reply to post by zatara
Yep, on a violin it's not even called a fretboard. It's a fingerboard.
Getting the basics right is incredibly important with a violin. Knowing how to hold the bow (keep that thumb bent!), how to support the instrument
under your chin (I use a rest) and what finger must go where on the fingerboard are all basic and need to be learned correctly, both to produce the
right notes clearly and to prevent strain and possible long-term problems with your wrist and so forth.
One of the best resources I've found online is Todd Ehle's channel on Youtube. He's a great teacher who takes you through all the basics first in
quite short but very easy-to-follow video. And he's also great for showing you how to create vibrato. It's a great feeling when you finally get it
Todd Ehle's channel is here
and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants good,
) advice from a guy who really knows what he's talking about. Even if you've never played violin at all his videos will soon get you
heading in the right direction.
I'd definitely recommend you watch his "Holding the violin" and "Bow techniques" for starters. It's actually not so difficult if you start off the
He has almost 26,000 subscribers, which gives you some idea of how he's viewed by violin students.
By the way, if you have trouble tuning your violin, just get a small, clip-on digital tuner. There are plenty around and many people use them on their
guitars, but most have a "V" (for violin) setting as well. You set it to "V" then clip it on the bridge, then you can check the tuning of each string
either by lightly plucking them or light bowing. I prefer this to using tuning pipes, in fact.
It's also worth taking your violin to a luthier (violin maker/repairer) to get it checked over. If the bridge is set a fraction off line (or if it's
warped) or the sound post is not set perfectly, the whole sound of the violin is different. A luthier can also make sure the fingerboard is okay. Over
time, they can slightly warp and it may need to be reset. A warped bridge is inviting disaster. One day it will simply snap and that can damage the
violin. So if it's even slightly warped then get a luthier to fit a new one.
I've had all my violins in at the luthier's for bridge replacement, sound post resetting and other adjustements and it's made a huge difference to
them. Well worth the time and money if you want to get the best out of the instrument.
The bow: if the hair's getting old, then it can be re-haired by a luthier. A newly-haired bow makes playing a much nicer experience. And after use,
always loosen off the bow. This will help it to last longer without warping and also the hair will survive longer too. If the bow is warped then a
luthier may be able to straighten it for you. Warped bows just encourage poor bowing technique so get it fixed.
Oh, one last thing: cleaning. Always wipe down the strings and bow (the wooden part) with a soft, lint-free cloth after playing. This prevents rosin
buildup and also removes perspiration. It's best to use a separate cloth for the violin's body (so you don't rub perspiration all over it). And never,
use furniture polish, "baby wipes" or pure alcohol to clean a violin!
These products can destroy the varnish and that will affect the
sound and its value. Use only special cleaning fluid designed for stringed instruments. I use "Viol" and a small bottle lasts for years. Just use a
few drops on a clean cloth and rub gently.
If unsure, ask a luthier to clean it for you while he/she shows you how it should be done. It's amazing what a difference it makes when it's clean!
(And yes, it can affect the sound as well.)
Okay, enuf from me!
Best regards and have fun!
edit on 25/9/12 by JustMike because: (no reason given)