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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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43 votes
20 answers
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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 ...
D Mac's user avatar
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31 votes
5 answers
10k 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, ...
MatthewRock's user avatar
30 votes
14 answers
11k views

My child's violin practice is making us tired, what can we do?

My daughter began taking violin lessons 2 years ago, she's now 7. She became interested because she saw an older cousin play the violin. At the beginning, we were told that in order to progress, one ...
l0r3nz4cc10's user avatar
24 votes
5 answers
25k 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?
ogerard's user avatar
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23 votes
4 answers
25k 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 ...
Saturn's user avatar
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23 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Sazid Ahmad's user avatar
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21 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
S.L's user avatar
  • 492
21 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
MucaP's user avatar
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20 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is it spelled "violincello" or "violoncello"?

I’m trying to understand the proper spelling of the full name of the cello. I’ve seen it both of these ways, violincello and violoncello. I thought since the cello is part of the violin family it ...
Benjamin Hale's user avatar
20 votes
7 answers
73k 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 ...
spiffytech's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why is violin tuning order the way it is?

I get that A is how we define concert pitch, so we tune that first, but then we always tune D-A, G-D, then A-E. Why is that? Is it just convention? My best conjecture/hypothesis is that it makes it ...
General Grievance's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
9k 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 ...
Chek Wei Tan's user avatar
19 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why don't violins have geared tuners?

Why is it that violins use simple pegs instead of geared tuners, like an upright bass?
zwiebelspaetzle's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
8k views

Why is a violin so loud compared to a guitar?

The violin is comparatively louder than a guitar. This is a surprising fact, given that: the violin instrument is generally smaller than, say, a typical classical or folk guitar, both use strings. ...
Michael Baudin's user avatar
18 votes
8 answers
10k 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). ...
AJFaraday's user avatar
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18 votes
4 answers
14k views

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

Sample score with this symbol: Can anyone specify the name of the particular symbol above the crotchet in the top image and everything marked in red in the sample piece of music? According to ...
Sazid Ahmad's user avatar
  • 1,407
17 votes
8 answers
7k views

In a folk jam session, when asked which key my non-transposing chromatic instrument (like a violin) is in, what do I answer?

I know of transposing instruments. A transposing instrument is one where the player reads a C, plays a C, and what sounds is the name of the key of the instrument. Those instruments are often referred ...
Amedee Van Gasse's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
5k views

What's this w-shaped ebony item from my grandma's violin case?

What's this w-shaped ebony item from my grandma's violin case? Possible it's not violin-related.
it's a hire car baby's user avatar
17 votes
10 answers
60k views

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. ...
aozora's user avatar
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16 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
xerotolerant's user avatar
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15 votes
8 answers
5k views

Expectations from a violin teacher towards an adult learner

I am an adult student learning the violin. I have have been playing for slightly more than a year. I can play most of the pieces in Suzuki book 1 now and have progressed up to book 2. I do not know if ...
Geraldine Chia's user avatar
15 votes
8 answers
3k 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?
xilpex's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
17k 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 ...
Saturn's user avatar
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15 votes
7 answers
4k views

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 ...
Lilitu88's user avatar
  • 2,716
15 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
Rei Miyasaka's user avatar
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14 votes
9 answers
6k views

How to transcribe an arpeggiated 4-note chord to be playable on a violin?

I finished arranging the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata in F minor for a string quartet, only to find out that the chord at bar 7 is impossible for a violinist. My instinctual reaction was:...
Caters's user avatar
  • 6,574
14 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
Cynthium Roses's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
951 views

Triangular notehead at the end of a glissando/portamento

I was studying a score that had this strange symbol in the violin part. It's a triangular notehead at the end of a glissando/portamento. The note seems to be suspended, not connect to the staff with ...
Leonardo Mesquita's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
15k 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. ...
Saturn's user avatar
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13 votes
11 answers
8k 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 ...
Decent Dabbler's user avatar
13 votes
9 answers
32k 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 ...
Lilitu88's user avatar
  • 2,716
13 votes
4 answers
3k views

Any tips for cleaning a violin from the early 1900s to make it usable again

Recently my grandfather gave me my great-grandmother's violin. He told me this violin was handmade in the early 1900s and it is an extremely precious family heirloom. The last time this instrument was ...
NGT's user avatar
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13 votes
5 answers
1k views

What is the difference between starting with an upbow and a downbow?

I'm not a violin player, so I'm surprised when people say that starting with an upbow or a downbow makes a difference. As far as I'm concerned, it is a matter of preference, and different violin ...
justANewb stands with Ukraine's user avatar
13 votes
6 answers
4k 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? ...
Caleb's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why are 1/2 (or 3/4, etc) violins called that way if they are not 1/2 size?

On the question Do 1/2 size violins sound at normal pitch? I found out that 1/2 violins are actually ~86% of a full size violin. What do the fractions 7/8, 3/4, 1/2 etc for violin sizes represent, if ...
Peteris's user avatar
  • 306
13 votes
5 answers
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 ...
Saturn's user avatar
  • 1,409
12 votes
8 answers
5k views

Retuning violin numerous times daily

I am very new to violin, like newborn baby new. My eldest son just bought me my first violin and I am having serious tuning issues. Firstly, the violin is a SV-75 Cremona premiere Novice 4/4. Secondly,...
user66171's user avatar
  • 129
12 votes
9 answers
3k views

What's your trick to play the exact amount of repeated notes

Not sure if I am the only one, (maybe reminiscences of dyslexia?), but when I have to play repeated series of notes like in 'Schradiek, school of violin technics' I tend to under or overcount the ...
daniel sp's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
21k 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 ...
Shimmy Weitzhandler's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
9k 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 ...
Z0mbiePenguin's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is it a coincidence that the length of the body of a violin is pretty exactly one fifth of the wave length of its lowest note?

The standard body size of a violin is 35 centimeter in length. Its lowest note is G3, which has a wave length of 175 centimeter, five times 35. 35 cm is the wave length of B5, which is a major third ...
Thomas F.'s user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
slim's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Saturn's user avatar
  • 1,409
12 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Saturn's user avatar
  • 1,409
12 votes
2 answers
8k 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?
Casey Rule's user avatar
  • 2,305
12 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
Craig's user avatar
  • 123
12 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
8k 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? ...
Karen's user avatar
  • 6,471
12 votes
2 answers
6k views

In violin, how do you know if you should play staccato or spiccato?

The way I was taught, spiccato is a short note made by lifting your bow and lightly bouncing it (off-string), while staccato is a short note that is produced without lifting your bow, but instead by ...
notorious's user avatar
  • 312
11 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
Jiu's user avatar
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