Learn Pop Violin from Scratch (Beginner Course) | Casey Chan | Skillshare

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Learn Pop Violin from Scratch (Beginner Course)

teacher avatar Casey Chan

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction to the Violin

    • 2. Reading Musical Notes: A Crash Course

    • 3. Basic Violin I: Positioning and Bowing

    • 4. Basic Violin II: Left Hand Technique

    • 5. Basic Violin III: Practice Methods and Demonstration

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About This Class

This course aims to introduce complete beginners to the violin, and impart rudimentary bowing and playing skills. Learners will also be taught how to familiarize themselves with the fingerboard and increase their ability to play fast passages through a tried-and-tested practice method.Ā At the end of the course, learners will be able to practice effectively, and play any note, pieceĀ or pop song in the first position.

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Casey Chan


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1. Introduction to the Violin: everyone and welcome to my course on how to play the violin for beginners. Today we'll be taking a look at the basic futures off your instrument and how we're gonna tune it as well as how we're gonna set up the bow as well the shoulder s so that you can play it comfortably. First, we'll take a look at the violin itself. No violent itself has four strings. I'm starting from the lowest is G. And then there's the A and e starting from the top of the instruments, we have the scroll. That's Yuning pegs, which you will use its you know, a violin later. And then we have this black part, which is your fingerboard, where your fingers lie and play the violin. And then you have the main body of the value over here. Now, thes two are called F holes of sound holes. And then in between them, you have this thing called a bridge. Nybo actually goes in between the fingerboard and bridge and you'll be playing. We'll be drawing the bow across the strings over here, right after the bridge. You have this area. It is is usually filled with fines, units you can actually turn these finds units to junior strings. And finally we have the chin rest where your estrogen like this so next will be looking at the bow. So this is the bowl of the violin. Um, you have the frog over here, and this is where you hold the boat and we'll show you how to hold it later, of course. And this part which is actually your horse hairs. Now, these horse hairs are what to use to draw the bow across the strings and make sound. So obviously, here, your horse Here's air very slack, and you'll need to tighten it. So how you tighten it is you turn this little knob at the end. Eternity is a number. The end clockwise and gradually your bowl will begin to tighten them and once begins to become taught. Once you put enough tension in it, you can start using it to play the instrument. The next thing I'll be going through now is how to put the shoulder rests on a violent to make it more comfortable to hold. Now a shoulder s look something like this. Okay, of course, yours may look a bit different but basically as a few parts has thes clasps, which actually hold the violin in place as well as it. This this rest years padded rest here that actually makes it more comfortable for the instruments of rest on your shoulder. So how you put it onto the violin is that such only a do is fit the violin around like so. And then you fit one clasp onto one side of the violin and use that as a pivot point to turn around. You can turn around here and use the class players on the violin as a pivot point to adjust your shoulder wrist, such that the other side can fit into place on the other side of Valium. The next thing you do is too tight in the shoulder rest by pushing up towards the wide a portion of the violent body has shown here and then you're ready to play the instrument as such, and the next thing will be doing now is to learn how to tune this instrument. So tuning a violin is very similar to tuning a guitar, and what you do is you have to turn these tuning pegs here. If you want to make big adjustments and turn these fine tune its year. If you're Valionis fitted with them to make any smaller adjustments, So how you do it just actually, usually you just play the a string, played a string with a bowl, and you can actually use a tutor to do this. Or, if you're familiar enough with the sound of a notes, you can do it by year. And if you want to make it lower, you turn the pegs towards yourself just like this, and you now have a much lower sound than before. If you want to you on a string to a higher pitch, all him to do is do the opposite, which means to turn this peg away from you. Back to your desire notes, right, And that applies for all strings. And once you've done its unity, a How you can t under rested a street is using the A is to actually play both strings at the same time and tuning them so that they're in harmony with each other. So let's say, for example, you have this thing so as you just heard, it's quite obvious that the A and E string are not in harmony with each other. So how you do that is you're playing the both strings together and knowing that the A string is in tune, what to do is to move on to you in the D string until it is in harmony with the A string. All right, so you do this now that is sufficiently in harmony. You do the same with the other strings, and you can check that the e strings in tune That's a bit off. So So in this case, when a discrepancy is small, all need to do is use your finds. You know, if your violent has one same thing, turn clockwise to raise the picture of the string and turned anti clockwise to lower the ph of the string. So what you do is like Theis case. The E string is a bit flat or low, so I turned the fine tuning clockwise to raise the pitch of the string. And now you have this thing more or less into you. All right. And lastly, want you G string and tuna G string. You will need to rely on an in tune D string off course. So you play the D string energy string of same time simply because you can't play the A string energy string at the same time. So you do this on is already sufficiently in harmony. So this violin is now. I hope you've enjoyed the first part off learning how to use the value, know how to play the violin rather in the next video will be moving on to actually taking a look at music theory. If you don't already have any background in understanding how to read notes and how this may be useful in off course, improvising covers on the violin. 2. Reading Musical Notes: A Crash Course: Hello, everyone. And today we'll be taking a look at how to read musical notes for the violin. Now, in case you're not familiar with musical notes, I've come up with this brief crash course of sorts to teach you how to read musical notes. So the clef used when we're playing the violin is the treble clef, all right. And it looks like this, um, I don't want to call it. It's supposed to be a lettin letter G, but anyway, it looks something like that. And, um, how you read it is if you take a look at your ledger lines, these five lines that form each line of your musical score, you'll see empty spaces in between each line. Now, in ascending order from the bottom, you have F in the lowest empty space. A next, then see then E No notes can also fit on these lines. And if the notes appear on these lines, if it appears that a bottle of line you get E G and B, D and F in ascending order Now what if you need a note that is above or below the ledger lines? Let's say your note is lower than this. Lowest over here, which is often the case when you play on the G string and D string on a violin I want to do is you actually draw an additional ledger line or additional ledger lines below this stuff , like such. And then you indicate the position of the notes relative to thes ledger lines. So if you take a look here, you see a f e de see the A and G in descending order. So here this note is therefore a G right, and this note just so happens to be a lowest note that you can play on the violin, right? The next thing will be looking at is semi tones or sharps and flats. Now, as you might know, there are eight notes and adoptive or rather, their seven different distinct musical notes, which is A, B, C, D, E, f and G. All right now, in between these notes, there are also things called semi tones. So well, except for between BNC, that is so you have a then slightly higher than a but slight your Lord and B, you have this thing called a sharp, which is also be flat and B and C are special case because B and C are a semi tone apart. So between CND of C shop, which is also D flat, and between D N E, you have the's shock or if that another exception is e and F because E and F are also a semi tone apart. So about that BNC Andy NF two exceptions, you take notes off and DNF are in fact only a semi tone apart. So the shop is equal two f and between F and G, you have the same thing f sharp is equal to G that and then you have she shock which is equal to the next a flat, all right. And now we move from Sharps and flats on two key signatures. Now, if you see at the beginning off each line in the score that there is a series of Sharps or a series of flats, it means that for this entire piece or this entire section, until the key changes that particular notes will be its shock version, so to speak, meaning that if you have a sharp here that covers the F note position on your ledger line, every F that happens in the peace will be an f sharp, not an f natural, all right, and that applies to both this particular effort here, as well as all other efforts across the stuff like this one over here. So that's been a basic crash course off how to read music. But if you're just looking to improvise and do things, but you don't necessarily need to use sheet music and therefore you don't necessarily need to reach you music, that is, especially if you're using videos on YouTube that teach you how to play the particular song like what we're doing on my YouTube channel, Right? So we'll see you in the next video, where we'll be covering how to actually start playing the violin itself. 3. Basic Violin I: Positioning and Bowing: Welcome back to the next video. Where will be continuing our practical lesson on how to improvise or jam on the violin today will be learning the basics of how to actually play the value. And so this will be split into how to hold a violin right hand technique followed by left hand technique. So first we'll start with how to hold the violin. Now, the violin can be held like this. You set up the shoulder rest, and then you put it on your left shoulder. All right. Just like so. You wanted to point about 45 degrees outwards and to the left and approximately level. And then you can just hold it using your chin and your shoulders so you can remove your hands and hold it. Like so. All right. And so your fingers, on the other hand, will rest like this. Your thumb will, actually, just contacting one side off the neck off the violin, which is this thin portion here. And your fingers are around and contact the strings like so next we'll take a look at how to hold the boat. So for the bow itself, you want to hold it at the frog. So you curfew, thumb slightly and put the far corner the far corner of the thumb over here at the notch that you can see on the frog over here. So it should look something like that. And then you press on this notch such that your thumbnail rests on this metal portion over here, like so. And then what you want to do is take your pinkie finger or your tiny finger whichever way you want to call it, and then you puts it on this bevel surface over here. As you can see, there's this, uh, there's the surface over here that you can put your pinkie on. There's this flat surface over here that conveniently counter X what your thumb is putting out as a force, all right. Or if you put it on top as well, and then try to hold a ball level like so with just your pinky and of thumb balancing the bowl. The next thing you want to do is lower your two fingers onto the frog like so, and then rest your index finger or point. Sir, On this silver part, you shouldn't be gripping the ball with your pointer or anything, you just be letting it rest year and letting your other two fingers rest as such. The reason why we chose to put the thumb and the pinky on first is because when you're doing the upstroke off the bow, you're actually kinda using your pinky finger to drive the ball upwards and we'll get to that in a moment. Now, I will be taking a look at how to draw a bowl across the strings. And the first thing you want to do is put the bowl in between the bridge and fingerboard across this area over here, where there's nothing underneath or accept the soundboard off the violin. Okay, so first thing I'd do is put both here. So one thing to do is to place the center off the bowl over the strings, like such. And you want to make sure you want make sure that when that happens, your right arm is at more or less a right angle, all right? And when you pull the boat downwards, I'm just not gonna I'm just gonna air ball here. You wanted to You want your elbow to sort of stay in place and move forward. You do not want to move your arm as a right angle body to unfold because that will cause the board to slip across the strings. And it just wouldn't sound very good. Right? So how you do it, something like that. So put in the middle, and then you pull the boat downwards, trying to keep your elbow in, please and pushing it towards your front. Right, So it's something like that theme. All right. And then for the lower half of the bowl, you can just use your tiny or pinky finger to drive the ball up. So you kind of exert pressure on this on this, um, Wooden wouldn't part over here using a pinky, and then you drive the ball upwards. All right, so it's something like this. Okay? And when you're pushing the bore, you can, in fact, move your upper arm here. Its awards, the violin. What you need to make sure is that the bull is tracking street, meaning that it's not waving about across the violin itself, but rather that it is always perpendicular to the street. So it should look something like this. All right, so now I have got a hang of how to actually make a sound using the bowl if you want to improve yourself and what you can do is try to put slightly more pressure. Um, try to arrest the entire weight of your arm on your wrist and this will help a lot, because by doing so, you'll get so much fuller sound and it would sound something like this. That will be the difference between doing this. That is, with most of the weight resting in the elbow of the shoulder. And this we're letting the weight rest on my wrist, something like that. All right, so now we know how to draw the bow across the strings. The next thing we're gonna look at is how to actually position our fingers on this fingerboard to play meaningful notes. 4. Basic Violin II: Left Hand Technique: everyone. And welcome back today will be doing basic left hand technique. Asato. How you're supposed Teoh position of fingers when you want to play note to aid and talking and demonstrating the same time, I'll actually be plucking the notes. But in reality you can apply the same thing because these are, after all, positions on the fingerboard. Not a challenging thing about the violin is that is a friendless instrument, meaning that you kind of have to look for the notes yourself and varies from violence violent even if they're the same size. All right, So without further ado, let's take a look at how we can get started by putting our left hand on the violin. So, as you mentioned early, put your thumb like such and curve your fingers around such that the rest nicely on the string at about a 45 degree angle, facing yourself like so so you can see your fingernails when you're playing the violin. All right, so it should look something like that. All right, so now how to play notes. All right, so I'll be plucking the notes, but you can blow them the first thing one notices this will be the first position. Your thumb is all the way at the join between the neck and scroll. So you have G and then you want to find the next note. So that would be somewhere around here, which is about an inch from where the fingerboard meets the scroll on my Valium. And you might have to, you know, move your finger up and down, like so to find a note. But this is essentially how I do it. So So you have a this. Oh, this is your be Oh, don't see. All right, G a B c d. Now, if you notice something for normal tones, fingers are generally spaced apart. For example, look at the spacing between the first first finger and second finger, right? This is an A and this is a B. So this is one entire tone apart, All right, but for B and C, because they're only a semi tone apart. And see that instead of having a space between the fingers, you actually need to keep them close together. So you get this. Oh, from by keeping them close together, you get a semi tone. So let's say you want to play something like B flat, for example. So you have G and then you have a Then you want to play a beef that so you just slide your second finger flush with the first finger and you get your beef let and then you're see would be some distance away. And then you have your d No one thing interesting about a violin that you might like to know. What is that? The streams are actually set at intervals off fifths apart, meaning that what you have you 12345 The note that your fourth finger, please on the lower string here corresponds with the open string, the next string. So if you want to go up a scale, for instance, you can actually play it Onley up to the third finger and then switch over to the open string from the higher stream so we can do something like this. So without using a four finger, you play an open string of d, giving your time to move your point, sir, into position to play the You see. It's a bit difficult to tell when you're on camera, so you just move it around on this, Fred. This instrument bond, find the correct pitch wherever you find it. All right. Now I'll be learning how to actually play a scale so you can follow along if May So we'll be playing the G major scale starting from the open G string or the lowest note off the violin so that you'll be able to play the entire range of notes taken, possibly play in the first position. So how do you do it? You do it such so you can use a bow and I'll demonstrate to the end on how to play it. Um, but for the sake explanation will be platinum notes and explaining the different notes. All right, so, G major so or something like that, Right? So that's two full octaves worth of scale. And as you noticed, there was an F shop in that scale. So when we reached here, instead of placing the f Thisun f um, right next to your e finger instead, we're playing this know, which is your f shot that fits into the G major scale. Right? It just sound like this when you play it with a boat. Ah, right. So now that you know how to play. A scale will be moving on to the next exercise, which is how to play a chromatic scale to familiarize yourself with the fingerboard even further. 5. Basic Violin III: Practice Methods and Demonstration: In the last video, we learned how to play a normal scale. So if you still remember, when you do a normal scale, you put your finger slightly apart for tone and put them close together for a semi toll. So with something like this, So let's say you start from G major, it will look something like, Oh, uh, and that's your one octave worth off G major scale. Now, once, if you want to get familiar with semi tones So if you want to be able to play every single note on the violin, you play something called a chromatic scale in which you basically play just about every note there is on the way up. All right, so it goes something like this. So you go from G and then and then you flush your your index finger all the way to the front or the top off the fingerboard, and then you play. And that's your kind of G sharp. No. Did you slide it upto a and then be flat and saw? Oh, oh, uh, and that's your one active worth off chromatic scales. You could slow the video down and follow along and the next thing will be covering is how exactly to practice. All right, so obviously we've been doing it very slowly. And of course, if you want to be able to play songs and stuff like that, you won't want to be able to do things a bit faster, right? So how we practice will be something like this, so we'll practice slowly. You may use the Metrodome to do it. What you do is you play it slowly, like so maybe once per piece of the Metro. No. So now I'm not going to use a mention on, but I'll do it this way. First, let's start with skills. But it's the same for chromatic skills, if you wanna do it that way. All right, So way through. All right. And once you've done that, the next thing you want to do is to actually double that speed. All right, So you want to play it like this thing thing, Then you double the speed again and again if you can. Gradually, you should be able to play almost any song now. So if you're struggling to increase the tempo or to double your speed, you can either increase the speed of the Metrodome when you're more comfortable or you can do this little practice trick, which is called single patient and you play like this. So you alternate between long and short, and then you reverse the order off which notes are short on which notes along. So it's something like this, uh, and then you switch the order around. So now I know it sounds a bit weird orbit funny, but what it does is it actually drains your fingers to respond faster and switch faster so that eventually you'll be able to double your speed or, in other words, play even faster so we can do the same thing for both the normal scale as well as the chromatic scale. Just get used to playing the scales, get used to the spacing on the fingerboard, and then try to increase the speed at which you play the scales. At this point, you should be able to play just about any melody off any modern pop songs. So now demonstrate how all these pop songs can actually be played in the first position just to give you an idea. All right, So, for example, um, you have Esposito which is the 2017 hits. It can be played in the first position. So if you notice a zai play this, I never shift up in positions so everything can be done with whatever notes that you have learned so far, which is in the first position. So, you know, it starts something like this, - and I'm pretty sure you'll find that this is pretty much similar for any other pop songs. Cause pop songs in general are pretty simple. Let's say, for example, please, something like that you're in the shape of you. For example, You can go, Yeah, s so as you can see all in the first position. So, yeah, that's it. You're now ready to play just about any modern pop song or any simple song that you have that you want to make a cover off, say, for classical music. Maybe on the violin. I mean, everything in the first position can make a basic cover. Now, if you want to see Maurin struck Tibbles on how to play specific songs, please visit my YouTube channel. I might not be able to link it down here in the course, but anyway, just go on and take a look at YouTube and find some tutorials. And you would be surprised how much you can actually play. Congratulations. And I hope you like this course. Thanks for watching.