Does Playing Guitar Help With Violin?

Does Playing Guitar Help With Violin? |

Like many of the instruments that are part of the string family, the guitar and the violin share many characteristics in common. This article will discuss whether playing the guitar makes it easier for us to learn the violin, and we will review some important points of these similarities.

The guitar, along with many other stringed instruments, uses the frequency ranges emitted by the vibration of its strings to produce different notes. This way, by lengthening or shortening the scale of each string, we get lower or higher notes. All stringed instruments are based on this principle.

Widely used in most musical genres, the guitar is the most popular instrument within the string family and stands out for its versatility. What makes there are different styles and ways of playing it. On the other hand, although it is very popular, the violin is linked to a limited number of genres, and it is more difficult to find in some others.

Does Playing Guitar Help With Violin?

Playing the guitar helps us understand how harmony works on the violin since we will use the same scales. It will also help us to finger easily since your fingers are already used to stepping on strings. But in terms of technique and execution, the violin has a different style.

Firstly, the guitar has six strings, while the violin only has four. Proportionally, the guitar is several times larger than the violin, its fingerboard is wider and longer, and it has frets that define when each note begins and ends, while the violin is fretless. This makes the violin require a very high level of precision, which is why it is one of the most difficult instruments to master.

The way we reproduce sound on these two instruments is also different. For example, to make a guitar string sound, we must press a string so that it begins to vibrate and emit a certain note. On the other hand, although we could also pluck a string in the violin if we wanted to, it is much more common for us to use a bow.

A violin bow is a stick traversed by very fine strings called hair, which produce their characteristic sound when rubbed against the strings. We generate the various notes by moving the bow down and up across the strings.

In this way, we will also control the sustain of each note, which will depend exclusively on the movement of the bow, unlike the guitar, where we do not control the sustain, but rather it depends on how long a string continues to vibrate after it has been pressed.


Do Guitars And Violins Go Together?

The guitar and the violin can go together perfectly. The guitar’s tonal range is much lower than that of the violin, which is characterized by the edge of its high notes, which is why they can coexist in a musical structure without problems. We can also find both instruments in more than one genre.

If we think of the violin, the image of an orchestra automatically comes to mind since it is closely associated with classical music. However, guitar and violin can also be found in genres like country, folk, and rock. The truth is that the violin has a somewhat melancholy nuance in its sound, which makes it very suitable for certain genres.

On the other hand, the guitar is an instrument that can occupy both the rhythmic and melodic parts of a musical structure and is easier to find in very diverse genres. In addition, it could be combined with different effects and offers many possibilities. Therefore, it is a very good option to combine with violin arrangements.

Can You Make A Guitar Sound Like A Violin?

A guitar cannot sound like a violin. Although it can be close in terms of register and similarity of tone, the sound of a violin is very characteristic and challenging to imitate. The fact that it is played with a bow and its dimensions are small gives it that characteristic.

Even if we play the guitar with a violin bow, we can get sound, but it will be uncomfortable to play. This is because the arrangement of the guitar strings is different from that of the violin. On a guitar, the strings that rest on the bridge form an almost straight line. While in the violin, the bridge has a pronounced curve so that the access of the bow to the strings is better.

We can also use effects and emulators on the guitar, which help its sound to get a little closer to that of a violin, but in any case, we will need more than that to emulate it completely. On the other hand, the guitar has frets, and the violin does not, which makes the sound and the way of vibrating the strings totally different, especially when we slide down the fingerboard. Although fretless guitars exist, it is rare to find them.

Is It Difficult To Learn Violin?

The violin is one of the most difficult instruments to master, as it requires high precision and execution. Each note we play must be in the exact place to achieve good intonation. Developing the technique to play the bow and simultaneously change the strings requires a lot of practice and study.

While anyone can start learning the violin, it is an instrument that takes years to master. If you start as a child, you have a great advantage since the violin fingerboard is relatively small and will be easier to adapt. On the other hand, at an early age, it is easier to develop the capacity for memory and concentration.

The violin is used very frequently in arrangements and solos. It can generate atmospheres and can be very expressive. This, added to the fact that it is an instrument with a fairly high register, makes its interpretations easily perceived. It has a great role, so aspiring violinists highly seek virtuosity, speed, and precision.


Can You Play The Violin Without A Bow?

It is possible to play the violin using only the fingers, and we will surely get sounds from it. However, this is not something frequent, since due to its size, and the minimum separation between its strings, it would not be comfortable at all, and we would greatly limit its possibilities.

On the other hand, there is a technique that consists of pressing the violin strings with the left hand, which bears the name of Pizzicato. This word comes from Italian and means pinch. It’s similar to what you do on the guitar when we try to pull off.

Although the violin, like almost all stringed instruments, can sound only with the vibration that they emit, it was not created for that purpose but rather to be played with a bow. In addition, if we try to strum the violin strings using our right hand, it is difficult and ineffective due to the curvature of its bridge.

Does Playing The Guitar Help Us With Other Instruments?

Knowing how to play the guitar makes things easier for us when it comes to learning other string instruments such as bass, ukulele, or mandolin. Although we can find changes in terms of the size or the tuning of each one, the principles by which they are governed to reproduce their sound are the same.

  • Bass
    It has four heavy-gauge strings, ideally designed to reproduce the lower pitch of a musical structure. Originally adapted from the double bass, this electric version is widely found in almost all modern genres. Regarding its similarity with the guitar, it shares the same tuning, and the way of playing it is very similar, unlike the fact that it is usually played on one string at a time. Therefore, it is very common that a guitarist can also play bass or that a bassist has knowledge of the guitar.
  • Ukulele
    Originally from Hawaii, it is an adaptation of the Cavaquinho, an instrument of Portuguese origin with similar characteristics. It has four strings that can be made of steel or nylon, and although today we can find it in different scales (soprano, concert, baritone, and tenor), its original size is small, and its sound tends to be cheerful and bright. The guitar uses a different tuning, but the way of playing and interpreting chords is exactly the same. This means that if we know the guitar, the ukulele is accessible to us.
  • Mandolin
    The mandolin is an ancient instrument that has varied its configuration over the years. Nowadays, in its standard form, it has eight steel strings divided into four positions (two in each position) and is usually played with a pick, like a guitar. The fingering of the notes is very similar to that of a twelve-string guitar, where we play two notes simultaneously with each finger. Despite this, its tuning is closer to that of a violin, but its execution is very similar to that of a guitar. It is usually used to make chords and arpeggios and has a very characteristic sound that makes it easy to recognize.


Being a guitarist, or even having studied guitar at some point, can make it easier for us to start learning the violin and even other plucked string instruments. But, beyond this, each instrument has its technique and specific language that we must incorporate to master it.

It is always good to have extensive knowledge, not just of one, but of many instruments, since this will give us different approaches and help us play differently or even break tradition.

The knowledge we have within the music will be our main tool to create, so it never hurts to know or have played instruments other than the one we will finally choose as our main instrument.

This way, we will be able to take full advantage of everything we are learning on the long road of music. I hope this article is useful. Until next time!

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