How to Play the Violin & Teach Yourself in 5 Steps

how to play the violin

Are you thinking about learning how to play the violin on your own but you’re not sure whether it’s worth it?

First of all, learning the violin is undoubtedly worthwhile and very rewarding. Once you grasp the basics, you’ll experience the unique joy of learning new songs and techniques. 

Of course, the process of teaching yourself violin should also be fun and painless. There are many great online violin lessons to help you out.

These online courses are affordable, interactive, and efficient, especially if you’re searching for a solution on how to learn the violin by yourself.

However, we can’t say that learning the violin is a piece of cake. Among other things, it takes a lot of dedication, consistent practice, and focus.

All bowed instruments are challenging for beginners and not easy to master. It takes a while to produce a quality sound on the violin – when you first get a hold of it, you might not hear what you expect.

That’s one of the things you need to know before starting with the violin.

The thing is, the violin is a very delicate instrument. For example, if you want to play a certain note on the piano, you need to press the correct key.

And the violin requires a little extra effort – you need to hold the bow, press strings, read notes, and keep time simultaneously.

But if you follow several easy steps, you’ll be on the right track to having all the techniques at your fingertips and producing a beautiful sound.

So, if you want to learn how to play the violin by yourself and need a little help (and motivation), you’ve come to the right place!

5 Steps to Learn How To Play the Violin

Everyone has their own best way of learning and achieving goals. But when it comes to playing music, there are some universal tips that will definitely make your learning process much easier.

As we’ve already mentioned, mastering the violin is not an easy task, so don’t push yourself too hard to learn as quickly as possible. Take your time, be patient, and regardless of your source of learning – follow the suggested learning path.

Other than that, there are certain tips you can apply to make your learning process more smooth.

1. Basics First

Yes, following the suggested learning path is absolutely crucial for beginners.

Although it sounds logical that you need to start at the beginning, but it’s important to point out that you can’t learn your favorite tunes on the violin before mastering the fundamentals.

Violin notation - learning the basics

It all starts with the correct posture, bowing techniques, learning notes, and knowing how to take care of your violin. There are so many online violin lessons for beginners, and you definitely shouldn’t skip the first lessons.

Although music theory doesn’t seem appealing to some people, it’s actually not as nearly as boring as some sources like to claim. Don’t fall for a marketing trick that you can be a virtuoso in a matter of weeks and learn any song you want in 5 minutes.

Take it step-by-step instead, and you’ll see progress sooner than you think.

Once you’ve learned basic notes, scales, and techniques, you’ll be ready to dive into the magical world of playing music.

After all, everything will sink in better when you feel confident and when you have a strong foundation.

2. Practice Effectively

You’ve probably heard of (probably on our website) the saying that it’s not the amount of time you put into practice but the quality of the practice that matters.

Or as Kobe Bryant put it: “It’s not about the number of hours you practice, it’s about the number of hours your mind is present during the practice.”

Girl learning how to play violin.

You can spend hours and hours playing the violin and you might still feel stuck.

How can that happen? Well, perhaps your mind wasn’t present, or you were distracted by something, or you simply weren’t motivated enough.

On the other hand, mindful practice can bring you the results you want and gradually improve your violin skills.

So how can you practice the violin effectively?

  • Get in the flow state – Create a calm and comfortable space for your practice. Keep your phone and other distractions away, and really devote yourself to what you’re doing.

Pay attention to your exercise and you’ll soon be getting into the so-called flow mode more easily.

The flow state will not only help your playing but it’s also generally beneficial to your concentration and overall well-being.

  • Practice scales – Once you learn scales and arpeggios, don’t forget to keep working on it. It will help your coordination, shifting, and overall performance.

Although playing scales is not as fun as learning new songs, it will undeniably help you in the long run. It’s also a nice way of warming up before practice.

Once your fingers move swiftly, you’ll be playing all the tunes more smoothly.

And the only way to achieve that is by not neglecting basic violin exercises.

  • Practice hard parts – Some parts of the song are always harder to master than the rest.

When you realize there’s a section of the song that you keep stumbling upon, don’t continue before practicing that exact part.

And don’t start from the beginning of the song every time – that’s how you’ll play the beginning perfectly, and hard parts will stay unpolished.

So, practice that hard part until you feel confident playing it, even if it’s just a few notes.

The charm of self-teaching violin is that you get to repeat these parts as many times as you wish.

  • Practice regularly – If you want to keep improving your violin skills, you need to maintain your practice routine.

Even 15-minutes of effective practice per day will make a change in your playing.

Ideally, you’ll put aside 30 minutes or more for your daily exercise.

Of course, you should adjust the practice schedule to your abilities and needs, but it’s essential that you keep your practice regular if you want to gain core violin skills.

You also shouldn’t push yourself too hard. If you feel overwhelmed and strained, take a break or end your session.

3. Get Inspired

When you’re learning how to play an instrument, you’re always striving to sound better. But to do that, it’s crucial to know what your goals are.

One of the ways to find out what kind of sound you’re reaching for is to simply listen to music. Search for violin solos online, attend live concerts, and discover the artists you like.

The violinists and the orchestra

Watch the professionals do the work and listen carefully.

As you’re progressing with your violin playing, you’ll be able to notice the quality and nuances in their playing. And as you’re becoming familiar with the technique, you’ll start to appreciate someone else’s expert skills even more.

More important, you’ll get inspired. Finding inspiration will keep you interested, motivated, and eager to keep going.

So, surround yourself with music and fully immerse yourself in the world of violin.

4. Join the Community

Learning how to play the violin by yourself can be a lonely process.

And joining the community of music lovers has never been easier. Many online violin lessons have active forums or Facebook groups where you can connect with fellow learners.

People playing the violin.

Apart from feeling involved and connected, by meeting other violinists you can receive valuable advice. Others are probably coming across the same obstacles as you are, and they might have useful suggestions.

You can even record yourself playing and seek other people’s opinions. By the way, listening to yourself playing might also be a good way of finding your weak spots.

However, other people have a more objective ear and they could really help you improve your performance.

Besides online communities, search for local events and gatherings. Classical concerts are also a nice way of connecting with other music lovers.

The social aspect of playing an instrument is important in making progress and getting new ideas. If you surround yourself with like-minded people, you’re more likely to fall in love with the violin even more.

5. Keep it Interesting

One of the benefits of learning the violin by yourself is that you have the freedom to choose the material and sources. Find a program that’s engaging, interesting, and versatile.

Although violins are mostly associated with classical music, there’s a variety of genres to try out. Some online violin programs include large music libraries with a bunch of songs to choose from.

Fun and effective ways of learning the violin by yourself

Take advantage of the Internet and make your learning fun. You’ll also realize it’s much more efficient to learn scales and arpeggios if you’re learning it through music you like.

Of course, it might take a while before you can jump into playing complete songs, but the basics and music theory can also be taught with an interesting, engaging approach.

Online courses also include a variety of modern learning methods. Apps and games are a great way of testing your knowledge or refreshing your practice.

In the end, you never know where the journey of playing the violin can take you. So, explore, stay curious, and keep it interesting!

Final Thoughts

If you want to learn violin and develop your musicality by yourself, there are several things to keep in mind.

Essentially, what you need to remember first is practice, practice, practice! Sticking to your practice schedule and dedicating yourself to the instrument is the only way of getting the results you want.

However, the effectiveness of your practice is also very important. Be sure that you’re focused so you don’t waste time on mindless practice.

Also, don’t rush – take your time to go through hard parts of the song, and don’t forget about basic violin exercises.

Finding inspiration is another step in teaching yourself violin. Listen to the violin pieces, attend concerts, or connect with fellow musicians which will help you feel motivated and involved.

Learning how to play the violin on your own can be an interesting process. Take advantage of modern learning resources and discover what online courses have to offer. How you practice and learn is solely on you, but these programs can provide helpful tools.

Regardless of your learning sources and goals, learning how to play any instrument is a long yet very fulfilling process.

And once you master the basics, possibilities are endless. You can join jam sessions, or even the orchestra, and keep learning new melodies and expanding your knowledge.

We hope our little guide motivated you to start your musical journey and discover what this wonderful instrument can do!