What Is a Violin Chord?

Learn how to play violin chords from musician Julie Artzt Becker in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Chords on the violin are a lot of fun to play. They are in a lot of different places. A chord is when you're playing two or more notes on the violin together. And that means that you're crossing strings, you're using more than one string.

Double stops are chords as well. That's when you definitely are only using two strings. So then I just used a G, and a B, on the D string and the A string, but you can also use three note chords and four note chords. Now, how to attack a chord. That's a very important questions. When you're playing a four note chord, you want to make sure you can most of the time with a four note chord, you're going to break it. So you're going to start, let's say you're using all four notes, you start on the lower strings first and then you go to the top strings. You curl your fingers like we've spoken about in previous segments and you pull the bow on the G and the D string and then you move it with your elbow down to the A and the B string and pull again.

And then you practice it stopping the bow first. Stop. And then catch both strings together, don't play one before the other, and then play. And then, once it's really good, you can connect them. Also, it's very important when you're playing your chords that you divide your bow properly. It actually does not have to be half a bow and half a bow. The bottom should actually get less bow and the top should get more bow. So for instance, if I'm playing that same chord, I would play about a quarter of a bow and the rest of it, three quarters of the bow hit the top notes. So that's a little introduction to how to play chords on the violin.

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