|Violin and bow. |
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Learning how to play the violin can be a difficult but rewarding experience. Playing the violin takes a large amount of knowledge and skill. Violinists must know how to hold the violin, how to finger the notes, and how to sound the notes.
Holding the violin properly is very important. If a violinist holds the instrument incorrectly, it will be uncomfortable and more difficult to play. The left arm is curved underneath the body around over the neck so that the hand and fingers are over the strings. The chin rest is placed between the left shoulder and chin. The right arm is then brought up in front of the face in order to bow or pluck the strings.
Once the violinist knows how to hold the violin, they can learn about fingering the notes. Violins do not have frets such as those found on guitars; players must practice and train their ears until they know exactly where the notes are on the fingerboard. There are four positions on the violin; the first position is furthest away from the player's face and sounds low-pitched notes. The fourth position produces the highest notes and is further up the neck. The strings are tuned, from lowest to highest, G, D, A, E. Violinists can play open strings, which means they play a string without pressing on it, or they can change the tone of the string by applying pressure.
There are several ways of sounding notes once they are fingered. Violinists can drag the bow across the string or strings they wish to play, creating a long, steady sound. They can also play pizzicato, which involves plucking the strings with the fingers of the right hand, creating a sudden, staccato sound.
Just knowing how to play the violin is not enough. Violinists must also be able to know what to play as well. Violinists should also be able to read music or play by ear, assuring that they will sound good when playing in a group with other musicians.