Thanks to its rich and distinctive sound, the violin is an excellent choice for playing most classical melodies. However, it is a highly appreciate instrument, and many jazz and blues musicians have included it in their repertoire.
Whether you opt for symphony music great composers made or popular melodies you can play on the fiddle, you will enjoy the ultimate sound. I will give you a list of 31 famous violin solos you will adore playing. Some of them are perfect for traditional acoustic violin, but you can also use the electric one for some contemporary tunes.
Classical Violin Solos
1. Violin Sonata in G Minor (George Frideric Handel)
After listening to this extraordinarily elegant piece of music, you will understand why Handel was one of the most prominent composers of the Baroque era. The beautiful violin sounds will lift you from the somber part to upbeat. Then, you will enjoy the beautiful pastoral part before returning to the breathtaking upbeat tune.
2. Kreutzer, Violin Sonata No. 9 (Ludwig van Beethoven)
Probably everyone loves Beethoven, but his violin solo is really something special. The melody is full of sublime emotions that can melt even the hardest heart. As always, this magic maker managed to find the right place for each emotional color. At the same time, he forced the violin to cry, sing, despair, and celebrate while the tunes flow smoothly.
3. Violin Sonata, Op. 34 (Amy Beach)
Amy was a talented 19th-century American composer. Even though violin lovers appreciated her opus in that time, her work was forgotten over time. Luckily, new violinists have discovered the beauty of this fantastic violin sonata that depicts passion and virtuosity of the Romantic style. You will enjoy it, I promise!
4. The Carnival of the Animals, The Swan (Camille Saint-Saëns)
The legendary Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals is definitely one of the top violin solos ever written. Once you hear the Swan, you will wish to enjoy this unique part over and over again.
However, it is only one part of the ZOO this composer described in his unique way. Even though he wrote this piece for the cello, it became even better, lively, and touchy when translated to the violin.
5. Minuet (Luigi Boccherini)
Sometimes, I can’t describe this masterpiece different than – Boccherini – beauty – heartbreak – perfection – Minuet. Nowadays, many violinists choose to perform this well-known violin solo at recitals. Plus, you have probably heard it in popular movies and TV commercials, as well. Yes, it is so good!
6. Minuet No. 1 (Johann Sebastian Bach)
Bach is often too dark for my taste, but no one can doubt its genius. His Minuet is an excellent violin solo for a beginner after six to twelve months of practice. After mastering this piece’s complex rhythm, you will be prepared to enter the mysterious world of Baroque-era deeply.
7. Violin Concerto in D Minor (Jean Sibelius)
Unfortunately, Sibelius is not a widely known composer, but every violin lover can explain his violin concerto’s magnificence. Most violinists tend to master this unique piece since it is the best way to establish themselves as players that can perform the real showstopper.
8. Minuet No. 2 (Johann Sebastian Bach)
Once you master Bach’s Minuet No. 1, magnificent No. 2 will wait for you around the corner. It is definitely the next level of perfection that follows the same style, but the theme becomes more intricate and complex. New twists and turns will occupy your mind and win your heart.
9. Gavotte (François-Joseph Gossec)
Playful and lighthearted Gavotte is considered a simple beginner solo, but it is also a challenging piece. Its complexity will leave you impressed if you are an audience, or push your stamina when staying on the stage as a performer. Once you decide to start playing for a longer period, this melody is the best you can find.
10. Minuet in G (Ludwig van Beethoven)
Beethoven is my favorite composer, and I am probably more biased than is allowed for this type of article. However, this solo is too beautiful to be left out. It represents the invisible border and close connection between two eras, the classical and romantic one. Enjoy the rich melody of this masterpiece, and you will never be able to listen to music the same way again.
11. Mystery Sonatas (Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber)
The set of fifteen mystery sonatas for solo violin is both mystical and intrigue. The specificity of this piece of music is that the innovative composer couldn’t write it without in-depth and comprehensive knowledge related to playing the violin. Biber performed pieces no other violinist could, which made this tune the top quality one.
12. Violin Concerto No. 3 (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
When you say Mozart, some people think about chocolate, but I connect that name with his magnificent concerto written for solo violin. It is probably the best piece ever written for this instrument.
You will discover the pure joy and uplifting in every note, even though you are not a great connoisseur of classical music. If you wish to start your violin education, this piece is the right choice for that purpose.
13. Concerto No. 2, 3rd Movement (Friedrich Seitz)
If you are an advanced student and play the violin at least two to three years, this piece can be the best choice for your audition. It includes many varieties and requires a bunch of different skills.
Anyway, you will enjoy this melody, whether you are a violinist or only enjoy while someone plays this magically beautiful instrument.
14. Gavotte from Mignon (Ambroise Thomas)
Unless you are a devoted violin lover, you have probably not heard of this composer. However, Ambroise Thomas made a miracle while writing Gavotte from Mignon. This melodic theme is an excellent piece for an intermediate student after approximately two years of practicing.
15. Concerto in A Minor, 1st Movement (Antonio Vivaldi)
Here we are! Vivaldi wrote this top-notch, delightful tune that can fully understand and appreciate only top connoisseurs and true violin lovers. After three to four years of practice, you are probably prepared to master this magnificent piece. What is best, it will be highly fun to learn and play it.
16. Violin Concerto No.2 In B Minor, Op 7 (Niccolò Paganini)
With this piece, Paganini showed why most experts consider him a superior, first-class violin virtuoso of all time. His violin concerto is a great piece that will enhance every repertoire.
Thanks to the extended techniques he uses, you should be a brave soloist to consider playing this concerto. However, once you dare, you will understand the real magnificence it offers.
17. Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61 (Ludwig van Beethoven)
Believe it or not, this is the only Beethoven’s violin concerto. Nevertheless, this exceptional piece is unavoidable in the repertoire of every serious violinist. The best of the best composer combined technical prowess with ultimate romantic lyricism to achieve a fiery finale. Don’t miss it!
18. Concerto No. 1 in A Minor (Dmitri Shostakovich)
This astonishing music piece will take you to the place you have never imagine to go to. The gem of classical music will awaken the deepest emotions hidden in your soul, and melancholic tones will force you to cry, love, and desire at the same time. Don’t spend your life without hearing this astonishing violin solo.
19. Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 (Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky)
Most violin lovers love sensitivity that only Tchaikovsky can include in a highly technically demanding violin concerto. It was well-known as ‘un-violinable’ because being too complicated for many top world-famous violinists.
Luckily, Leopold Damrosch dared to perform this divine masterpiece in 1879. Since then, every violinist considering himself/herself a virtuoso has included this piece in the repertoire.
20. Violin Concerto (Alban Berg)
Berg was not known as someone who could write an average violin concerto. He combined the spectacular soloist part with fantastic orchestral support. The result of a bold combination of traditional and innovative is a unique and intriguing piece that will take your breath away. Highly enjoyable!
21. Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77 (Johannes Brahms)
This Violin Concerto is the only one that Brahms ever wrote. He modeled it for his profoundly talented friend, the great Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim. Therefore, this masterpiece requires a mind-blowing brilliance that was characteristic of this virtuoso. Even now, only the best violinists include this piece in their repertoires.
22. Moses Fantasy (Niccolò Paganini)
During one concert, all the strings on his violin broke except the lowest, G string. Inspired by this unusual event, Paganini wrote the unique musical piece exclusively for this remaining string.
The specificity of this work frightened many violinists, including some of the best. However, once you hear these tones, you will understand why the violin is one of today’s most beloved instruments.
23. La Cumparsita (Gerardo Matos Rodríguez)
Uruguayan Rodríguez wrote La cumparsita (little street parade), probably the best tango of all time, in 1916. After the first public performance in Café La Giralda in Montevideo, Roberto Firpo recorded the song in the same year. Initially, a tune was without lyrics, but the composer added it a few years ago. Luckily for us!
Rock Violin Solos
24. Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve)
Bittersweet Symphony was a real anthem of the 90s, and the violin solo they used was one of the most memorable in the world of rock ‘n’ roll. It defined the whole generation and has definitely stood the test of time. Try to play this piece, and find the reason why your parents love it so much.
25. Running Dry (Neil Young with Crazy Horse)
Everyone who knows anything about the rock ‘n’ roll history has heard about Requiem for the Rockets. It contains probably the most fantastic and highly emotive violin solo of the 1970s exciting rock era. Bobby Notkoff made a real miracle on his violin and accompanied it with Neil Young’s melancholy vocal in the best possible way.
26. Paper in Fire (John Mellencamp)
Here is one more melody that includes a magnificent violin solo to add deep emotions in the classic rock style. While playing her fiddle, Lisa Germano adds tenderness and elegance to the tough tune to the ‘most country’ song this band has ever performed.
27. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
Pink Floyd is a synonym to rock ‘n’ roll and the beauty of this rebellious genre. At the time when all R’N’R bands tended to sound fierce, rude, and dangerous, they made an unusual combination of tenderness and wild sound.
Stephane Grappelli, the jazz violinists’ grandfather, performed the fantastic melodic solo that marked one of the best songs of this, the most iconic rock band of all time.
28. Comatose (Skillet)
The Christian hard rock made this iconic song that contains ultimate violin solos you will enjoy playing. If you are not an average student and like discovering new challenges and try something different, this song is an excellent choice for you.
29. Dupree’s Paradise (Frank Zappa)
This piece is one of three that Zappa arranged for Pierre Boulez, who recorded it in 1984. This melody shows us the deep affection Zappa had to modernist classical music. The best way to enjoy this fantastic composition is to sit back in your favorite armchair, turn up the speakers, and indulge in the magic that only a violin can create.
30. Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2)
Violinist Steve Wickham used his electric violin, support Bono’s vocal in a way that no one else could, and left us a masterpiece to enjoy. The strange things were that he was the local musician, and no one planned to add a violin to this song.
He was bold enough to ask, and the guys from this intriguing band were smart enough to accept the offer. The result was the album recorded in 1983 that still sounds timeless.
31. Hurricane (Bob Dylan)
Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy wrote this protest song for the album Desire in 1976. Violinist Scarlet Rivera performed an impressively haunting violin solo that will take your breath away. If you want to impress, learn to play this part and become a unique student.