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Music 4 Humans

March 1 1 year ago

Learning Violin with Violin Tabs VS Sheet Music

grades, music, sheet music

Hey there, future violinist! As you start your journey with the instrument, you might have heard about violin tabs, a form of musical notation that makes reading music and violin songs easier.

As a pro, I can tell you that tabs are super useful for beginners, especially if you want to learn positions and individual notes quickly and efficiently.

The premise of tabs is pretty straightforward. Instead of showing rhythm, melody, duration, and pitch, violin tabs show you where and when to place your fingers on the instrument.

This makes it easier for fretted and string instruments like guitar, bass, and violin. It’s like a map that guides you on where to place your fingers on the fingerboard.

Tabs are not only helpful for beginners, but also for improvising musicians who want to stay within the chord structure of a song.

They’re often used in pop, folk, and bluegrass music. However, while tabs are great, it’s important to learn standard musical notation as well.

What Are Violin Tabs?

Have you ever heard of violin tabs? They’re a total game-changer when it comes to playing the violin. With violin tabs, you’ll see a staff showing the notes of the tune or song, and below that, a violin tab showing you exactly where to place your fingers for each note. How cool is that?!

Believe it or not, violin tabs actually have a pretty interesting history. They were originally descended from lute tabs during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Back then, tablature was the norm for many instruments, including the violin. French tabs were the most popular, and modern-day tabs evolved from this style.

While tabs aren’t used as widely today as they were back then, they’re still incredibly useful for learning the violin. They’re particularly handy for beginners who are just learning positions and individual notes quickly and efficiently.

But it’s important to remember that tabs don’t show rhythm, duration, or pitch, so it’s important to eventually learn to read standard musical notation as well.

And if you’re a fan of baroque music, for example, you might be interested to know that many modern players of baroque instruments still prefer tablature over standard musical notation. They often use copies of the original manuscripts or handwritten copies, or even modern computer-generated tablature versions.

How To Read Violin Tabs

Let’s talk about how violin tabs work. You might be wondering how this notation system differs from standard sheet music, right? Well, standard sheet music tells you everything about a note- how long to play it, how high or low it should be, and even how to play it. But the actual notes in violin tabs are a bit different.

Instead of showing you the note on a staff, tabs show you where and when to place your fingers to start playing a note. That’s why they’re so helpful for beginners who are still learning how to read music. Tablature also tells you when to start a note, but it doesn’t always show you when to stop playing it. So, it’s up to you to decide how long to hold each note.

Tabs are also designed to show you which string you should be playing on, rather than the actual note. The tab starts with the lowest open note or string on the bottom (which is the G string) and goes up to the highest open note or string on the top (which is the E string). Numbers are then placed on these lines to represent the left-hand fingers on the strings.

But remember, while tabs can be really useful in the beginning, it’s important to eventually learn how to read standard sheet music as well. With time and practice, you’ll become more comfortable with both notation systems and be able to tackle more complex pieces of music.

Setup Your Violin Fingerboard – Violin Tablature

Let’s talk about setting up your violin with position markers! Position markers help you know where to put your fingers on the fingerboard to play specific notes. You can use liquid paper or small pieces of tape to make “fret” marks on the neck of your violin.

On a full-sized violin, the first marker should be placed 1 and 7/16 inches from the nut, the second marker at 2 and 21/32 inches, the third marker at 3 and 1/4 inches, and the fourth marker at 4 and 1/4 inches from the nut.

Once you place these markers, your violin will have four “frets”, each corresponding to a finger on your left hand.

It’s essential to know that each finger has a number associated with it: 1 for the index finger, 2 for the middle finger, 3 for the ring finger, and 4 for the pinky.

Another option for setting up your violin is to use a finger guide sticker. These stickers already have the distance between the fret markers measured out, so all you have to do is stick them onto the fingerboard.

This can be a quick and easy solution if you don’t want to go through the trouble of measuring and marking the frets yourself. Just be sure to place the stickers accurately, so they don’t interfere with your playing.

With these markers in place, you’ll be able to use violin tabs and start playing in no time!

Learn Your First Violin Tab Song

Are you excited to start practicing and playing beautiful music on your violin? Let’s try out the first four measures of the classic song “Ode to Joy” written with violin tablature:

violin tab, violin tabs, violin tablature

Just like with “Ode To Joy,” the finger number “0” means that you play the open string. If you see a number on a string, that’s where you place your finger on that string. So in the first measure, you play the open G string, place your first finger on the first fret of the D string, and then play the open D string. Easy, right?

Violin tablature is a great way to learn new songs without having to read traditional sheet music. Instead, you can start playing your favorite songs quickly with just a few markers on your violin neck or a finger guide sticker. Whether you’re a beginner or interested in folk, bluegrass, pop, or classical music, violin tabs make it easy to learn and play any genre you want.

Tablature VS Standard Notation

So in the end, Tablature is an excellent way to get started with the violin, but as you progress, you should start to learn standard notation. That way, you can take advantage of all the musical nuances written notes, and techniques that aren’t represented in tablature. With some practice, you’ll be able to bridge the gap between the two systems and make the most out of your music.

To really excel at the violin, I recommend finding a qualified teacher. A good teacher can guide you in your studies and help you develop your skills and a sound understanding of violin tabs. They can show you the ins and outs of dynamics, articulation, and stylistic techniques, like vibrato and pizzicato, so you can really make your music come to life.


Alright, let’s wrap this up and talk about the most important thing when it comes to learning violin: building a strong foundation technique and learning how to read music properly.

While violin tabs are a great way to get started, they shouldn’t be your only major focus. As you progress in your studies, it’s important to learn the fundamentals of music theory and notation so that you can truly excel as a musician.

That’s why I highly recommend taking lessons with a qualified violin teacher. A good teacher can guide you through the complexities of violin playing and help you develop the skills and understanding you need to succeed.

With their help, you can improve your technique, learn how to read music fluently, and truly become a master of the instrument.

And the best part? With online violin lessons, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home. No need to leave your house or even change out of your pajamas!

All you need is your violin, a reliable internet connection, and a willingness to learn.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for violin lessons with Music 4 Humans’ experienced and passionate teachers today and start your journey to becoming a violin master! Trust me, the hard work and dedication are totally worth it when you can play beautiful music with confidence and ease.


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