Taking music theory tutorials to learn more about the treble clef, rhythm, learning to read music, or just simply learning how to play the violin is always a good start. However, playing violin or the fiddle should always be fun!
When you first start learning to play stringed instruments, it can be disheartening learning music theory and techniques (such as holding the bow correctly and just tuning the thing!) and many students end up giving up long before they get anywhere near an orchestra. When you start learning violin for beginners, you'll see why it's one of the hardest instruments to learn.
Everyone wants to have violin lessons near me that are both useful and fun by learning their favourite violin music. Who said you couldn’t do just that?
From Jean-Jacques Goldman to Beethoven via Coldplay, there’s a huge range of artists and styles to choose from to help you with your violin playing.
Even if the songs seem very difficult at first, there are plenty of arrangements that allow beginners to play simplified versions of their favourite songs and teach themselves.
What are you waiting for? Every concert violin player has to start somewhere!
Why Learn Songs to Improve Your Playing?
You can’t deny that the learning the violin is tricky. That's why violin teachers exist, after all.
It’s very difficult to be able to play a song during the first weeks or months of learning. In the beginning, it’s more important to focus on your left hand, violin fingering, and playing notes on the violin strings well. For some people, this is a step that can take several years. Additionally, the violin bow can feel unwieldy to beginner violin players and when you first learn to play the violin, don't be surprised if you produce the sound of a cat being strangled. Even famous violinists were like this once.
There are a lot of tips and tricks that can help you learn how to play violin more quickly such as putting stickers on the neck in order to give yourself a better idea of where to place your fingers, investing in a violin tuner to make sure that your instrument is always in tune, and warm up exercises for your wrist, fingers, and arm, so that you're ready for whatever your violin lesson throws at you.
Once you’ve gotten past this stage, you can start learning songs.
But which ones should you learn?
Learning a musical instrument, no matter which one, can often be learnt by playing children’s nursery rhymes and lullabies. These are made of simple melodies and are very handy for budding violinists. However, there probably aren’t many people relishing at the opportunity to learn “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.
Don’t worry, though! Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of little gems you could learn to play instead. On YouTube, for example, a lot of people post video tutorials for beginners. You’re bound to find the song you want to learn. Some videos will show precisely where your fingers need to be on the fingerboard at any given moment, just like playing a game of Guitar Hero. You need to remember that even songs that seem too difficult for your level can be simplified in order to be played.
Learning to play the songs you like can go a long way towards helping you progress. These songs can give you a goal to accomplish. This can really help beginners. Songs are also an opportunity to learn new techniques. With a clear goal in mind, you’re far less likely to give up.
Enjoy yourself! Look for songs from your favourite playlist. You’ll surely be able to find the simplified version for beginners on the internet.
Enjoying what you’re playing is a great way to keep enjoying playing the instrument when things get tough. You’ll be happy to pick up your violin and start playing some of your favourite songs.
Once you’ve mastered playing a given song, why not perform it for your friends? Ask for a second opinion and see if there are any parts you could improve upon. Even if they’re not musicians themselves, their opinions can still be useful to you. It’s often easier to be objective when you’re not judging yourself. Don’t forget that you can use criticism to improve.
If it turns out that you’ve perfectly mastered the song, what’s better than showing it off to an audience. It’s your chance to shine. While nursery rhymes might be fun, it’s unlikely that you’ll become famous from playing them.
When choosing music, make sure that you choose good violin pieces for your level. For example, if you're an absolute beginner, you want to avoid pieces that have a lot of vibrato, pizzicato, or other intermediate and advanced techniques. A teacher can you learn violin and choose appropriate contemporary and orchestral violin pieces. Don't forget to invest in a metronome, too!
Why not learn more about the history of the violin?
Classical Music for Violin Beginners
While it seems to be getting harder and harder to find young people interested in classical music, there are still people who much prefer it to genres such as rock and RnB. For those who enjoy this type of music, there are plenty of songs in the violin’s repertoire for beginners to learn.
Shostakovich’s Second Waltz
Do you know this one? This song is the one that comes to mind whenever André Rieu’s name is mentioned. If you’re familiar with it, it’ll be easier to play. These notes are quite easy to remember and good for beginners to play.
Even if classical music isn’t really your thing, you’ll have definitely have heard this one. It was famously played on electric violins in YouTube videos a few years ago (there were also versions on almost every single instrument known to man). Impress your friends by playing this well known masterpiece. Goosebumps guaranteed!
Beethoven’s Für Elise isn’t just for pianists (or Elise). Violinists can also learn to play this beautiful song. Of course, your version will have to be more basic, but the notes making up the song are some of the simplest ones for budding musicians to learn.
Rock Music for Violin
Classical music isn’t the only genre that’s made use of the violin. In recent years, with the advent of the electric violin, musicians have found new ways to play the instrument.
This means that a lot of contemporary music can be played by beginners...
Coldplay - Viva la Vida
Once again, you can find a tutorial for this on YouTube. With these video tutorials, you won’t need to be master of music theory since they’ll tell you where your fingers need to be at any given moment. Try it yourself!
Lindsey Stirling - Crystallize
Lindsey Stirling is a violin and dance expert. Not only does she cover the biggest hits on the violin but she also composes her own original music. Crystallize, which came out in 2012, is one of her own pieces. While it may seem complicated at first glance, it can be played by beginners. Of course, with a good tutor, it’d be easier to learn.
French Music for Violin Beginners
To find a wealth of music for the violin you only need to look across the channel. There are plenty of French artists making use of this beautiful instrument. From Catherine Lara to Louise Attaque, there are plenty of songs you should be adding to your violin playlist.
Debout sur le Zinc is a French group that was founded in 1995. Inspired by a mix of rock and gypsy music, a lot of their songs have a violin part. While it’s hard to find video tutorials on YouTube for them, you can find violin sheet music or tablature for their songs.
The second you listen to the song Je t’emmène au vent, you’ll want to pick up a violin. The song by Louise Attaque is an absolute tune and can be learnt by a beginner with the help of violin tabs or sheet music.
Catherine Lara is both a violinist and singer. She learnt violin from a young age. However, when her singing career took off, she never gave up playing the violin. Many of the singer’s songs, including Nuit Magique, include her violin.
The French superstar Jean-Jacques Goldman released an album in 2001 called Chansons pour les pieds. This is a great collection of songs for violinists. The song Tournent les violons is where you should start.
Traditional Music for Violin
Are you interested in folk music from Ireland or Brittany? Folk music often includes violin parts. It can also get the people moving.
The tune Scottish Fougères is a great one for those who are new to the violin. While this piece is often played with a harmonica (and sounds great on it), you can adapt it for the violin. Again, you can find some good tabs or sheet music for this piece.
Who could forget Amazing Grace? While most famous for being played on the bagpipes, there are plenty of different versions. The once religious lyrics are more so a symbol of freedom and rights nowadays.
Soundtracks and Film Music for Violin
The music from films is often a good choice for budding violinists. Composers like John Williams and Hans Zimmer often try to create melodies that anyone can sing along to.
For those just starting out with the violin, there are plenty of beautiful pieces to choose from that will help improve your technique and are fun to play.
Who could forget the iconic theme from Mission Impossible?
Whether on the guitar, piano, or violin, the notes in the piece can be played by any musician on any instrument.
The soundtrack from Amélie is a favourite amongst those learning to play the piano. However, the melodies can also be played on violin.
You can also simplify the songs by taking inspiration from what a few YouTubers have done.
Game of Thrones
There are few people on the planet who wouldn’t be familiar with this music.
The Game of Thrones theme has been covered plenty of times on the internet if you need inspiration. To make things easier, keep in mind that this piece can be played on the two lowest strings of a violin. No need for finger gymnastics! Great for those wanting to take things slow.
Star Wars is one of those films whose theme can be learnt by beginners. Since it’s quite repetitive, you can learn it quite quickly.
Once you’ve mastered it, you could do the same as the two teenagers who stood on John William’s lawn playing it.
Maybe he’ll open his door to you.
Whether you want to learn the violin, cello, or any other string instrument, you should check out some of the online violin and music tutorials or contact a violin teacher near you. You'll get better with each lesson and once you've mastered your violin scales, you'll even be able to improvise! Just make sure that your violin's tuned or you're definitely going to sound awful.