not have the opportunity. Whatever age you are, if you are determined, you can succeed sufficiently to have a very enjoyable pastime.

I remember the first time the orchestra played in public. It was on Speech Day when all the prizes were given out. I was not good enough to be in the orchestra at that stage. The noise was frankly awful. I remember stuffing my fingers in my mouth to stop myself laughing as most of the school was. We had an eminent person come to speak, some sort of relation of the Queen. He managed to produce a benign smile for the orchestra. It was a a poor start for the orchestra but it went on to become rather good in the years ahead.

Care of your violin

It is best to keep you violin in a strong case when it is not in use. If you have a quiet household and it is safe to leave your violin out on a piano or a table it can encourage practice as there is not the bother of getting it out, otherwise keep it in a strong case. Always wrap it in a soft cloth to prevent it being marked by the bow which is kept in the lid of the case.

Get your strings renewed after about two years as they will lose their tone and your playing will not be so enjoyable. It is a false economy to make them last much longer.

Prevent build-up of rosin on your violin, near the bridge, by simply removing it with a soft cloth frequently. You need to do this with the bow also. If you do not remove it, it will become black and sticky. The bow hairs can also become dirty. You should wash the hair with soap, not detergent. This will completely remove the rosin and like that your bow will make no sound on the violin! You have to renew the rosin on the bow. To do this take an old broken bit of rosin, place it on newspaper and wrap it up in it. Now take a hammer and strike the rosin in the paper until it is pounded to dust. Now you can easily apply the bow to the crushed rosin and quickly cover the bow hair once more. Apply rosin to the bow every day with just a few strokes and it will grip nicely.

One alarming thing that can happen to your violin is that the tail gut which attaches the tail piece, which holds the strings in place, can snap and it looks as if your violin is done for. Do not panic a violin repairer can soon put this right. It happens less frequently these days because the tail gut is no longer gut, but strong synthetic material. Enjoy playing your violin as an adult learner.

How about joining a barn dance band or playing for square dancing

Wow there's an idea. I know learning adult who have succeeded with this. I once started a barn dance band. It was called and still is called "The Lucy Lastic Band." Sounds like "Loose elastic band." If you live in the South West of England you might like to hire them.But to get back to you and barn dance. It is a great advantage to be able to play by ear for this as you can watch the dancers and adjust the rhythm if necessary. I never mastered that.

With me the band came from very humble beginnings and has now gone on to greater things. The violin part is very important, so if you want to show off here is your chance. A barn dance lasts about three hours so you will be quite busy. Much of the music is quite fast so you need to practice getting up to speed. If you are one of those clever people who can read music as well as play the violin by ear, you will be able to get used to new music on your own before playing with the others in your band.

If you get really good at this you can make a bit of extra money in the evenings. Barn dances often take place at weddings. They go well because everyone is in party mood. It is important to have a really good caller to teach the dances, someone who encourages people to join in without being too pushy. If you think it is your sort of thing have a go. You might need to get together with some musicians who are of your standard and work up from the bottom. All the best.

Could you play the violin?

Do you think you could learn to play the violin as an adult?

Advice on Practising

One good tip which may help you to practise more often, is to leave your violin out of its case. Then it is easy just to pick it up and begin playing. This is only possible if you live in a house with calm adults. Under other circumstances you will need to keep your violin in its case.

When tackling a new piece of music, work at small sections rather than struggling from beginning to end. As the saying goes,"How do you eat an elephant?" and the reply is,"One bite at a time."

It's the same with a piece of music, note by note. If you play all through a piece you will make slow progress. Little sections repeated many times can be joined together to make the whole piece. This is definitely the best way and the quickest way to learn a piece.

If you play the piano you have centimetre sized notes to find, you will always be in tune and only hit the wrong notes sometimes. Playing the violin is not so easy, a very tiny spot is the right place to be in tune. To stay in tune you have to listen carefully. Ears get tired and sometimes switch off. You must recognise this and switch them back on. It is better to do just ten minutes practice with concentration than to play along with your thoughts elsewhere. There is another reason for doing short times of practice at the start. Your left hand fingers will get sore if you play too long. Gradually they will develop little calluses and you will be able to play for longer. These calluses actually produce a sweeter tone.

Be disciplined and set aside some time to practise every day. It is more beneficial to do short practices every day than to do a large practice on one day a week. If you think of a toddler learning to walk it keeps trying over and over, nothing stops it from getting up and trying again. If violin playing was the same as walking some of us would still be crawling!!

You will practise more if you have a goal in mind, a lesson to attend or a concert to play at. If your desire to play is great, you will practise more.

One more important piece of advice. To keep the peace with your neighbours, if you have problems with sound proofing, buy a practice mute like the one in the photo below. It reduces the volume of your playing to a level which will not be heard by your neighbours. Always good to keep the peace, especially as you can relax when you practise, knowing you are annoying no one.

A Practice Mute - Essential to keep the peace with the neighbours

Tips for looking after your violin.

When not in use it is best to keep your violin in a violin case, to keep it from being bumped and scratched. Always put the bow in with the hair facing the outside edge of the case , or the hair may get caught and be damaged by being in contact with the fine tuning screws. From time to time the bow will need cleaning. The hair should be washed and dried and then new rosin re-applied. To do this place small bits of rosin in newspaper and cover it, then use a hammer to break up the rosin into tiny particles. Then rub the bow in this and you will soon have it covered again. The rosin has to be on the bow so that a good contact is made with the strings. Try playing without rosin and you will find the bow glides over the string without any noise. The grip that rosin gives is essential to produce a sound. For this reason you need to apply rosin to the bow often. It is however possible to overdo this.

Professionals change their strings very frequently, but after two years would be acceptable with an amateur. New strings produce a better bouncier tone, but the other consideration is cost.

Keep your violin away from strong sunlight and radiators as the tuning will be affected.

Here's how it looks to play C natural

In the photo below the violinst is playing D but the second finger, the one second from the left is C natural. It is easy enough to place the second finger close to the first but when you come to play the D it will feel as if it has to stretch more than usual to get the note in tune. This is because there is stretching between the second and third fingers, whereas when you were playing with C#'s the third finger was supported by the second. Now it has to stand alone. I hope you will find this helpful.

Playing with C natural

The second finger from the left is in the C natural position. Note it is near the first finger, whereas C # would be near the third finger. Of course the third finger would have to be lifted for the note C natural to be played.

Vibrato

Vibrato is a left hand technique which enhances the sound of each note. It is a little tricky to learn but once mastered becomes an integral part of one's playing. I always teach it in the following way:- Hold the violin in the usual way and then slide the hand up the neck of the violin until your wrist is touching the body of the violin. Imagine that your left wrist is joined to the violin with a hinge. Flap your hand to and fro keeping the wrist attached to the violin. When you are used to this movement, place your second finger on the string and make the hand movement.

The finger must not slide along the string but oscillate slightly sharp and slightly flat of the note. Try this whilst drawing a single bow. This is difficult at first because your bow hand will want to imitate the oscillations of the left hand. It is fine at first to do wide, slow movements with the left hand; these can then be speeded up. It is all a matter of determination and practice. Vibrato can also come from the arm, through a movement from the elbow upwards to the hand.

When you have mastered this you will find your playing greatly enhanced.

A Great Choice of Music for the Beginner and the More Advanced Pupil

I used these books a lot when teaching, simply because they contained such tuneful pieces. I did not teach the Suzuki Method as such. In this method the violin is taught by rote and imitation, not by reading the music. The original idea was that just as a baby learns its mother tongue from its mother so it could also learn to play the violin as it was taught alongside the mother. I'm not sure what the long term success rate has been with this method.

Suzuki Violin School: Violin Part, Vol. 1
Suzuki Violin School: Violin Part, Vol. 1

I'm not particularly keen on the Suzuki method of teaching but the music chosen is excellent.

 

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    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 2 years ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Great hub. Music is so important even if all one does is listen to it. Playing it is a huge plus. Thanks!

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I've always dreamed of knowing how to play the violin and the flute. I envy those who know how.

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      Superb Lens. Well done!

    • profile image

      PianoLessonsGuru 3 years ago

      It is never to late to learn play violin...Great lens.

      Thanks.

      EasyPianoLessons.org

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Sure is. Violin is the most important instrument in classical orchestra. Anybody who can play it, has tremendous powers:)

    • profile image

      fifinn 4 years ago

      I have never played the violin. It seems difficult to play. nice lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I do believe this is very useful, helpful, and excellent, yes! :)

    • profile image

      ChroniclesofaWa 4 years ago

      You just inspired me that it is never too late to learn.

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 4 years ago

      Stringed instruments are hard to play. violin particularly. it's very brave of you to have learned this and kept going with it. Me, i'll just stay playing keyboard these days. :) This is a really great lens. Thanks for making it... :)

    • Valleyslad profile image

      Valleyslad 4 years ago

      I learned guitar as an adult, so I know how frustrating it can be, especially when my nephew who's 8 picked it up so easily. Well done for sticking with it, and for this great lens.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      This is fantastic! There's nothing like music for warming the soul. What a great tutorial.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      I like violin but can't play it well, this lens does help me a lot. Thanks for sharing.

    • Aibrean82 profile image

      Aibrean82 4 years ago

      I used to play the violin as a child, but unfortunately had to give it up. I have been considering taking it up again lately, as I love the sound of it (when played well).

    • gezzyka profile image

      gezzyka 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens--I've been thinking it might be fun to learn to play something but just assumed I'd go with piano (since I had a few lessons as a child). You've inspired me to consider other options, including the violin. Thank you!

    • LizMac60 profile image
      Author

      Liz Mackay 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @gezzyka: Glad to have been some help.

    • Peregrina LM profile image

      Peregrina LM 4 years ago

      You have some wonderful information. I learned to play the violin as a kid but haven't done it in ages. I suppose I should go back to it sometime....

    • Art Inspired profile image

      Art Inspired 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens. I hope it inspires other adults to start learning!

    • pennyhart lm profile image

      pennyhart lm 4 years ago

      This is a very informative lens with great pictures! I love the idea of learning to play the violin... maybe someday :)

    • profile image

      John_Hairstyler 4 years ago

      Congratulations for making that step!

    • danzuc76 profile image

      danzuc76 4 years ago

      Amazing page. I have always wanted to learn the violin and recently bought myself one. Your guidance is a brilliant first step. Thanks and thumbs up!

    • irminia profile image

      irminia 5 years ago

      It is great insiration to hear hat one can learn an instrument even in adult life. Thank you.

    • SailingPassion LM profile image

      SailingPassion LM 5 years ago

      I'd love to give it a try. Always wanted to play some instruments and that's probably why my daughter probably does by passing my enthusiasm onto her. She plays a little violin, but she took to the flute a little easier.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      It is never to late to learn something new.

    • profile image

      antoniow 5 years ago

      Great lens, nicely done!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      My young granddaughter plays the violin. I was pleased that you had so much information in this lens as I would like to learn a bit about playing. Very informative lens! ~blessed~

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      I think learning the violin would be SO much fun!

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      I think learning the violin would be SO much fun!

    • DeannaDiaz profile image

      DeannaDiaz 5 years ago

      I took lessons as a kid, I sure would like to pick it up again!

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 5 years ago from U.S.

      I would love to be able to play the violin! I took up fiddle lessons about 25 years ago...but only for a short time. My oldest son was quite young then, and my extra energies went into child-rearing instead. But I'm at a point in my life where I'd like to add more of my own music to the world again :-) Thanks for the inspiring lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Such a beautiful instrument. I must admit that I am interested in learning to play the violin, but intimidated by it as well.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      Incredibly well done lens. My wife took violin lessons for a year when our son enrolled in a Suzuki program, so I know a little (by association) of what you are talking about. My son continued with lessons for 15 years and is quite an accomplished violinist while I can't even play a kazoo. I admire anyone who pursues learning this beautiful and difficult instrument - especially as an adult. Blessed and featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo"--my tribute to the best lenses I've found since donning my wings.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Included in my tribute lenses on Colossal Squid Stars.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Blessed!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      This is a beautifully passionate but practical and useful lens for anybody with the same determination as yourself to play violin. I love your violin which looks as if it has been well-loved before my observations.

    • stephen777 profile image

      stephen777 5 years ago

      I love to play the violin. You have a great lens on how to start. Keep up the good work.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      You are a real inspiration. Blessed!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      You are a real inspiration. Blessed!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      PS - And I forgot to say that I loved the pictures of you playing the violin! I bet you were a great teacher.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Thanks so much for this. I used to play as a girl, maybe I will pick it up again. It is really worth it to get an instrument of a reasonably high quality, we got a cheap cello for my son and really regretted it. Ask local musicians for recommendations, or even rent if you can't get something worth while.

    • LizMac60 profile image
      Author

      Liz Mackay 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @pawpaw911: Guitar is easier in some ways, than the violin, you have frets to show you where to put your fingers. Do get hold of an instrument and see how you get on. It's worth a try.

    • LizMac60 profile image
      Author

      Liz Mackay 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @pawpaw911: Glad to be of help pawpaw911

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Very inspirational. I always wanted to learn the guitar, but never did. I might have to think about starting. Thanks.

    • Sunflower Susan profile image

      Sunflower Susan 6 years ago

      Yes, VERY useful! Thank you. I always appreciate so much when people are willing to share their knowledge and skills.

    • ScareYouDiva profile image

      ScareYouDiva 6 years ago

      Great lens! So many people are intimidated at learning a new instrument as adults - you're an inspiration.

    • pamelabrusher profile image

      pamelabrusher 6 years ago

      You truly are an inspiration to me! I hope I will be as active as you when I am at your age... doing all the right things in life.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      A great lens! My mum was a music teacher .. could play the violin, mandolin and piano. Although my brothers were all given lessons on the various instruments, mum never gave me lessons because I could play by ear. I play the piano and accordion. I guess I'll have to learn to play the violin now. :D

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 6 years ago

      Great lens full of useful information. My husband and youngest son are both musicians. My husband bought me a violin (fiddle) for Christmas one year because I have always admired those who can play the violin. I am sure your information will help me avoid some bad habits. I do hope to play a song that sounds good some day. Your pictures are especially helpful. Thank you!

    • pangaloon profile image

      pangaloon 6 years ago

      I loved this lens, and it is really refreshing to hear that musical instruments can be learnt later on in life. I fully intend to learn to play an instrument when my girls have grown up. Thanks for sharing.

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      prabhurams 6 years ago

      learning violin has always been a passion in me due to its intricacies in it. However, after taking some few lessons I gave up. But reading this lens I feel like I should give it another try. Thanks for the share :-)

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      dilipsvarma 6 years ago

      nice lens especially for beginners

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 6 years ago

      Although I didn't take the blessing bus, I just had to come back and bless this excellent lens!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      This is a very informative and encouraging guide for adult beginners and one I need to feature on a lens I have on pursuing dreams as an adult. I'm impressed with anyone who gives the violin or indeed any musical instrument a go, it's not easy but can be very rewarding. Blessed.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 6 years ago

      I learned to play as a child. Unfortunately, I don't play anymore, due to a significant wrist injury. I wish you much joy in your playing!

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      MusicWriter 6 years ago

      Hello Liz!

      I really find this lens helpful for adult students! THank you! I am still working on my lens about how to improve violin playing, and came across yours! Would you mind if I make a reference to your lens and direct people here for the basics? I think its fantastic!

      Thank you! ( my lens is still under construction :( I hope to publish it soon!)

    • mellex lm profile image

      mellex lm 6 years ago from Australia

      What a beautiful Violin you have. Love the wood and colour - must be quite old. I started playing when I was 7 and have much love for the violin. An excellent lens and I'm sure it will be useful to anyone wanting to learn this beautiful instrument :-)

    • auntjennie profile image

      Jen 6 years ago from Canada

      I love all the photos showing the position of the violin.

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 6 years ago

      P.S. I have just featured this lens on my Portland Collection: Fiddle and Mandolin Music lens.

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 6 years ago

      Great photos and useful information on learning to play the violin as an adult. My husband is learning, when he has time, and he really enjoys it.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Lovely lesson in playing the violin, many thanks -:)

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Lovely lesson in playing the violin, many thanks -:)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      These so neat Liz, and as original as can be. I enjoyed it very much and blessed it.

      Lensrolled to Nigel Kennedy | Tribute to Jimi Hendrix | Purple Haze.

    • MrsR1 profile image

      MrsR1 6 years ago

      Hi Liz - this is a terrific lens - I love to teach adult students and currently I had 2 new gentlemen come to me for lessons - on ein his 50's and one in his 60's. I think it is worthwhile for folks to invest in at least a few lessons with a professional to learn the basic hand positions. Especially the importance of swinging the left elbo under the instrument to move the hand from string to string and the "dropped" right shoulder that is necessary to create a beautiful consistent tone. Love your photos - they are VERY useful! I have lens rolled you to my site, too!

    • Blurasis profile image

      Blurasis 6 years ago

      Excellent lens. If only my elementary music teacher could have been as easy to understand!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      I haven't heard of Joshua Bell before, sounds lovely. I really like Andre Reiu and Secret Garden. The violin is beautiful and romantic.

    • Violin-Student profile image

      Violin-Student 6 years ago

      Very useful page. Nicely done. Thanks very much for the hard work! Definitely a must-see for folks learning the instrument.

    • LizMac60 profile image
      Author

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Tarra99: Thanks for your blessing.

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      Tarra99 6 years ago

      I've always enjoyed watching people play the violin...I admire you for taking on the challenge of learning a musical instrument as an adult and thank you for sharing with the rest of us...your lens was very detailed with instructions and pictures...thanks. Blessed and featured under How To here: http://www.squidoo.com/100-blessings

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      Sadheeskumar 6 years ago

      Very good lens explaining the art of playing violin very well.

    • LizMac60 profile image
      Author

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      @JenOfChicago LM: Thank you for visiting.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 6 years ago

      I so admire you, I love the violin!

    • LotusMalas profile image

      LotusMalas 6 years ago

      I played violin as a child but has forgotten almost everything :( I'm trying to learn ukulele, but it doesn't feel near as easy as learning the violin when I was younger

    • LabKittyDesign profile image

      LabKittyDesign 7 years ago

      Saw your comment on our classical music lens, then we wandered over here and found you had made this! Yet another Squidoo member that puts us to shame ;-) Wonder if you have an opinion on the Meyer Violin piece we recommended. Hilary Hahn is amazing, no?

    • LizMac60 profile image
      Author

      Liz Mackay 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      @anonymous: Hi Tim, your ear telling you the note is right or not is the most important thing here. If you have chubby fingers you may need to really squash one and two together to get the semitone distance. Your third finger when it is in the correct place will feel as if it is further up the fingerboard than usual, this is because of the stetch between two and three. Tell me how you get on. I will try to add a photo soon.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      I taught myself a bit of piano and guitar when I was a teen ... I do so admire violinists. This wonderful purple star lens is joyfully featured at Purple Star Pastiche - thanks for adding it to the plexo!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks, as a 30-something beginner, i find this site most useful, and helpful!. I am however battling with the Left hand Finger Positions of the G-major-Scale, notibly going from A-string C (first & 2nd finger close) to D (third finger far). I feel my hand potion is wrong, as i cannot quite get the distance. Please If possible add more photographs here to help aid

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 7 years ago from London, England

      Great lens. I started playing the violin when I was about 6 years old (a very small violin) but gave up when I was 8. I suspect it was torture for my parents. I then took up the cornet and trumpet, which they may have also regretted. The violin is a wonderful instrument and I wish I could play it.

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      ruthbrons 7 years ago

      Wonderful!

      In my studio, beginning students learn the bow hold quickly and easily using the Bow Hold Buddies[tm] instant bow hold accessory. Their fingers stay relaxed and in place while we learn more music!

    • mariatjader profile image

      mariatjader 7 years ago

      great lens, thank you for sharing!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Wonderful Tutorial. Congratulations on your Purple Star and Giant Squid Awards Nomination. Happy Holidays to you and Best Wishes for 2010! :)

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Very well presented! Great work!

    • Laddoo LM profile image

      Lloyd Pinto 7 years ago from Mumbai

      Truly outstanding Liz! One can surely learn new things at any age!! Congrats on your nomination!! Just Voted for this awesome lens!

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 7 years ago from California

      Liz- This is really a good message as well as tutorial. We can do anything we want if we want it bad enough :) Congratulations on being chosen for the 2009 Giant Squid Awards :)

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 7 years ago

      Excellent show and tell lens - Congratulations on being nominated for the 2009 Giant Squid Awards.

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      What an interesting lens! How could I miss it till now?

      This is excellent!

      Congratulations on your 2009 Giant Squid Awards!

      Dom.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      I just re-visited this lens because I'm adding it to my new "favorite purple star lenses" lens! You rock!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 7 years ago

      First, congratulation for a well deserved purple star.

      Second, my opinion is that learning doesn't have age, we can learn what we love at any age. As long the learning never stops, we are alive and well, we have fun, accomplishments, and we feel good about ourself.

      This is a beautiful lens

      Thanks

      Michey

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      Joan4 7 years ago

      Congratulations on that beautiful purple star -- and Giant Squid!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippee!

    • HenryE LM profile image

      HenryE LM 7 years ago

      How helpful! I had a college roommate that played BEAUTIFULLY! And, I've always wanted to learn. Maybe I'll ask a friend to teach me :)

    • Eklectik1 profile image

      Eklectik1 8 years ago

      Wonderful lens full of great tips for people of all ages who want to learn the violin.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      This is very narrow niche lens, Liz! And you did great job with it!

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      kimmanleyort 8 years ago

      My daughter played violin for years. I do believe that you've given enough information here for someone to try it.

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      I've played the violin for 40-some years and I teach older adults from time to time. Your tips are right on!

    • ctavias0ffering1 profile image

      ctavias0ffering1 8 years ago

      Excellent and very important stuff. Getting the position right makes such a difference. I don't play violin (wanted to when I was young) but flute and correct arm / hand positioning is very important for comfort, posture etc. 5*