Free Video Violin Lesson 9

  1. Thom
  2. June 1, 2008 9:54 pm

Review Questions

  1. What is subdivision?
  2. What does it mean to play on “The and (&) of one?”
  3. Are you comfortable counting the “Addition Method?” I.E. wuh-uhn two-oo for quarter notes

Lesson 9

Hello and welcome to Violin Lesson #9! In lesson #8 we learned about playing eight notes. Today’s lesson is going to cover 1st & 2nd endings, as well as half notes and half rests.

We have learned that a quarter note is one beat, and that an eighth note is one half of a beat. The half note is two full beats.

Following the addition system for counting:

Eigth Notes (8th notes) with counting
Eighth Notes

Quarter Notes (4th notes) with counting
Quarter Notes
Also count:
Wuh-uhn Two-oo Three-ee Four-orr

Half Notes (1/2 notes) with counting

Half Notes
Also count:
Wuh-uh-uh-uhn Three-ee-ee-ee
Half rest is equal to (=) two quarter rests

A half rest is equal to two quarter rests.
An easy way to remember a half rest is that it looks like a hat! Half/Hat.

Now that we can successfully count half notes, let us play them! Since the half note is longer than a quarter note, we may have to move our bow slower to accommodate for the duration of two full beats. The purpose of using the addition system to count is so that we learn to feel the length of notes.

Lets play #77 together. Remember to save your bow so you can play the FULL TWO beats of the half note! Don’t forget to lift your bow before the repeat.

When we add notes in 78, be sure to let your fingers hover over the strings and just pop off rather than lifting high of the strings.

First and Second Endings:

A first and second ending most likely was first done in order to avoid writing (and printing) large amounts of music that had similar beginnings but different endings. Today we still use them for their convenience and ease of reading. What would have to be written out as two full pages with only one different note for the ending could simply be put on one page with a 1st and 2nd ending.

1st and 2nd Ending Music. First and Second Ending

When we read a repeat we go right back to the beginning of a song without skipping or adding beats of rest – it is a constant flow. Now when we add a 2nd ending, we still play that repeat through, but the 2nd time through that particular passage we SKIP any music labeled by the “1st” bracket and move right onto the 2nd bracket.

Simplified: “Play the 1st ending the 1st time through. Then, repeat the same section of music, skip the 1st ending, and play the 2nd ending.” – Essential Elements

Play #76- Essential Elements Quiz – For Pete’s Sake on your own, then compare with the video performance. Were you able to understand and play the 1st and second endings correctly? Remember to SKIP the 1st ending the second time through the song!

Left Hand Pizzicato:

#82 Texas Two String
4+ means to use your 4th (pinky) finger to pluck the string. This will help build finger strength for playing as well as help shape your hand.

Well there you have it! You learned how to count half notes and play multiple endings. If you have any questions or comments, don’t be shy! Comment below and I’ll be sure to respond!


  • Half Notes are worth two beats, generally played on 1 and 3
    • ( 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +)
    • Can also be counted “Wuh-uh-uh-uhn Three-ee-ee-ee”
  • Quarter Notes are played only during numbers ( 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +)
    • Can also be counted as Wuh-uhn Two-oo Three-ee Four-or
  • Eighth Notes are played on both ONE and AND ( 1 + 2 + )
  • Watch your fingers, are you pushing down hard on the strings and lifting them way up? (BAD!) Or are you pushing down just enough for notes to sound, and only letting them pop off slightly above the string (GOOD!)


Left Hand Pizzicato – In this case marked by a (4+) for 4th finger pizzicato. Plucking done with a finger on the left hand.


  1. Practice counting and clapping, playing half notes.
  2. Review
    1. #64 – D Major Scale
    2. #66-73
  3. Practice
    1. #76-82
    2. Be careful on 2nd endings and count your half notes!

Back to Lesson Index
Back to Lesson 8
Foward to Lesson 10


  1. Jane Wilson says:
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    I’m enjoying your lessons over here in New Zealand. I’ve only just started learning the violin… as a grandma. Is it normal for my left elbow to ache when I’m playing or am I angling it too much?

  2. Is it a muscle ache, or do the bones in your elbow really ache? If its the bones, it might be something of a more serious nature that perhaps should be discussed with a healthcare professional. If it is just a muscle then more likely its muscle growth from holding your arm up and out. I sometimes forget of some of the aches and pains I went through starting with the instrument… imagine being a fourth grader carrying your instrument case home every day…my arms were numb- but grew strength!

    I also strengthened my back by learning to sit up rather than slouching in my chair, which also was a lot of annoying muscle growth pains in the process. I hope that helps!

  3. Marvin Jones says:
    Posted November 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi Thom:
    I am a beginner violin player. I have been taking lessons at a local music store but I have enjoyed looking at your video lessons on line and they are great. I am at lesson #9 and have purchased a Korg MA-30 Metronome. The problem I am having is, what tempo to set it at. In lesson #8 where I would try to set my tempo to match yours so when I clapped along with you I would be in sink with you. Then in lesson #9 song 72 you used a different tempo, Could you please tell me what tempo you are playing at.
    My Essential Elements 2000 for Strings page 20 gives me Tempo Markings Like Allegro-Fast tempo Moderato-Medium tempo Andanto-Slower,Walking Tempo. Do you know where I can find the tempo settings in number values for each tempo? Like #66 Rhythm Rap I set my metronome tempo at 100?
    Thanks Marvin

    • Hello Marvin, I’m sorry for a late response- Hopefully your teacher was able to help you with this in the meantime. Trying to sync up a metronome with me or any other recording may prove to be more frustrating than beneficial. I would recommend to clap or play along with the videos as they are to get the ideas of timing and pitch, and using your own metronome that you are comfortable with when practicing without a recording.

  4. Erick Ponce says:
    Posted November 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Hello there!! thank you so much! Now I know how to play that note! I mean “peperoni” xD great! thank you so much, send you a big hug from México 🙂

  5. Ladyfiddler says:
    Posted August 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Thom its so wonderful of you to share your knowledge of the violin with us . I am a beginner and my biggest problem is the timing your video was very useful and i will be back for more.

    May God continue to bless you
    Take care

    • Hello Ladyfiddler!
      Thank you so much for the kind feedback! I’m glad this site was of use to you!

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