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added dots to fingerboard
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MrYikes
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October 7, 2014 - 1:52 pm
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Hi, I added three dots to the fingerboard next to the d string at g c g and am starting to work on scales there.  But before I get habituated to them, do you think these are the correct notes to use?  For the first months of practice, I used strips across the fingerboard which helped me.  Now working up higher I need this additional help in locating my starting points.  What are your thoughts?

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Fiddlerman
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October 7, 2014 - 3:06 pm
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It depends on how you will use them. What positions will you be working on?
I try to teach students to find positions using feelings rather than a visual mark...

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

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MrYikes
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October 7, 2014 - 6:37 pm
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I understand and thank you for responding.  I run 7 major double octave scales using 4 fingers starting with c on the g string and going straight across.

It was a happy day when I got rid of the strips on the fingerboard, but I find that it takes too long to find my starting note up higher.  I have a bad habit of holding my breath when concentrating on violin and by the time I find the starting note, I'm outta breath.  Gasping and bowing don't mix well.  I think that I will be able to get rid of the dots months from now, but for now, I need'em.

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coolpinkone
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October 7, 2014 - 6:47 pm
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Congrats Mr. Yikes. 

It was a hard time for me to get rid of tapes.  I only had two... but it was hard for several months.. I am finally used to it.  There are times right now when I am tempted and want to put just a dot for help with shifting.   I have kind of been afraid to ask about it.  

Good for you... wondering about ONE dot to help me out a bit with Swan Lake... hummmmm decisions... decisions.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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fiddle chick
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October 7, 2014 - 6:59 pm
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I have dots and I'm not afraid to use them! LOL! I put them there just as a quick reference point. They're by no means placed exactly on certain notes, but they help me get where I need to go a whole lot quicker. I use my ear to find the sweet spot, so to speak.

Let the bow flow.

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coolpinkone
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October 8, 2014 - 12:41 pm
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Right on with the Dots. 

I am thinking just one... if I promise to use it just occasionally for the shift....

I haven't done it yet.  The person who gave me my violin said.."if I ever see tapes on it.. I will take it back..."   ha ha.. kidding of course... (i think)....

haha

:)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Chinafiddler
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October 10, 2014 - 1:13 am
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Hi Mr Yikes,

I have to agree 100% with FM here, it is best to know where you are going by how it feels.

I always say that playing the fiddle is a very tactile/listening exercise, combine the two and you will soon find your way.

My teachers never used dots or tapes with their students, you just had to listen real careful and combine that with how it felt.

Soon the brain remembers!

Once you move away from the security of the 1st or 3rd position it's all about finger memory, how it feels, and your ears.

 

Regards

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MrYikes
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October 10, 2014 - 3:14 am
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Hi CF, funny thing about memory.  I can remember to set the exhaust valves at .017 on a 216 c.i. 1954 chevy, but I can't remember what I had for dinner last night.....and I don't know who this old lady is that keeps running around this house tellin me what to do.
But I do understand what you and FM are saying and I appreciate the input.  I will make a promise to myself to have the dots gone by February.

You said moving away from the security (great way to phrase that, btw) of 1 and 3rd positions.  Do all players get to that level?  or just the classical trained players?  As I'm sure that ability would give someone a large sense of freedom to be able to move all over the fingerboard without constraints, though I don't know that I will ever work toward that level.  I just wanna play old "top 40" songs with my wife.

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MrYikes
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October 10, 2014 - 3:29 am
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Hi Tucs, I was writing when you posted,,,almost didn't see it.

I have one of those tuners, but I can't use it when playing.  There are just too many things going on for me to add another thing to do.  If I hit a sour note, I can hear it and do the song again and correct it.  That's the good thing of playing for myself,,,though I am a pretty severe critic of my playing.

And using the bow is fun.  I was playing Godfather theme as a march today.  Kinda funny.  And playing Wish upon a star so slowly that I almost fall asleep, but it is a good song to hear correct tones.

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Chinafiddler
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October 10, 2014 - 3:54 am
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Hi again MrYikes,

MrYikes said

You said moving away from the security (great way to phrase that, btw) of 1 and 3rd positions.  Do all players get to that level?  or just the classical trained players?  As I'm sure that ability would give someone a large sense of freedom to be able to move all over the fingerboard without constraints, though I don't know that I will ever work toward that level.  I just wanna play old "top 40" songs with my wife.

I do not have a definitive answer as to whether or not all players get to this level, but I think it's just best to be positive and aim high!

Determination and/or a good teacher are important factors here, but I guess if your goal is just to play  old 'top 40's' then learning the positions above the 3rd are not so important.

I do however believe that it is most important to learn all your scales in the 1st position with good intonation before moving on. Then work at your scales that use the 3rd as well.

After this learn that most illusive position the 2nd which lies mid way between the 1st and 3rd because it is a most useful position to have in your bag of skills.  

As for clip on tools that tell you if a note is just right, sharp or flat well I have never used one and I suggest that you don't. Instead rely on your ears as this is the only real way to play.

I hear my critics say, 'well I can't always tell if the note is right, so this is why I use one!'

OK, true but if you systematically learn your scales carefully and listen carefully you will train your brain to remember the sound as being in-tune or out of tune.

This is why teachers (including me and mine) are/were so adamant that scales must be practiced everyday, no matter.

A piano player can be lazy and forget about scales because every time she/he sits in front of her/his instrument she/he has all the notes perfectly in-tune in front of her/him!

But not the poor old violinist!

I can remember Itzhak Perlman saying that when we decide to learn violin we are taking on an instrument whose complexities are much greater than those of the piano.

 

Regards

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suresh
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October 10, 2014 - 4:24 am
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Hi MrYikes! You have stated "For the first months of practice, I used strips across the fingerboard which helped me."

Can you elaborate as to how it helped you.

I agree with FM and CF as to using your listening skills and to do away with dots or strips.  Now that you have placed it between D and A strings (g,c and g for D string and d, g and d for A string) may I take it that you are familiar with 1st position and want to move higher up on the board. Fine.  I also assume that you are able to put your first finger on all the strings at the right place.  Have you ever heard any ringing sound in the D, A and E strings(g, d and a) when you play with your 3rd finger there.

If the answer is yes then place your first finger in 3rd position, hear the ringing and proceed without the dots.(if only you place your fingers exactly on the spot, these notes will ring).   Try to play with drones.  It will help you to improve a lot.   Good luck.

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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MrYikes
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October 10, 2014 - 4:37 am
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Your information is valuable to me and I thank you for it.  As I have just started learning 3rd position it will be a while before I tackle 2nd, but I will.

I never thought piano was that tough,,,I thought it was the oboe.

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coolpinkone
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October 10, 2014 - 1:07 pm
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@fiddlechick70 I am taking a class on teaching the violin.  In this class there are dots used and tapes.  I don't know how long they will stay or last.

I had just two tapes put on my violin by my teacher.  I took them off after I was not in lessons and learned to not use them.  I wish I had stayed in lessons to find out when and how she planned to wean  me off the tapes.   As it was I quit from pressure from others.... and I guess I am okay with that.  

I will update if the class that I am taking on teaching reveals how and when the tapes come off. :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
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October 11, 2014 - 1:01 pm
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This is a great topic and I love all the input that we can get here but I would like to emphasize that I have never taught live beginners to play the violin. I have colleagues that teach young ones and do use the guides. Truthfully I don't know if it does any harm. I suppose the important thing is to be able to remove them after a while. Not get overly used to them. But then again, if they are on there forever, and you don't feel that they are a crutch, what's the harm?
I send out a few emails and try to get some of my colleagues (school teachers) to post on this topic. We'll see if they will do that for me.

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

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coolpinkone
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October 11, 2014 - 2:15 pm
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Great Idea Pierre.. I  too will update if there is a point in my Teachers class where we take off dots, tapes etc.   :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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rockinglr33
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October 13, 2014 - 1:02 am
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I think a lot depends on the player as well. I know when i started i REALLY wanted to put tapes or dots on the fingerboard to help with learning, because it can be so frustrating when you're first learning....But then again I know that with me personally it would have become a crutch. I knew once i would have taken the tapes off i would have been searching for where they were and would have had to start over.

I know i'm in a similar position with using a tuner as i play. I begin to rely on the tuner to make sure i'm hitting all the right notes, and i've had to wean myself off of it slowly. But thats just me personally. Im curious to see what some teacher think about this topic. 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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Mad_Wed
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October 13, 2014 - 5:05 am
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I don't really know is it good or bad to use them, but i never did. My teacher doesn't, neither her students.... I think everything is good as long as it works and doesn't ruin anything. If i used any marks - i'd give myself some time (for maybe a couple of weeks) and then tried if i can do approximatelly the same on the violin without marks. And according the results decided whether i need them or not. If i couldn't do the things i practiced with marks, playing more or less with a satisfying intonation - then marks would go.

dunno

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MrYikes
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October 15, 2014 - 6:24 pm
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When I used tapes, I used paper label tapes I got from walmart.  I cut each in half or thinner.  They were good in that they wore off in a couple of weeks and I was forced to decide to put them back on or leave them off.  Eventually it was more of a pain to put them back on so I just left them off.
They were a good thing for me to have because frustration builds quickly.  By having the strips, I was able to get frustrated at something other than where to put my fingers.

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Mad_Wed
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October 15, 2014 - 6:39 pm
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MrYikes said
.....  By having the strips, I was able to get frustrated at something other than where to put my fingers.

Hahahahaaaa! Love the attitude! XDthumbs-uprofl

Yep. That's nice that You have some place to pay attention to other things with the strips on, but sooner or later You'll have to pay this attention to the intonation as well... Or maybe there is no reason to take them off at all? I mean if there are fretted violins and if You play awesome on it, who would't enjoy it because of those frets eventually? I really don't know.... An interesting question. But if You planning to take them off, then... dunno

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1stimestar
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My teacher uses tapes.  I have been with her for 3 years now and am tired of having the tapes on there.  They are embarrassing.  I took them off about a year ago and she put them back on.  I'm going to take them off again after our lesson tomorrow.  So what if I do mess up occasionally while learning to play without them.  That's the point.  I CAN play without them but since they are there, I do find myself watching my fingers pretty often. 

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

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