Violin Tuning


It is imperative the instrument is tuned properly before attempting to play it. You run the risk of impairing your true pitch perception if the violin is played too long while out of tune. It can take almost an entire lesson or more to show you how to tune the instrument. Therefore, I created this page to go over as much as possible what to look & listen for, and also what you may encounter when trying to tune.

If you are a parent of a small child who is taking formal lessons, you should be the person doing the tuning until the child has reached a certain level of beginning proficiency on the instrument. Don’t be afraid. It must be done! If you accidentally break a string the first time around, there’s still hope! The child should listen and pay attention while you are tuning for they will be learning how to take over the process later.

I will show you a basic way of tuning the instrument where you can hear the differential tone[1] and where you don’t have to worry about holding the violin on your shoulder. You will need fine tuners installed onto the tailpiece. Many beginning models come equipped with fine tuners on each string. You’ll also need a pitch pipe, a tuning fork or a chromatic tuner. These items can be purchased from any music store or online retailer.

*Click here to read how to tune.


[1] When two loud notes are played, another, lower, note may sometimes be heard which corresponds to the difference in vibration between the original 2 notes.

-Kennedy, Michael: Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music