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0h01m

How to Pick a Violin | Violin Lessons

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So, now I'm gonna teach you how to choose a violin for beginners. The first thing you have to think about, is the sizing with the arm. Now, I'm gonna show you on my violin. This is actually a 16th size and great for beginners, like, from 3 years old to 5 years old. It may be even older, depending on the size of the child. But I'm gonna do it on my violin, a full size violin, so that you see what happens with the arm. This is how you choose a violin.

Your elbow has to be bent, when your hand goes over the scroll. And if there is no bend, like I'm reaching this far, that means that the violin's too big. And if it's too cramped, at more like a 90 degree angle, then you know the violin's t

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Renting vs. Buying a Violin | Violin Lessons

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Learn the pros and cons of renting a violin versus buying a violin from musician Julie Artzt Becker in this Howcast video.

So when your child first tells you they'd like to start playing the violin, you may not want to make the full investment to spend up to sometimes 250 dollars on an instrument that they may not even like or might grow out of pretty quickly.

So it's very, very popular to rent an instrument of this size. This is a 16th size. And you can find at your local music store renting violins for probably close to about, I would say, 15 to 20 dollars a month.

What you want to make sure of when you do get the violin, we spoke about the sizing of the instrument in a differen

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How to Pick a Bow | Violin Lessons

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And now, I'm gonna teach you how to pick a bow for your beginning violin. Again, this is a sixteenth size violin. And usually, more times than not, you're gonna get a bow that it comes with the violin. So, if it's a sixteenth size violin, it's a sixteenth size bow that comes with it. Sometimes, you know, 50 percent of the time, you might need to change the bow size to longer or smaller, depending on the child's size. So, this is the sizing of sixteenth size bow, compared to the violin. You might need a bigger bow first before you change your violin size, depending on your child's arms. However, I'm gonna show you on my full-sized violin how to know if your child is ready to move on to a new

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Parts of the Violin & Bow | Violin Lessons

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OK. So now I'm going to teach you the different parts of the violin and the bow. We'll start with the violin first. When you're a beginner, it's very important to know all the different parts of the instrument, so that you know your violin a little bit better. You know what each thing does. So we'll start with the strings.

Here are all of the strings, and they each have names. This is the E string, that's the highest. This is the A string, this is the D string, and this is the G string. And that's the lowest. So it goes in order of highest to lowest... So, this here is the chin rest where you rest your chin... when you play. It's kind of actually a lot of the parts of the violin

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How to Properly Place Shoulder Rest | Violin Lessons

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So, now I'm going to teach you about shoulder rests and how to place them as well.

There's so many different shoulder rests that you can use. And, when you're choosing for, especially a beginner, less is more.

Now, rarely do you use nothing, because it's very slippery on the back of the instrument. This is where a shoulder rest would go. Because, you know, it's resting on your shoulder, like this.

But, if you use nothing, it's pretty slippery. And, it's more comfortable to have a little bit of friction.

These little sponges, these little red sponges here that I'm holding, you can get at any drugstore. You know, they're makeup sponges. And, one or two of them, for a ch

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How to Prepare a Bow | Violin Lessons

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So now I'm going to teach you how to loosen and tighten your bow properly, and then also how to rosin your bow. When you're loosening and tightening your bow, this is the screw that you use. And when you loosen your bow, you want it to be about that loose. Not too loose. I'll loosen it a lot. See, that's too much, because then when you put it back in your case, some of the hairs could fall out or, you know, break. So about this loose, right there, where they're sort of wiggly, but not too wiggly. And to loosen it, you turn the screw counter-clockwise, and to tighten it, you turn the screw clockwise.

Now when you tighten the bow and you're getting ready to play, you want it to be not to

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How to Tune the Strings | Violin Lessons

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Okay. So, now I'm gonna teach you how to tune your strings. You always start with the A string first. And then, you can either take your tuning fork or your metronome, which should probably have a tuner on it to tune your violin as well. And you find the A. And you match that A with your violin. Now, in order to tune the strings properly, the A string, you always tune with your peg and you tune it with your thumb and usually your index finger and sometimes, also your middle finger. So, if you want the string higher, you tune it up and if you want the string lower, you tune the string down. And to go back up again, you tune it up. Okay. Now, I'm gonna tune it again, but first, I need t

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How to Replace Strings | Violin Lessons

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When you need to replace your strings on the violin either because you'll see part of the string is unraveling, or the sound is not as ringy, or it's been several months since you changed it last, it's time to change your strings. Right here this is the kind of string I use. I use the Dominant for the A, D, and G strings. Here is a Dominant G string, and I'm going to change my old Dominant G to a new one.

First, I'm going to take the G peg and I'm going to unravel the string, and it comes right out. Now I'm going to take the new G. First, when you put the new string on you do the ball at the bottom first. Not all strings come with a ball. Some of them come with a loop, like my E stri

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How to Pick Strings | Violin Lessons

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Okay, so when you're thinking about choosing strings for your violin, there's a lot of different strings on the market. What, in general, you wanna look for, is something that matches your violin sound. And when I say that, you want something that's gonna bring out the warmth in your violin, that's going to make your violin ring, you might need to try a couple of different brands to really narrow in on what works best for your instrument. A really great brand that works for a lot of different instruments is the Dominant strings. They're called Dominant. I use them on my A string, my B string and my G string. And the E string, I like to use Pirastro Gold Label, but any of the Pirastro's ar

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How to Take Care of Your Violin | Violin Lessons

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Learn how to take care of your violin from musician Julie Artzt Becker in this Howcast video.

Proper violin maintenance. It's important to take good care of your instrument.

Most violins are worth a good amount of money, and also because, they will sound best and look best if they're taken good care of. So they do need to be taken care of in different ways. Every day, after you practice, there will be a little bit extra rosin residue on your instrument and on your bow. And you’ll need to take a little handkerchief or rag and clean it off.

So, after you practice and before you put it back in your case, you clean it off. You put the handkerchief that you have, underneath the st

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How to Hold the Bow | Violin Lessons

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Okay. So now, I'm going to teach you how to hold the bow properly. When you're teaching a beginner, you want to first hold the bow so that the hair is facing you, and the bow is vertical and the tip is facing the ceiling. So this is what it looks like. This way, you can really place the hand correctly, hair facing you.

You want to hold the bow, simply, sort of like you would take a cup. You would pick it up, not too tight, not too loose, because it would spill, but, you know, gently, but with a little bit of firmness.

Now, the thumb and the middle finger, I call him the tall man, because he's the tallest. They are the ones who are right opposite each other. You can make a circle with th

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How to Distribute Bow Weight | Violin Lessons

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We're going to talk now about bow weight distribution. What that means is, you know, it's very difficult to make a beautiful sound, a constant sustained sound, on your instrument unless you use the right distribution of your arm and your hand on the bow. Because the bow is not equal in weight. The frog is much heavier than the tip. So, you need to do different things with your arm and your hand at the frog than you do at the tip.

As we learned in a previous segment, when you hold your bow this is the proper way to hold your bow. When you first put it on when you hold it you have to make sure that your fingers are very curly, not straight like this. Curled, including your thumb,

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How to Place Bow for Bowing Open String | Violin Lessons

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Okay. So, now I'm going to show you the importance of bowing open strings. As a beginner, but also as you get more advanced, it's every important to always go back to open strings. And make sure you're doing everything right in terms of sound and bow division so that you have the optimum sound quality that you want to achieve.

First, you would start with the A string. Now, in a previous video we spoke about how the fingers should be curled at the frog. And then straightened at the tip for the best bow weight distribution. That's very important when doing your open strings.

Another very important thing about bowing open strings is where you are, where your bow is, o

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Bow Division While Bowing Open Strings | Violin Lessons

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The other think you also want to do with open strings to make sure that your sound is very sustained and even is to put the metronome on. I love practice tempo of 60 to the quarter note.

Okay. So now I have the metronome on. And what I do is I try to fit four counts to 60 in one bow. So I divide the bow into quarters when I do that. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.

Here's how it would sound. And that's four counts. You can also do two counts to 60. That would be one, two. One, two. That means your bow is going a little bit faster now.

And of course you can do that on all the strings.

So, that's a little introduction to playing open strings on your violi

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How to Do the Pencil Hold | Violin Lessons

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Okay, so, you don't always have access to your violin or your bow. So, instead of using your bow to practice your bow grip, you can use a pencil; whether you're in school or at work.

So, you take a pencil and you pretend you're holding a cup. And you put the thumb and the middle finger around, right across from each other, like so. Make sure your thumb is bumpy. And again, we did this in the previous video of how to hold the bow. And then, you put your ring finger down, your pinky on top, nice and rounded and curled, and then your index finger right below the first knuckle crease, in between the first and second knuckle crease, like this.

And then, you just stay like this for as

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Right Hand Finger Exercises | Violin Lessons

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Okay. So now, I'm going to teach you about right hand, finger exercises.

Once you have mastered your bow grip, then you need some flexibility in your fingers so that when you are moving the bow on the violin, your fingers are nice and relaxed, and they can balance at different points on the instrument.

I definitely want to stress that, if you are a beginner, it's very important just to hold the bow like this, and not move your fingers too much because you want to really get the feel of this perfect bow grip with the thumb being bent, and the pinkie being curled on top. If you add too much flexibility to it, the bow grip sort of falls apart.

So this is for a more advanced player

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Bow Arm Movement & Direction | Violin Lessons

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Okay. Now, I would like to show you about bow direction, and bow arm movement.

In previous segments, we touched upon drawing the bow in open strings, and we said that it was very important to curl our fingers on the bow arm. And then we also said it was very important to stay in lane two, like this. But something else is very important, in order for the bow not to slide, you know, like this because that won't give you good sound.

The very important thing that you also have to think about, besides staying in lane two, is how your bow arm is moving down and how is it moving up. I like to think of it like this. When your bow is at the frog, you sort of make a little triangle wit

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Bow Speed & Pressure | Violin Lessons

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So,now we can talk about bow speed and bow pressure. It's very important to practice the different kinds of speeds. It also is important to relate them to different note lengths. In other words, if you're playing a half note, which is two beats, then your bow is going to go slower than if you're playing a quarter note, which is only one beat. So, you need to be able to control your bow accordingly depending on what rhythm you're playing.

I'm going to put the metronome on at 60. That's my favorite practice tempo, especially for open strings. I'm going to show you a half note, and it needs to be divided very evenly.

One, two. One, two. One, two. One, two.

Now, that bow speed is slow

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Bow Divisions & Rhythms | Violin Lessons

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Now we're going to talk a little bit about bow divisions and rhythms. A good way to demonstrate bow divisions is in a scale. I always put my metronome at sixty when I practice my scales, and I work from a slow tempo up to a faster tempo. But, the metronome always stays at sixty.

First, you start with whole notes which is four counts to sixty, and that's dividing the bow. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. So, I'll play a little bit of an A major scale like that.

OK. Now I'm going to show you about doing half notes separate bows. I'm going to divide the bow. One, two. One, two. So the bow's going a little faster.

Now we're going to go to quarter notes, but we're goin

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How to Do a Right Elbow Swing | Violin Lessons

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Learn the right elbow swing for the violin from musician Julie Artzt Becker in this Howcast video.

Sometimes you're going to need to be able to use all of the strings sort of like a roll. In order to do that, you need your elbow to swing back and forth and it is sort of like a child on a swing going back and forth, back and forth.

And this is how it's done. Going from the G string, rolling to the D, A, and E and then back. A, D, G. This is what your elbow should look like and then I'll explain a little bit more.

Now the elbow is a very strong force in the right hand. The elbow is very important in that when you first begin, it's leading everything. When you play, you start wit