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No comprehensive beginners etude book?
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Composer
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April 17, 2012 - 12:47 am
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I mean pre-scales,  completely focused on elementary technical difficulties in bowing and producing a clean sound separate from tone production and intonation.  The simplistic "bow parallel to the bridge,  flexible wrist" really doesn't cut it as a prep for scales.  Sevcik isn't much of a help here and Fiddlerman has a bit with the 16 and 8th notes exercise but I don't think there is a rigorous book on the market that runs the table so that some smart-arse couldn't give you the simplest exercise after 1 year of practice and laugh when you couldn't do it effortlessly.   More than just open string crossing exercises in every imaginable way,,, also dynamics,  the most difficult rhythmic variations, etc.

It would be nice if there was less infatuation with vibrato and more attention to the bow.

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cdennyb
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April 17, 2012 - 1:36 am
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Wow, I don't quite know how to respond to your post.

I can only suggest one thing...

 

quit analyzing and start playing, perhaps you'll advance enough to be able to do scales.dazed

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Gail
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April 17, 2012 - 4:50 am
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Composer, I'm afraid you might be calculating all the fun out of it.  Please tell us you're having fun.

cool

I've learned so much from my mistakes that I've decided to make some more.

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NoirVelours
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April 17, 2012 - 8:16 am
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Did you check the Suzuki method books? I see lots of exercises that are not scales in mine anyway. Also you could write your own in Finale Notepad 2012 if you are not satisfied with what is offered.

How long have you been playing Composer?

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Fiddlerman
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April 17, 2012 - 8:50 am
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Please give Composer a break. I understand what you guys are saying but everyone has their own way of learning. Some people have to analyze the heck out of something to learn and others just do it. Sometimes by just doing it you get into bad habits as well. Who can say for sure what the best way to learn is?

@ Composer - just because students and learning violinists focus on the bow doesn't mean they can't focus on other aspects of expression such as vibrato. There is always room for more technique. The question is maybe how much we can soak in at once? You are correct for spending time on your bowing technique but imagine if that was the only thing you were good at.

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

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Dee Major
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April 17, 2012 - 9:07 am
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Here's a book recommended by Oliver, one of our Pro Advisors, in a previous post.  Hope the link comes through okay.  I just ordered one myself, though I had been putting it off because of other books I have.

http://www.amazon.com/First-Vi.....142344485X

Also, under Fiddlerman's Sheet Music, I see quite a few practice pieces in the beginner category that might be suitable for you.

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Oliver
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April 17, 2012 - 10:21 pm
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Indeed, remains one of my favorites even as basic as it is.  Helps with learning keys too.

I recently put the book back on my stand for exercises in playing fast.  I just play the etudes fast(er) and it seems to help.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
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April 17, 2012 - 11:23 pm
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Yeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!!!!
Oliver is back smile
Welcome back Oliver

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

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Composer
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April 17, 2012 - 11:49 pm
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Two ASTA publications I ordered arrived today:

Basic Principles of Violin Playing by Paul Rolland

A Violinists Guide for Exquisite Intonation by Barry Ross

and at least at first glance I am pleased with its contents.  The Rolland book is both elemental and contains sophisticated instruction on the mechanics of bowing especially.  Much more detailed than Galamian despite no photographs which i find refreshing.  For example, he states that increased bow pressure has much more effect on timbre than dynamics.  This is the most physics oriented book I have found as it replaces those useless photographs with drawings that illustrate non-obvious flaws:  for example,  instead of hair 90 degrees to the string, beginners typically bow an outward arc.  He then prescribes a counter example bowing an inward arc and notated exercises to correct this problem.  Even the vibrato section is enlightening, much less academic and again sophisticated in detailing the physics of what exactly goes wrong.  The book is short (48 pages) and compact (not much bigger than Readers Digest).  It appears to be very practical for the complete beginner.

 

The Ross book is for the extreme confusion surrounding exactly what is playing in tune anyhow for a string instrument?  Again, very simple exercises and not just melodic tuning but harmonic as well.

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Composer
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April 18, 2012 - 12:11 am
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The final two books (before I give up entirely) I got are:

The Mastery of the Bow and Bowing Subtleties by Paul Stoeving (1920)

Orchestral Bowings and Routines by Elizabeth A.H. Green

The Stoeving book includes an absolutely incredible rant on vibrato near the end of the book:

"...it is the bane of sensitive ears and nerves and the enemy, the despoiler of the true violin tone per se as well as of sound left-hand technic and through it to the tone indirectly."

"If vibrato is the only means of expressing intensified emotion, the latter must be continually in the throes of harrowing emotion, or emtion must be a cheap and common commodity, for the listener is drenched with it until he is tempted to wonder what a violin tone sounds like without being so adorned, beautified and intensified by a vibrato.  Is the abuse of the vibrato a sign of the times, in which the quietly dignified, the reticent-beautiful has no place?"

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Composer
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April 18, 2012 - 12:30 am
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Stoeving really hates vibrato:  "The use of the vibrato invites loud, noisy playing.  He, who is once seized with the vibrato mania is not happy unless he can play forte, with plenty of feeling"

"Passage work for bow and fingers should never be INVADED by any suspicion of a vibrato, and many times a mezza voce cantilena will gain poetical charm and beauty by its absence."

Three pages (in 184 total) of total vibrato hatred.  And this was published in 1920.  This book is a godsend.

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dionysia
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April 18, 2012 - 12:38 am
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Composer, when you have completed your analysis of useful beginner techniques, I think you will have done enough research to write a book of your own! Just remember to share with the rest of us.smile

Despite everyone's exhortations to "just do it" I can appreciate your analytical approach. I learned how to use chopsticks by reading about it, astounded my buddies on the first try. However for most of us the thrill of producing some sort of music outweighs our desire to master form.

I find the vibrato rant interesting. It mimics the rants I have heard from friends against the current fashion in vocals [the term eludes me - I refer to it as a soul-yodel] whereby a singer cannot or will not hit and hold a single note in a song. It has made the national anthem nearly unbearable to listen to and impossible to sing along with at sporting events these days.

 

All things in moderation, yes? notenotenote

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NoirVelours
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April 18, 2012 - 7:32 am
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I'm not a big fan of vibrato myself like I said on the shoutbox, I like it, but very discreet and only when the song really is embellished by it, so not on every notes. I still will learn how to do it though, because I think it's a beautiful technique when mastered and like everything else in life, moderation is the key!

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Dee Major
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April 18, 2012 - 9:19 am
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To Oliver: I'm looking forward to practicing with the First Etude Album for Violin (Rubank Educational Library). Thanks for the recommendation!  Nice to hear from you. coffee

To Composer: Very glad that you came upon some writings to help you with your questions. smile

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Kevin M.
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April 18, 2012 - 11:31 am
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Composer,

Your questions and comments get us going in here. Keep them up.

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Oliver
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April 18, 2012 - 5:12 pm
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@Dee Major

It occurred to me that I just learned how to use my scanner and this would be an interesting chance to see if it all works.

I will attempt to send you a page from the etude book.

HOLY SMOKE!  Seems to work smile

coffee2

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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NoirVelours
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April 18, 2012 - 5:32 pm
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***Looks at the Études 38 and hisses like a wild cat***

scales! duncecap my bane

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Oliver
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April 18, 2012 - 6:39 pm
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Forsooth !

Are you suggesting that your quest is for mere scales ?

 

How many octaves would you like?

Any particular keys?

Up to 3rd position?

dazed

(How about this? 

http://www.violinonline.com/scales.htm

PS  Why do you want to play scales?

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Dee Major
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April 18, 2012 - 7:50 pm
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Oliver, your page 38 etudes will keep me plenty busy until the book arrives. I have not had much of a musical background (singing in a choir? a little effort with lap dulcimer. That's it.), so I need to learn a lot about music theory.

I'm only through a beginner's first book, Muller Rusch String Method actually, and parts of Essential Elements Book One, and neither even mentions a scale with B flat in it.   I've also been practicing Fiddlerman's beginner etudes and octaves. So, back to Music Theory for Dummies.  I'm on a mission, like many of us here. violin-student

Thanks so much for scanning a page for me!coffee

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Oliver
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April 18, 2012 - 8:00 pm
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Go at the pace that is most productive for you.  

Your choice of method books seems good so all you have to do is keep going wink

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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