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50+ Beginner Violin Songs For Perfect Technique

Are you (or do you know of) a beginner violinist looking for the right set of songs to get up to speed?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

As we’re sure you’ll agree, learning to play the violin is super hard. Not only will you have to nail your coordination, but you’ll also have to hold your fingers in all sorts of uncomfortable positions.

Also, we’re sure you won’t mind us saying that the violin can sound really bad when you’re first starting out (my mom regularly reminds me that the first three years of me learning the violin sounded like a cat getting strangled).

Therefore, it’s imperative to make sure you get off on the right foot by picking the perfect set of songs to practice; songs that are not only fun to play, but that’ll also develop perfect violin technique.

In this article, our group of writers-slash-former-beginner-violinists have compiled this ultimate list of the top 50+ beginner violin songs, including free video lessons as well as an insight into why each song is a great fit for beginner violinists.

Let’s dive in!

The Songs

1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Traditional)

One of the simplest and most satisfying tunes for a complete beginner and particularly good for building a young child’s music-making confidence. Beginning on open strings, G major, D major and A major versions are all equally easy on the violin, with the same pattern of fingering in each.

2. Camptown Races (Stephen Foster)

A catchy tune, popular since its publication in 1850, and often played in G major or C major. Beginners may want to start playing Camptown Races slowly in 4/4 time and later learn a faster beat in 2/4 or 2/2.

3. Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Harold Arlen)

This slow and moving ballad from the Wizard of Oz is a great song for beginners to practice their vibrato technique and full bowing, making the longer notes truly resonate.

4. Canon in D (Johan Pachelbel)

A beautiful classical piece to introduce beginners to canon and variation forms. While the later runs of 16th and 32th notes might feel challenging at first, with slow, steady practice they become easier.

5. Scarborough Fair (Traditional) 

A traditional English ballad which experienced renewed fame in the 20th century when it was released by the singing duo Simon and Garfunkel. Scarborough Fair is a bewitchingly simple and haunting tune which lends itself well to a beginner violinist.

6. Amazing Grace (Traditional)

A traditional hymn in 3/4 time, the melody predates its famous lyrics by John Newton. This moderately-paced song offers a good introduction to triplets along with the bowing and counting needed to integrate them smoothly.

7. Spanish Ladies (Traditional)

A traditional British sailors’ song dating from the 17th century. Spanish Ladies has a simple melody and rhythm, which beginners should be able to pick up quickly and enjoy playing.

8. Yellow Rose of Texas (Traditional)

This US 19th century folk song with its rousing chorus is straightforward to play in a range of keys on the violin. With no complicated rhythms or other challenging technical features, this song is simple and fun for any age.

9. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, First Movement (Mozart) 

This famous classical piece is light and fun to play. Learning the easy version as a beginner will set you up well if you later join an orchestral group and wish to play the original music.    

10. Lean on Me (Bill Withers)

A much-loved pop staple from 1972; ‘Lean on Me’ adapts well for beginner violin, starting with a simple melody and rhythm which then becomes slightly more complicated (but not too challenging for beginner violinists).

11. Any Dream Will Do, from Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Andrew Lloyd Webber)

This moderately paced but catchy song from the musical ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ is another simple standard to add to a beginner violin repertoire. There should be no major challenges in melody, rhythm or bowing technique.

12. Ode to Joy from Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)

Mastering the simple but stirring theme of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy will feel like a real accomplishment for any beginner violinist. Adopted as the “Anthem of Europe” by the Council of Europe in 1972, this piece is now the anthem of the European Union.

13. My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean (Traditional)

This is another simple traditional tune which adapts very well to a beginner violin setting. It can be learned very early on as a way to practice standard bowing techniques. There should be no complex rhythms, difficult crossings or tricky accidentals.    

14. Oh Susanna! (Stephen Foster)

‘Oh Susanna!’ is a playful and straightforward song which beginner violinists should be able to pick up with ease. After a sufficient amount of slow practice, picking up speed and playing this piece faster will make it sound more challenging than it is.

15. The Happy Farmer (Robert Schumann)

This brisk and lively piece of music from Schumann’s “Album for the Young” is a good chance for beginners to practice dotted rhythms and some easy slurred bowing.

16. My Heart Will Go On (love theme from ‘Titanic’) (James Horner)

This famous power ballad was sung by Celine Dion as part of the soundtrack from the movie ‘Titanic’. It’s a useful piece for beginners practicing long and sustained bowing.

17. Turkey in the Straw (Traditional)

This well-loved piece of US folk and barn-dance music is a fun piece to play which requires beginners to focus on rhythm. The song can be learned slowly at first, before being sped up once the technique has been nailed.

18. Nights in White Satin (Justin Hayward) 

A moderately paced and expressive pop song from the Moody Blues which offers beginners manageable practice of a 6/8 time signature. It’s also great for dotted and tied notes, as well as brief encounters with quadruplet and quintuplet note groups.

19. Chariots of Fire (Vangelis)

This instrumental theme from the 1981 movie of the same name is a well-balanced piece for a beginner violinist. Mostly straightforward, it offers the counting and bowing challenge of frequent triplet and dotted rhythms.

20. I Don’t Know How to Love Him, from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ (Andrew Lloyd Webber)

This is a slow and expressive piece with a straightforward melody and only a small amount of rhythmic challenge in terms of dotted and tied note phrases.

21. Every Breath You Take (Sting)

A relatively simple pop song that requires careful counting to get the correct measure of rests between phrases. Beginners should pay as much attention to the silences as the notes.

22. Pomp and Circumstance March Op. 39 No. 1 (Edward Elgar)

This is the piece that developed into the famous UK anthem “Land of Hope and Glory”. Played in a stately but singing style, this song is a useful piece for practicing strong, emphatic and regular bowing.

23. Minuet in G major, BWV Anh 116 (Bach)

This Bach minuet in G can be played in first position and is highly suitable for a beginner player. Take care with your bow when crossing strings in order to keep things sounding clear and pure!

24. Beauty and the Beast (Alan Menkin)

A gently swooping ballad from the eponymous Disney movie, ‘Beauty and the Beast’. It’s a great choice of song for practicing string crossing and modulating through different key signatures.   

25. Hey Jude (The Beatles)

Violin arrangements of ‘Hey Jude’ are a good way for beginners to start playing slightly more complex rhythms, combining tied notes and rests with various arrangements of eighth and sixteenth notes. It also requires a good mix of legato and détaché bowing.

26. March Militaire (Franz Schubert)

This military march by Schubert is a good beginner piece for practicing staccato and accented bowing, as well as maintaining a clear rhythm through changes in dynamics.

27. Hotel California (The Eagles) 

The moderate pace, straightforward 4/4 time signature and simple repeating phrases of melody and rhythm in the classic rock song ‘Hotel California’ all give a beginner player the opportunity to focus more on dynamics and expression.

28. Oh, When The Saints Go Marching In (Traditional)

This well-known traditional hymn tune has been made even more famous by jazz musicians. Perhaps easiest when played in G, beginner violinists might like to try both the traditional and jazzier approach to the piece.

29. Love Theme from ‘The Godfather’ (Nino Rotas)

This beautiful but ominous song makes a good beginner violin piece, with lots of opportunities to practice legato and détaché bowing. It’s also great for mastering vibrato and dynamic shifts.

30. Alla Hornpipe from ‘The Water Music Suite’ (George Friedrich Handel)

This well-known piece by Handel is a good choice for the beginner violin repertoire. A simple melody proceeds at a steady, moderate rhythm, allowing for greater focus on precise bowing.

31. Do-Re-Mi from ‘The Sound of Music’ (Richard Rodgers)

This happy and playful song from the musical ‘The Sound of Music’ is beginner-friendly with a simple melody and rhythm. It’s perfect for mastering the full extent of playing in first position.

32. Radetzky March (Johan Strauss)

The ‘Radetzky March’ is perfect for beginner violinists who are looking for a challenge. There’s plenty of chance to practice good bowing technique to accent notes and maintain a strong rhythm.

33. Despacito (Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee)

This massive 2017 Latin pop hit can be played by beginner violinists in first position. It’s perfect for practicing short bow strokes, triplets and more complex rhythms.

34. Jupiter, from ‘The Planets’ (Gustav Holst)

An impressive and powerful piece that will allow beginners to show their understanding and control of the bow to produce clearly phrased and expressed music.

35. El Condor Pasa (Daniel Alomía Robles, based on traditional music)

This piece has served as one of the most famous Peruvian songs in the world since it was covered by Simon & Garfunkel in 1970. It features a simple melody and rhythm which can be performed in first position.

36. Live and Let Die (Wings)

This theme from the James Bond film of the same name is a great one for beginner violinists. It’s particularly useful for practicing accidentals as well as shifting successfully between contrasting time signatures.

37. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (Traditional)

You can have lots of fun with this easy Christmas carol. It offers a good amount of challenge through slightly more complex rhythms and a fast tempo while still remaining beginner-friendly.

38. The Way We Were (Marvin Hamlisch)

The theme song for the eponymous 1973 film. It’s slow and thoughtful piece which should be played with legato bowing, vibrato and plenty of expression.

39. Also Sprach Zarathustra (Richard Strauss)

An atmospheric and powerful piece featured in the famous science fiction film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.  This tune requires beginner violinists to demonstrate good control of their bowing technique to produce emphasis, create a sense of anticipation and demonstrate a wide range of dynamic change.

40. Love Story (Francis Lai)

A classic and instantly recognisable film theme from the 1970 movie of the same name. With plenty of smooth legato bowing, a little vibrato, and an understanding of simple tied notes, beginners should be able to make this music flow.

41. Can You Feel The Love Tonight? from ‘The Lion King’ (Elton John)

This modern classic ballad from ‘The Lion King’ is another piece offering more challenge to the beginner approaching intermediate level. While the song can be played in first position, it may sound smoother and richer with some third position shifts.

42. Rondo Alla Turca from Sonata in A (Mozart)

This Mozart piece is a great way to introduce beginner violinists to grace notes. The piece also gives beginner violinists the chance to practice legato, detaché and staccato bowing.   

43. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, from ‘The Nutcracker Suite’ (Peter Illych Tchaikovsky)

A slow and graceful piece that requires good control of the bow to give a light touch and delicate staccato. There’s also a good sprinkling of accidentals and the challenge of a very soft pianissimo dynamic in some sections.

44. Summertime, from ‘Porgy and Bess’ (Ira Gershwin) 

A perennially popular jazz standard. The simple melody of this song translates well into beginner violin settings. Slow and evocative, ‘Summertime’ allows plenty of scope for the player’s own expression and interpretation.

45. Spring, from ‘The Four Seasons’ (Antonio Vivaldi)

A beginner’s arrangement of this well-known Vivaldi composition is bound to impress your family. It’s a fresh and sprightly piece of music that requires détaché bowing, staccato and trills, as well as shifting dynamics.

46. Somewhere Beyond The Sea (Charles Trenet) 

This big band swing classic adapts its triplet-studded rhythm and jazzy melody well for beginner playing. It’s also great for learning dynamic changes as well as a variety of bowing techniques.  

47. Grand March from ‘Aida’ (Guiseppe Verdi)

This majestic march will give beginners the chance to master triplet rhythms, more complex musical phrases with tied and dotted notes, and multiple accented markings.

48. Air In D (Bach)

The key to this piece lies in playing slowly while keeping things rhythmic and resonant. It’s a great chance for beginners to practice long bows, improving their ability to play with resonance. Depending on the arrangement, this piece also offers some experience of grace notes and trills.

49. Pink Panther Theme (Henri Mancini)

This jazz song should be a fun challenge for any beginner violinist with a bit of experience. It’s particularly useful for teaching beginners how to play with a sense of swing, which can inject a real sense of liveliness into their technique.

50. Theme from the Witches’ Dance (Niccolo Paganini) 

A more challenging piece for a beginner approaching the intermediate stage. This tune helps beginners build up their dotted rhythm skills and practice playing triplets. It also features slurred notes and tempo changes, which are great for teaching a beginner how to play with expression.

Wrapping Up

We’re sure this list has spoiled you for choice when it comes to picking the perfect set of songs as (or for) a beginner violinist! If you enjoyed this article, why not check out our ultimate list of 50+ beginner flute songs next?

About Author

I'm George; the founder of Indie Panda. I'm passionate about helping independent musicians realize the full potential of their talents and abilities through a strong work ethic, coherent project identity and a strong logistical foundation.