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Challenges When Playing Violin

Updated: Apr 14

Violins create some of the most beautiful music that several musicians admire today. However, it’s also a fact that learning to play the violin is one of the hardest things because it requires full-on motivation, patience, effort, and skills to master the art of this instrument.

Most violinists experience certain challenges when they play their favorite musical instrument. These challenges help them improve who they are to become the famous and professional musicians they aspire to be.

Form and Posture

The first challenge you’ll encounter as you learn to play the violin is achieving the right form and posture. Without the proper form, you’ll find it difficult to make the appropriate sound of the violin. Holding the bow right is not a walk in the park, and it takes practice to master it.

Aside from proper posture, other body positions, including your arm angle, head placement, and height, are also essential in ensuring that you are playing the violin accurately. Other common problems with your form while playing the violin include the following:

  • Slouching

  • Sinking Titanic or pointing the violin at the ground

  • Your left elbow is hugged close to your body

  • When your body is in a clenched position, or you feel stiff

When these improper forms are not corrected, muscle strain, fatigue, and serious injuries can lead to muscle strain.

Execution Problems

With improper form and posture, execution problems will surface, involving bowing and fingering techniques. When these problems linger, they may hinder your ability to play the violin and create good music during music classes. Some of these execution challenges include:

  • Your fingers are lifted too high and are pressed too hard on your fingerboard

  • Fingers on your left hand are squished together with the pinky curling separately from others

  • Your first finger is improperly placed, affecting your music’s intonation

  • Improper movement of your shoulder or elbow causes straight bowing

  • Not utilizing the entire length of the bow, including the heel

  • Thumb is not bent which could affect bowing straight


When you have finally mastered your form and properly hold the violin, the next challenge is creating a sound. On your first try, it’s natural that you won’t like what you’re hearing, and you should not feel discouraged. It takes practice and developing your inclination to master the proper intonation of violin music.

To help you get used to creating sounds on your instrument, it helps to ask yourself these mental questions:

1. Does your violin bow need rosin?

2. Are you holding your violin correctly?

3. When playing, are the bow and bridge parallel?

4. Is the spring pressed down totally using your finger?

Poor intonation at first could also result from your uncertainty and lack of self-confidence. Don’t stop practicing until your tone gets better.

Maintaining Short Fingernails

Being a violinist prevents you from growing your fingernails. Long nails are a hindrance to efficiently playing your violin, and you must maintain having short and clean nails to play the violin with ease. You will not be able to have a good grip on the violin’s neck and strings when your nails are long.

Practice Habits

When mastering any instrument, you need to exert as much effort as you want to become the best, especially when you’re a beginner. If you are new to learning violin, you must know the importance of effective habits to help you become a professional.

Some challenges beginner students may encounter are the following:

  • Devoting a good amount of time to practice and perfect a song

  • Developing mental focus and concentration

  • Remembering to wash your hands before touching your instrument

Even Tuning The Violin Is Challenging

When you realize that playing the violin is tough, you will quickly realize that the preparations before playing may also be challenging!

Tuning the violin is challenging because two tuning pieces must work together to precisely tune the violin: the pegs and the fine tuners. Tuning using fine tuners is comparable to tuning a guitar.

Tuning using the pegs, on the other hand, is a whole other experience. Finding the perfect pitch using the pegs might be difficult. Furthermore, if you spin the peg just a half-rotation too far, the strings might easily snap.

That is why tuning a violin may be quite difficult!

Minor Things Can Easily Disrupt The Sensitive Sound

Violinists are masters of nuance. Each slight shift in hand, finger, or elbow posture can drastically alter the sound.

  • Missed the mark by 0.1 inches? It appears to be out of tune.

  • Have you put too much pressure on the bow? There will be squeaking.

  • Did you press your finger a split second too late? There's also squeaking.

  • Is your elbow just a little too high? You will be unable to reach the strings.

  • Have you moved your bow arm too quickly? You won't have enough bow to play all of the notes.

It might be difficult to keep all of these details in mind every time you play. Occasionally your intonation is excellent, yet you make a minor error with your elbow posture.

Sometimes you make a wonderful bow stroke but don't relax your hand enough to make it sound decent.

All of these minor details have an impact on your tone. And, because the violin is not forgiving, even little changes can quickly disrupt the beautiful tone!

Why Is Playing The Violin Challenging?

Violinists must make their fingers execute strange motions and oddly hold their violin. Many people train for years to go beyond the fundamentals. It's no surprise that many consider it one of the most challenging instruments ever! But why is it so difficult to play the violin?

Here are the reasons why:

  1. The Violin has no frets or keys

  2. Across the fingerboard, the distance between notes varies.

  3. It is quite challenging to bow correctly.

  4. When you're playing, you need to relax.

Violin Music is An Art

The violin is a challenging instrument that, when learned, creates beautiful music. While you may encounter challenges when learning, it is certainly very rewarding when you finally get the hang of this instrument. No matter how difficult it gets, you should not be disheartened and always remember your ultimate goal - to master and learn how to play the violin.

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