If you’ve made the decision to learn how to play the violin, you’re in very good company. Whether you prefer the symphonic sounds of virtuosos like Paganini and Vivaldi, or dig the contemporary genius of artists such as Justin Branum, Charlie Daniels, or Joshua Bell, you know that the violin offers an array of musical genres to explore.
Indeed, as an instrument that can be enjoyed without additional musical support, the violin gives you an opportunity for a lifetime of personal enjoyment and an escape into melodious worlds of your own creation anytime, day or night.
But first, you have to learn how to play it.
Professional instruction and the right equipment are, of course, necessary, but finding good tools to assist your endeavors can help make your learning experience easier, and more enjoyable. Although the options are limited concerning the amount and diversity of apps for learning to play the violin, there are some excellent support tools available.
This list of the best apps for learning to play the violin can help get you started.
Violin Notes by BrainMelody. This app is an excellent tool for learning and recognizing where the notes are located on the violin. With interactive note positions that indicate treble clef note placement, students can learn fingering positions quickly and easily. When the note is held, the sound is played, which helps reinforce the finger placement. Cost is $0.99.
Violin Lesson Tutor from AMS Music. A bit more complicated, this app features step-by-step, online video instruction and links to Alison M. Sparrow’s YouTube channel. Techniques, printable sheet music, and other basic mechanics, this is one of the best apps for learning to play the violin. Cost: Free.
Violin by Egert. Although the sound is slightly synthetic, this app has many of the same features as Violin Notes. Fingering positions are detailed and easy to see. Cost: Free.
Music Tutor Sight Read by VirtualCode.es. This app game is designed for music students who are learning to read and write music. It features games and quizzes for Treble, Bass, and Grand clef tablature. Cost: $2.39 for this version, but the maker also offers a free “Lite” version with similar features.
Smart Chords and Tools by Schüle Martin. Just released, this app calculates and plays almost any chord imaginable on practically any stringed instrument, including the violin. Other features include a reverse chord finder, scales, all fingering positions, predefined and custom tuning, chromatic tuner, metronome, fun ear training quizzes and many more cool features. It also has modes for proficiency levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Cost: Free.
Classical Violinist. This app game offers a fun way to practice violin techniques. Play along with classical compositions and earn points by making the correct bow actions on the virtual strings. It’s quite a workout for your fingers. Cost: Free. Compatible with iPhone and iPad
Learn Violin by Inside.com Inc. Splendid for beginners, among apps for learning to play the violin, this one is excellent. It features tuning and stringing instructions, and insights on correcting bad habits in form. Instructor Paul Dateh focuses on the key things every beginner should know including basic notes and chords, and proper instrument maintenance for getting the best sound. Cost: $4.99. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and iPhone 5.
nTune: Violin Free. This app combines learning and tuning in one place. One of the best features is that it actually used recorded sound, rather than cyber-generated tones. It allows beginners to tune basic G, D, A, and E strings and includes playback options for plucking and bowing. Cost:Free. Compatible with iPhone and iPad.
Violin Flash Cards. Great for visual learners or new students, this app employs a series of flash cards that help reinforce how to read music and recognize finger placement. The front side of each card features some type of note and the back side displays the name of the note and the correct fingerboard position. It also includes an audio reference chart with fingering location to help improve reading and response times. Cost: $0.99. Available for iPhone and iPad.
A brief Word about Tuning
There are many tuning apps for learning to play the violin, but one of the best products available for tuning stringed instruments doesn’t come through your smart phone. The Snark SN-5 clip on tuner is one of the best tuning products available. Extremely easy to use, the accuracy of this inexpensive tool (Less than $10) makes tuning your violin a snap for beginners.
When learning any instrument, it’s very important to make sure that the sounds you’re creating match the actual pitch and tone of the note, and that you are reinforcing the proper techniques. These apps for learning to play the violin can make your instruction easier to understand and apply.