Showing posts with label String Instrument. Show all posts
Showing posts with label String Instrument. Show all posts

Friday, November 10, 2017

How to Play the VIOLIN

Violin and bow.
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.




Friday, September 29, 2017

The Plucky Notes Of The DOUBLE BASS

Bass, Mexico
Photo  by Rod Waddington 
The double bass is the largest string instrument that is played with a bow or plucked. It also has the lowest pitch, which is why it is often used as a bass. While it is most commonly known as the double bass, there are a few other names that it is known by, such as the string bass, the bass violin, and the bull fiddle. Most will associate the double base to classical music, much like the rest of the string instruments are, but it is often used in other music genres including bluegrass, rock, and roll, blues and jazz.
Like most other string instruments, double basses are made in a particular way in order to get the right sound. Maple, spruce, and ebony are the three different kinds of wood that are used in its construction. The strings of the earlier double bass models were made out of the animal gut, but today they are made out of steel, which holds a better pitch and a better volume when played. The strings are quite durable and are normally played with a bow, though they are sometimes plucked.




Another difference between the double bass in the past and the one that is constructed today have also differed. The earlier double bass was only constructed with three strings. Today, the double bass has four strings. It is interesting to note that while the double bass had only three strings in earlier times, other string instruments in its family had five or six strings. Today, the double bass is tuned in fourths and the strings are tuned to E, A, D, and G. While this is the norm, there are the odd basses that are tuned to fifths; it often depends on the musician's needs of the instrument. As a result of the size, the musician also has the opportunity to choose whether they would like to play the instrument standing up or sitting down. Most these days prefer to sit down to play the instrument. They will sit on a stool that is measured to a certain height so that the musician can reach the notes easily.


The double bass might not be as picked as often as some other instruments by beginners, but it is one that can be a rewarding instrument to play. While it is sometimes used as a bass and is referred to as a bass, it does have the ability to play more than background notes. It is quite flexible in what it can play because of the range of notes it can hit, it is only that the pitch is so low that many will prefer to have it in the background. It might not be a good choice for someone who is new to reading and playing music, but it could be if it is something that the person really wants to play. Musicians who have played a few other string instruments may have an easier time picking it up because they are more familiar with playing string instruments.



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

VIOLIN And VIOLA Instruments Are The Same Thing?

Viola and unfinished Cello
Photo  by CelloPics 
The question whether the violin and viola players are the same - the answer is yes and no.

Compared to the violin, the viola is much larger in physical size and length of the longest string. In addition, the Viola is generally preferred with thicker strings than the violin. The thicker viola strings mean that more pressure should be used with a bow to make them produce sounds.

The fact remains that the material used and the performance of these two instruments are similar. Unlike the violin, there is no prescribed standard size for a full alto.

For years, manufacturers have experimented with all types of sizes and shapes for viola -though so essential to their efforts failed. Increase the size of living Viola has often led to a much deeper tone of an instrument, rather than the tone of the cello. Some of the latest innovations are to make the viola a shorter and lighter while finding ways to preserve the traditional tone.


To put things in perspective, the violin is the largest instrument of the violin family that includes all acute viola, cello, and bass. The violation can be considered as the second worst of the member of the violin family. The viola has a key role in the symphony, but his solo repertoire is limited.

Violin and viola, with many things in common, such as shape and color, but it sounds like they are different even if the two sounds are equally pleasing.

As for the bow, if the artist so that the arch is a 90-degree angle, then it is a violin bow. The viola bow, by contrast, is a 90-degree angle with a rounded corner and is much heavier.

Looking at the strings, you will notice that it has a violin E string and devoid of C-string, while the viola is the opposite. Coming to the pitch, the violin is more e-chain, while the viola is lower c-string.
Music professionals confirm that the violins are usually acute upper Viola playing music, while the lower slopes. However, the techniques used are essentially the same instruments and require the same level of training and practice for learning.


When you decide to learn to play the violin or viola, you should take into consideration the size of your hand. Applicants with large hands may choose the viola as those with smaller hands may find playing the viola a little inconvenient. For someone who wants attention and gets noticed at a concert, the violin is the obvious choice. But if you're quiet and humble, the viola is the ideal tool for you.

Whether it's a violin or viola, you need a knowledgeable and competent trainer if you're willing to learn. Since the violists are relatively less, you may find it difficult to identify a good teacher also near you while obtaining an experienced violin teacher could be easier. But if you want to make it big in music, learning the viola is the right thing to do because there are not many talented violists.

    Author: Ryan Ding
    Violin And Viola Instruments Are The Same Thing? -Know more, on dinnel.com.
    Articles Source: GoArticles



Sunday, August 6, 2017

Bowed musical instrument VIOLA

Many people are unfamiliar to the instrument viola and can envision a viola to be a violin. But viola is a stringed instrument that looks similar to violin and it belongs to the class of stringed instrument that is bowed like a violin. On a closer inspection of the instrument viola you can recognize the distinctions between a violin and a viola. The timbre of viola is filled with rich sound and it has a full bodied structure .The instrument is generally not played solo like violin and it does not have the repute of a violin .It is played in concerts and you can find the instrument getting played in inner musical chords and harmonies.

Playing viola.jpg
"Playing viola". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


Violas have a bow like structure and to play the instrument it is positioned on the shoulders of the player. The instrument size does not have a regular standard size like a violin. The size of viola varies to suit musicians of different age groups. For a child the size of the viola can be 12 inches and for adults the size varies from 13 to 16.5 inches depending upon the choice of the musician. Even a small sized viola has the strong sound like the bigger ones due to its sound box. Voila has a large body and thick strings that need the musicians to have great physical stamina to play the instrument and to press the strings. A few people find it uncomfortable to hold viola on shoulders and for such instrument players a light material and short viola are made accessible.

There are many choices available to the buyers who wish to buy viola for themselves .The person’s comfort level on the instrument helps in selection of the instrument type. Viola is hand made instrument and its looks are very aesthetical .There are many a popular violas in market and one among them is called Mozart.



To purchase a viola you need not go to the local store near your house to check out for the instrument. The internet technology can help you to have your instrument at your doorstep through the window shopping faculties available on the websites. You can get the product online with a guarantee that if you are discontented with the delivered product you are free to return it back to us. You can call us through the leading website of the product called Stringworks. To get more information regarding the instrument and to give it just a try to know how to play the instrument, you can opt for a hired instrument through our website.



Monday, July 17, 2017

VIOLIN or FIDDLE? The Differences Explained by a Player

“That’s a fine lookin’ fiddle ya got there, kid.”
I gritted my teeth into a forced smile and quietly thanked the old man at the bus stop. “Fiddle!?” I thought, gritting my teeth into a polite smile. “It’s a V-I-O-L-I-N, you old goat!”
Teenagers are sensitive and easily embarrassed, but this chickie had a bit too much pride in self-labeled “superiority as a classical musician,” which meant I was annoyingly arrogant and a general pain in the butt.

Humbled by merciless teasing in jazz college opened my eyes to the music outside my sanctioned little bubble.

I learned to fiddle.
For the most part “fiddle” is a style of music, such as Celtic, Bluegrass or Old Time. Nevertheless, there are a few differences and stereotypes between fiddle and violin.

Robert Blackwelder playing the fiddle: Dundee, Florida
Robert Blackwelder playing the fiddle - Photo  by      State Library and Archives of Florida

We’ve all threatened Fluffy that she’ll be taking a trip to the string factory if she doesn’t stop scratching the couch. There’s the violin’s dark secret of winding silver around a stretched piece of animal tissue (run Fluffy, run!). This used to be the principal method of making violin strings.
Gut strings possessed a rich and full quality ideal for orchestral playing. They weren’t perfect for the bank account, however, and fiddlers resorted to the cheaper alternative: steel. Steel strings have a “bright” timbre (tone) and carry well in a solo situation.

Steel strings are very difficult to tune with the violin’s clumsy wooden pegs. Many steel strings were broken until the glorious invention of fine-tuners, the tiny little metal mechanisms on the tailpiece that makes tuning a piece of cake. Violinists adopted this technology for use on their steel “E” strings which is nearly impossible to tune with the peg.

When I was youth symphony many players removed their lower string fine tuners haughtily, like a child insisting training wheels are for babies. The use of fine tuners on all four strings unfortunately had become associated with less skilled musicians since fiddlers used them. There is also evidence that fine tuners alter the quality of harmonics (higher frequencies). This a ridiculous stereotype was invented: violinists use the pegs, fiddlers use fine tuners.

It is thought that fiddles are simply cheap violins. At one time this could have been true, as poorer or rural folks usually played home-made fiddles, not Strads. They were less likely to afford private lessons or attend the symphony, but learned traditional tunes at jams and ceilidhs (kay-lees). Since many fiddlers never had formal lessons, most couldn’t read music and played everything by ear, whereas violinists could read music usually could not improvise. Another stereotype was invented.
Holding a violin with one’s jaw makes it nearly impossible to talk and play simultaneously (similar to walking around with your pants around your ankles). Square dancing fiddlers dealt with this difficulty by holding the violin down on their arm rather than under the chin, freeing up their jaws to “call” the dance moves. This technique is a big no-no in classical playing and it created yet another rift between violin and fiddle.

Luckily it seems the violin/fiddle gap has narrowed considerably in the past few years. Most players use new hybrid strings that posses a full and rich, yet clear, tone and respond well to both classical and fiddle playing. Classical violinists aren’t so sticky about fine tuners anymore as they are seen as an advantage over using stubborn old pegs.

The resurgence of fiddle music in pop culture has created an opportunity for fiddlers to aspire to a higher level of playing ability and for violin students to branch out and try other genres of music. Hence fiddlers and violinists alike have finer instruments and a formal music education.
Fiddle technique is being abandoned by many fiddlers who have discovered the benefits, such as greater speed and fewer backaches, of the classical technique.

New programs in music education in new programs has produced fiddlers who can read music and violinists who can improvise.
As more musicians branch out musically and develop new ways of playing there will be little difference between "violin” and “fiddle.” Musicians will feel much more comfortable playing with each other and the stereotypes will fade away, both violin and fiddle will be valid.

You’ll see the old man at the bus stop whistling to “Celtic Swing Baroque Techno” on his MP3 player. 

    By Rhiannon Schmitt
    Rhiannon Schmitt (nee Nachbaur) is a professional violinist and music teacher who has enjoyed creative writing for years. She writes for two Canadian publications and Australia's "Music Teacher Magazine."
    Her business, Fiddleheads Violin School & Shop, has won several distinguished young entrepreneur business awards and offers beginner to professional level instruments, accessories and supplies for very reasonable prices: Visit http://www.fiddleheads.ca
    Article Source: EzineArticles 


Sunday, June 18, 2017

VIOLAS

3-stringed viola
3-stringed viola (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


"Audiences across the world enjoy various concerts through the year, each one different and unique. Most of them are either solo performances or in groups of about 4-6 members. In case of groups, you will see a drummer, guitarist, vocalist and one who melts out beautiful tunes on the viola. Yes, you read it right; it is the viola and not violin. This is also a stringed instrument which is bowed very much like the violin. 

A person unfamiliar with this instrument might mistake it for the violin at first glance going by its size and near similar pitch range, but will realize it is very different upon close inspection. The timbre is much more full bodied and is used to play soft harmonies in concerts. Unfortunately there are not many violists as there are violinists. At times referred to as the big fiddle, the violas parallel the alto voice in a choir group.

Violas are also placed with a bow where the instrument is placed on the shoulder, which gets people more confused. If a child is playing the instrument, the size of the viola would be around 12 inches and for adults it could go anywhere from 13 to 16.5 inches depending on their comfort level and their years of experience. Off late, with people facing problems in holding and playing the viola, there are some being made using lighter material and are much shorter. Some are manufactured with a shoulder cut while others come with an additional bout for comfort. Because of its large body, it needs higher amounts of physical stamina to hold and play this string instrument. For a person interested in playing the viola, they need to understand that since it is fitted with thicker strings, they will have to apply extra pressure to get music to come out perfectly.

There are different kinds of violas, based on a person’s level of experience and while making a selection, this factor should be kept in mind else the viola player will find it difficult strumming it.  But the beauty of this instrument is that all are hand made and each one is exquisite to look at and play. Among the most famous violas are the ones that Mozart used in his musical notes. He wrote quintets that used two violas in the orchestra and had as important role as a violin.

If you are looking at purchasing a viola, unlike earlier when you had to make a trip to their nearby store to take a look at all the instruments, today you can do the same online. The purchase or rentals come with the assurance that they can return the product if unhappy with it. Simply approach one of the leading websites, such as stringworks. So, if you are just getting curious about the violas and are not very keen on purchasing, but would like to try your hand at it, no better way but to rent a viola and watch your hands create music."




Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Best VIOLIN Intonation Exercises

A girl playing violin in The Hague
A girl playing violin in The Hague
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
For violin intonation exercises, there are really thousands of possibilities for exercises and etudes you could practice that will improve your intonation. Practicing anything itself properly and with good intonation is bound to cause an improvement on some level even if the exercise or piece of music isn't specifically geared towards that goal. If you need to improve your violin intonation, here are some good exercises to get you started on the right track.

The first and most important violin intonation exercise is the scale. 90 percent of the music played on any instrument is based on scales. They are everywhere and are the most important and most basic building block of playing the violin. Do not under any circumstances underestimate this! Keep your scales cleanly polished with hours in the practice room and do not allow yourself to slump this off. It will cost you a lot of good violin intonation in the end.

Next, try a sing and play exercise. Take a scale or a simple piece you are practicing and practice it slowly while humming it alongside your instrument. This simple intonation exercise will force you to mentally and physically recognize the sound produced on each note. If you are playing too high, simply drop down on octave and keep humming. This will be very annoying at first, but will definitely help your mind to understand and interact with the violin intonation you are playing and thus improve your results dramatically.

Another great exercise is the arpeggio. If 90 percent of music is built on scales, a remaining 9 percent is built on arpeggios, which means that between these two, you have the vast majority of violin intonation covered. Arpeggios can be complex to master, so when you first start, play a single octave at a time and don't allow yourself to make any mistakes. This may mean slowing down and working carefully through each arpeggio, spelling out each note clearly and with good violin intonation, but if that's what it takes to play properly, then keep at it!



Regardless of what exercises you do, nothing is as important as getting yourself a fine teacher to learn from. A talented and experienced teacher can mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to playing the violin. Don't ever forget the importance of this. To make true dramatic improvements in your intonation, get yourself a good teacher.

    By Eric Conklin

    Eric Conklin is a violinist and a blogger who specializes in helping new musicians find lessons that help them grow quickly and efficiently.

    Article Source: EzineArticles


Friday, December 9, 2016

How to Care For Your VIOLIN BOW

Turning the screw on a modern violin bow cause...
Turning the screw on a modern violin bow causes the frog (heel) to move, which adjusts the tension on the hair. 

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is important to develop good habits when caring for your violin bow. A good and responsive bow makes a huge difference in the sound of your instrument. There are several key points to remember to properly maintain your bow. Most importantly, always loosen the hair when you are finished playing. This is done by turning the bow screw counter-clockwise. You should feel the stick relax back into it's original arch (camber). If the bow is left tightened for extended periods, the stick can lose its camber and can even warp. Furthermore, the hair can stretch out. If the hair stretches too much, you will not be able to tighten the bow to playing tension. It is vital to remember never to force a bow to tighten because it is possible to break the butt end of the stick by forcing it. If you can't tighten the hair, you should take it to your violin shop for a possible rehair. Bows should be rehaired depending upon use and the condition of the hair. There isn't one rule about how frequently to have a bow rehaired.

An additional key to caring for your bow is to remember never to touch the horsehair with your fingers, as dirt and oils can get on the hair that will cause it to lose its ability to accept rosin. In general, it is always a good idea to wash your hands before you play your instrument. Some peoples' hands tend to perspire profusely. Not only can the sweat remove the varnish from the stick, iit can also soil the hair at the frog. For those with sweaty hands, frequent hand washing is more than a recommendation -- it is a must. When perspiration builds up around the frog of the bow, it can attract grime that can cause the frog to get stuck in position on the stick. When this happens, the frog will not move -- even when the bow screw is turned to loosen the hair. If this happens, the frog should be taken off of the stick, using care not to allow the hair to become twisted. Then, the stick should be cleaned. If you find that your hand is "eating away" at the stick or the varnish, you can have your luthier apply a long leather to the handle of the stick to protect it. This is frequently done on fine bows to preserve the makers' stamp from wear and tear.

The frog glides back and forth on the stick by a simple mechanism of a bow screw and an eyelet. The bow screw is usually made of steel and the eyelet is usually made of brass. The brass eyelet is a much softer metal than the bow screw and can strip. If you find that you cannot tighten or loosen your bow, chances are good that they eyelet has become stripped. On occasion, it is possible to carefully remove the frog from the stick and turn the eyelet one-half of a turn, in order to locate some remaining thread left that has not yet become stripped. Then, it is possible to reset the frog back on the stick and reset the bow screw. This doesn't always work, but it is worth a try.

On the stick near the frog is the thumb leather and winding. The thumb leather is there to protect the stick from the thumb and thumb nail. Over time, your thumb nail can wear through the leather and start carving into the stick. If your thumb leather is warn, you should have it replaced at your next rehair. This will help preserve the stick and value of your bow.

The head of the bow is very fragile and under a lot of tension. At the head, you will find a tip plate. The tip plate can be made of metal, plastic, ivory or mammoth and is there to protect the head of the bow. If your tip plate is not made of metal, it can break when bumped or can crack if the hair isn't carefully inserted during a rehair. If it should crack or break, you should have it replaced immediately.



Using too much rosin is a common mistake made by many players. Rosin should be applied sparingly and only when needed. You should not see a white cloud of rosin come off the bow when you play. Once there is too much rosin in the hair, it is nearly impossible to get out. When you use too much rosin, it will build up on the strings and your sound can become very scratchy -- since you are essentially playing with rosin on rosin. Also, rosin can build up on your instrument and damage the varnish over time. To avoid this, it is important to wipe off your instrument, strings and bow shaft with a clean soft cloth each time you finish playing. Microfiber cloths work great for this.

Tightening the bow too much when you play is another common mistake. There is no rule for how tight a bow should be as it depends on the strength and camber of the stick and is different for every bow. If your bow is too tight, you will have trouble controlling your bow and it can become too bouncy when an even sound is desired. You can test how tight to make your bow by playing long and even strokes. The hair should just barely clear the stick at the middle of the bow. If you see a big gap between the hair and the stick, then your bow is too tight. You can keep experimenting with hair tension until you find that you have good control over the bow.

When you have develop good habits you will find it very easy to maintain your bow. Eventually, you should be able to do this without even thinking about it.



Saturday, October 15, 2016

STRING Musical Instrument

A doshpuluur, a traditional Tuvan instrument
A doshpuluur, a traditional Tuvan instrument 

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Humans discovered a long time ago that music could be made from vibrating strings. A string musical instrument such as the lute or mandolin was the means by which traveling minstrels would entertain the crowd. Even today, there is interest in these early forms. Rock star Sting has recently released an album of 16th century lute music and American band REM has often featured a mandolin. The Rod Stewart hit, Maggie May also featured the distinctive sound of the mandolin.

Every culture has produced their forerunner of the modern guitar. Africa and Asia have several versions of string musical instrument, often with only three strings. In America, the banjo became popular in country and folk music. The guitar was used for jazz and blues before becoming the backbone of rock and roll. Western rock music has also incorporated the Sitar, an instrument used in Indian music, first heard in a pop song performed by The Beatles with Norwegian Wood.

Many of the greatest pieces of classical music have been written for a string orchestra or string quartet. The violin, viola and cello are wonderful for solo string musical instrument compositions and to blend together. These are the bowed instruments; the violin is sometimes plucked with a technique called pizzicato. The double bass is very versatile and can be found in jazz bands, orchestras and for rockabilly groups. The violin too is versatile and often used in rock and folk music. 

The fiddle is a staple of Irish, jigs and reels. Jazz violinists such as Darryl Way and Jean Luc Ponty are very accomplished performers. Jimmy Page, flamboyant guitarist from Led Zeppelin, even took a bow to his electric guitar to produce an experimental sound. Most string instruments can be fitted with electric pickups to amplify the sound, to fit in with any genre.

Technically speaking, keyboard instruments such as the piano, clavichord and harpsichord are categorized as a string musical instrument as they have strings, which are struck by hammers. The piano however, is sometimes classed as a percussion instrument.

Whatever genre all these instruments are employed in, they bring a range of sound that is unequalled. A fiddle can make you want to get up and dance and a cello solo can make you reach for the tissues. Music is very often programmed these days with instruments being simulated through a computer, but there is nothing to equal the sound of a live violin in an echoing hall.




Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Lyrical Accompaniment of the LUTE

In general, a lute is a stringed instrument that loosely resembles a guitar, but has a round body, a deep and round back, a fretted or unfretted neck and is a member of the family of European lutes. The instrument is played by plucking the strings, which vibrate and create the sound.

The strings are placed over a bridge which allows them to vibrate freely and the body of the lute is hollow in order to intensify the sound so that others can clearly hear the instrument. While the instrument is not overly popular today, it was incredibly popular during the baroque music period when people would play the instrument alone or as an accompaniment with other instruments.

Lute
Lute - Photo by quinet
When the lute was created is not clear. There is much speculation about how long it has been around. Some say that a variation of the lute may have existed during the time of the Ancient Egyptians, but others say it may not have existed until the 1500s. It is difficult to tell when exactly the lute was first created because there were so many instruments that existed throughout history that somewhat resemble the lute.


Though most may think that the lute is an instrument of the past, it is one that is still played today; however, the instrument is often custom made and is not one that is easily found in used music stores. As a result, this particular stringed instrument can be quite expensive to acquire. Finding someone who can teach one how to play the lute is not as difficult and the lessons may not be as expensive as they can be for other instruments.

In general, the lute is not the first instrument that people will choose to play, probably because it is not one that is seen as often as the guitar or the saxophone. The general population is influenced by the instruments they see most often, which will leave the lute out of the picture because it is not too common in much of today’s music.

This is not to say that the lute will never gain popularity again or that there is not really any place for it. People who play the lute find music to play, though it may not exactly be rock and roll.


Anyone looking for a unique instrument that is out of the norm might want to give the lute a try. It has its own unique sound that is not duplicated by other instruments and one that takes skill and practice to be able to play the instrument well. It can be a little challenging for some, while it can be easier for others at the same time. Some experience with playing the guitar might make learning how to play the lute easier, while someone with no experience is starting from scratch so they may have a more difficult time at first. Someone who really has an interest in learning to play the lute will probably have little difficulty regardless of whether they have previous experience with stringed instruments or not.



By Victor Epand

Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments.

Article Source: EzineArticles


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Various VIOLIN Facts of Interest

What do the following have in common?
symphony orchestra, string quartet, Stradivari, high school orchestra, Yehudi Menuhin, string orchestra

Thats right - it is the Violin.

So what is a violin?

English: portrait of Yehudi Menuhin & Stephane...
Portrait of Yehudi Menuhin & Stephane Grappelli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are various violin facts of interest.

A violin is a musical instrument with four strings played with a bow or plucked and is the smallest, highest sounding member of the string family. A violin consists of a soundbody or belly with two f shaped sound holes, a fingerboard attached to one end, four strings and a separate bow. All in all a violin consists of no fewer than eighty four pieces.

The soundbody is made of wood and it increases the volume of sound. The two f shaped sound holes in the soundbody allow sound vibrations to escape from the body of the instrument. The four strings made of cat gut or fine spun metal are held in place by pegs at one end of the fingerboard and the tailpiece which is attached to the belly. There is a wooden bridge near the tailpiece which supports the strings. The bow is a flexible stick with horsehair stretched across, used to produce sound vibrations when moved on the strings.


A violinist holds the violin firmly under the chin on a chin rest fixed to the left of the tailpiece and raised slightly from the soundbody. A pad is placed between the back of the violin and the body to strengthen the grip of the chin and collarbone on the violin, if desired. A sound is produced when the violinist draws the bow with the right hand across the string(s). The left hand is used to finger the desired note and this is done by pressing the string (s) down along the fingerboard. The length of the string alters depending on where the finger is pressed and this will give the varied notes.

Before a violinist plays music, the violin needs to be tuned. Tuning is done using the four open strings and an external source such as another instrument eg piano or oboe or electric tuner. Each string is plucked and if they do not sound the same as the equivalent note on the other instrument or tuner then the pegs are turned either tighter or looser. The open or full length strings of the violin are G D A E which are fifths apart ie the interval of G to D is a fifth and so on.

Once tuning is done then sounds are created. The sound of the violin is nearer to the human voice than any other instrument. The violin produces sounds ranging three and half octaves and music is written on a treble clef stave. Violin players can play a wide range of music from solo playing to group playing in orchestras eg symphony, string and high school, string quartets, smaller jazz bands and more. It is interesting to note that a violin can be modified to become an electric violin where a lead attachment to the soundbody is added. You hook a lead from the violin attachment to an amplifier thus creating a louder sound suitable for violinists to play jazz-pop music of the twentieth and twentyfirst century.

Lets go back in time to the sixteenth century. This is when violins first emerged. Some great violins were being made in Italy by people such as the Amati family from Cremona, namely Andrea, his sons Antonio and Girolamo, Girolamo's son Nicolo and Nicolo's son Giralamo. Andrea perfected the violin, his two sons made some changes but Nicolo was considered the greatest of the Amatis. He had pupils, Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri who produced great violins and passed the craft on to their families.
Italians also composed some great music for the violin and these included Arcangelo Corelli (1653 - 1713 ), Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741 ) and Giuseppe Tartini (1692 -1770 ). Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750 ) from Germany composed three partitas for solo violin which was a landmark for solo violin. And this was just the beginning. There were many great violin composers over the years.
There were also many great violinists over the ages. These included the four Baroque composers mentioned above. Others included Joseph Haydn ( 1732 - 1809 ), Wolfgang Mazart ( 1719 - 1787 ), Niccolo Paganini ( 1732 - 1840, Joseph Joachin ( 1831 - 1907 ), Ludwig Spohr ( 1784 - 1859 ). George Enesco ( 1881 - 1955 ), Yehudi Menuhin ( 1916 - 1999 ) and Nigel Kennedy ( 1956 - ). Nigel Kennedy was a pupil at The Yehudi Menuhin School founded by Yehudi Menuhin in 1963. This is just a small example of violinsts as the list is large.

Hope you have enjoyed reading the various violin facts of interest. As you can see the violin has had a good few hundred years of history with great creators, composers and players. This small instrument with a wooden body, strings and bow to help produce the sound can play some wonderful music once tuned, whether it be solo or in a group. It is a beautiful instrument to listen to.



Friday, April 29, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About VIOLIN From A-Z - STRING QUARTET

Hello today I am continuing with my series everything you need to know about violin from A-Z. Today we are on Q for string quartet. A string quartet is a group of musicians playing string instruments most often two violins a viola and a cello. This grouping is one of the most common groupings in classical music. It can also refer to a piece of music written for the above instruments.

English: The Beethoven String Quartet from USA...
The Beethoven String Quartet from USA; Gustav Dannreuther (violin), Adolf Hartdegen (cello), Otto K. Schill (viola), Ernest Thiele (violin). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is seen as one of the most important forms in classical with most major composers writing music for this genre. Traditionally it will have four movements with a large structure similar to that of a symphony. The outer movements are fast while the inner movements consist of a slow movement and a dance movement like a minuet or scherzo. The twentieth century has seen this structure abandoned by most composers. Other chamber groups can be seen as a variation on the string quartet.

Historians have come to the conclusion that the string quartet arose by accident. Composer Joseph Haydn was working in Germany for a rich baron who wanted to hear music immediately and as it happened the only available players were two violinists, a violist and a cellist.

The baron suggested that Haydn try his hand at composing something that these four musicians could perform and so the string quartet was born. This form of music proved to be so popular that Haydn continued writing pieces in this form and the style soon spread.

Quartet composition flourished in the classical era. Both Mozart and Beethoven wrote a series of famous quartets and to this day remains a popular form and are seen as a true test of the composer's art.

    By Eric B Hill
    Eric B. Hill is an professional violin player and teacher with over 20 years experience.
    If you'd like more free online violin lessons or would like to learn the secrets of learning violin extremely fast you can visit his website at http://www.violinlessonshq.com
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Thursday, April 7, 2016

VIOLIN Scales For Beginners

If you just started playing the violin a few weeks ago, violin scales can be a real pain! While it may seem as simple and essential as forming a coherent sentence to someone with years of experience, it is very complex to a new violinist. The best thing a new violin player can do in this situation is start slow and move up. No one wants to be caught in a situation where you are overwhelmed and frustrated on the violin! Here are the best violin scales to practice for beginners and how to master them without frustration.

Violin First Position Fingerings
Violin First Position Fingerings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The first is the G major scale. This is one of the most basic and essential of all violin scales because it only has one sharp in the key signature and starts on an open string. Starting on an open string makes the notes much easier to play, and so long as you remain in one octave, you should have absolutely no problem mastering this violin technique. Start on G and play up 8 notes until you are playing the next octave up on G with the third finger. Don't forget to play the F as a sharp so that you have a leading tone to the last G!

The next scale is D. Here is what's interesting about the next scale: you can use the exact same fingering pattern on this scale as with the original, the only difference being you are playing it on a D instead of a G. So play this scale all the way up one octave with one two sharps, one being F and the other being C. This will create a very open sounding major scale that will flow nicely along the string and have a positive energy to it.

Last scale up is A. This one is the exact same idea, which is why I recommend learning these three scales in tandem with each other. They are so easy to learn when they each sound the same and have the same fingering! Play the exact same major scale fingering pattern only with 3 sharps instead of 2. This will produce the same sounding scale and the exact same whole step and half step pattern, but be tied down to a different string. This whole introduction to scales is designed to be very similar in order to help your mind lock down on the overall pattern when it comes to violin scales.


All major scales have the same essential pattern, just on a different note. Playing scales that have the same fingering over and over until your mind understands them will help you to grasp this concept. Don't allow yourself to be too confused by sharps or flats! Stick to an essential understanding of violin playing when it comes to scales and focus on the fingerings themselves and not too much on the key signature.

If you still struggle with this, I recommend getting a good violin teacher to help you. Violin scales can be very challenging, but your desire to work at it and the teacher you have are directly related to your overall success rate. Keep this in mind and keep at it!

    Eric Conklin is a violinist and a blogger who specializes in helping new musicians find lessons that help them grow quickly and efficiently. To learn more about an amazing system that will double your results while cutting practice time in half, visit howtoplayviolinforbeginners.net by clicking the link below:
    How to Play Violin for Beginners [http://www.howtoplayviolinforbeginners.net]
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Do More Than Fiddle Around

A violin
A violin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A violin can be an intimidating musical instrument – it’s beautiful to look at and listen to but a violin requires an extraordinary amount of education and discipline to be played properly. If you’re thinking of taking violin lessons but feel anxious about it, familiarize yourself with the instrument. Here’s an introduction to the art of playing the violin.

As you probably know, a violinist rests his or her chin and left shoulder on the conveniently named “shoulder rest” of the violin and sounds the instrument by plucking the strings and/or drawing a bow across them. One reason a violin is so much more difficult to play than a guitar or other stringed instrument, is there are no frets. A violinist must finger a string ever so precisely.

A violin player uses his or her left hand to pluck the strings; beginners might want to put pieces of tape on the instrument to show where notes are located, so they can place their fingers in the correct spots. Moreover, for purposes of learning proper hand placement, a person’s index finger is labeled “1,” and his or her pinky finger is as expected, “4” – in most instructional booklets, the notes to be played are accompanied by numbers for suggested fingering. There are then various positions of your left hand that you will learn; you will most likely start at first position.

But what do you use your right hand for? And what about the bow? Basically, your left hand creates the pitches, while your right hand or bow is responsible for the tone, rhythm, dynamics, and articulation of the music.

Once you understand how to read violin music, you can then learn all sorts of ways to pluck the strings, as well as multiple bowing techniques. Soon enough you’ll be ready to experiment with the different styles of music, like classical, jazz, and folk (or fiddling).

Learning to play the violin is a rewarding hobby. Lots of people can play the piano, and even more can play the guitar. But how many people can say they are a violinist?