Free online violin lessons

Yes that's right, you can get free online violin lessons - in fact some of them are really high quality.

The best of the best - the creme de la creme - are far and above the free online violin lessons at www.violinmasterclass.com which I mention on the how to play the violin page. The site is the brainchild of Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus of the college conservatory of the university of Cincinnati USA. The site consists of a series of quicktime movies of masterclasses covering all the areas of playing the violin. Starting with holding the instrument and the bow, practicing scales, arpeggios, double stops and intonation it then covers left hand techniques...

  • Finger dropping and lifting
  • Shifting
  • Vibrato
  • Left hand pizzicato
  • Harmonics
..and also right hand techniques
  • Bow grip
  • Bow speed, pressure and sounding point
  • Bow changes
..and all the bow strokes...
  • Detache
  • Legato
  • Spiccato
  • Staccato
  • Martele
  • Colle
  • Richocet
  • Chords
  • One of the things a good teacher will be able to do for you is not only teach you what you need to work on, but how to improve it. This site is a fantastic start on all the how.

    You may have had a teacher tell you to practice SLOWLY. After seeing this site, you will forever know exactly what slowly really means. (Hint - have a look at the slowest setting on your metronome, mm 40. Got it? Slow isn't it? Painful speed to play at isn't it? Well, 'slow' means slower than that! *ouch*)

    The quicktime files are all 5 - 20 MB in size, so you will ideally want a broadband internet connection.

    The only drawback to this site? The sinking feeling you get as you watch an 8 year old play gorgeous renditions of pieces from the trinity college ATCL (thats around undergraduate level) repertoir and you realise you are waaaaay behind.

    Despite that, the take home message is: www.violinmasterclass.com. Visit it. Now.

    Hmm, since you are still here, the other great source I have found for free online violin lessons is; Michael Hopkins string pedagogy notebook

    Michael Hopkins site uses both still photos and quicktime videos to cover both holding the violin and bow, and a lot of different exercises for playing the violin. In contrast to the violinmasterclass site where all the players look flawless, he also shows some common faults which is also very instructive. The site gives more examples of exercises to develop the skills for playing the violin.

    Take home message? Go there too. Back to the 'how to play the violin' page