How to Play Violin/Parts of the Violin

Various parts of the violin
  • Front -- also called the top plate, table, or belly. It is the top of the violin when the strings are facing upward. The front is often carved from spruce.
  • Back -- also called the back plate. This component is opposite the front. The back of the violin acts as a soundboard, resonating the vibrations from the instrument and bouncing the sound waves back to the front through the sound holes. The back is typically made of maple.
  • Ribs -- are the walls connecting the front and back of the violin.
  • Body -- of the violin refers to the front, back and ribs of the violin.
  • Purflings -- are inlays running around the edge of the spruce top that provide some protection against cracks originating at the edge. It also allows the top to flex more independently from the rib structure.
  • Scroll -- is the decoratively carved part above the pegbox.
  • Pegbox -- holds the tuning pegs, and within it, each violin string is coiled around a tuning peg.
  • Tuning Pegs -- are turned to tighten or loosen the violin string which raises or lowers the pitch of the string respectively. The tuning pegs are located on either side of the pegbox.
  • Fingerboard -- is a wood piece under the strings that extends from the pegbox to the area before the bridge. A player's fingers press the string against the fingerboard to change the note being played.
  • Neck -- is the area between the pegbox and the violin's body. A player's left hand reaches around the neck while playing.
  • Bridge -- is a carved wood piece that suspends the violin's strings over the fingerboard. The top of the bridge, which holds the strings, is arced which allows the strings to be bowed individually. The bridge stands on two feet and has a heart-shaped hole in its center. It is set directly between the two center notches in the F-holes.
  • F-Holes -- also called sound holes, they are f-shaped holes in the violin's front plate on either side of the bridge that allow the resonating sound inside the violin to escape.
  • Tailpiece -- holds the strings. Its other end is attached to the button on the bottom of the violin. The tailpiece can be installed with fine tuners.
  • Fine Tuner -- is a little screw mechanism that can be attached to the tailpiece and holds one end of a violin string. Fine tuners allow small adjustments to be made to the tension of the violin's strings in order to tune precisely. Not all violins have fine tuners installed. Advanced players may have a single fine tuner on the E string or none at all.
  • Chinrest -- This is where the chin of the musician is placed. It is important to support the violin against the shoulder/collarbone of the musician.