How to Play in Tune Right from the Start | Violin Lounge TV #232

by | May 13, 2016 | Play in Tune, Start to Play | 4 comments

Before I explain how you can play in tune on the violin right from the start, I will first explain why you would want that.

This video is inspired be an e-mail conversation I had with one of my followers. He wrote that his wish was to first learn as many notes and scales on the violin as fast as possible and that ‘playing in tune will come later’.

That’s a way to develop a very sloppy technique that’s very hard to correct in the future. You might have to start all over again and it will be even harder than starting from scratch. 

Please remember practice doesn’t make perfect… it just makes permanent.

Practice makes permanent. 

If you play on the whole fingerboard without minding the intonation (playing in tune), than you will not only NOT learn the right technique, but you will learn a wrong technique. You’ll make the wrong spots and the out of tune notes permanent.

This is why it’s important to try to play in tune right from the start and to be very precise while practicing. Yes, this means that you will learn all the notes on the violin much slower, but the end result is worth it. You will have a good technique, a beautiful tone and you will play in tune.

Here’s how to play in tune right from the start…

First develop a decent basic bowing technique. If you can’t get a nice sound of your violin, don’t start playing with your left hand fingers just yet. Practice on open strings until you can produce a nice sound consistently.

When you are ready to begin with the fingers, start with the basic frame where your second and third finger are close together. There is some space between your first and second finger and your third and fourth finger. In this frame you learn the one octave major scales of G, D and A… all starting on open strings.

Don’t learn all fingers at the same time. Start with the first finger. Once you can consistently play the first finger in tune, you can use it as a foundation for the second finger. The third finger is learned by placing it very close to the second finger. Take about one to two weeks per finger.

You see how important it is to follow a step by step curriculum?

If you want to learn the good technique right away and don’t want unnecessary detours, the Violin Lounge Academy will offer you structure and curriculum right from the start. You will learn in a fun and interactive way and in different ways simultaneously.

Within the Violin Lounge Academy you will find the course Violin Lounge Basics amongst many other courses. My students get great results from it and even advanced students benefit from the basic lessons. Violin Lounge Basics teaches how to play the violin from scratch, holds your hand, tells you exactly what to practice, in what order and how. The results is a good basic technique on the violin. If this sounds interesting to you, click here to read more.

Is this video helpful to you? Please let me know in the comments below! If you like it, share it with your friends!



PS: Do you have questions or struggles on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to and I might dedicate a Violin Lounge TV episode to answering your question!

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  1. John Norton

    My Dear Zlata, I adore your remark “Practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent”. I am an accomplished wood wind player,not strings, but I repair strings and look forward to making them from scratch. Nevertheless, many ask for my opinion on string matters, if I have something intelligent to say, I will help them, or else I refer to higher authorities like yourself. But I will “borrow” your practice remark at times, and I promise to give you credit for it… I love it. Your remarks about playing in tune are excellent and very well taken, I shall quote those too. Finally, I loved reading about your time spent recently in Germany… it sounded delicious! Many thanks for your notes and your videos.
    With love, John

    • Violinist Zlata

      Hi John, thanks and I love that you use my quotes! Borrow them as much as you like. Practice makes permanent is not something I made up myself, but I have no idea who I can credit for it. Yes, Germany is delicious indeed (if you love meat and beer that is). Have you been there yourself? All the best, Zlata

  2. Carolyn Keeler

    I received the violin and viola map in the tube in the mail Thank you. How often are you open for the lessons on violin. I want to sign up. Do you have information examples of lessons?
    Do you have written information as well as the videos? I have played some songs but have no set practice routine because of where we live and weather. Can you discuss how to care for the violin and bow in the desert environment? Sometimes it is really hot and very dry other times hot and humid and can change from day to day 100 to 130. Then there is the wind problem 50 mph with wind gusts to 60 mph that dries everything to point of making things violins, viola dry out. The violin constantly has to be tuned and the pegs do not hold in place good. Can you give me some assistance? Please Carolyn Keeler

    • Violinist Zlata

      Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks for your message. June 1st I’m opening the Violin Lounge Academy for enrollment, which includes video courses (videos, e-books etc), community, video exchange and 1 on 1 lessons with me. If you are interested in becoming my student, this will be very interesting to you. If you are subscribed to my free weekly videos, you will automatically get an invitation to join the Violin Lounge Academy.

      About violin care, check out these videos:

      You can control the humidity by putting dehumidifier bags (like this one: in your case when it’s too moist and getting a humidifier or moister in your violin case. I just shot some videos about this today, so there will be Violin Lounge TV episodes about this subject. Or a dehumidifier device to control the moist in your room:

      When the air is too dry, use a humidifier in your case (like this one: or control your room with a humidifier (like this one:

      Make sure to check constantly what is going on. You can get a hygrometer for your violin case:

      The products I’m referring to are just examples to show you what I mean. I didn’t use them all or select the best brand.

      Hope this is helpful.

      All the best,



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