Strumming songs on violin

September 3, 2016 at 11:06 AM · Hello,

For times where one just wants to lay back and nonchalantly strum their violin with their fingers, what are some popular songs that are playable on the violin this way? Is there a guide or anything to strumming songs on the violin?

I looked all over and I thought maybe mandolin songs, but we can't stum as nicely. I think it would just be fun to be able to play a little ditty that people would recognize through strumming. Or even a right hand pitz. Haha.

Replies (13)

September 3, 2016 at 12:54 PM · Andrew Bird is an artist that strums the violin and whistles melodies for many of the parts to his music.

I heard him on NPR earlier this year.

September 3, 2016 at 12:57 PM · For that matter you can pick up a playable mandolin for $100.

September 3, 2016 at 01:30 PM · You can do it, but it doesn't project. That's the thing.

I second the recommendation to just get a mando. :)

September 3, 2016 at 02:03 PM · I know there are lots of other instruments that I could use use. But I have my violin with me and if I feel like laying back and just strumming something semi pleasant, I'd like to know how to do so.

My point isn't that I want an instrument to strum, my point was to just be able to goof around with some songs on the violin when I don't feel like bowing. Sometimes I just pull out the violin at work when I am waiting for my bus and strum but I can't play anything. haha.

September 3, 2016 at 02:55 PM · Corey, I think what you are saying is you want to learn how to jam. Are there any bluegrass jams or folk/country jams in your area? I participated in one last year and its ALOT of fun. The skillset is totally different then one you use in an orchestra.

Playing with your friend that plays guitar would help. Learn what notes to play along guitar chords and start learning doublestop chords etc... Practice your arepegios! Once you get a feel for how things are put together you can strum and jam more easily.

September 4, 2016 at 12:29 AM · It's fairly easy to strum G, C and D chords on the violin.

Lots of popular songs are based around I IV V sequence so you could start there:

September 4, 2016 at 02:41 AM · Get a mandolin chord book. You won't be able to do all of them on a fretless instrument but it's a good place to start.

September 4, 2016 at 03:23 AM · There are basic mando chord charts on the internet for free.

September 4, 2016 at 04:33 PM · Thanks guys.

September 5, 2016 at 04:14 PM · Hey CoreP,

I aslo think that a guitar or a mandolin would be nice ;-)

September 5, 2016 at 05:10 PM · There are options for violinists that want to play an instrument in the same or at least 5ths tuning. Look for tenor guitar, tenor banjo, 5th tuning strings for ukulele, mandocasters etc. I found that a cheapo violin with those stick on "Fiddle Fretter" frets is quite good for working out chords on the violin. Chord knowledge, especially on the instrument itself, is something that is missed out in violin pedagogy and yet is so important.

September 5, 2016 at 05:34 PM · Here is an example of strummed violin.

Alexander Rybak - All I do is dream of you.

September 6, 2016 at 01:12 AM · Jeff, well, I think Rybak's playing is not classical, but still it is very likeable, and he can strum too :)

I think it is also a matter of quality, that hanging around those representative girls who can also play violin well....... usually it's more difficult to find a venn diagram of good looking girls, who also happen to play the violin good ;-)

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