16 Best Violin Songs You Can Learn How To Play
Once you’ve learned the fundamentals of violin playing, including proper bowing techniques, finger placement, and posture, the next step is to put those skills to use and learn some songs.
As a beginner, it can be overwhelming to choose which songs to learn on the violin. You want pieces that are not too difficult but not too easy and, most importantly, that you will enjoy playing.
Beginner-friendly violin songs have simple chord progressions, repetitive melodies, and easy-to-follow rhythms. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 16 easy violin songs for beginners that are perfect for learning the instrument. It’s a mix of popular and classical pieces, so you’ll definitely find something that suits your tastes. Grab your violin, tune it up, and let’s groove.
Popular songs beginners can learn on violin
Popular songs are a great way to start your journey on the violin. The familiarity of these tunes makes it easier for beginners to learn and play along. Plus, they are a hit with audiences, so you can impress your friends and family with your musical skills.
Here are some popular violin pieces to practice different techniques and build your repertoire as a beginner violinist.
(Looking for even more great violin songs for beginners? Trala has easy sheet music for hundreds of songs!)
1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is a classic nursery rhyme many of us grew up singing. It has a simple melody and repetitive pattern — perfect for beginners to practice their bowing and fingering techniques.
This song is a great way to start building your muscle memory and familiarizing yourself with the notes on the violin. And if you want a challenge, try learning the “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” variations by Shinichi Suzuki, which add some variation and technique to the original tune.
2. Happy Birthday
We’ve all sung “Happy Birthday” countless times, but did you know it’s also an easy song to play on the violin? It has a simple and joyful melody written in the key of D major, making it ideal for beginners who are still getting comfortable with finger placement and bowing techniques. Plus, everyone loves a good birthday serenade, so this song is perfect for impressing your friends and family at gatherings.
3. Mary Had a Little Lamb
“Mary Had a Little Lamb” is among the easiest songs to learn on the violin. It’s a nursery rhyme with simple finger placements and a slow tempo, making it ideal for beginners to develop muscle memory and coordination.
This song also introduces the use of open strings, which is a great way to familiarize yourself with the different sounds of each string. Plus, you can practice basic bowing techniques, such as vibrato and staccato, while playing this song.
4. La Bamba
If you want to add a little Latin flavor to your violin repertoire, “La Bamba” is the perfect song to learn. It’s a traditional Mexican folk song that many artists have covered, including Ritchie Valens and Los Lobos.
The song is played in the key of C major, with a fun, upbeat rhythm that features other complex music theory concepts, such as playing in a major key, using eighth notes, and tuplet grouping. Learning this song will help you develop your timing, finger dexterity, and rhythm.
5. Jingle Bells
A popular and beloved Christmas song, “Jingle Bells,” is another easy tune for beginners to learn on the violin. It features a simple melody in the key of G major, a perfect key for beginners to practice their finger placement. The song also uses a variety of techniques, such as string crossing and slurs, which will help you develop your bowing skills.
6. Danny Boy
“Danny Boy” is a traditional Irish folk song written by English songwriter Frederic Weatherly in 1910. There are several renditions of this song by artists like Celtic Woman, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley.
It’s a slow and sad tune about a loved one leaving and the longing that comes with it. The song is perfect for beginners, as it features slow and sustained notes, which will help you work on your intonation and vibrato. It’s also a great way to introduce yourself to playing in the key of D major and practicing open strings.
7. Amazing Grace
John Newton, an English poet and clergyman (1725–1807), composed this popular tune in 1779. It’s a Christian classical song that talks about redemption and grace, which makes it a mainstay in many religious gatherings, including weddings and funerals.
On the violin, “Amazing Grace” is played in the key of G major, with slow and sustained notes. It’s a great song for beginners to learn, as it helps them work on their bowing control, intonation, and musical expression.
8. You Raise Me Up
“You Raise Me Up” was composed by the Norwegian duo Secret Garden (Rolf Løvland and Brendan Graham). Rolf Løvland originally wrote it as an instrumental piece, and later, Brendan Graham added lyrics to it.
The song gained international popularity when it was performed by American singer Josh Groban in 2003. Since then, it has been covered by numerous artists, including Westlife, Celtic Woman, and Martin Hurkens. Its powerful and uplifting message of rising above struggles and finding strength in others makes it a favorite sing-along for many occasions and milestone events.
9. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” is a classic ballad featured in the film The Wizard of Oz. It was composed by Harold Arlen, with lyrics by Yip Harburg, and was sung by the iconic Judy Garland in the movie.
This song’s lyrical and dreamy melody has made it a timeless favorite, and it has been covered by numerous artists, such as Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Eva Cassidy, and Ariana Grande. It’s the perfect piece to enhance your vibrato and work on your bowing techniques, as it features long and sustained notes. Aim for smooth and fluid bow strokes to capture the ethereal quality of the song.
Classical violin pieces ideal for learners
Classical music can seem intimidating to beginners, but there are plenty of classical pieces that are perfect for violin or viola learners. These next few songs are a mix of classical and baroque period music with beautiful melodies, simple fingerings, and slower tempos, which will help develop your technical skills and musicality on the violin.
10. Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9
Ludwig van Beethoven composed “Ode to Joy” as the fourth and final movement of Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Opus 125. It’s one of history’s most recognized and beloved classical pieces, often associated with triumph and joy.
For beginner violinists, it’s a great piece to learn, as it features simple fingerings and slow tempos that will help you focus on your bowing techniques, tone production, and musical expression. You’ll also learn shifting positions on the violin as you move from first position to third position.
11. Andantino by Franz Joseph Haydn
“Andantino” is a beautiful classical piece composed by Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809). The word “andantino” means “slightly faster than andante” — a tempo marking in music that indicates a moderate pace.
The piece is written for solo violin and features a simple melody in a slow tempo, ideal for beginners to learn and practice their finger placement, precise bowing, and phrasing. It’s also a great piece to work on your musical expression and interpretation, as it allows for different tempo variations and dynamics.
12. Bourrée from Handel's Water Music
The “Bourrée” is a popular baroque piece by German-British composer George Frideric Handel. It’s from his famous orchestral suite, Water Music, which was written to be played on a barge for King George I’s boat party on the River Thames in 1717. The Bourrée is a lively and cheerful tune commonly used as background music in movies or TV shows to create a playful atmosphere.
For beginner violinists, it’s an excellent piece to work on your bowing techniques, dynamics, and rhythmic accuracy, as it requires precise and consistent bow strokes. The piece is also great for developing finger dexterity and coordination since it features simple but quick movements on the strings.
13. Gavotte by Christoph Willibald Gluck
The “Gavotte” is a charming classical piece composed by German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck. It’s a lively and elegant French dance that originated in the 16th century and became a standard movement in Baroque suites.
It’s a great piece to work on your intonation, articulation, and musical expression, as it requires you to play with lightness and precision. The tempo is also moderate, allowing for a comfortable pace to work on your bowing control, finger placement, and string crossings.
14. Musette by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Jean-Baptiste Lully’s “Musette” is a beautiful baroque piece written for the musette, a small bagpipe-like instrument that was popular in France during the 17th century. It has since been arranged for different instruments, including the violin.
The simple and delicate melody makes it an ideal piece for beginners to learn and practice their bowing control, phrasing, and timing. It also allows for experimentation with dynamics and tempo, as it can be played with a light and airy touch or in a more legato and expressive style. The piece also features simple fingerings and slow tempos, so you can focus on your technique and musicality.
15. Minuet 1 by Johann Sebastian Bach
“Minuet 1” is a charming baroque piece from Bach’s “Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach,” a collection of music he wrote for his second wife, Anna Magdalena. The smooth bow strokes and simple fingerings offer an excellent opportunity for beginners to work on their left-hand technique and musical expression.
It also allows for playing in different positions on the violin, providing a good foundation for more advanced pieces. The slower tempo of this minuet makes it easier to focus on phrasing, dynamics, and intonation.
16. Minuet 2 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Bach’s “Minuet 2” is another charming baroque piece from his “Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach.” It’s a joyful and elegant tune that showcases the violin’s capabilities to produce rich melodies and harmonies.
The piece features more challenging fingerings and bowing techniques, making it a great next step for beginners to develop their technical skills. It also offers ample opportunities for musical expression, as the tempo allows for variations in dynamics and phrasing. Playing this piece will also help improve your coordination and agility, as it requires quick but precise movements on the violin.
Master your favorite violin pieces with Trala’s skilled instructors
That does it for our list of 16 best violin songs that are perfect for beginners. Whether you’re just starting on the violin or looking to add new pieces to your repertoire, these selections offer an assortment of diverse styles and techniques to learn and master.
And if you need some guidance, Trala offers personalized and affordable violin lessons with skilled instructors who can help you refine your skills, learn new techniques, and explore over 30 musical genres. You’ll also access free violin sheet music, practice tools, and a supportive community of fellow learners.
Don’t wait any longer — find your ideal Trala teacher today and learn how to play your favorite violin pieces with confidence.