Violin Practice Tips-under construction

By creating this page, it is my hope that my students will gain an understanding of how to practice efficiently.

I have found the following tips useful in practicing the violin.

Happy Practicing!

Below are some frequent issues and solutions that come up for students learning to play the violin.

Problem: Bow squeaks when crossing the strings.

Try This: Straighten out the bow so the bow is parallel to the bridge.  Make sure your bow causes friction with the string.  Be sure that you have enough rosin on the bow.  The purpose of rosin is to create friction with the string.

Problem: Tone is scratchy.

Try This: Your best sound is between bridge and fingerboard and don’t press with your right hand for tone. Use arm weight to make tone and do not play too close to the string.

Problem: Tone is not clear on the high notes.

Try This: Make sure to keep your bow close to the bridge when playing the high notes.  The higher the note you are playing, the closer the bow needs to be by the bridge.  Care should be taken to use plenty of bow when playing higher notes.

Problem: Bow bounces when I’m playing.

Try This: Make sure elbow is relaxed and that you are holding the bow loose.

Problem: The pitch is too high.

Try This: Move the finger towards the scroll.

Problem: The pitch is too low.

Try This: Move the finger towards the bridge.

Problem: My bow is sliding all over the place.

Try This: Make sure your violin is parallel to the floor and that you have enough rosin on the bow.  Be sure that you are bowing straight and parallel to the bridge.  When you play, your fingers should be touching the bow.  Space should not exist between the fingers on the bow and the bow.

Problem: I can’t play fast.

Try This: Also be sure that you are barely pressing with the left hand.

Problem: Some notes “sing” on the violin, some notes don’t.

Try This: Make sure that you use vibrato on every note.

Problem: When playing the violin, I hit two strings at once

Try This: Make sure your right elbow is not moving up and down.  The right elbow should only change levels when crossing strings or playing a single note to double stops (two or more notes played together).

Problem: When I try to play off the string, the tone is scratchy.

Try This: Make sure you hold the bow as loose as you can and turn the bow hair away from you when trying to get it off the string.  In addition, getting the bow off the string should be thought of as a horizontal instead of a vertical motion.  Extra care should be taken to insure that you don’t allow your bow to bounce too high off the string.