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To Tape or Not To Tape
is it better to give yourself helpers "cheats" when learning or gut it out the old fashioned way
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micjule
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August 11, 2012 - 6:28 pm
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Day one lesson one, my instructor taped my fingerboard with small strips of electrical tape to assist me in finding finger positions. i spent as much time looking at the fingerboard as i did following the simple notes on the lesson book.

As i progressed i removed the tape and now listen to the note.

As another cheat I add numbers over the notes so i can concentrate on playing more than trying to read music

just a thought is there a better way?

You need to learn from the past, imagine a future, and LIVE for today... Failure is only a guarantee, when you never try

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Picklefish
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August 11, 2012 - 6:53 pm
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NO TAPE! NO DOTS! NOOOOOOO! As a reformed taper of fingerboards I can honestly say that the easy way is not the best way. Its good that you removed them and are listening. You have probably saved your ear for music. I know people will expouse the virtues of tapes and I have heard it all. I am actively participating in a jam that requires an ear, no dots to cheat from. I am having to train my ear from scratch and I wish I had done it 20 years ago. Use a tuner to find the notes and learn the tone and like you are doing, listen and replicate till its in your muscle memory. Keep it up! pfish.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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coolpinkone
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August 11, 2012 - 7:22 pm
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I started with no tape.( because I heard FM say.."even a small child can learn with their ear..." ... (which I do agree with that )... .for four months... on my own.... not a huge amount of progress..but now my teacher put them on...so I use them....and I have improved... hum.... this is one of those "shoulder rest" conversations right?

 

There is no violin police...right?

 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Picklefish
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August 11, 2012 - 8:18 pm
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@cool pink one- so now is time to do the lifting and tapping exercises for each finger on each string to learn the locations and free yourself of them strings. You can be a real boy! er girl!

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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micjule
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August 11, 2012 - 8:56 pm
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well As the TAPE or NOT TO TAPE conversation plows on;

i still am curious about the next in the line of cheats that my instructor has thrust upon my delicate sense of learning. instead of reading the notes on a measure. i look at the location of the note on the staff and have a number corresponding to the finger position. IE: instead of reading a "B" I see a 1 on the "A" string and for a "C" there is a 2 over the note.

so when i run a scale instead of  A B C D  D C B A , I am running the scale in my head as A0 A1 A2 A3  A3 A2 A1 A0   I know in my mind I am seeing a dot on the page and reading a number that represents the finger to use. However this may be a question for the Fiddler Man; is it better to learn to play with cheats or learn to read music along with learning finger positions? The last thing i need to do is learn the wrong way and have to undo the training to retrain later the right way.

You need to learn from the past, imagine a future, and LIVE for today... Failure is only a guarantee, when you never try

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TerryT
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August 11, 2012 - 9:03 pm
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Never used tapes but I used (even now) my electronic tuner.
I did write finger numbers over the notes on the music for about 3 weeks.
After that I put pencil dots at the beginning of some of the bars (instead of finger numbers) to represent the open strings (except the open G string). I guessed that I could visually recognise if a note was upto 3 fingers away from the dot below (the fourth was always another dot anyway.
I found this helped me tremendously, but what works for some, doesn't work for all.

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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KindaScratchy
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August 11, 2012 - 9:17 pm
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I've had an applique on my fingerboard since about a month after I got my violin. Plus I have two strips of tape. I'm thinking about taking off the applique because I don't  look at it that much, I want to really learn the positions and I wonder if it's actually interfering, at times, with my ability to find the right position.

My only hesitation is that as I move into learning the third position, I'll need the help in finding the proper finger positions, especially since they get closer together the nearer to the bridge they get.

Hmmm...can't decide what to do. Remove it or keep it for a little while longer?

dunno

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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DanielB
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August 11, 2012 - 11:03 pm
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Well, if your teacher wants you to use them, I guess you use them.

I put tapes on my electric when I first got it.  Putting on tapes was one of the steps to do on some website somewhere on the net about how to learn to play violin.  A couple weeks later, when I got to this site, I saw FM's "Even a small child.." remark and I thought about taking them off.  For maybe a minute.  But at that point I was still using them to try shifting to positions higher on the neck, and decided to just let them wear off instead.  Why bother?  There's part of one tape left. 

When I got my acoustic a couple months after that, I didn't bother to tape it.  Didn't need to.  By then I had been ignoring the tapes on the electric for a while anyway.   They were useful for maybe the first two or three weeks, somewhat, mostly for moving up and down the neck with "positions" by the end of that time.  Not long after that, I had done enough single string scales that I wasn't thinking in "positions" anymore, so they became just a decoration that wore off on their own over time.

Pros: I think maybe they helped a little the first few days, at least as a sort of security blanket since I have spent a lot more years on fretted instruments than fretless.

Cons: You end up having to clean some sticky stuff off your neck after they come off. 

That would be about it.

Oh, and it you are looking for more stuff to disregard that your teacher tells you to do?  My nomination is to ditch the whole concept of "positions" as early as possible.  If you play scales on each individual string up to at least an octave as part of your practices, it isn't hard.  The positions are kind of like the "box" method some people use when learning to play lead guitar.  My complaint about it is that it limits and compartmentalizes how you think about the fingerboard and the sounds on it.  Use positions to practice making sure you give each finger a reasonable workout in practice and you can reach all the strings well, but you don't want to get too stuck into thinking of the neck as broken up into positions or it can be harder to get used to using more of the fingerboard later.  Just a thought for you.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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ozmous
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August 11, 2012 - 11:18 pm
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i will never ever add any tape on my fiddle, i believe that everybody can master the fingering in just days, i myself, memorised the fingering in just under an hour!

cheers! - ⁰ℨ

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Fiddlerman
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August 11, 2012 - 11:40 pm
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If you have a good ear, use it to find the positions even as a beginner. Lot's of teachers don't even check if the student can hear the right notes from the start. If a person thinks it is easier to look at the fingerboard and try to nail the right notes that way, it's fine for a limited time, as long as you realize it is just for learning and temporary. It's good to practice not starting at the tapes if you have them. Obviously better to memorize where your fingers should go.

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

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Picklefish
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micjule said
well As the TAPE or NOT TO TAPE conversation plows on;

i still am curious about the next in the line of cheats that my instructor has thrust upon my delicate sense of learning. instead of reading the notes on a measure. i look at the location of the note on the staff and have a number corresponding to the finger position. IE: instead of reading a "B" I see a 1 on the "A" string and for a "C" there is a 2 over the note.

so when i run a scale instead of  A B C D  D C B A , I am running the scale in my head as A0 A1 A2 A3  A3 A2 A1 A0   I know in my mind I am seeing a dot on the page and reading a number that represents the finger to use. However this may be a question for the Fiddler Man; is it better to learn to play with cheats or learn to read music along with learning finger positions? The last thing i need to do is learn the wrong way and have to undo the training to retrain later the right way.

 

Im no expert but I treat music theory as a separate subject all together. I feel the best way to learn is by ear. This is a departure of my previous modus thinkus in that it was better to teach someone to read dots first. The answer however is individualistic in its approach. How are you best going to learn as a student is the answer. Tapes, tabs, music theory? mixture of all? Depends on the individual student. That said, some ear training has to be involved because playing is more than mashing fingers in some pattern. imo. pfish. fiddle on.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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TerryT
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August 12, 2012 - 11:48 am
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KindaScratchy said

I've had an applique on my fingerboard since about a month after I got my violin. Plus I have two strips of tape. I'm thinking about taking off the applique because I don't  look at it that much, I want to really learn the positions and I wonder if it's actually interfering, at times, with my ability to find the right position.

My only hesitation is that as I move into learning the third position, I'll need the help in finding the proper finger positions, especially since they get closer together the nearer to the bridge they get.

Hmmm...can't decide what to do. Remove it or keep it for a little while longer?

dunno

Do you have any books on 3rd position exercises? My teacher has given me one which is excellent for practice. I'll send you the title if you wish.

Dō itashimashita.

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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TerryT
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August 12, 2012 - 11:50 am
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TerryT said

KindaScratchy said

I've had an applique on my fingerboard since about a month after I got my violin. Plus I have two strips of tape. I'm thinking about taking off the applique because I don't  look at it that much, I want to really learn the positions and I wonder if it's actually interfering, at times, with my ability to find the right position.

My only hesitation is that as I move into learning the third position, I'll need the help in finding the proper finger positions, especially since they get closer together the nearer to the bridge they get.

Hmmm...can't decide what to do. Remove it or keep it for a little while longer?

dunno

Do you have any books on 3rd position exercises? My teacher has given me one which is excellent for practice. I'll send you the title if you wish.

Dō itashimashita biburato-San
.

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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gkeese
Amarillo, Tx
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August 12, 2012 - 4:50 pm
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I'll admit... I tried the Fret Finder decal.  I couldn't use it.  I had to take it off.  It threw me off so bad. 

Fret Finder-smiley-face-punching-Me

 

I think I was a little off when I applied it to the fingerboard, so when I tried to use it, my notes were off as well.  After I took it of, (it lasted about one week), I could find the notes easier.  I also used my tuner to help me get the notes right.  Once i knew what they were supposet to sound like, I was good to go.  thumbs-up 

I take lessons in the fall, so I am hoping my "playing my ear" will benefit me a little so I can work on some more advanced stuff.  Who know? dunno

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

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KindaScratchy
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August 12, 2012 - 6:05 pm
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TerryT said

TerryT said

KindaScratchy said

I've had an applique on my fingerboard since about a month after I got my violin. Plus I have two strips of tape. I'm thinking about taking off the applique because I don't  look at it that much, I want to really learn the positions and I wonder if it's actually interfering, at times, with my ability to find the right position.

My only hesitation is that as I move into learning the third position, I'll need the help in finding the proper finger positions, especially since they get closer together the nearer to the bridge they get.

Hmmm...can't decide what to do. Remove it or keep it for a little while longer?

dunno

Do you have any books on 3rd position exercises? My teacher has given me one which is excellent for practice. I'll send you the title if you wish.

Dō itashimashita biburato-San
.

Thanks, Terry. No, I don't have any books that cover the third position yet. I'd appreciate the title of the book you're using.

BTW, I took the applique off today. I'm glad I did but it was a pain because it left behind a fair amount of glue residue. As a result, the fingerboard, strings and my fingers were all sticky, which interfered with playing. I kept inadvertently "plucking" strings when my fingers stuck to them. :(

So, my advice to anyone considering an applique is don't bother. It's not worth the trouble. I think a couple of pieces of tape are good to get you started, then take them off as soon as you can.

As others have said, I'm convinced now that it's better to learn the positions by ear.

Oh, and Terry: sorry...I don't speak Japanese. My signature is a reference to a line the Styx song "Mr. Roboto." That's the extent of my knowledge of Japanese.

dunno

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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TerryT
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August 12, 2012 - 7:31 pm
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Haha, I guessed so coz it was rhyming!
"Do itashimashita" is the usual response to "domo arigatou". It means ' don't mention it'
Or as my Japanese friends say "don't touch my moustache" coz it sounds a bit like "do itashimashita"

My book is called "position Changing for the Violin" by Neil Mackay.
ISBN number is: 978-0-19-357653-7

Check it out, see what you think.

Oh yeah, did you know that going from an open string to the first finger in 3rd position, is the start of the tune "here comes the bride" ?

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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KindaScratchy
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August 12, 2012 - 8:32 pm
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Thanks, Terry. I'll look that book up.

No, I didn't didn't know that about the Bridal Chorus. I have noticed that -- at least to me -- when I pluck all the open strings to check tuning, it sounds like the intro to Star Trek. I keep expecting to hear someone say: "Space...the final frontier."

rofl

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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cdennyb
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KindaScratchy said
Thanks, Terry. I'll look that book up.

No, I didn't didn't know that about the Bridal Chorus. I have noticed that -- at least to me -- when I pluck all the open strings to check tuning, it sounds like the intro to Star Trek. I keep expecting to hear someone say: "Space...the final frontier."

rofl

I NOTICED THAT TOO!!!! But didnt want to say anything.... but now that you did...cheerleader

"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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gkeese
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cdennyb said

KindaScratchy said
Thanks, Terry. I'll look that book up.

No, I didn't didn't know that about the Bridal Chorus. I have noticed that -- at least to me -- when I pluck all the open strings to check tuning, it sounds like the intro to Star Trek. I keep expecting to hear someone say: "Space...the final frontier."

rofl

I NOTICED THAT TOO!!!! But didnt want to say anything.... but now that you did...cheerleader

 

Trekkies...facepalm

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

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coolpinkone
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ha ha ha... too funny guys and gals...

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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