The Violin: How to Set Up a New Student Violin

In this article I intend to explain how to set up a student violin for the complete beginner. As with lots of purchases these days, the internet is supplying more and more items, and it is often the case that musical instruments are bought from an online site; here are the things you must do to enable you to play your violin.

After unwrapping it, take the violin out of its case and really examine it for any blemishes. When you are satisfied that it is not scratched or scarred, look for the bridge. The bridge will have been removed for the journey and is often located underneath the tailpiece or sometimes attached to the back.

The bridge has a shorter side, and this side is for the higher strings E and A. You will see two notches cut into each of the "F" holes in the body of the violin. Place the bridge in between the two notches and make sure that the feet are totally in contact with the wood. It is very important at this stage that you straighten the bridge up, and put the strings into the four notches cut into the top.

Use the wooden pegs to tune the violin up, but do this very slowly and keep checking that the bridge is straight as if it is not then it may collapse. When you are close to the correct tuning, use the fine tuners behind the bridge to finish off. It is important to note at this stage that a newly tuned violin needs a couple of hours for the strings to "settle" and may need to be fine tuned several times.

A student violin will usually come with a bow and rosin. If you now take out the bow you will see that the hairs will not have any tension in them. The bow needs to be made tense, and this is done by tightening the screw at the bottom. You will know when it is the correct tension, when you are able to bounce it off the back of your hand. The bow at this stage will make no sound whatever on the strings as you will need to apply the rosin to give it the friction. Start to move the rosin up and down the bow until you have the right amount applied. To check, bring the bow down on the back of your hand; if it leaves a residue of white on your skin, it is ready.

The violin is now ready to play.