The Art of Rock Violin

For some, the violin is shuttered inside homes where Tiger Moms are lurking over every wrong note and passage. Despair not fellow violinists, because there is another path. We are here to introduce you to the glory of rock violin and the musicians who have shown us what is possible with their electrified pickups, glory-filled vibrato, and vogue poses.


Boyd Tinsley (Dave Matthews Band)

Boyd Tinsley becomes the definition of cool when he picks up his violin. Originally appearing on DMB's "Tripping Billies," Matthews subsequently asked Tinsley to join the band and the chemistry that ensued between the two artists is clearly evident above. Boyd Tinsley rocks that violin!

Papa John Creach

Papa John Creach is the jam band violinist. Featured on recordings and in live shows as a member of Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, The Grateful Dead, and more, Creach brought his bluesy style to rock fans all over the world.

Kishi Bashi

Kishi Bashi is a founding member of Jupiter One out of Brooklyn, NY, but you may have also seen him rocking the stage with Regina Spektor, of Montreal, or any number of other bands. As you can hear above, Kishi also has some vocal chops and brings an experimental flavor to his violin playing.

Don "Sugarcane" Harris

Nicknamed Sugarcane, Don Harris has recorded with everyone from Little Richard and Johnny Otis to Frank Zappa and John Mayall. In the 1960s Harris switched over to exclusively using his electric violin and never really looked back. The proceeding years included some pivotal recordings with Zappa as well as John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.

*Do you play rock violin? Then we want to hear from you! Who are some of your influences or favorite recordings?