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New to the fiddle ( as in I haven't got one yet!)
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Samuel L Boogie
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September 28, 2011 - 4:07 am
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Hello people of the fiddlerman forums, 
My name is Sam I live in England and for some reason at the age of 30 and with my first child at seven months old I have decided now is the time to get off my back side and learn the violin. I am a fan of many many types of music but there has always been something about the sound of violin which really resonates with me. I am planning to get a violin at Christmas this year, today I started looking for information on learning to play. 
Isn't the internet a wonderful place! After five minutes watching some fairly shoddy tutorial clips on youtube I found a Fiddlerman video. Aha I though, now we are getting somewhere! After watching all the beginners videos, I had some questions so I have wandered into the forums in search of knowledge.

But first I heard a rumour that Fiddlerman does this all for love, so big hearts to you sir! This site gives me real hope that I can actually learn without the lessons which my darling daughter pinched all the time and money for (bless her). 

 

So, I am probably getting a little ahead of my self here (a couple of months ahead blink ) but can anyone help with my understanding of the fingering charts? Are they all scales? I am guessing G to E major across the top and what across the bottom?

Secondly I have absolutely no prior musical ability/training, is there anything I can be doing in what little (baby)free time I have over the next couple of months to help give me a head start? I'm thinking maybe make a start learning to read music?

Finally I am most interesting in learning to fiddle, as in folk music rather than classical, should this affect my approach in any way?

 

Many thanks.

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 28, 2011 - 7:08 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Samuel L Boogie said:

So, I am probably getting a little ahead of my self here (a couple of months ahead blink ) but can anyone help with my understanding of the fingering charts? Are they all scales? I am guessing G to E major across the top and what across the bottom?

Hey Samuel, first off, welcome to fiddlerman.com
The charts are showing the position of your fingers in relation to each and every key. When you play scales or read any type of music you need to first check the key signature. Basically you use those patterns throughout the whole piece unless there are accidentals (extra sharps or flats) written in. A great way of learning the chart is to choose one key at a time and practice scales slowly while listening carefully to the intonation. Try to memorize the feeling of your fingers coming down in the RIGHT place. Some people use tape guides in the beginning. The tape is not necessary IMO.

Secondly I have absolutely no prior musical ability/training, is there anything I can be doing in what little (baby)free time I have over the next couple of months to help give me a head start? I'm thinking maybe make a start learning to read music?

Check out my learning tools section. I tried to design the tools so that players could learn to read music even without a violin in their hand. two tools in particular for learning to read music would be, the Violin Fingering Game and the Rhythm Counting Game. The Intonation Game helps you recognize intonation differences between notes to better correct them when practicing.

Finally I am most interesting in learning to fiddle, as in folk music rather than classical, should this affect my approach in any way?

Most great fiddle players are classically trained and the technique is the same either way. Your approach should be to learn technique as well as you can and listen to as much "fiddle" music as possible. Another suggestion is to hang out on the forum, read the questions and answers and ask your own as well.

Many thanks.

Good luck with your upcoming violin purchase and pursuit to learn.violin-student

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Chinny
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September 28, 2011 - 7:45 am
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^ good explanation. Unlike Fiddlerman, I didn't know where to begin so I just stayed silent fish

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Samuel L Boogie
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September 28, 2011 - 8:04 am
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Thanks for the swift reply Fiddlerman, I have been playing with your fingering game for an hour or so and I am finding it extremely helpful. I do find it hard to remember all the various strings/notes at the moment but I know it is early days and by memorizing the position on sheet music of the middle note on each string (B/F/C/G) and working up or down by a maximum of two each time I have made it through the beginners level a couple of times. I'll keep at it until I can just tell the notes and string without the calculations I guess.

 

You said in one of your videos to avoid playing an open string note unless your wish to emphasise it, so I am assuming that where the strings overlap at D,A and E you would usually play the high end of the lower string rather than move straight to open next string?

 

With regards to the counting game I struggle when I come to notes which last less than one beat, trying to keep the steady 4/4 count and regulate the faster notes(presses) do you have any suggestions there?

 

Also does anyone have any recommendations of sensible learner violins to look at? After a very brief bit of investigation I am looking at about £180 for violin,bow,upgraded strings and case. I know that certainly isn't the cheapest option available but after making the investment of both time and money I have no intention of quitting, so want to get something that will see me right for quite a few years/levels of learning.

 

Thanks again.

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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HeadCheese
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September 28, 2011 - 8:45 am
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Have you seen Fiddlerman's reviews of the various Cecilio violins? They do seem to be an excellent value. 

 

One caveat though, the quality can vary widely. See my CVA-400 Viola post for my own experiences with one of their violas.

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Samuel L Boogie
Oxford England
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September 28, 2011 - 8:59 am
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Thanks HeadCheese I will check that section out. Unfortunately Cecilio don't seem to have a UK dealer and I'm not sure about getting something like a violin shipped all the way from the states. I will most likely want to go to a shop and have it set up and such as I am a complete novice!

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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Samuel L Boogie
Oxford England
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September 28, 2011 - 10:54 am
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Hi Barry,

 

Thanks for the welcome, if I can play anything better than "cat being swung around in bag" after my first day I will be very pleased! 😉

 

I have to agree that not actually having a violin yet is certainly allowing me to focus on the theory.

 

Perhaps I may even be able to read sheet music before I get it, that would probably help 😀 

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 28, 2011 - 11:25 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Samuel L Boogie said:

....by memorizing the position on sheet music of the middle note on each string (B/F/C/G) and working up or down ......

In that case make sure you know that the same finger position would be Bb and not B natural.    IOW - (Bb/F/C/G)

You said in one of your videos to avoid playing an open string note unless your wish to emphasise it, so I am assuming that where the strings overlap at D,A and E you would usually play the high end of the lower string rather than move straight to open next string?

Exactly. I prefer that you don't avoid using the 4th finger to strengthen that finger since it is the weakest anyway. You can always use the open strings when convenient and practical but when playing scales and exercises, and if it is not a question of whether or not you need cross strings, use the 4th. Don't get me wrong, open strings are used constantly and should be.

With regards to the counting game I struggle when I come to notes which last less than one beat, trying to keep the steady 4/4 count and regulate the faster notes(presses) do you have any suggestions there?

Drum or tap even 8th notes gently on your desk, table, leg, at home or work while beating a steady beat with your foot. Then 16th notes.... triplets. Practice like your trying to become a drummer.

Also does anyone have any recommendations of sensible learner violins to look at? After a very brief bit of investigation I am looking at about £180 for violin,bow,upgraded strings and case. I know that certainly isn't the cheapest option available but after making the investment of both time and money I have no intention of quitting, so want to get something that will see me right for quite a few years/levels of learning.

My only suggestion is that you visit quite a few violin shops before making a decision. Try to play them yourself even if you can't do that much just to hear the tone under your ear. Hopefully someone can play for you as well to hear the quality away from the instrument as well.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Samuel L Boogie
Oxford England
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September 28, 2011 - 11:48 am
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Oh I've not got anywhere near fingers yet, I'm just trying to learn what place on the music means what note! Although I'm sure clicking in the right place for the note will be helping me sub-consciously. It really is a great learning tool. I can now make it through the intermediate level without a mistake. I read somewhere here about using FACE to remember notes in between lines, that has really helped.

There is a reason I didn't want to learn the drums... and that is because I don't like them as much as the violin. But if I did like them more, not being able to tap two things at different speeds would be the reason I wasn't learning them! Oh well I will keep at it.

I have a friend who claims to be very good at the violin, I shall drag him about for a day 🙂

Cheers!

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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Chinny
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September 28, 2011 - 12:46 pm
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F for fine or F for food... cuz food would make more sense rofl

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Samuel L Boogie
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September 28, 2011 - 1:27 pm
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Yup sorry I mention between the lines...

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myguitarnow
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Welcome Samuel! You're right about checking out local violin shops as long as you have access to them instead of getting one shipped over seas. Glad that reading the post I made about FACE and Every Good Boy Does Fine (Food 😉 helped you on the other thread. Barry made it much more clear above and remember that it's all just the first 7 letters in the alphabet and some notes are sharp or flat depending on the key of the song.

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Chinny
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Oh wait i just realised the D is a bit different too. I meant... Every good boy deserves food. yell Aw man can't believe I was reading that all wrong last night embarassed

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Fiddlerman
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September 28, 2011 - 10:02 pm
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You must have been tired. I gave up on understanding that every good boy does food.dazed

Deserves makes good sense. LOL

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but the one who needs the least."

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Samuel L Boogie
Oxford England
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Thanks for all the replies and warm welcome peeps.

 

Another question..!

 

From playing the intermediate level fingering game it appears to me that whether notes are flats or sharps is indicated by symbols at the start of the music. If this is correct do the symbols indicate a different scale and the various notes vary between flats sharps and major depending on the scale? 

 

If so could someone point me to something explaining what means what scale? 

 

Or did I just make all that up?

 

Sorry for dumb questions.

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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SaraO
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September 29, 2011 - 8:42 am
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Yes Sam, you are correct. The sharps or flats next to the clef sign, called the key signature, will tell you what key you are playing in. It is a good idea to start to become familiar with scales. If the song you want to play is in the key of D major, it is wise to warm up with a D major scale.

I know Fiddlerman is working on putting scales in the sheet music section of this site, but I'm not sure how many are there now. I have a great scale book from Schirmer's Library called Hrimaly Scale-Studies for the violin. I don't think it is an expensive book, but it has a lot more information than you will need for some time.

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Fiddlerman
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September 29, 2011 - 9:03 am
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SaraO said:

I know Fiddlerman is working on putting scales in the sheet music section of this site, but I'm not sure how many are there now. I have a great scale book from Schirmer's Library called Hrimaly Scale-Studies for the violin. I don't think it is an expensive book, but it has a lot more information than you will need for some time.

I have this under the BEGINNERS section of the SHEET MUSIC menu:
Note that the last one in this list has 9 key signatures and some fingering examples for beginners. More scales can be found in the next section under Sheet music called Free Violin Studies, Solos and Etudes
FIDDLERMANS BEGINNERS ETUDES – STUDIES

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Samuel L Boogie
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September 29, 2011 - 9:11 am
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Thanks SaraO, that's good news. I have found the book on Amazon Uk, it is indeed cheap! Good the tip.

 

One more thing for today, I printed out twinkle twinkle so I could go through and write in the notes as an exercise. Could someone please tell me what the numbers under the notes mean?

 

Many thanks.

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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Daniel
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September 29, 2011 - 9:13 am
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Those correspond to the fingers that you use, and the roman numerals correspond to what string you use.

 

Example, under the first note is a zero and an III. This means open string on the D string.

I-E
II-A

III-D

IV -G

 

and 0,1,2,3,4 corresponds to the number of fingers you put down.

Short-term Goal:

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Samuel L Boogie
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September 29, 2011 - 9:54 am
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I'm sorry but now that I have arrived this forum really needs a facepalm smiley!

 

Thanks Daniel that makes perfect sense I really should have figured it out my self. It's to save you needing to look at the finger chart for every note, I like it laugh

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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