Violin Self Study Tips: Learn to Play the Violin Fast

by | Feb 22, 2019 | 28 comments

Can you teach yourself how to play the violin?

Can you learn to play the violin without a teacher?

Look, whether you have a teacher or not: in violin playing (and music making in general) we’re ALL self taught. If you have weekly lessons and practice daily: most of the time YOU will be the one correcting yourself and not your teacher.

I’ve seen adult beginners get good results learning the violin themselves

However… most of the times these are exceptions. They are people with musical talent, who have a good ear to correct themselves. They are very critical or even perfectionistic. To self learn the violin you must be very independent to search and filter the right information. You can find a lot online, but there is also a lot of nonsense and stuff that isn’t applicable to you right now.

Most self learners get stuck and look for a teacher anyway

This is something you have to be prepared for. Certainly in the beginning the feedback of a teacher and not inventing the wheel yourself is really important. Your progress will be much faster and you won’t get stuck.

On the violin you quickly develop bad habits that take a lot of time to correct. On the long run it can be cheaper to get a good teacher right away, but I know that this isn’t possible for everyone.

Keep in mind that the violin is one of the most difficult musical instruments. Even with a teacher, for most people it takes years to sound good.

Tips to self learn the violin

1) Take it slow!

It so important that you get the basics right and don’t try to learn everything at once. First focus on the relaxed and balanced violin hold and bow hold. Being precise about the basic technique, will save you a lot of time in the long run.

2) Be your own teacher (even if you have a teacher)

90% to 100% of the time or more your teacher isn’t there to correct you.

If you’re not taking lessons, try to imagine you’re your own teacher. Correct yourself. Listen to yourself. Don’t let yourself get away with a sloppy technique. Try to get it right all the time.

If you DO have a teacher, his/her job is to guide you in your practice and NOT to do the learning for you. We’re al self learners! To me it helps to imagine my teacher is in the room and I try to imagine what he would say about my playing.

3) Practice consistently

The nr 1 reason why people get stuck in violin playing and quit is that they don’t practice consistently, don’t see results and lose motivation.

If you’re not willing to play the violin daily, think very hard if you want to play this instruments. It takes a lot of time and dedication, not just to become a virtuoso, but also to learn to play nicely after some years.

4) Be a lifelong learner

There won’t be a day that you master the violin, can play everything and are endlessly happy with your own playing. Even the most famous soloists have critique on their own playing and improve themselves are day. Most of them take lessons or ask collegues for advice.

We are all students and we stay students. Enjoy the process. Approach your violin playing with curiosity, patience and love.

Now I’d love to hear from you!

What are your experiences with self studing the violin in any way or form? Do you have a private teacher or did you learn in another way? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Join my FREE beginner violin course

I take you from scratch step by step to your first violin concerto including 40 videos, sheet music and violin tabs.


  1. Jack Ryan

    I always wanted to learn to play the violin. Regrettably I took it up late in life and am self taught. I have always been a self starter with an unusual sense of dedication and patience. It certainly isn’t be my first quest in self education. I can happily report that I am very critical of myself and strive for perfection. My progress is better than I expected and I enjoy every minute playing the violin.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Great that you picked up the violin yourself and enjoy it, Jack, I hope my videos are helpful to you!

      • Henna Law

        I have just recently started to practise on the violin (two weeks ago) and I am happy with my progres. I am trying to attempt at learning the violin my self throw youtube and articles, so, I thank you for your written work above because it was inspirational and has allowed me to have a better view on how I shoued practise. How long has it have taken you to be good at the violin?

      • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

        Welcome, Henna, I play the violin since I was eight… it takes many years to get good at it, but it’s worth the journey!

  2. Milenia

    Hello-thank you
    For this forum. I enjoyed reading every bit about violin. I am 34 and have never played any instrument yet I’ve always been drawn to the violin and now I want to start. What do you suggest I do? Can I learn on my own? Do you have any tips that I may benefit from? What type of violin for a beginner and where to purchase lessons?

  3. vivek

    i had a dream of learning violin for long, i started to save when i was a kid so as to afford a violin, accidentally when i turned back i saw that i got old and saved more than enough for a violin, i had collected a china made violin acoustic, american made acoustic and japan made yamaha yev104,now the issue turned up i had violins but i forgot to give time to them and learn. i started around a month and i think am making great progress, my initial book was eta cohens method of learning violin level-1. i dint find any other books which i could reach by hands, i am old school, am done with level-1 of that book and searching everywhere to go to next level or any book which can make me teach the playing technique of the queen, i am abandoned b internet, i am a seaman so no internet at oceans , i try to connect once a while, could anyone help me with pdf books so that i can practice with my queen when we are at oceans.

  4. Sohum Sheth

    I am a pretty advanced student in violin, (playing tchaikovsky violin concerto 3rd mov.) I’ve had a private teacher for a while, but when i go to college, how would i continue learning and getting better?

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Of course you can keep practicing and improving, follow online masterclasses (maybe iClassical Academy is something for you), join a college orchestra or ensemble and maybe find a local private teacher or an online teacher.

  5. Cataliya Yoongi

    Wow, thank you for this forum. I realized that I should have started sooner. I’ve always wanted to play and learn Violin but lack of resources. Good thing I saw this one site and this forum. I just hope someday I will be able to play smoothly.

  6. Chris

    I am a father of 2 and wish to self teach myself violin. But my best time to practice and play is at night when the kids are asleep. Are there any inexpensive electric violins you can recommend, or do you recommend them at all to start with? If not, what would you recommend for adult beginners?

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      I practice a lot during my kid’s naps and don’t use any mutes, but that’s maybe because they know the sound from the womb. Please know that an electric or ‘silent’ violin isn’t silent. You still have the noise of the bow going over the strings, be it softer than an acoustic. I’d say get an acoustic and buy a very heavy practice mute. You can find reviews of both on this website :). Good luck!

  7. Deborah Jones

    Hi, Zlate
    I will be buying a violin to begin my journey, what do you recommend to be a beginners violin. I am 62 years old and was always wanting to play the violin. Can you be my teacher? How much does a session cost.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Welcome, Deborah, here are my violin reviews. The best way to start is my free beginner course right here. You’re welcome to take lessons with me, but I don’t do separate sessions. I offer personal guidance in my courses. Have you subscribed for my e-mails? In that way you’ll get also all the new offers on lessons with me and weekly free lessons in your inbox.

  8. Jess

    I used to play violin with a teacher from the ages of 8-11 but now I’m 16 and can’t afford or get a teacher and I don’t know if I can get back into it especially since the only information I’ve managed to retain is how to read sheet music and the names of strings and other basic information is it worth me starting back again ?

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      It’s definitely worth it and I’m sure my free lessons can be helpful! Could my free beginner course be something for you? Click here to join.

  9. Dede

    I’m going to start playing the violin next week. I’m 13, hopefully, it isn’t too late 🙁

  10. Steph

    I played the violin many years ago and miss it. I love music I sang for many years and encouraged my children to pick up an instrument. So I have decided to reteach myself the violin

  11. Dean Monro

    Thank you for your tips. I am 62 and improving. I practice everyday at least half hour.

    • Zlata

      Wonderful, Dean!

  12. David

    Hi, I am ninety- one years old and picked up the violin about a year ago, My father tried to teach me how to play when I was about 12, but for some reason I was not too motivated to learn and practice. I regret wasting the opportunity I had as a child and to have the teacher at home. After many years I have become motivated to learn in spite of being this old, yet, bought a violin and was surprised having the blessing of still knowing the fundamentals. Have made a lot of progress, yet know there is a lot to learn. Am I kidding myself thinking that at my age I will be able to be successful in mastering this difficult but beautiful instrument? I am aware I may not have too much time left, but, what the heck, I am enjoying it. Any advice?

    • Zlata

      Wow, you’re such an inspiration to all adult learners out there. If you’re enjoying it, I’d say continue! Does it matter you master it? Do I even master it?

  13. Nanette Kilmer-Pariseau

    I played violin for 6 years when I was in school and took lessons every summer so I played year round. Unfortunately I set it aside after graduating. On my 50th birthday my husband bought me a violin. I had told him how I regretted giving it up. I’m not sure where to start relearning it’s been so long. Not sure I can still read

    • Zlata

      Wonderful, enjoy!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *