Clearly the best way to improve violin tone is to practice, practice, practice and have a great instructor in your corner that will promote good form.
Of course, in some cases practice, practice, practice is still not getting you the results that you want. There are 5 ways that you can improve violin tone that you can couple with the practice mantra to get better results.
Most of the time the violin’s tone can be improved by players technique. Of course, in some cases the violin, just does not have the capacity because of poor craftsmanship to offer the tone that is expected but there are still some adjustments that can be made to improve.
You can avoid the issue of having a lesser quality violin by putting some extra effort into making the right purchase choice.
Go Easy on Yourself
One of the worst critics of new or novice players of the violin is self. It can be a challenge to constantly work through the sound you do not want to get to the sound that you do but keep in mind, even the greatest of musicians were at one point new to the craft.
The goal is to continue even when you do not think you see improvement. Improvement will come with time and then one day you will be a master and totally shocked by the fact that you have overcome the obstacles.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Playing the violin can give you great joy if you let it.
Here are the Most Common Errors that Occur when Playing the Violin That Impact Tone
There are 5 common mistakes that are made when playing the violin that will impact the tone of the violin. Recognizing these 5 errors will help you to get a better tone from your violin and improve your overall ability to play. Ask yourself the following:
How Are You Holding Your Bow?
Your grip on the bow is going to matter when it comes to getting the tone that you want! Many students make the mistake of really tightening their grip on the bow and inadvertently applying to much pressure when they do.
While you do not want your bow flying across the stage because you are holding it to lose, you do want to have a relaxed grip that is firm enough to hold the bow but not so firm that you are mashing down on the strings. After all you are playing the “violin” not the “fiddle”!
How Much Rosin are You Applying?
Too much rosin is a no-no. You will get a scratchy sound, alternatively, too little and you will not get the deep rich tone you are aiming for either. A good rule of thumb is to err on the side of too much than play until some of the rosin is diminished. Never use cleaners, or oils to remove the rosin, it can damage the hairs on the bow.
Are You Keeping Your Bow Straight?
It is important that the bow slides straight across the strings to get the best tone. Applying the right pressure and keeping the bow at the right angle is critical to getting the sound that you want.
There are two things that will help you to keep your bow straight, the right sized violin and the right technique! Again, not to be repetitious, but one of the best ways to ensure that you are keeping that bow straight is to practice. Practicing in front of a mirror can help.
Where are You Dragging Your Bow on the Strings?
Every violin has the perfect spot to drag the bow, knowing yours will help you to improve the tone of your instrument. Of course, the next question is “how I find the spot on my violin?” the answer is “with practice”.
Trying out different spots on the strings will help you to determine your violins sweet spot and make it easier to instantly get the tone that you are aiming for once you know where it is. By placing your bow in different spots, you will be able to determine which area is best for you.
The sweet spot can vary from instrument to instrument depending on the manufacturer, so it is a study in trial and error.
How Much Pressure Are You Using?
Taking the time to experiment with different levels of pressure will help you to find the exact amount of pressure you need to use to get the tone you want. Start with light pressure and slowly increase it as you drag the bow across the strings. Bow tension also plays a role.
It Really Is All About Practice
All the 5 ways to improve the tone of your violin comes down to practice. You will have to adjust your technique then practice the new technique to see if it makes a difference. Practice is the key to success with any instrument.