I have always wanted to play Pirates of the Carribean and other beautiful melodies on violin. For me, it is a nightmare to play anything on it.

I have a musical background (Electronic Producer). I know basic music theory and play the keyboard (beginner).

But when it comes to violin, I feel exhausted. Finger placement is my biggest issue: how to press a string without touching other, as the space between them is so small. I can't touch only one at a time except E and G, because they are first and last of course.

Bowing is not so difficult, but sometimes my bow jumps or bounces automatically.

I'm looking for some expert who can explain their journey, guide me and correct me, if I'm doing something wrong.

When I have time, I watch tutorials and stuff online. I do this sincerely and seriously, but either my fingers are too big or the space between the strings is too small.

I have 4*4, in case I didn't mention it before.

How long does it take to learn to play the violin on an intermediate level?


  • 1
    Violin is one of the hardest instruments to learn well and though I think it's possible to learn many instruments without a teacher, I'd strongly recommend a teacher for violin, at least for a few months or so, to get you started with the right habits. – topo Reinstate Monica Apr 29 '18 at 9:00

Each person's journey in learning an instrument is unique, so there is no standard answer to your question of how long it takes to learn intermediate level violin. It would most likely take years of dedicated pratice. If you do not have a teacher, then you might be picking up some bad habits that could be hard and frustrating to 'undo' at a later stage. It is highly recommended to have a teacher.

That said, if you think your fingers are too big for the violin, have you considered playing the viola?

  • Hi, thanks for your answer. I think you're right but i really don't have time for it on regular basis so i can't have teacher. Secondly, about flingers, I'm 25 years old regular body, my fingers are normal but the point was, i have seen 60 years old guy playing it nicely. So is it just practice? And a teacher. Viola I don't want to play. – Azeem Akhtar Apr 29 '18 at 7:34
  • Yes. Committed practice and a good teacher would give you a good chance of achieving your goal. Your fingers will, with time, learn to make the tiniest adjustments to find the correct position of each note. I strongly recommend doing lots of slow scales - slow enough that you can hear each note and adjust it if needed to be in tune, and also slow enough to hear the quality and evenness of tone that you are producing. You have to train your ears just as much as train your fingers. Good luck and have fun with it. – Jomiddnz Apr 29 '18 at 8:04

Well, take a look at the sausage fingers on basically the only available portrait of J. S. Bach. Still he was good enough on violin to write four-part solo fugues on it, and it's quite obvious that this wasn't a mere passing acquaintance: for most of the really complex passages, fingering instructions (added in modern editions) are redundant as there is just one execution making significant physical sense.

For much of violin music, touching unrelated strings is not much of an issue since it is mostly monophonic and you can make space "strategically" for phrases changing strings in a legato manner, using double stops, or relying on sympathetic vibration.

Of course, finger tip angle also plays into it: it tends to be more vertical than with, say, guitar, and the quite narrower finger/fret-board accommodates this.

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