Free Video Violin Lesson 7

  1. Thom
  2. March 12, 2008 12:41 am

Review Questions

1. What does Arco mean?
2. What is the Stop and Set technique?
3. What should your posture look like?

Hello and welcome to Violin Lesson #7! In lesson #6 we learned about holding a proper posture, starting form for bowing, and making clean string changes. Today we will begin bowing exercises and then move on to playing notes. Before you start, it might be a good idea to watch lesson #6 to refresh your brain from last week.

We will begin by playing with just the upper half of the bow, often marked as, “U.H.” The upper half of the bow is from the middle point to the tip. Try to go ALL the way to the tip and back to the middle while keeping the bow straight and even.

Now assume the box position as we prepare to play #47, Bow On the D String.

Remember that each bow stroke should be smooth and even, don’t jerk the bow or accent direction changes/endings.

Continue to #48, Bow On the A String. For sake of this video I will now switch to the Lower Half (L.H.) The Lower Half goes from the frog to the middle point

Stop and Set

#49, Raise and Lower has to do with the technique we practiced last week called Stop and Set. Remember to use your elbow to alter the angle of your bow, letting you play exclusively on one string.

As we progress through #52, each line takes away a rest until we no longer have any. We want to maintain a good clean string change. Be sure to not only stop your bow, but also not to move it again until you have used your elbow to change strings completely!

#52, A Strand of D ‘N’ A, has eliminated all rests between string changes. Make sure you still stop and set the bow before playing a new string! Don’t forget to lift your bow to reset for a down bow before repeating.

Adding Notes

Pause the video now and tap your foot while you say the note names/rests of every song on page 18.

Hopefully that was very easy! If not, please please PLEASE spend some more time reviewing your notes by playing pages 6-13 while watching the music to make the mental connection. You can even play while saying the note names out loud to further drive it into your head!

Shoulder Pizzicato

When our violin is on our shoulder, we have a different method for plucking our strings. Rest your right thumb on the edge of the fingerboard and use your index finger to pluck through the songs on page 18.
(Demonstration of #54 in video)

Shoulder Pizz


Count out loud on #60-63. You should not change notes or bow direction until you have started a new number! The bow should be moving throughout the full duration of the note.

The idea here is to learn the length and feel of a quarter note. Because of our use of pizzicato it is very easy to think that a quarter note really only lasts for the first half of the count (1 instead of 1 &).

The D Major Scale

On the D Major Scale I will demonstrate the Whole Bow (W.B.) for you. The bow should move from frog to tip. Take it slow at first so that you can fit the entire bow into your counting while still maintaining proper form!
Count out loud while you play
Tribal Lament tends to give people the most trouble, take your time and count! I’ll play it in lesson #8 for you to listen to and play along to see if you did it right!
Great job today! Clean your strings and violin with a soft polish cloth. I use a guitar polish cloth. Never use any abrasive cleaners or cloths on your instrument!

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]


1. Shoulder Pizzicato
2. Place thumb on edge of fingerboard and pluck with index finger
3. Hold out bow strokes for full length of a quarter note.


(U.H.) – Play with the Upper Half of the bow from middle to tip.
(L.H.) – Play with the Lower half of the bow from middle to frog.
(W.B.) – Play with the Whole Bow from frog to tip.


  1. Review Lesson #6
  2. #47-53 using each of the three:
    • Upper Half
    • Lower Half
    • Whole Bow
      • Take a slow enough tempo so you can do this correctly!
  3. Page 18-19
    • Before playing:
    • Speak note names
    • Play song with shoulder pizzicato
  4. Play and count out loud
    • Hold note out for full value!
  5. Memorize #64
    • Practice with:
      • U.H.
      • L.H.
      • W.B.

Back to Lesson Index
Back to Lesson 6
Foward to Lesson 8


  1. : ) Thanks for this helpfull lesson, with all the pizz exercises i was tending to change my bow reall soon. Now i understand better time and bow changing. Playing the piano does give my right hand a lot of melody moves that now belong to my left violin hand 😛 I m really anxious to practice this a lot so i can reach two or more eigth notes.

    Open sting A should sound exactly as 4finger A on Dstring?
    When playing G A G by holding G down i tend to touch A string with my 1 finger so A doesnt come clear ( like in 41 and 44 to 46 lesson) hand posture wrong maybe? It sounds much better if i just play A on D string with 4 finger ( but that is not the point T_T ) have to practice thank you so much ****

    • You are very welcome Vanessa!
      I will be addressing the 4th finger in video very soon, however to answer your question:

      Open A string should indeed sound just like the 4th finger on the D. The difference in timbre or quality is that the 4th finger won’t emit as much of a piercing tone as an open string. This is especially true with the E string!

      On the level of your finger muting the A string, it is something takes practice.

      As soon as my throat recovers and I am able to speak without feeling like sandpaper I will be recording Lesson 8 and Bonus Lesson addressing an exercise I give to my students to help practice and build the hand shape so as not to mute other strings by accident.

  2. Kelvin says:
    Posted September 18, 2008 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Hi Thom. It’s me again =)… think i’m progressing along quite well with help from your lessons. been experimenting with simple tunes and finally playing my first melodies on the violin is truly a wonderful experience as crude as it still sounds…

    been having a slight problem though. when i’m bowing, sometimes the bow tends to ‘rock/bounce’ up and down a bit especially when it reaches the middle/upper-middle part of the bow where the tension is least. is there something i can do to correct that? cos it does sound quite jarring when a drawn-out note suddenly starts sound ‘wavy/bouncy’ when this happens

    • Hello Kelvin!

      I am happy to hear how you are coming along!

      Unwanted bouncing of the bow could come from many different causes. You could be jerking the bow, applying too much/not enough pressure. It could also have to do with your angle of attack and and any side to side movement of the bow.

      Would you mind posting a video (public or private, up to you) of you playing a little bit so I could perhaps watch and determine the cause in your case?

  3. Kelvin says:
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Hi again… so after so much time i’ve uploaded a video of myself playing… please do point out any problems or bad habits i might have… the aforementioned bouncing of the bow happened at the end around 0:58

    feel free to use the video as u please

  4. Kelvin says:
    Posted November 16, 2008 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much! =). wow, wasn’t expecting a whole video reply; must have taken a lot of effort. much appreciated. and thanks too for the heads-up on the ‘pitch bend’… tend to have that problem from time to time but always thought i just wasn’t bowing straight… didn’t know there are so many factors into it. will go try implementing those suggestion now =)

    • No problem! Glad to help!

  5. Gabby says:
    Posted April 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    i know this doesnt have to do with anything but.. i ordered a cecilio volin a long time ago.. and im just starting to realize that i think they gave me a wrong one.. inside it says Oppela not Cecilio. there are many other differences such as the color and the case as well as the accessories it came with. ive asked a few times from the seller but the didnt reply. so im just wondering was it like a rip off or something? xD

    • Hello Gabby,

      I tried to doing some research on the web, I found a few other comments on Amazon (unless it was your review?) stating the same thing happened to them. I’m not sure what steps you can take if the seller isn’t responding. Perhaps contact Amazon?

      Aside from the fact that the instrument is different, how does it sound? Is it playable?

      Let me know what happens!

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