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Common Mistakes Beginner Violinists Make

Learning to play the violin can provide a lifetime of joy, whether you are looking for a fun hobby or harbor dreams of becoming a performing musician. Even if you are at the beginner level, it won't be long before you're capable of coaxing beautiful, rich sounds out of this deceptively small instrument. Experiencing this satisfaction early on in the process can help get you through the tough days when nothing seems to come easy.

Being informed about the most common mistakes people make as beginners is the best way to avoid getting frustrated with your efforts. Part of this process involves learning about the instrument itself. Taking proper care of and performing regular maintenance on your violin will ensure ease of use and quality of sound.

Violin set on a chair in front of a window

Learning as you go

You certainly aren't expected to be an authority on the topic the first time you pick up the violin but being on the lookout for potential issues that may occur helps lessen the disappointment when things don't sound or feel right. Whether you decide to rent or buy your violin, taking care of the instrument is your top priority. The following are a few examples of common mistakes beginner violinists make:

Not applying enough rosin. In order to get sound when using your bow, rosin is required. Made from tree sap, rosin is what creates friction between the strings and bow hair. Too little rosin won’t produce sound, while too much will create a build-up. Your teacher can help you determine how much is the right amount.

Not adjusting bow hair before/after each use. Bow hair needs to be tightened before playing and loosened when you are finished. If you forget to loosen it in between uses, the hairs can become stretched out.

Buying an instrument that has not been properly set up. Your violin should be set up by a professional before you rent or purchase it. If it hasn’t, you can run into problems with sound and playability.

Purchasing the wrong instrument for a beginner.  Learning on an improperly set up or too-cheap instrument can cause frustration on many levels. This is not to say buying an expensive violin as your first instrument is the only option. Look for a reasonably priced instrument that has been properly set up and good quality.

Many of these mistakes can be avoided by renting or buying your violin through a good music shop with experienced luthiers on staff. They can point you in the direction of the right violin for you, perform maintenance on your instrument, and answer any questions you have along the way.

An instrument to learn on

Our staff at Johnson String Instrument are dedicated to helping our customers get the best possible experience out of their stringed instrument. We can help you choose between renting or buying. We also offer the option of renting a beginner violin online through our shop to be delivered right to your home.

Call or click today to explore our catalog of instruments or speak with one of our helpful customer service staff.

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

Located in Newton, Massachusetts, Carriage House Violins is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument.

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Johnson String Project

A charitable foundation whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in under-served communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts.

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