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Violin Lesson: How to Play Chords


For many, the violin is traditionally thought of as a primarily melodic instrument, meaning that its predominant role in the context of an ensemble is to perform the main melodies of the piece rather than the supporting chordal harmony. That being said, it is certainly possible to play chords on the violin. Many professional players use a variety of different tactics to play violin chords, which produce a full, rich tonality that often stands out within a performance in an enormously pleasing way.


In this online classical violin lesson, Philadelphia Orchestra first section violinist and ArtistWorks instructor, Richard Amoroso, teaches his techniques for performing two-note chords, also known as double-stops, as well as three and even four note chords on the violin. He also outlines common situations in which violin chords will be employed and provides a few helpful exercises so that you can begin incorporating these techniques into your playing.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play the classical violin from a master musician like Richard Amoroso? Try some free online violin lessons now!


“Playing chords on the violin can often feel very difficult,” Richard explains. “The reason being is that we’re usually playing combinations of double-stops, usually in the form of three-note chords. We sometimes play four-note chords, but those often manifest as a combination of two double-stops.”


After double-stops, three-note chords are typically the most common harmonies performed on the violin. Executing three-note chords can feel difficult on the violin, especially as you first dive in and begin learning the technique. Placing the bow just right across the strings can prove to be difficult, but it will quickly become second nature and the movements will be ingrained in your muscle memory.


“The difficult part about playing three-note chords is finding a sweet spot where the bow can balance across three strings without squashing the strings and creating an abrasive sound,” explains Richard. “It takes a little bit of finesse, but, with some practice, you’ll be playing three-note chords in no time!”


To learn more about violin chords and how to incorporate them into your playing, dive into this online violin lesson from Richard Amoroso:


How to Play Chords with Richard Amoroso:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play the classical violin? Through our comprehensive violin lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Richard Amoroso, and get personalized feedback on your playing.


Richard’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner violin to advanced performance techniques, iconic classical compositions, music theory, and more. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as violinists and musicians!


Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



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