As much as every budding violinist would love to pick up their instrument and begin playing beautiful music, the work required to get there is much more mudane. Every breathtaking performance requires strategic and focused warm up exercises beforehand. These routines help develop and maintain your basic violin skills as well as gear for more advanced techniques too.
For beginners, it may be difficult to know even where to start; after all, everything seems to need work. However, using the beginning of each practice session for a warm up will optimize each days result and pave the way for strong playing for months and years to come.
Although warm up excursuses will vary from person to person based on the advice of your violin teacher, there are certain exercises that can benefit everyone. Here are five beginner violin tips that will help you grasp the fundamentals.
1. Long Open Strings
Playing long open strings does several things: it lets your practice consistent intonation from each stroke, it allows you to become familiar with your bows weight and speed across the strings and lastly, it helps ensure that your bow remains in the proper location on the strings in relation to the bridge. Look into a mirror and place the bow on the string in the proper point and pull the bow across the string, listening for a clear, clean and consistent note. As you play, continually check in the mirror for your bows contact point. Repeat at least five up and down bows before moving on to the next string.
2. Finger Placement
Correct finger placement is essential for playing the right notes on the violin, and to learn this correctly, you must practice! One of the tried and true beginner violin tips is to play simple scales in first position. This trains your finger to understand where they belong on the fingerboard in relation to other fingers, and it trains your ear to hear each note as it should be played. To practice, pick any scale, and play each note slowly, separately and precisely. Always play with a tuner so that you can tweak your fingers placement for a proper intonation.
3. Fourth Finger Practice
Placing your fourth finger on a string creates the same note as the subsequent higher open string. Some beginner violinists use the open string to play the note because it is much easier and you know that the note will be correct. However, as you advance, there will be times where you cannot access the open string to play the note, or it is much less efficient to do so. Therefore, you need to strengthen your pinky finger! Start by playing the open string, then mimic the note using your pinky on the lower string about five times for each string. Listen carefully - does the fourth finger note match that of the open string? Don’t get discouraged if its difficult to even stretch your pinky at first - it will take time for it to gain strength and flexibility
A slur allows you to play two or more notes in a single bow stroke. To do this, start by placing the end of your bow close to the frog on the string. As you slowly but steadily bring your bow across the strings, place and then remove your first finger in the proper place while keeping your bow straight. Also, make sure that you place your finger on and off the strings at regular intervals - using a metronome will help. Start with two notes per stroke.
5. String Crossing
The final of the beginner violin tips is the ability to make a clean change from string to string while playing. Keep your elbow at a right angle to form a square - include the bow and trace an imaginary line from your shoulder to prove where the bow hair touches the string. Rock the bow to each string while practicing your long bow strokes. Make sure that your arm and bow remains in the same plane and use the natural weight of your arm on each string.
Because these warm up exercises set the tone for your practice session and for your learning overall, always perform them with focus and intent. They don’t need to take long, a dedicated five or 10 minutes should be fine. If you are unsure of what to practice or how to practice, ask your violin instructor for some violin tips - they have the knowledge and experience to guide you in the right direction
If you're interested in taking Violin lessons on Zoom or In Person in Burbank, Glendale or North Hollywood, we have some of the best Violin lessons in Los Angeles. Our violin instructors are picked by interviewing hundreds of violin instructors and we have really high standards on both their teaching ability as well as their personality. If you'd like to talk to one of our instructors or set up a first lesson we have a guarantee that if you don't absolutely love your first lesson you don't have to pay for it. Please contact us at (818)902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-violin-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
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