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How to Start Playing Violin Again After a Long Hiatus

If you are like a lot of people who took music lessons as a child, you probably stopped playing when you approached adulthood. Perhaps you found other things that grabbed your interest, went off to college and were busy with classes, immersed yourself in a career, got married and had children; in other words, “life” just seemed to get in the way. If you have decided to return to music after years of not playing the violin, you are not alone. Many people find that, as they get older, they realize that they miss playing music and regret not keeping up with the violin.

violin player with stand

The good news is that relearning to play the violin is comparable to getting back on a bicycle and riding. It’ll definitely be a challenge but, just like hopping on that bike once more, the basics of playing your violin will probably come back to you quickly. Over time, if you are persistent and resolute, you may find that you can match or exceed the skill level you demonstrated in the past. Before long you’ll be playing your favorite songs again.

The first step is to consider purchasing a new instrument. It’s probably a safe bet that your old instrument has been sitting in the attic, the basement, or in a closet, gathering dust and in need of some major repairs. Whether you decide to rent or buy a new violin, make sure it’s a quality instrument.

Go Back to The Basics

Start with the basics, regardless of your past experience and the level of skill you had reached before you quit playing. Patience is the order of the day when returning to the violin after a long hiatus.

The first thing to do is to begin playing scales. Start with a simple one octave G Major scale. As you are practicing, focus on building back your muscle memory, the correct finger placement, and bowing techniques. Use whole bow strokes for each note that you play. Go from tip to frog while keeping your bow centered between the bridge and fingerboard. Focus on correctly placing the fingers of your left hand and resist the urge to pick up those fingers after you have used them. This will help retrain your fingers to consistently have the correct placement. You should set aside at least 30 minutes each day for practicing the violin to ensure that your muscles and joints get back their flexibility.

Warming Back Up

Work on harder scales with more flats and sharps after you have sufficiently warmed up with the easy scales using a metronome. Once you have mastered the G Major scale, try your hand at playing a piece of music in G Major.

With time and patience, you’ll be surprised at what you can play within a few weeks or so and find that you enjoy playing the violin even more as an adult.

If you are looking for a new violin, bow or other accessories, visit our violin shop online

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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Whether searching for a job, learning about the "Mozart Effect," looking for a summer music camp, or choosing the right instrument string, you need look no further.

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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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JSI Blog

Information and helpful articles about the music and instruments we love.

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