Most people look at the best violin players and assume they are the most talented people. This however isn’t always the case.
While talent is important, it takes much more than talent if you want to be a successful violinist. The best violinists practice on a regular basis, have a reliable violin, and more importantly, they are constantly reading books that inspire them to take their playing to the next level.
Without all of these things even the most talented violin player wouldn’t make it very far.
While there are a number of different methods you can use to learn how to play the violin, one of the best ways is by reading violin books.
Books can give you a quick history of the instrument, as well as expose you to knowledge that you can’t find anywhere else.
Books will also help you save a great deal of money as they are very affordable. Violin lessons on the other hand can be quite expensive.
The best violin books will have clear instructions and tutorials of the exact steps you need to take to start learning and mastering the violin.
By reading violin books, be they books about technique, or books about the history of the instrument, you will be able to simplify the learning process.
When it comes to violin books, as with all things, you should start with a book that explains the basics.
Once you have mastered the basics you can move on to more advanced stages of learning.
With that being said, here are the best violin books for beginners and advanced violinists.
The Best Violin Books For Beginners
All for the strings is a comprehensive book that focuses on skills and technique. It is a must read for beginners just learning to play the violin.
In it you will learn the system of scales, how to correctly position your fingers on the scale, and a host of other violin fundamentals.
This book also has diagrams of the violin that explain all the important parts of the instrument.
Readers will be able to see clear pictures demonstrating things such as proper positioning, correct bow hold, and fingering chart exercises that can be used to strengthen your basic skills.
Each section in this book begins with simple instructions you need to follow. This makes it super easy to follow the practice routines.
While this book is full of basic practice exercises, it also highlights rhythm exercises that can be used to better understand passages with different note values.
Beethoven’s Violin Concerto is one of the classic songs readers will learn about in this book. This gives children a simple way to learn about classical music.
To make sure you understand how to properly care for your violin, there is an entire section dedicated to violin care techniques.
There is also a section that outlines the various accessories that can help beginners start playing.
Essential Elements is one of those books every beginner should read. In it you will find common songs that most students are already familiar with.
This familiarity will make practice more engaging.
The exercises in this book focus solely on songs that are meant to be played on the violin.
Once you understand the essentials of playing the violin, learning the more advanced methods becomes a lot easier.
Just because this book is called Violin for Dummies doesn’t mean you're a dummy for purchasing it.
The idea is the book breaks things down so simply that anyone can learn to play the violin.
This book is probably the best resource for the absolute beginner. If you have never played the violin before, or you just want to freshen up on the basics, this is the book you need.
Some of the topics covered in the book include proper positioning, bowing techniques, violin care, understanding the various violin parts, and much more.
While this book isn’t as in depth as some of the other books on this list, it is a great option for anyone who wants to learn the basics of playing the violin.
This is probably the oldest book on this list. It was written in the mid-20th century by Shinichi Suzuki, a well known Japanese violinist.
The story behind this book is very interesting.
Suzuki wrote this book after the devastation that was a result of World War II. His goal was to bring beauty to children’s lives by teaching them how to play the violin.
Suzuki was a pioneer when it came to teaching children how to play the violin. He believed that as long as the process was easy, and the violin was small enough, children could easily learn how to play.
This book outlines various techniques that can be practiced and mastered by each student. To make the learning process a lot easier, there are photos, instructional texts, and sheet music.
Each piece in the book was hand picked by Suzuki. He picked them based on skill level, and difficulty playing.
This book is very well organized and a great guide for anyone just starting out.
In the world of violin, The ABC’s of Violin for the Absolute Beginner is one of the best selling instructional books.
It not only teaches you the basics of the violin, but it does so in the midst of you practicing some very popular melodies and folk songs.
In the book you will find warm up exercises and worksheets that are easy for beginners to catch on to.
There are also graphs and images that show left hand finger placement. If you want a book that breaks down playing the violin in the simplest way, this is the book you want.
The Best Violin Books for Intermediate Players
This is the second and third installment of the All for Strings Book series. It focuses on more advanced concepts such as composing and musical phrases.
This book goes much further than the notes, clefs, time, and key signatures covered in the first book.
It will explore the more advanced musical concepts such as arpeggios, double stops, and octaves.
These advanced techniques help the dedicated learners better understand melodic lines.
If you have already gone through the first book in this series, and you now want to take your skills to the next level, All for Strings Book 2 and 3 can help you do just that.
The Suzuki Violin Books (Volumes 2-4) are part of a series of violin books written by Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki.
You can buy each book separately based on where you are in your journey. Each volume can be purchased with an accompanying CD for piano accompaniment and a recorded violin-piano duet.
If you have played violin for any amount of time, you know that the Suzuki method is regarded as one of the most effective ways to learn how to play the violin.
Even still, he includes pieces from other classical composers to ensure you get a well rounded learning experience.
Each lesson starts with you studying each piece, which is done through a very structured approach.
Each lesson is taught using different learning styles. This helps each student develop musical skills that are often needed to perform well in recitals.
In volumes 2-4 note reading is introduced. This helps you better train your ear so you can play more songs with ease.
As you practice each piece on a regular basis, it will become ingrained in your mind.
This particular book is not ideal for beginners. It should only be used by students who are on the intermediate or advanced levels of playing.
The reason this book is not a good option for beginners, is because it contains words and examples that most beginners would not understand since they have no prior experience playing.
Within the book you will find exercises and theories that can be used to improve finger flexibility. You will be doing high quality exercises as well learning various ideologies you can use to practice correctly.
So that you can avoid some of the most common mistakes when it comes to positioning, specific bowing and stroking issues were taken into consideration when putting this book together.
In order to widen your playing scope, and to improve your overall music mind, other violin playing techniques are discussed in this book.
One thing you will quickly notice is that the words in this book are very engaging. The way he breaks down the process of playing the violin is very intelligent, detailed, and to the point.
The Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching will no doubt have you hanging on every word. And when it comes to “violin how to” books, we would say this is one of the best books ever written.
Our Final Thoughts
If you are looking to learn how to play the violin, or you are an intermediate player who wants to take your skills to the next level, reading violin books is one of the best ways to do that.
If you are a beginner, start with one of the first 5 books we discussed in this article. All of those books will teach you the basics that are needed to get started.
If on the other hand you are an intermediate player, the last few books we reviewed will be the best option for you.
Please note you don’t need to purchase every single book. Doing so will only cause overwhelm. All you need is one book to get the ball rolling. As you progress through the different phases of playing, you can invest in more books.
Each book approaches learning how to play the violin in a somewhat different way. Find the one that you will respond the best to.
As previously stated, reading violin books is a great way to learn how to play the violin. While some skills can only be mastered by practicing on a regular basis, there are other skills that require you understand theory.
Which is something you can learn by hiring a violin instructor, or by reading violin books. Violin books are by far the least expensive option.