The key to the success of learning any new skill includes practice, practice, and practice more. Learning how to play the violin is not different. Putting a lot of time, effort, and patience will help to progress the level you want to achieve.
I will list you 13 tips for learning the violin faster that will help you organize better. Simple new habits can make learning easier and increase your satisfaction while having a violin in your hands.
How to Learn Violin Faster
1. Pick a Right Instrument
It would help if you got a quality violin before you start classes. As a beginner, you don’t need to buy an expensive and luxury wood instrument. It is essential to choose the model of the right size of nine possible ones.
The appropriate instrument won’t be uncomfortable to hold during several hours of practice and will make it easier for you to keep the proper posture. It is not a bad idea to ask your tutor for advice on choosing a violin that will suit you best.
You can find many different models on the market, but you can buy a decent student violin very cheaply, for less than $1,000. You can also consider renting the instrument for the start. Keep in mind that many dealer shops offer a refund if the violin doesn’t suit you.
2. Work on the Correct Posture
You need to get in the habit of practicing in the right position from the first day. The common problems among violin students are neck and jaw pain, stiffness due to improper posture, and hands and fingers tension.
Work on your posture every day and pay attention to your pose while you play to prevent injuries. If possible, place a mirror in front of you and the room where you exercise.
That way, you can control your position and prevent mistakes before they become a habit. Plus, take a break for a few minutes, move your fingers and arms, and relax the muscles when you start feeling tension or pain during practice.
Moreover, you can prepare your body before class begins. Do a few exercises to warm up your wrists and fingers, shake your shoulders, and move your neck in circular motions.
The appropriate preparation will help you keep the proper posture for long and affect your performance quality. Plus, the agility of your fingers increases with exercise so that you can play faster and more accurately.
3. Take a Private Tutor
Once you decide to learn to play the violin, you will need a tutor. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. For example, famous violinists, such as Norwegian Ole Bornemann Bull and Italian Ernesto Camillo Sivori, are considered self-taught virtuosos. Still, be prepared that progress without supervision and correction of mentors is always slow and arduous.
Be aware that private classes ‘one on one’ are not cheap. Therefore, you can inquire about community-based courses in your area or join a local music school. Still, the best option is to have a private tutor who will come to your house at least two or three times a week if you are not a fan of group exercise.
An experienced violin teacher will correct the mistakes you are probably not aware of, set your elbow in the appropriate position, and give you feedback on your technique. Moreover, he or she can single out pieces that you can play as a beginner and prepare the appropriate material for the moment when you can start practicing alone.
4. Don’t Skip Short Practices
One of the most important habits you should develop is a daily practice. It is better to take the violin out of the box and practice for 10 to 15 minutes a day than to skip one day. Even mere reading music sheets, while you are doing something else, can speed up your progress.
Plus, you can record your lessons and listen to yourself playing while staying stuck in traffic or exercising in the gym. That way, you can remind yourself of your tutor’s advice or notice the mistakes you made before.
Another thing you can do is to write down things you plan to practice today on separate pieces of paper. Then, you should put them in a jar and mix them up. Next time you have a spare moment, pick up one of the papers, and practice that particular scale.
5. Use Online Learning Apps
Take advantage of your mobile phone and select one or two applications programmed for the violin studying. You can combine them with tutor lessons to save some money. Nowadays, the learning apps offer video lessons, tips and tricks, music sheets, and violin tabs for the most popular songs.
Various YouTube channels and learning platforms provide plenty of free material you can benefit from. Plus, some of the online schools have well-known violinists as lecturers.
You can also join the music forums and share experiences and tips with other violin students. There are numerous topics, from a discussion of specific teaching methods to a guideline for instrument purchase.
6. Go to a Music Camp
Another excellent method for speeding your progress is joining the music camp. Even though most music camps focus on kids as candidates, you can probably find an adult camp in your local community you can sign in for.
It is an excellent place to meet people who share your passion and beginner players like you. That means you can practice in groups and learn to play together with other violinists.
Take a few days of your vacation, and attend the courses that can help you improve intonation, control your bow movements with more confidence, and prevent playing out the tune.
7. Listen to the Music Pieces on Repeat
If you want to become a virtuoso violinist, listening to a lot of music and taking regular multi-hour practice is necessary. The experienced musicians can hear the music inside, in their heads. They can look at the sheet music and hear the melody or play it from their memory.
To develop this skill, start by listening to audio recordings of your practice lessons and compare it with famous violinists performing the same piece. Please, pay attention to the difference in playing style and repeat the way of interpretation.
With this method, you will practice your ear to recognize small differences in performance, and you will be able to notice your mistakes. Plus, you will become more confident to prepare to perform a new piece after hearing it several times.
8. Have a Practice Schedule
It takes a lot of dedication to learn the violin. If you allow yourself a day off with the excuse that you are tired, it will gradually become a habit. Therefore, it is good to make a schedule for the whole week, following other obligations. That way, you won’t skip the necessary practice.
You need to decide when to practice, for how long and in what way, whether it is a tutoring class, a short practice of scales after work, or an online video lesson. After a few weeks, exercise becomes a routine obligation, and it will become unthinkable not to stick to your schedule.
Plus, you can determine days for a particular exercise. So, you need to set a day of the week when you learn music theory, practice scales, and play new music pieces. The less room for improvisation in your schedule, the easier it will be to force yourself to work on your skill on those days when you are not in the mood for it.
9. Learn How to Play Vibrato
You should learn when and how to play vibrato since it improves the sound and the resonance of the violin. So, the more you practice, the more you will become confident and accurate in those sequences.
Pay attention to your hand position while playing. If you play the vibrato correctly, your pose shouldn’t change. You may think that rapid hand movements can speed it up, but the truth is your hand needs to stay calm, and the vibrato movement should begin in the elbow, not a wrist.
Plus, it is essential to learn how to relax the first joint of the finger. You don’t want to be too harsh with the strings. Even though the vibrato changes its speed and rhythm in the piece, you need to perform with awareness, precision, and balance to control it.
10. Stay Patient and Motivated
Many musicians find it challenging to learn to play the violin. Although talent, if you have it, and knowledge of other instruments can significantly influence and accelerate your progress, be aware that it will take years of practice to master the violin. So, you need to give yourself some credit and acknowledge small victories.
Don’t be too hard on yourself when making mistakes and blame yourself for them. There are days when you are not in the mood to practice, have neck pain, or are too tired for practicing. That is the right moment to remind yourself every violinist you admire has gone through the same thing.
Take the violin out of the box and keep practicing. Even though it is hard to stay motivated when the practice becomes challenging and the music sections are more complicated, you should always have the future accomplishments in your mind.
11. Keep an Audio or Video Diary
One of the best things you can do to learn to play faster is to keep a diary. Recording audio or video is not complicated with today’s technology. This habit is useful because you can learn much more and pay attention to the details you have missed while reviewing or listening to your recordings.
Plus, the diary will remind you how far you have achieved from the first lesson. Compare your performance in the first session and a few months later. The improvement will motivate you to keep working on your skills.
At the same time, you can focus your attention on listening or posture while reading saved lectures. Be aware that you are multitasking during the lessons, so the wrong hand movement or missed note can pass without noticing them. This way, you can always remind yourself of what you need to practice more.
You can record anything you want, from rehearsing the scales to the performance you are proud of. Don’t forget to save all your tutor lessons so that you can remind yourself of his or her advice and suggestions. Over time, you will dramatically improve your performance, and you can see it.
12. Use a Metronome
The metronome is a device you can use to practice your tempo. The traditional type of the metronome is a pendulum, which switches left and right and makes a sound on the regular time, which you define.
Nowadays, you can purchase various digital metronomes online or download the adequate app on your smartphone. Whatever you choose, set it on the interval contemporize with the rhythm you play at. That way, it will help you to play all the notes at the right time.
You may be bored to adjust the device every time you practice or change the tempo, but it is worth the effort. The sound click you hear can affect your time awareness and improve your progress.
13. Make Good Practice Habits
Whether you practice alone or with a mentor, it is a good idea to acquire habits that you will stick to in every class. Always start by playing in the right tune. When you start playing the violin, dedicate yourself slowly to each note individually. As you progress, you will improve accuracy and playing speed.
Try to choose the bowing technique as soon as possible. You need to know when and how to use the bow, and your advancing will be much faster if you don’t change your style all the time. The same goes for the fingering technique.
Once you make a mistake, repeat the correct interpretation several times. This method helps you engrave the right version in your memory. If it ever happens that you repeat the same mistake, you will spot it immediately.