did-you-know? rent-now

Amazon no longer offers textbook rentals. We do!

did-you-know? rent-now

Amazon no longer offers textbook rentals. We do!

We're the #1 textbook rental company. Let us show you why.


Violin For Dummies Book + Online Video and Audio Instruction

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-10-20
  • Publisher: For Dummies
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • eCampus.com Logo Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $29.99 Save up to $0.90
  • Buy New


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Take a (violin) bow and let your inner musician shine! 

You don’t have to be a genius to start fiddling around! Violin For Dummies helps budding violinists of all ages begin to play. If you’ve never read a note of music, this book will show you how to turn those little black dots into beautiful notes. Start slow as you learn how to hold the instrument, use the bow, finger notes, and play in tune. Watch yourself blossom into a musician with tips on technique and style. When you’re ready to go further, this book will help you find the people and resources that can help you get just a little closer to virtuoso! 

Your own private lessons are right inside this book, with the included online video and audio instruction, plus recordings that will help you develop your “ear.” This book takes the guesswork out of learning an instrument, so you’ll be ready to join the band when the time comes! 

  • Choose a violin and learn the basics of holding the instrument and playing notes 
  • Start reading music with this fast-and-easy introduction to musical notation 
  • Improve your musicianship and start to play in groups 
  • Explore different music styles and legendary violin composers 

The violin is a beautiful thing—adding melody everywhere from orchestras to folk and pop tunes. With Violin For Dummies, you can make the music your own, even if you’re a total music beginner.  

Author Biography

Katharine Rapoport is an accomplished violinist and violist who taught violin, viola, and chamber music at the University of Toronto for over 25 years. In addition to authoring teaching manuals and syllabi—as well as articles for Strad Magazine —she has performed live in Canada, the USA, and across Europe.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: So You Want to Play the Violin 5

Chapter 1: Introducing the Violin 7

Meeting the String Family 7

Tuning up 8

Holding on 9

Bowing Out Some Sounds 9

Looking closely at the bow 9

Using both your hands 10

Making Music with or without Notation 10

Knowing the notes 11

Getting rhythm 11

Digging Deeper into Music 11

Scales and key signatures 11

Harmony 12

Playing with Style 12

Dazzling technique 12

Multicultural music 13

Having Your Own Violin 13

Chapter 2: Getting Started with the Violin 15

Examining the Violin 16

How Violins Work 19

String vibration and string length 19

Using both hands to make a sound 19

How the bow helps 20

Unpacking Your Violin and Putting It Away Safely 21

Taking the violin out of its case 21

Putting the violin away 22

Protecting your violin 23

Getting Your Violin in Tune 23

Working the pegs and fine tuners 24

Tuning with the piano 28

Using an electronic tuner 29

Getting close with a pitch pipe 31

Finding A with a tuning fork 32

Troubleshooting Guide to Dealing with Pegs and Fine Tuners 33

Peg problems 33

Fine tuner problems 35

Chapter 3: Holding Up Well 37

Understanding the Importance of a Good Violin Hold 37

When standing 38

When sitting 41

Reading from a Music Stand 42

Finding a Good Fit: Chinrests and Shoulder Rests 43

Chinrests 43

Shoulder rests 46

Fixing Common Problems with the Violin Hold 48

Keeping the scroll afloat 48

Watching the horizontal angle 48

Keeping your elbow under 49

Relaxing the shoulder 50

Part 2: Getting Started: The Basics 51

Chapter 4: Taking a Bow 53

Saying Hello to the Bow 54

Treating Your Bow Well 55

Tightening and loosening the horsehair 56

Using rosin on the bow 57

Getting to Grips with Your Bow Hold 59

The famous diva method 59

The hidden treasures method 60

Conquering common problems with the bow hold 62

Putting Bow to Strings 62

Bowing on different strings 63

Understanding bowing symbols 65

Playing Your First Concert 65

Bowing in the Styles of Mr Smooth and Mr Clean 67

Chapter 5: Getting the Left Hand Right 69

Shaping Up Your Arm and Fingers 69

Getting your arm in shape 70

Taking your fingers to tap dancing class 71

Framing your left hand 72

Relaxing your thumb 74

Putting Your Fingers on the Strings 74

Getting groovy fingertips 74

Counting your fingers 75

Knowing which finger to use for what note 76

Lifting and placing your fingers 76

Taping Training Wheels on the Fingerboard 76

Preparing Your Pizzicato 80

Putting Finger 2 to Work 82

Chapter 6: All Together Now 87

All Together Now: Putting Both Hands to Work 87

Getting into playing position 88

Practicing with hands together 88

Crossing Over to a Different String 91

Changing strings with the bow 91

Moving your fingers to different strings 95

Playing Music with Both Hands 98

Warming up to the task 98

Topping the charts: Two simple songs 100

Expanding Your Bow Strokes 101

Using more bow, gradually 102

Preparing to play Pachelbel 102

Part 3: Reading Music for the Violin 105

Chapter 7: Translating Five Lines onto Four Strings 107

Lining Up the Music 107

Setting the pitch with the clef 108

Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (and so do girls!) 110

Climbing the ledger lines 110

Naming Your Notes, String by String 111

17 basic notes 112

A string 112

E string 113

D string 114

G string 115

Meeting the Sharps, Flats, and Naturals 116

Identifying sharps, flats, and naturals 116

Playing sharps and flats 117

Playing Music by Reading the Notes 118

Getting Louder or Softer — Dynamite Dynamics! 119

Playing loudly 120

Making soft sounds 121

Adding crescendo and diminuendo 121

Chapter 8: Making Rhythm Count 125

Dissecting a Musical Note 126

Adding Up the Value of Notes 127

Whole notes 127

Half notes 128

Quarter notes 129

Eighth notes 130

Sixteenth notes 131

Triplets 131

Counting In-Between Notes 132

Dotted half notes 133

Dotted quarter notes 133

Taking a Rest 134

You’ve Got Rhythm: Pieces to Play! 135

Chapter 9: Measuring Up: A Guide to Meter 139

Keeping Measure of the Beats 140

Counting Beats: Time Signatures 141

Tapping into the beat 142

Counting rests 143

Emphasizing the right beat 144

Regulating Your Speed with a Metronome 145

Mechanical metronomes 145

Electronic metronomes 147

Making friends with your metronome 148

Making Music in 4/4 Meter 150

Counting and Playing in Threes 151

Doing (Just About) Everything Else from Fours and Threes 153

2/4 time 153

6/8 time 155

Getting Up to Speed: What Those Tempo Markings Mean 156

Time for Some Songs 157

Part 4: Musicianship and Harmony 161

Chapter 10: Weighing In on Scales 163

Climbing Up and Down 163

Marching through the Major Scales 164

Building major scales 165

Major scales you need to know 166

A major scale 167

G major scale, upper octave 170

G major scale, two octaves 171

E major scale 172

A major scale, two octaves 175

F major scale 176

Casting Light on Those Minor Scales 177

Building a minor scale 177

Playing A melodic minor scale 178

Playing A harmonic minor scale 179

Meeting Other Scales in Brief 180

Natural minor scales 181

Pentatonic scales 181

Chromatic scales 181

Harping On about Arpeggios 183

A major arpeggio 183

A minor arpeggio 184

Major (and Minor) Achievements 184

Chapter 11: Cracking Key Signatures 187

The Keys to Reading Music 187

Getting keyed up about key signatures 187

Reading the key signatures for major keys 188

Keeping order 190

Unlocking the Music with the Right Key 190

Finding the Minor Key for Each Major 191

Forming the relative minor 191

Recognizing minor keys when reading music 192

Having the Last Dance 192

Chapter 12: Making Sweet Music Together: Harmony 195

Combining Notes with Chords and Harmony 196

Playing in the Big Leagues: Major Chords 197

Finding the primary triads 197

Breaking out in chords 198

Unearthing the Minor Chords 200

Making the Most of Major and Minor Chords 201

Meeting the Bossy Chords: Dominant 7ths 202

Harmonizing in Thirds and Sixths 203

Part 5: Taking It Up a Notch: Techniques and Styles 205

Chapter 13: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Bowing 207

Fitting Two or More Notes into One Stroke: Slurred legato 208

Changing bow direction smoothly 209

Starting to slur two notes 210

Slurring across strings 214

Playing three notes in a bow stroke 217

Fitting four notes in a bow stroke 220

Planning Bow Division 221

Deciding how much bow to use on a note or measure 222

Doing the math: Dividing the bow by note values 223

Dividing the bow strokes in anticipation of the next note 224

Adjusting the amounts of bow for dynamics 224

Mais Oui, Maestro: Taking On Ze Accents 225

Accenting the positive 226

Hammering it out: Martelé 227

Meeting the Fanciest Bowings 230

Slurred staccato 230

Meet the off-the-string family 231

Chapter 14: Putting Your Finger on It 237

Two Notes Are Better Than One: Easy Double Stops 237

Preparing your bow for double stops 238

Going from one string to two and back again 240

Ballet dancing with your fingers on the lower string 243

Playing double stops where both notes use fingers 244

Playing double stops galore 245

Pulling Out All the Stops: Three- and Four-Note Chords 246

Three-note chords 247

Four-note chords 248

A grand finale with chords 249

Getting into the First Four Positions 250

Finding first position 250

Smoothing out the second position 251

Putting second position to work 252

Playing in third position 254

Venturing forth in fourth position 256

Knowing what position you’re in 259

Changing Position 259

Easing into shifting positions 260

Getting to know the four kinds of shifts 262

Changing position to go to a different string 268

Playing a shifty song 269

All Aquiver: Vibrato 270

Getting started with vibrato 271

Good vibrations: Using your vibrato in a real song 275

Tapping into Trills 276

Building speed of repetition 276

Speeding from finger to finger 277

Trilling techniques 278

Chapter 15: Playing with Style 281

Fiddling Around with Country Music 281

Familiarizing yourself with fiddle music 282

Sounding like a fiddler 285

Fiddling your way to songs 288

Grooving to Jazz 290

Getting the jazz sound 290

Listening to some jazz violin 293

Jazzing up your violin 294

Enchanting with Gypsy Violin 296

Romancing the violin 296

Listening to some great gypsy violin 301

Playing in the gypsy style 302

Part 6: Getting Into Gear, Staying In Gear 305

Chapter 16: Finding the Right Violin and Bow for You 307

Picking a Violin That’s Right for You 308

The price is right 308

Tip-top condition 310

Old news 311

Sound advice 312

All about appearance 313

Sizing Up the Violin 314

Buying the Best Bow 315

What bows are made of 316

How the bow feels 316

Buying or Renting Your Violin 318

Buying 318

Renting 320

Renting to buy 321

Finding Your Violin 321

Getting Plugged into Electric Violins 323

Acoustic pickups 324

Electric violins 325

Chapter 17: Protecting Your Assets: Violin Care and Maintenance 327

Cleaning Up 328

Daily dusting 328

Cleaning the strings 329

Polishing the wood 330

Changing Strings 331

Taking off the old strings 332

Prepping the pegs and string 334

Putting on strings attached at the tailpiece 335

Putting on strings attached to fine tuners 336

Tightening the strings 337

Protecting Your Violin 338

Practicing safety at rehearsals 339

Traveling with your violin 339

Upgrading Your Case 341

The makings of a good case 341

Testing a case 344

Looking at extra features 344

Changing Chinrests 345

Taking off the old chinrest 345

Attaching the new chinrest 346

Rehairing the Bow 347

Finding Useful Accessories 348

Necessities 348

Extras 349

Part 7: The Part of Tens 353

Chapter 18: Ten Top Performers — and Their Recordings 355

Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840) 355

Fritz Kreisler (1875–1962) 356

Jascha Heifetz (1899–1987) 357

Stéphane Grappelli (1908–1997) 357

David Oistrakh (1908–1974) 358

Yehudi Menuhin (1916–1999) 358

Itzhak Perlman (1945–) 359

Nigel Kennedy (1956–) 360

Natalie MacMaster (1973–) 360

Rachel Barton Pine (1974–) 360

Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Go Beyond This Book 363

Subscribing to a Magazine 363

Attending Concerts 364

Joining a Community Orchestra 365

Going to Summer Camps 366

Playing in Small Groups 367

Participating in Festivals 368

Local music festivals (competitive and noncompetitive) 368

International music festivals 369

Building a Music Collection 369

Watching and Collecting Videos and DVDs 370

Visiting Competitions 371

Performing at Hospitals and Seniors’ Homes 372

Chapter 20: Ten (Or So) Tips on Finding a Teacher 373

Networking 373

Calling the Local Orchestra 375

Inquiring at Music Schools 375

Checking Out Community Colleges 376

Asking at the University 377

Hearing Students Play 378

Asking at the Music Store 379

Mentioning Your Quest Everywhere 379

Checking Out Violin Lessons on the Internet 380

Looking for a Good Gut Feeling before You Start 380

Meeting a Teacher for the First Time 382

Auditioning 382

Planning lessons 382

Making business arrangements 383

Appendix: Audio Tracks and Video Clips 385

What You Find on the Audio Tracks 385

Looking at What’s in the Video Clips 391

Customer Care 394

Index 395

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Rewards Program