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5 Techniques To Play The Violin

Updated: May 11

Have you ever wondered how famous violinists like Paganini and Shaham could play the instrument in a very flawless manner? Have you ever noticed how skilled and great most violinists are today?


It's essential to be familiar with the best strategies to use if you want to become a great musician in the future. It's also important to strengthen one's foundation for music, as it's the key to success as a musician.


Here at Apollo School of Music and Arts, we'll help you learn and understand the various techniques you can use in your music classes as you continue to play your favorite instrument. Continue reading to know more about it!


Related Article: What Is The Best Age to Learn Violin?


1. Proper Bow & Violin Hold

The first step in mastering violin is to ensure that you have the proper bow and violin grip. Correctly positioning the bow and violin allows you to perform all other violin skills with the greatest flexibility. It also prepares you to play the violin resiliently.


One of the main considerations you'll need to learn great posture is standing up straight. Afterward, you'll need to guarantee you're in the proper bow and violin positions.


2. Straight Bowing

Using the straight bowing violin technique, the weird and squeaky sound you make as a beginner will turn into a smooth, clear, and rich sound. After all, straight bowing is always required to make your violin sound excellent, irrespective of what song or method you choose to perform on it.


Try to stand in front of the mirror and make a bow stroke on each open string to practice straight bowing. Adjust your hand to the front and back until your bow is aligned to your violin's bridge.



3. First Position Fingering

If you wish to play your violin with more than just open strings, you'll need to learn another violin technique which is the first position. Make sure to familiarize yourself with each of the notes in the first position.


After learning all of the basic notes in the first position, the next natural step is to study the most common finger locations. Then, you can begin learning easy songs using what you learned through first position fingering.


4. Slurs

Slurs are also one of the greatest bowing techniques you need to learn! It's lovely in slow and lyrical tunes, but it's also popular in fast music.


It's one of those essential techniques that every violinist should know. Your notes will be joined seamlessly, making your violin pieces sound more unified and appealing. To begin, play the open A string and the B note (first finger on the A string). Play both notes in a row after each other. You'd obtain your first slur if you're able to do this.


A line connects both notes in the sheet music for the slur. The slur's bowing symbol is this. You know you have to play all the notes under the line slurred together every time you encounter this line in sheet music.

  • Beginner players - 2 and 4 notes on one bow stroke

  • Intermediate/advanced players - 3-note, 6-note, 8-note, 12-note, and 16-note slurs as daily scale routine

5. Vibrato

Vibrato makes single notes sound deeper and more impactful. It gives depth to tunes and works well with many types of violin music. Begin by doing simple and easy vibrato exercises to feel the basic vibrato motions. After you've mastered these, you can progress to playing slow vibrato on single notes.


When performing the vibrato method in pieces, begin by vibrating the longer notes. Then gradually add vibrato to other notes until you can play vibrato on shorter notes as well. You can experiment with the range and pace of your vibrato as you continue in your vibrato experience.


You must gently place your finger on the fingerboard during the vibrato action to ensure that your finger does not shift to another spot while making the vibrato process. To perform the fast wiggling action of the hand and arm, you must keep your hand relaxed at the same time.


Also Read: 6 Reasons Why People Love To Play Violin


5 Standard Bow Strokes

Here are some common bow strokes for the violin:


1. Legato

Bow strokes are smooth and linked. Legato notes are frequently slurred, which means that a set of notes is struck in one down-bow or up-bow. A slur in music appears as a curving line across the chords in one bow.

2. Détaché

Broad but distinct bow strokes The pitches in the melody are not slurred.


3. Martelé

Notes are detached and heavily emphasized. For martelé, you'll frequently employ broad, quick bow strokes. In music, they are sometimes indicated by a line or an emphasis above the note, although not always. This stroke is chosen dependent on the circumstances of the song.


4. Staccato

Short, detached notes with accents In the music, staccato is marked by dots over the notes. "Flying staccato," sometimes known as "up-bow staccato," is a technique in which small notes are produced all in the same bow stroke, with the bow halting for each chord (the bow stays on the string). In the music, this is indicated by dots over the notes and a slur over the cluster of tones that would be in one stroke.

5. Spiccato

Notes are played separately with a leaping bow (the bow comes off the string). Spiccato is typically employed in quicker sections than staccato. However, this is not always the case. This stroke requires a relaxed shoulder, a flexible wrist, a bow at the jump point, and a contact point towards the middle of the bow. When many small notes are struck in one bow, the bow bounces with each note, known as "flying spiccato." This is represented in the music similarly to flying staccato, but you can tell them apart by context.



Final Thoughts

Being able to play your favorite instrument confidently is such a fulfilling moment. And knowing the ability to put melodies and music together using a sophisticated instrument like a violin can surely satisfy one's passion for it.


That's why there are music classes in Boston you can enroll in. You can go through various music classes to enhance your music skills as early as now. There are even music classes for kids and toddlers that you should also know about.


Now, if you seek more help with these techniques and other music classes you wish to participate in, don't forget to check out Apollo School of Music and Arts today.



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