Many spiring violinists look for the answer of this question. If you are planning to take on violin lessons then you must be battling with this question as well. Violin is an intricate instrument which requires your full focus. Your interest and how much attention do you pay in your violin lessons is a major factor in deciding how much time will it take for you to learn the violin.
As you move along with your violin lessons you will learn different things in different phases and these phases depends on how long you have been attending your violin lessons. Let us look at the various phases of the learning curve of violin.
This is the phase where you will learn all about the basics of the instrument. Such as how to take care of your violin, how to hold the bow and what is its different part. Your instructor will also correct your posture and teach you some plucking techniques. You will be introduced to note reading and violin scales. You will also learn how to play quarter notes and quarter rests.
In this phase you will continue to develop your basics and you will feel more comfortable holding your violin. You will learn how to play notes with left hand fingers and gain greater control bowing open strings. How to pluck simple melodies will also be taught in this phase. You will now move on to playing half notes and half rests.
Month three to six
By now you will be able to play some beginners songs on your violin. You will learn notes on the D and A strings using fingers one, two and three. This is an exciting phase as you will gradually move onto playing songs using your bow instead of just plucking them. In this phase you will learn how to play whole notes, whole rests, eighth notes and eighth rests.
Month seven to twelve
Your range of playing songs will really open up as by now you will be able to a lot of notes and rhythms. In this phase you will learn to use your fourth finger and some notes on the G and E strings. As you have would have completed one year in your violin lessons will know a lot about your violin and you will be very comfortable with your instrument. Now you will move on to learning how to play F natural and C natural on the D and A strings using your second finger. New rhythms for this phase would be ties and dotted half notes.
Month thirteen to eighteen
In this phase you will learn more about natural and flat notes using all of your fingers which allow you to play in keys other than D and A major. Your coordination with your bow and fingers would be incredible by now. Your playing speed will also increase. You will also learn about dotted quarter notes and syncopation in this phase itself.
Month nineteen to twenty-four
This is the phase where you can play a variety of music and can even perform solos. You will learn all about the notes that you can play in first position, including sharps, naturals and flat. How to bounce the bow to play faster will also be taught in this phase. New rhythms to learn would be sixth notes and dotted eight notes.
This is the phase when you learn about shifting into third position which will really open the range of your violin so that you can play higher notes. You can also learn how to play with vibrato to have more sophisticated sound and greater range of musical expression.
By now you know all about the violin. But you can continue to practice as it will only polish your skills. More time you dedicate to your violin the better your music and sound would be.
To answer the question, it takes 5 years to master the instrument. However, you will be able to play some pretty good sounds by the end of the first as well. To what level do you want to learn depends on your dedication to the instrument? But any level would require you to practice regularly and take your violin lessons seriously if you really want good results.