As a violinist, it is important that you are familiar with the different parts of the violin. Knowing the names of these violin parts is essential for beginners as it gives a clear understanding of the ones the player might interact with frequently.
Things like re-tuning, re-stringing, and the basic care of the instrument are vital and would require being familiar with the common parts.
PARTS OF THE VIOLIN
- THE SCROLL:
This is located at the top of the violin, above the pegbox. It has a characteristic curly design, and it is believed that older instruments that have scrolls were elaborately carved with animals or figures.
- TUNING PEGS AND PEGBOX:
These are located at the top of the instrument, very close to the scroll. The strings are attached to this part of the violin at the top. The end of a string is inserted into a hole in the peg and then wound till it gets tight. This is the basic way of tuning a violin string, although some players use the fine tuners for minute adjustments that are not up to a semi-tone.
- THE NUT:
This is the part that connects the pegbox and the fingerboard. It has four grooves in which the strings sit to ensure that they are spaced properly. In restringing a violin, it is very important to check that the strings are sitting on the grooves in the nut before tightening.
- THE STRINGS:
We all know what the strings are and what they do. They are tuned to the notes G, D, A, and E, from the lowest to the highest string. However, the quality of the string is very important, and it is a huge factor in the tonal quality of the violin. This is because strings are made with different metals such as aluminum, steel, and gold. Today, there are many types of strings including synthetic materials and ‘cat gut.’
- THE NECK:
This is the wooden part glued behind the fingerboard. It carries the majority of the stress of the strings. The neck is a very slender part, and it is longer in modern violins than baroque violins.
This is the smooth part on top of the neck where the fingers are placed. It is glued to the violin neck and does not have any frets.
- THE BODY:
This is the part of the acoustic violin that amplifies the sound. It is made with different types of woods as its back is a mostly two pieces joined together with a seam in the middle. However, one piece backs are preferred because of their increased resonance.
- SOUND POST:
This part is the round post on the inside of the violin that extends from the front piece to the back piece under the violin bridge. It helps the violin produce sound and also support the structure of the violin on the inside.
- THE F HOLES:
When the bow is drawn, the sound reverberates in the body of the violin and these waves are directed out of the body through the F holes. For a beginner, directing the F holes towards the audience is the best thing to do in a live performance, unless you are using an electric violin. This allows the audience to experience the best sound as much as possible.
There are several types of bridges in terms of angle of curvature. Smaller angles of curvature make it easier to play double and triple stops – playing two and three strings at the same time. On the other hand, the curved bridges help to hit the right string without accidentally scraping the wrong string. Classical violinists often use curved bridges, while country players often use flatter bridges.
- FINE TUNERS:
These are usually found at the bottom of the four strings. Although, there are times when it is only found on the E string. Beginner violins usually come with four fine tuners for each string so that the player is less likely to break a string during fine tuning. The fine tuners work as screws that press down a lever that fractionally tightens the string. When the fine tuner reaches the end during tuning, it should be completely unscrewed, and the peg should be tightened before it is used again.
This is the part that the strings are attached to at the bottom of the violin. It is very close to the player’s chin, and it is attached to the bottom by an endpin or end button – a small button on the side of the violin that touches the neck of the player.
- CHIN REST:
This part was designed to support the chin of the player during play. It is a very important part of the violin as it helps the player hold the violin in place while moving the fingers freely on the fingerboard.
PARTS OF THE BOW
This is the part of the violin that touches the strings during play. It is made of synthetic materials, but some are also made horsehair. Either way, rosin has to be added to the hair for it to produce sound when drawn on a string.
- THE FROG:
This is the part the violin player holds.
- THE SCREW:
This is located at the end of the frog, and it is used to tighten and loosen the hair as required. Loosening the screw completely makes the frog come off the bow while tightening it stretches the hair towards the end of the bow.
- THE STICK:
This is the main part of the bow. It is made of wood and sometimes has a metal core. It is designed to be supple and bendy to enable the player to tighten and loosen the hair of the bow. A good bow is usually light and has a balance point which is usually a quarter of the way up from the frog. A good balance point on the stick allows the player to perform advanced technical movements like the spiccato.
- THE PAD:
This is the part that makes holding the bow more comfortable that it would normally be.