Why the Violin is so Hard to Play (might surprise you) | Violin Lounge TV #503

by | Jan 4, 2023 | Start to Play | 6 comments

How hard is it to play the violin… really? Is it the most difficult musical instrument to learn?

Video content

00:14 No frets
00:58 Different distances on the fingerboard
02:37 Bowing technique
03:56 Different bow strokes
04:31 Doing two different things at the same time
05:02 Vibrato
05:12 Proper hold and posture
05:51 Tuning your violin
06:27 is the violin really the hardest instrument?
08:10 Pep talk for budding violin players

How to find the notes on the violin?

The most obvious difficult in violin playing is that there are no frets and that you need to find the notes on the fingerboard based on what you feel and hear. This requires not only a LOT of motor skill training, but also ear training and constant adjustments.

What makes it even harder is that the higher up the fingerboard you go, the smaller the distances get. Not only are these small distances hard to get in tune, but it also means you have to learn each position separately. Check out my violin fingerboard chart right here to see what I mean.

Bowing technique and different bow strokes

What might not be so obvious is that the bowing technique, the way you produce sound on the violin, is also a big challenge. It can take beginning violin players years to get even a decent sound out of the instrument as there are so many factors that go into it: contact point (bowing straight), speed, weight, tilt of the bow and the place on the bow. This means you have to get the movements of the arm, wrist and fingers exactly right. Is this something you struggle with or like to improve on? Join my violin bowing bootcamp right here!

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.

Hi! I'm Zlata

Classical violinist helping you overcome technical struggles and play with feeling by improving your bow technique.

Other things that make the violin difficult to learn:

Putting it together

Your hands are doing two entirely different things at the same time. It takes a lot of separate practice and coordination to coordinate.


To make your violin sound even better, you must do vibrato with your left hand.

Tuning your instrument

For beginners it can be very challenging to tune their violin. Luckily I’ve got this free online violin tuner with microphone and tuning notes that will make this much easier. Click here to use my violin tuner.

Proper hold and posture

To perform all the techniques in the right way and to be able to practice for a lot of hours, it’s important that you find a relaxed and effective violin hold, body posture and bow hold.

Is the violin really a lot harder than the piano or the guitar?

Every musical instrument has it’s challenges and every musical instrument is difficult to play at a top level.

With for example the piano or the guitar you’ll sound better in the beginning, because with little technique you can already sound good. For the violin you need to learn and practice quite a lot before it sounds nice.

However, if you love the violin, just go for it. It’s a learnable skill and you can make your violin dream come true!

What do you find hard about playing the violin?

Share your thoughts, opinions and experiences in the comments!


  1. jane n

    It’s complicated by my being too shy to practice with anyone in the house, or with the windows open.
    Alone time is too brief to get in a good practice session.

    • Zlata

      It’s something a lot of people struggle with, but it takes getting used to. A practice mute could help, but don’t use it all the time. To be frank I also don’t practice with windows open.

  2. Sylviane

    Zlata, I really enjoy this video, how you pointed out the challenges, yet you made it sound fun, or even silly, and entertaining. Every learning opportunity is a journey, each step is to be cherished, and each result is to be shared with your loved ones. What a gift it is to be able to make music. Heel veel bedankt!

    • Zlata

      Glad you like it 🙂

  3. Marie A.

    Zlata, top!! Fun to improvise in combination with a third instrument (the bass) and the Bow like a pro course (especially the most recently added Violin Boot Camp module).

    • Zlata



Submit a Comment

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