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Violin Facts: Answers to Your Questions about the Violin

Violinist.com editor Laurie Niles and other Violinist.com readers address frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the violin, with answers about practicing, performing, teaching and selecting repertoire. Scroll down the page for some illustrated facts about the violin itself, to learn more about the parts of this stringed instrument.

Words and Phrases to Know

Violinist.com Glossary of Violin-Related Terms

Instruments and Accessories

Why cheap violins are not a good deal

What size violin does my child need?

How much is that Stradivarius violin I found in the attic really worth?

Everything else you need to know about buying a violin

How violin strings are made, and work

Links to leading violin and music retailers from around the world, whose financial support makes the Violinist.com community possible.

Teaching

What is the Suzuki Method?

Links to downloads for all the Suzuki Book recordings

Six ways to put your students at ease during their lessons

Five tips for managing a classroom of young violinists

Technique

How to hold a violin

How to practice, in six steps

Using ringing tones to play in tune and refine your pitch

Taking aim at intonation problems

Simon Fischer on tone production and intonation

Good spiccato starts in the bow hand

How to turn the page -- literally!

Orchestra rehearsal etiquette

For dozens of additional articles with advice and tips from some of the world's leading violin teachers, visit our archive of posts from The Juilliard School's Starling-Delay Symposium for Violin Studies.

Repertoire

Where can I find free violin sheet music?

The Mahler Project - an in-depth look at and reviews of all nine of Gustav Mahler's symphonies.

Fitness

How violinists can prevent injury with proper stretches and set-up

Stretches and body maintenance for violinists

Famous Violinists

For more than 70 exclusive interviews with the world's leading contemporary violin professionals, visit our Violinist.com Interviews page.

What are the Parts of a Violin?

The violin is a stringed instrument, played with a bow. It is the "soprano" voice of the orchestra, and one of the world's most popular and enduring instruments. Please move your mouse around the Gagliano family violin pictured below to learn more about the parts of the violin.

The Violin
The Scroll of the violin is mostly ornamental, its practical use being to hang the violin on a hook. Scrolls are usually created in a spiral, but some violins have lion's heads, faces or other custom 'scrolls.'
The Pegs of the violin extend from the peg box, two on each side. The pegs are turned away from the body of the violin to tighten the strings, which sharpen the pitch. Turn the pegs back toward the body of the violin to loosen them and flatten the pitch.
Place the fingers of your left hand on the Fingerboard to play the different notes. The fingerboard rests on top of the neck of the violin, extending over the body toward the bridge.
The Bridge of the violin supports the four strings, lifting them above the fingerboard. The bridge is not glued in place, but held by the pressure of the strings. The bridge is cut higher on the G string side, sloping lower to the E.
The Sound Box: The 'belly' of the violin, or the top, is most often made of spruce and is slightly arched. Underneath is the 'back,' which is usually made of maple. Joining the front and the back are the 'ribs,' which are made from six strips of thin maple and curve along the sides of the violin. Together these all form the 'sound box' of the violin.
The Tailpiece connects the strings to the end of the violin's body. Sometimes you will find fine tuner knobs on the tailpiece.
The carved 'f' holes allow the violin's sound vibrations to escape from the sound box.
The carved 'f' holes allow the violin's sound vibrations to escape from the sound box.
The E String is the highest-pitched string on the violin and is a fifth, or four notes, above the A string.
The A String is the note most often used to tune the violin, usually set anywhere between 440 and 442 hertz.
The D String is a fifth (or four notes) below the A.
The G String is the lowest note played on a normally-tuned violin and is a fifth (or four notes) below the D string.
The Chin Rest: Violinists debate the value of shoulder rests, placed below the violin body, but almost all violins include a chin rest.

Galamian's Principles of the Violin

Galamian's Principles Long one of the standards for violin teachers and students, Ivan Galamian's Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching offers both principles and practice exercises to help develop violinists of all ages and abilities. This new edition includes a foreword by Sally Thomas.

Get it now! In Paperback | For Kindle

Chiara String Quartet

Contest: Chiara String Quartet

Enter to win "Brahms by Heart," featuring the Chiara String Quartet playing all from memory.