Questions tagged [violin]

The violin is the best known bowed string instrument. It is the smallest of the string instruments normally used in orchestral music. It is used in all music styles and is very common in classical, country, and certain types of folk and traditional music. Another name for the violin is the fiddle.

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36
votes
12answers
11k views

Why does conventional playing style give the string manipulation to the left hand?

For the majority of players, the right hand is used for most tasks that require exacting manipulation: writing, throwing, etc. However, guitar, violin, lute, etc., use the right hand for plucking ...
32
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5answers
6k views

Why does violin sound differently after playing on it for some time?

I have heard from some of my friends that when you have "fresh" violin, they sound different(presumably, worse) than after playing on it for some time(e.g. half a year). Is this statement true? If so, ...
23
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4answers
4k views

As a soloist, should I face the audience or the conductor during long tutti sections?

I am playing a violin concerto with an orchestra and a fairly large audience in a few weeks. So my question is, in the long Tutti parts where I don't play, should I face towards the audience, and what ...
23
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4answers
15k views

What should I consider when I see a loose hair in a violin bow?

This drawing should do: These are the hairs of a brand new bow. Straight, clean, etc. I noticed this: As you can see, it seems like a certain hair is a bit loose. Is this bad? (I.e., does it ...
21
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4answers
3k views

Why does plucked and bowed string of violin produces slightly different pitches?

I know that when plucked as in pizzicato, the violin produces a muted sound. However, I was surprised to find out when I checked with my tuner that if I tune my violin by plucking, it seems somewhat ...
20
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6answers
4k views

I feel like I don't evolve, and sometimes shamed when playing with someone better than me

I'm currently 15 years old, and I play violin on the church. I started playing there when I was 9 years old, and always loved doing what I do, specially for the reason I do it. I sometimes play with ...
20
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7answers
54k views

Do I need a teacher to learn violin?

I'd like to take up the violin, but I travel too much to take lessons. Is it reasonable to learn violin without a teacher? And I take 'unreasonable' to mean "don't even bother- you'll be much better ...
19
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8answers
6k views

Three notes on the violin?

Okay, I've been taking the rather unusual step of playing some violin scores on the mandolin (the tunings are the same, and they're about the same size, so they're usually pretty suitable parts). ...
18
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3answers
6k views

Should I loosen the tension on the bow for a break?

According to Violin for Dummies, we should loosen the horsehair before put violin back in the case. However, I always give myself about an hour break after I play violin for 1 to 2 hours. Should I ...
16
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5answers
19k views

What is the difference between 'martelé and 'détaché' bowing?

As the title asks, I wish it could be clear to me. Can someone give me a good characterization? Do you produce them differently on a cello than on a violin or viola?
16
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5answers
785 views

What resources are there for a violinist with 4 fingers?

This is depressing. I have/had a young (around 8 years old) violin student who lost his left index finger in a freak accident over the holiday. He is a beginner, about ABRSM grade 2. I know of ...
15
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8answers
2k views

Violin - Can double stops be played when the strings are not next to each other?

Suppose I wanted to play a double stop on the violin. The double stop played the G string and the A string simultaneously. Is this possible? Can you play a double stop on two non-adjacent strings?
15
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10answers
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What to choose? Violin or piano?

First of all. I am 26 years old. I have no musical background or whatsoever. I don't know how to play any instrument. I can't even read musical notes. But I want to learn an instrument. About my time. ...
14
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5answers
3k views

Teaching rhythm to a beginner

I'm teaching viola to a beginner high school student. His progress with technique and reading are pretty good, but one thing he has trouble with is rhythm and tempo. He tends to want to work on ...
13
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8answers
22k views

Are fingertips supposed to hurt and get calluses from playing the violin ?

Whenever I play the violin a lot my fingertips start to hurt to a point at which it is painful to keep playing and this is just from around 3 to 4 hour a day practice which I don't consider to be ...
13
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4answers
15k views

Does the kind of wood used in making a violin affect its sound?

Whenever I check on violin-learning-related sites, they usually begin talking about the quality of a violin. The strings, the species of woods... ... the species of wood. Ebony? Maple? Rosewood? I ...
12
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4answers
5k views

Do the violas often play the same parts as the violins in an orchestra?

Are violas always part of an orchestra? How are they typically used? Do they often play the same parts as the violins to create a richer texture? I'm new to orchestration and have been wondering ...
12
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3answers
4k views

Can a 24-year-old learn to play violin/viola proficiently?

I've seen a few of these questions asked, but it seems like most of the students to be where just starting out in music. They didn't have limber fingers, couldn't read notes. That's not a bad thing ...
12
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6answers
3k views

How can I evaluate the quality and value of a violin?

I want to start learning the violin, but I don't know what's a good price for one. Should I get a used one or a new one? How can I tell that a violin is of good quality and worth the price asking for? ...
12
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3answers
6k views

What do I need to start playing violin amplified?

I play acoustic violin, but would like to start playing amplified sometimes. But when I start looking into equipment, I get lost in options. Piezos? Microphones? DI boxes? Pre-amps? Speaker systems? ...
11
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4answers
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Was the viola da gamba or violin particularly associated with England in the late 16th or early 17th century?

The viola da gamba was an instrument in use throughout western Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries; the modern(ish) violin became popular around the turn of the 17th century. But instruments ...
11
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4answers
4k views

Do competent violinists avoid open strings?

I just picked up a violin for the first time in what must be 25 years. All that time ago, I had lessons and playing in school orchestras - but moved on to other instruments. As a beginner I would use ...
11
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4answers
13k views

How do I teach a five-year-old violin?

I just got a request from a mom who would like me to start teaching her five-year-old violin, and I really need some help. I've been teaching piano and violin for three years now, but I've never ...
11
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3answers
4k views

Violin Sheet music - Finger 0 on non-open string note

I'm battling to understand the indicated fingering on one of the pieces of music I have for my Violin Grade 6 exam. As indicated below, the finger notation suggests that I need to play an open string ...
11
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5answers
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Should fingerboard tapes be used for beginner violinists ?

Some teachers use them and some don't. I've heard that they can become a crutch and cause delayed ear training development, but others say they are necessary at the beginning. Can they really cause ...
11
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4answers
1k views

How to avoid excessive bow-hair damage when playing “scratch percussion” on string instruments?

Prominently featured in Bluegrass fiddle playing, the ever-so-feared noise of a bow "squaking" over the strings can be used to produce distinctive, yet surprisingly sweet percussive accents if well ...
11
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5answers
3k views

What can I do to learn violin before going to a teacher?

Well, I just got a violin today. Got it set up, tuned up (I think), aaaand... Most horrible sound ever heard in my life! :D So, it is time to learn to play it. Apparently, it is highly advised to get ...
10
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4answers
12k views

What frequencies should the violin and viola be tuned to?

I'm using this app to tune my violin, it supports many temperament options. What I want to do is tune the A string to 440Hz first, then comparing the other strings sympathetically to the adjacent ...
10
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4answers
4k views

What is the proper name of the dash symbol over a note and how to play it

Can anyone specify the name of the particular symbol above the crotchet? According to Wikipedia it's called a Tenuto but my teacher said it's called a "dash". Which one is correct? Or are both names ...
10
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7answers
4k views

How many lessons are necessary to pick up the basics of violin with sufficient practice?

I'd really like to learn the violin, however I'll just be able to muster up enough money to buy a cheap violin and a few lessons. How many lessons do you think I would need in order to avoid ...
10
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2answers
3k views

What is the proper way to notate the end of a section played “sul ponticello”?

That is, what is the standard way to tell a string player to play normally again?
10
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1answer
821 views

What is the technique about how this this violin is held called?

the violinist in this video holds the violin in a really peculiar way, I'm wondering if there is a name for the way he holds the violin?
10
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1answer
4k views

Do 1/2 size violins sound at normal pitch?

With wind instruments, young kids with small hands are often advised to start on smaller instruments (e.g. Soprano Sax, Eb Clarinet) before moving to full-size instruments. (Terrible advice IMO, but ...
10
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4answers
5k views

Loosen strings for long-term storage of violin?

Of course the bow should be loosened so it doesn't warp or break, and the violin strings should not be loosened so much that the sound post falls out, but should they be loosened at all for long-term ...
10
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3answers
835 views

How to rosin a bow?

I very recently received a violin and am excited to start playing; however, my bow does not make sound. I googled it already but found very spotty instructions for how to rosin your bow for the first ...
9
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4answers
7k views

Loose piece of wood inside violin

I have this problem with my violin. Whenever i take it out to play, I hear something rolling around in it. It's not anything that's NOT supposed to be in it (e.g a penny). It's more of a slim wooden ...
9
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6answers
5k views

Why do string players tend to breathe heavily in performance?

Recently, I've started to develop an interest in classical music, specifically chamber music and, more specifically, piano trios. Having listened to a few performances now, I can't help but notice ...
9
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4answers
1k views

What's the point of composing music for the violin in D flat?

I want to play Romance from Gadfly by Shostakovich, but being in D flat makes it more difficult to play than if it were a semitone higher. I don't see any interest in composing in D flat for the ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What technical difficulties will I encounter transitioning from violin to 5-string viola?

What is harder to play, violin or viola? My question is should be completely agnostic, i.e. no relation to the classical repertoire or any other rep., nor should it be about the string order. The ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Buying nicer violin Strings

I have been playing violin for a little more than a year now and plan to continue playing. I play for about 20-30 minutes a day. I want my new strings to make a marked difference in the sound of my ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What purpose does adjusting the violin bow tension serve?

A violin bow has a screw that allows you to adjust the hairs' tension. Like a tuning peg so to speak. When I just got mine, I didn't pay attention to it. I worked with the tuning pegs because I knew ...
9
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7answers
2k views

Violin strings breaking in fingerboard area

My violin's strings have been breaking every 3 to 4 weeks. I only practice about 10 hours a week. It is not normal for strings to be breaking constantly and though the problem could be an incorrect ...
9
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4answers
4k views

Violin Pickup that will sound like natural violin?

I am constantly looking (for years) after a violin piezo pickup (or any other that is feedback-safe guaranteed), that won't ruin up the violin sound. All the PUs I've been experimented with, over the ...
9
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3answers
3k views

Is a violin's shape (particularly the f-holes) necessary or is it just for aesthetics?

Violins have a rather beautiful design. ... is such design necessary? Is a violin's natural sound only achieved when it has this specific shape? I have a particular interest in the f-holes. Are they ...
9
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4answers
13k views

What methods are there to determine when a violin string should be replaced?

I am very new to the violin. I have broken a string just once - and it was while attempting to tune it. The string breaking was rather surprising and powerful - I'm glad my face was not too close. ...
9
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2answers
800 views

Alternate violin strings for gypsy music?

I will be playing traditional/gypsy music on my classical violin, and would like to have a sound that is stylistically appropriate (deep/rich/warm/old/woody as opposed to brilliant/sweet/ringy). Can ...
8
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5answers
2k views

Recorder sounds terrible with violin

My daughter has some trouble reading music, so I try sometimes to help with the soprano recorder. The instrument is quite old, Johannes Adler written on it. Alone it sounds quite nice but with the ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Should a violinist use hand strength exercisers? If so, what kind?

Should a violinest use a hand exerciser, by which I am referring to the kind generally used by guitarists? An example of one may be found here. If so, is there a specific kind and/or tension which is ...
8
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1answer
499 views

Why was no first prize awarded at a competition?

No first prize was awarded at the Sendai International Violin Competition this year. Unfortunately the article gives no explanation for this, stating only that: No first prize was awarded at this ...
8
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4answers
5k views

How many voices do violins usually play in modern orchestral music

I've been into arranging and composing for orchestral music for a few years now, however, my music is usually fully computer-rendered (ewql), so I don't have any practical limits of how many ...