I have the internet as my resource youtube, blogs, etc, but in all these resources they seem too quick to get to actually playing the violin. l know l should get a tutor for this but am currently not in the position get one at the moment.

I have bought the violin ,here is what I have tried so far

  1. Read and understand music notes

  2. How to take care of the instrument

  3. Learn to hold the violin

  4. Learn to bow

Now my question is, I have tried to follow youtube links but they seem too fast on learning to play whilst I believe its an instrument that takes time.

For example, l don't know how to nicely place and play my fingers on the neck

Can anyone please suggest to me a recommended list of steps to follow in my learning? I believe some have taught others to play. Can you recommend what I should do? Thank you

Music is not my profession. I'm a software developer by profession. Ever since l started watching videos of Andre Rieu and many classical performances I decided to patiently practice every day

  • Watch these lessons by maestro Yehudi Menuhin. They are gold, not just for beginners, but even for experienced players, to rethink about the basics. youtube.com/watch?v=O7BZV1btlK4 When you can, find yourself a teacher to help as well, it will make a big difference.
    – xxfelixxx
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 11:59

3 Answers 3


The control of your arm, hands and fingers is very difficult concerning playing the violin. To avoid bad habits I would renounce to practice the violin and study meanwhile elementary music (melody, rhythm and especially sight reading, ear training and harmony.

To practice these abilities you could buy a cheap second hand keyboard (max. 100 $). My advice of for Ear training and sight reading is: Try to find out the melodies of your favorite songs on the keyboard by trial and error, write down the note names and try to notate the sheet music and then compare your solution with a music sheet in the web.

This practice will be an excellent preparation till the moment you can star to take up your violin lessons with a professional teacher without acquiring bad habits.


l don't know how to nicely place and play my fingers on the neck

Can anyone please suggest to me a recommended list of steps to follow in my learning?

It is worth noting, in passing, that if you had a half hour lesson with a real, flesh and blood teacher (something which I know isn't allowed in these times of almost universal lockdown) then your learning would get a real kick-start.

Starting with your left arm and hand, holding the violin. This is how it works:

  1. Hold your left arm out from your side at about a 30 to 45 degree angle and bend the arm at the elbow so that you can hold the violin with your hand holding the neck and the your shoulder blade supporting the body of the violin. Your hand should be facing you.

  2. Your arm from the elbow to the first knuckle of your fourth finger should be in a straight line. In other words your wrist should not be bent either forward or back. The reason for this is that this position gives your fingers the greatest degree of freedom to flex in different ways. Cocking your wrist will block this freedom.

  3. Move your thumb away from the side of the hand to make a "V" shape so that the neck of the violin can rest on the side of the hand by the knuckle at the base of the first finger and somewhere close to the top knuckle of the thumb.

  4. Holding the violin with the body supported by the shoulder blade and the neck supported by (but not gripped by) the thumb and base of the forefinger curl your four fingers over to touch one of the strings. It doesn't matter too much which one but suppose it is the 2nd or 3rd string.

  5. When you place your curved fingers onto the string the first 3 fingers should be almost vertical and the 4th finger, because it is so much shorter, is going to be closer to 30 to 45 degrees. This is your basic position. It is important to have roughly these angles so that you only press down one string at a time without catching a string next to it and to give you a comfortable position with the flexibility to move your fingers quickly.

  6. Now move your left elbow to the right. The violin shouldn't move. You should be supporting the violin neck but gripping it. The position of your thumb should stay the same but as your hand rotates up the point of the support for the violin should change from the base knuckle of the 4th finger to a point somewhere below. More importantly, if you didn't move your fingers then they should now be over a lower string. If they were previously over the 3rd (A) string they should now be over the 2nd (D) or 1st (G) string. If they are not over the G string then move your elbow even further right so that they are over the G string.

  7. Now move your elbow in the other direction enough for your fingers to be over the D string. Do it again so that the fingers are over the A string. And again, over the E string. This is how you change the string you are pressing. You move your elbow to the right to move towards the F string and to the left to move towards the E string. The shape your curved fingers make is called the "frame" and you should try and maintain your frame at all times to make it easier to make fast finger changes.

It's perhaps worth noting at this stage that all the muscles you are now using in strange and unfamiliar ways are small muscles which get tired very quickly and can be easily damaged by over use. It is very important to try and stay as relaxed as possible. In the beginning you will not succeed in being completely relaxed and there will be tension. To counter this try consciously to relax and in any case every few minutes put the violin down, shrug your shoulders a few times and shake out your arms starting with your shoulders and going all the way down to your fingers to release the tension. Finally don't overdo it.


I think that music instructional videos are more for intermediate and above more than absolute beginners, and while this isn't good, I understand it.

For your specific question I think there key is fingertips, which is the same as with guitar, my home instrument. I hope that helps, and that you've got beyond the problems of bow pressure and intonation that dogged me for a while.

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