The A Major Scale | Online Violin Lessons

The A Major Scale | Online Violin Lessons



Scales are a foundational technique to master in order to become a great violinist. In this post, I’ll walk you through the first scale that most violinists learn – the one-octave A Major scale.


A Major Scale Notes

All major scales follow this pattern of whole- and half-steps: WHOLE-WHOLE-HALF-WHOLE-WHOLE-WHOLE-HALF. We can use this pattern to figure out the notes of the A Major scale: A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#-A. In violin playing, half steps mean fingers are placed close together and whole steps mean the fingers are spread out. The graphic below shows how these notes appear on the violin.




Finger Position for the A Major Scale

The A Major scale is played in first position using Finger Pattern 1 (or “on-the-tape” fingering). In this finger pattern, fingers 2 and 3 are close together while the other fingers are spread apart.




How to Play the A Major Scale

I recommend playing each note of the scale slowly, ensuring that each note is placed correctly. As you get more comfortable, you can play the notes more quickly. Be sure to use full bows in order to produce a full tone. Eventually, you can start playing the scale with the metronome (I recommend starting with half notes at mm=60) and work up the speed from there. 




A Major Arpeggio

Arpeggios are often paired with scales in violin practice. In arpeggios, you only play specific steps in the scale while skipping others. Practicing arpeggios helps violinists learn to place fingers quickly and listen to ringing tones, which can vastly improve intonation. Pair this arpeggio with your scale practice for optimal results!




Mastering the A Major scale is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success in violin playing. Scales are so important that even the masters still practice them. As you learn scales, you will improve your intonation, finger agility, tone, and more!


Looking for more ways to improve your violin technique? Read all about beginner violin bow strokes here!




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