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Learning how to learn is the way to "supercharge" your progress on the violin. The following articles can help you get the most out of your limited practice time, give you more inspiration, and see results in your playing faster than ever. In the "First Steps" section you'll find articles helpful to beginners so they can start the journey with the right tools and mindset. The other sections will help you develop the right habits and attitudes to get the most enjoyment and artistic expression from your violin playing.

First Steps with Violin

Make sure you have the right tools for the job and know what to expect as you begin learning violin with our First Steps articles!

  • Learn How To Put Fingerboard Tapes On Your Violin
    Why Do People Use Fingerboard Tapes? In this video, I'll show you how to put fingerboard tapes on your violin.  For a beginner, its important to know where to place your fingers for each of the …
  • How Much Rosin Should I Use?
    How Much Rosin is Enough? The amount of rosin applied to the bow and how often you apply it can drastically affect the sound produced when you play. The purpose of the rosin is to help …
  • Buying a Cheap Instrument? Read This First!
    Buying Cheap Will Cost You You are (or your child is) starting to learn violin or another string instrument. You can't wait to learn and share your favorite melodies with your family and friends. It's an …
  • Open String or 4th Finger?
    For violinist and violists: How to decide when to use an open string You may have heard teachers or other players saying that using open strings is discouraged in classical music performance. In general, this is …
  • What you MUST, Should, and could buy for your violin, viola, cello, or double bass
    What accessories do I need to start learning? If you are beginning to study a string instrument, there are some important accessories that you should have to make your playing better, your practicing easier, and your …
  • Four Things All String Players Should Have in Their Cases
    1) Pencils Always have a couple pencils with you when you are playing your instrument.  If you are in an orchestra, your director has probably already told you this.  It is important to write any instructions …
  • Violin & Viola “Pre-flight” Checklist
    Its important to be set up correctly before you start playing.  I created this checklist to remind you of the most common problems that I see with the set up of beginning students.  Just like …

Habits for Success

Having good habits that support your progress on the violin makes the difference between having lots of fun learning and feeling like you are just spinning your wheels without moving forward. Here are some important ideas that will help you make the right choices in your violin learning journey.

  • Every String Player’s Biggest Challenge
    This is, By Far, the Biggest Barrier String Players Face In my 25 years of teaching string instruments, I’ve had a lot of students that weren’t progressing the way they wanted. Can you guess what …
  • Can Adults Learn to Play a String Instrument?
    The Reality of Starting to Learn Violin, Viola, Cello, or Double Bass as an Adult I have heard and read people claiming that adults struggle when they start learning violin, viola, cello, or double bass because …
  • Why I decided to never play video games again
    One of the constant challenges as a music student is to make sure to get enough practicing to keep moving toward your goals. Even those who are truly passionate about music can fall short …
  • Personal Success Predictor
    Want to Learn About Your Future Success as a Violinist, Violist, Cellist, or Bassist? Take a few minutes to fill out and score this Success Predictor.  You may learn a lot about what it takes to …
  • Get Ready for Your Recital Performance
    For Beginning Performers: Preparing for a recital When you have a recital coming up do you change your practicing routines and mindset? If you answered “no,” you are probably not going to be ready to perform …
  • A. B. P. Always Be Performing!
    No matter how long you have been studying your instrument, get out there in front of people as soon and as often as you can!  It really helps your development as a performer to have …
  • The 7 Best Ways to Succeed in Music
    Everyone would like to know they are on the right path when pursuing something important. The following seven items are the most important things a music student can do to stay on the road to …

Practicing Perfection

Nearly everyone has precious little time in their day for practicing the violin. With our busy modern lives, its especially important to make the most out of all the practice time you have. Take a deep dive into the specifics of how to get the most out of your practice time with these articles. Applying these ideas can help you see progress in your violin playing week after week.

  • Sometimes You Should Stop Thinking
    How Playing an Instrument is Like Sports Training In my lessons, I'm often pointing out to students that some elements of playing an instrument are an artistic pursuit, but others are more like a sport. …
  • Memorizing: Benefits and Pitfalls
    Should I memorize my music or not? Some people naturally start memorizing their music as they learn and for others its very hard to memorize. If it comes naturally for you, that’s great because you …
  • The Steps for Learning a New Piece, Part 2
    This is part 2 of a 2 part article about how to learn new music. Please see part one (CLICK HERE) before reading this part. Enjoy! Step 2:Learn the rhythms. See my previous article (CLICK HERE) which …
  • The Steps for Learning a New Piece
    Or: "How to Solve Complicated Math Problems in Your Head on a Unicycle While Juggling" This week I’m publishing the introduction and step 1 of my music learning process. Watch for next week’s conclusion of this …
  • Five Steps for Learning Rhythm
    Five Steps for Learning the Rhythm of a Piece This is for students who already know the basics of rhythm and need some direction for how best to use their practice time to learn tricky rhythms …
  • Real Lessons versus “Practice Lessons”
      As a private lesson teacher, I have students who are at different levels of preparation for their lessons.  Sometimes students have practiced the materials they were assigned and we can take the next step forward …
  • Why Are You Practicing That? Four Questions You Should Answer About Your Practice Time
    Students sometimes feel a bit lost when practicing.  They aren’t really sure why they are practicing the piece or exercise.  This happens more often when a teacher has the habit of assigning every etude in …

Maintaining Your Motivation

Even with all the talent in the world, if you don't have motivation to put in your practice time, you'll find yourself frustrated and stuck. Music is an extremely enjoyable activity, especially when you have proper motivation and you just can't wait until the next time you get to spend some "quality time" with your violin. These articles will give you ideas on how to cultivate your motivation and learn to love the challenge of violin.

  • What Disc Golf Taught Me About Success
    First of all, let me express to you how much I hate waking up early. Apparently this is something in my genes, because I’ve always been this way and whenever I try to …
  • Set Goals for More Fun and Motivation!
    Most of my students have just started back at school after summer break. This is a good time to reconsider why you are playing your instrument and check on your goals. Have your goals changed …
  • Summertime Practicing Blues
    When the summer approaches, I often start thinking, “Great! Now my students will have lots more time to practice and will be better prepared for their lessons!” Frequently, however, many students actually practice …
  • Is Practicing a Chore or Exciting to You? How to Enjoy Your Practice Time
    There are some people who will automatically enjoy practicing.  Most people are very excited to practice when they first start playing an instrument.  After a few months however, it can sometimes begin to feel like …

How to Use StringClub

Have more fun and learn faster with StringClub tools! These articles show you some of the ways to get the most out of the resources here at the StringClub. You can go beyond just playing along with the songs you find here by adding your own favorite music and discovering all the ways the StringClub helps you learn violin quicker.

  • How to Add Songs to Your App
    How to Get the Most out of Your StringClub App So you downloaded StringClub on your iPad, iPhone, Windows 10, or Android 5.0 device and learned the twelve pieces for your instrument that come loaded on …
  • The String Club Apps are the Best Way to Learn!
    We now have Free Apps for iPad/iPhone, Windows 10, and Android 5.0 devices: iOS Devices Windows 10 Devices Android 5.0+ Devices Whether you play violin, viola, cello, or bass, The String Club app is the best tool for learning …
  • How to Get the Best Results for Your MIDI Uploads
    Thank you for sharing your music with The String Club community! Here are our guidelines and policies for uploading your MIDI files: Guidelines 1) The most appropriate type of MIDI upload is one where there is a …