6 Musicians' Best Advice For Beginner Violinists

We asked six musicians to share their one best tip for beginner string musicians. These are the answers we received.

GÖRAN EKLUNDH, 
violin teacher and violinist in the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden.

—The most important thing, according to me, is to try to find a friend, a group or an orchestra to play with. It’s important to practice on your own, but the music doesn’t come alive until you play with others.

—Also, find a good instrument that you are comfortable with. When it comes to smaller children, buy the right size instrument. Many times I’ve seen parents buy too large instruments for their children.

CLARE CARLSON,
violinist and violin teacher. Customer service representative at Fiddlershop.

—The first thing I tell my students, is that playing the violin is easy in the beginning. But after some time, usually around 3 months, it gets hard. Don’t quit! Be persistent. You have to do the climb. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself.

—Walk away and take a break, if you get frustrated. Break up your practice time in several parts and come back later. String instruments are tough to play, so don’t have too high expectations.

PIERRE HOLSTEIN,
aka Fiddlerman, is a professional violinist that started Fiddlerman.com in 2010 to help musicians learn to play the violin for free. In 2012 he opened Fiddlershop.com with his son Michael.

—Choose equipment that makes it easy to play. In other words: Don’t get the cheapest instrument and bow, even though you are a total beginner and not sure if you want to keep on playing after a while. Usually, the less you spend, the harder the instrument is to play.

—Also make sure the instrument is well set up when you buy it. Choose a shop that works hard for you.

JANET CLIPPARD,
is currently the principal bassist at the Miami City Ballet’s Orchestra.

—Take the time at the beginning of your studies with your teacher to solidify a good technique. Without a proper technique, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to sound good on difficult passages that you may want to play in the future.

FELIX PEREZ CUZA,
luthier, violinist and violin teacher. Felix has been a luthier at Fiddlershop since 2016. Before then he worked in Cuba, Mexico and Belgium.

—My principal advice is to ask yourself why you want to play and what your goals are. Do you mainly want to have fun or are you maybe interested in a professional career? Depending on the answer, choose a teacher that will fit your needs.

JASMINE REESE,
long distance nomadic cyclist and violinist. She's traveled over 14,000 miles with her dog, Fiji, and her violin, Anakin. Jasmine is now headed to South America, a 6,000 plus mile adventure. She documents her travels at https://facebook.com/FiJaPAW.official and https://FiJaPAW.com

—Be patient with yourself and the process. Many of us try to rush out of the beginner phase. That's understandable. It's when all the squeaks, scratches, and unpleasantness takes place. People want to get out of that phase as quickly as possible.

—However, the magic is happening in the beginning years of learning your instrument. You are laying a solid foundation on which to build all of your more advanced skills. If you speed through and lay a shaky foundation for your house, the home will collapse.

—Same idea with string playing. Enjoy the beginning years. Slowly and meticulously lay a foundation on which to grow and develop all your musical and technical skills. You won't regret it because you'll avoid bad habits, injury, and other issues in the future.



Educational

10 comments

Asa Holstein

Hi Terry!
How nice to hear! And great news that you live so close to Fiddlershop! We strongly suggest that you visit, if possible. This way Fiddlerman can play some instruments for you, and you can hear and see them up close. Another option is for Fiddlerman to record the instruments you mentioned, in a video format. Then you can compare the different sounds, since every instrument is unique. Those are all great selections, by the way. The Ming Jiang Zhu 909 is one of Fiddlerman’s all time favorites.
If you decide to come to our shop, please let us know in advance since Fiddlerman’s schedule sometimes is hectic.
Thanks so much for writing to us and for your kind words! This warms Fiddlerman’s heart to hear. Hope to be able to meet you one day, Terry!
P.S. Don’t forget about our 45 days satisfaction guarantee: https://fiddlershop.com/pages/warranty-policy

Terry Schrenk

Hello, I am a 69 year old , male retired airline A&P mechanic and have a very strong attraction to the violin sound. So I have decided to learn to play. I have been on you tube for the last 2 months watching and getting all the information I can on this. Seen every Fiddlerman video there is. Bought a Yamaha SV250 electric violin and sold it already because the sound was not what I wanted. So now I am ready to select an acoustic violin but can not make up my mind which one to buy ? I live in Daytona Beach Florida , about a 3 hour drive from the Fiddlershop , but if I drove down there I know I would still be confused about a selection. So far from the video’s I have seen I am leaning towards the SOIL STRADIVARIOUS, HOLSTEIN RED ( because of the movie mainly ) or the MING JIANG ZHU 909 . Thank you so much Mr. P for your attention to all us out here with your great video works . They really help and actually can lead to new more interesting lives . HMMM, guess I’ll go watch some more violin vids. Later stringheads.

Asa Holstein

Hi Annie!
It’s hard to choose a violin for someone without knowing their budget. The better the violin, the easier it will be to play and to learn on, as well as staying motivated!
Here’s one of our best-selling, most common beginner violins: https://fiddlershop.com/products/fiddlerman-concert-violin-outfit
You’ll be able to play on this violin for a few years without outgrowing it too quickly.

All Fiddlerman violins come with standard 12-month warranty, lifetime structural warranty, and a 45 day money-back satisfaction guarantee :)
If you can afford to spend a little more, here are a couple of violins that are absolutely incredible that we recommend for any beginner or intermediate player. You’ll be surprised what spending a little more can do to the sound quality!!:
https://fiddlershop.com/products/fiddlerman-artist-violin-outfit
https://fiddlershop.com/products/fiddlerman-master-violin-outfit
Happy playing!!

Annie M

Hi there, can help to recommend a good quality violin for beginner that can be used for years?

Asa Holstein

Hi Savannah!
All I can say is – go for it! On Fiddlerman’s website www.fiddlerman.com you can chat with other adult beginners, some as old as 90 years old. It’s never too late to learn. You won’t regret it, believe me. On www.fiddlerman.com you also have tons of free videos, tutorials, advice, sheet music, etc. Good luck!

Savannah Hopkins

I am 31 years old and have LOVED the violin for ages. However, due to several medical issues, I have been reluctant to pick it up. Just recently though, I heard one single song, and now it’s become an obsession to want to learn. I don’t know if it’s too late for me to learn or not, but I still want to try.

Asa Holstein

Hi Ted!
Thank you!! Hopefully you can get inspired to play more now. Have you ever visited www.fiddlerman.com? Fiddlerman has a lot of free tutorials there, free sheet music and also a Forum, where you can talk to other musicians. Have a great day!

Asa Holstein

Hi Elmer!
How nice! You are welcome to stop by Fiddlershop any weekday between 9-5pm or any Saturday between 10-4pm.
Looking forward to seeing you!

Elmer Kreisel

Would like to stop in and ask some questions.
Elmer

Ted Trainor

All very good advice. I’ve been playing violin on and off (unfortunately more off than on) for 80-years.

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