“…the violin — the most human of all the instruments…” - Louisa May Alcott (Author of Little Women)
The sound of the instrument is produced by the violin bow that is covered in a sticky resin (rosin) which makes the strings vibrate as it is moved across them. It is not only the use of the bow that produces sounds of the violin but the special effects it can create are unique and exciting:
- Pizzicato (Plucking the string with the fingers)
- Glissando (Sliding effect created by the Left hand)
- Col Legno (using the wood of the bow)
FUN FACT: The modern Violin contains over 70 separate pieces of wood and the world’s smallest violin is only 37 millimetres long - that's small enough to fit in a box of matches!!
Getting StartedDue to its popularity, the violin is a relatively inexpensive instrument and accessories are readily available. Here are the key items that we recommend you need to get you started on the road to becoming a great violinist!
The trumpet can be purchased or put on a hire/purchase scheme. If you choose to buy your own, it is worth investing a few pounds to ensure a good start
What size violin do I need?
Whilst violin accessories that you need to get you started (including a violin bow, rosin and case) are usually included when you buy or rent a violin, you will usually need to purchase a violin shoulder rest (the shoulder rest supports the violin for perfect posture). Violin Rosin may need replacing over time and a tuner is very useful.
- Hidersine Oxbury Shoulder Rest (available in 1/4-1/2 and 3/4-4/4 sizes) - affordable and supportive for beginners
- Wolf and Kun Violin Shoulder Rests - these slightly more expensive and higher quality shoulder rests suitable for intermediate/advanced (grade 5+) students who have an increased amount of playing. The Wolf Violin Shoulder Rest is available in 1/4-1/2 and 3/4-4/4 sizes, and the Kun Collapsible Violin Shoulder Rest is available in 1/2 & 3/4 and 4/4 sizes.
Here are the best selling violin tutor books for beginners:
Fiddle Time Joggers is an ideal first book of very easy pieces for violin with open string pieces and tunes using the finger pattern 0-1-2-3-4. There are well-known tunes and original pieces from rock to calypso using simple slurs and a few dynamics. Notice-boards introduce new notes and rhythms to you gradually. The book comes with CD, providing performances of all the pieces with accompaniments using piano and other instruments.
Abracadabra for Violin contains a beginners' course in 20 steps, built up of more than 100 popular songs and catchy tunes. It can be used alongside the 'Abracadabra' tutors for viola, cello and double bass for duets and small group work, making learning to play fun - exactly what it should be. It's step by step guide is very simple to follow and the accompanying CD makes it fun to learn by ear as you hear what you should be sounding like!