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How to practice Wohlfahrt etudes
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Advanced member
February 21, 2019 - 11:18 am
Member Since: June 12, 2017
Forum Posts: 84
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Someone suggested Wohlfahrt to me a few months ago when I mentioned not knowing what or how to practice after loosing my teacher (and lacking money to pay for lessons) I have hardly practiced at all the last few months as I completely lost motivation and am also very tired and in a lot of pain due to stress. But the last couple of weeks I've felt more like practicing again and I've been trying to do Wohlfahrt( starting with 1-30) to get more efficient in 1st position. Teacher got me started on 3rd which I did spend some time on learning finger patterns, but I've chosen to focus on 1st as I believe that one should feel comfortable in first before jumping into 3rd. I think my teacher was more about enjoying playing songs than most efficient way of learning.
I've only gone through a few of the first ones when I discovered that on page 4 it says "In the second, third and seventh etudes the same bowings that were given for the first etude are to be used"
The bowing given being what? On the top of the first page, and on some other pages i noticed when scrolling through it, is 2 lines of notes showing staccato and legato. Is this the bowing mentioned? Am i supposed to memorize some kind of bowing pattern to apply to the etudes? Seem strange to me if that is so. Especially since it doesn't look like a fixed pattern either and I would have no idea how to apply it anyways. Also I do not understand when there are legato AND staccato markings on notes. I have very limited knowledge in this as I only had lessons for a year and my last lesson was in May. 
So far I've only used these etudes to practice intonation and finger patterns, really feel like i need it after having played so little in a long time. Haven't paid too much attention to bowing with it as I never understood if there is supposed to be any particular technique applied to it. 

Trying to learn on my own is hell for me. I am a very unorganized person in general, but even more so after stress made me sick. I am so lost with it. I'd be able to do it if there was a curriculum I could follow on what to learn next. Wishing I hadn't sold my piano and taken piano lessons instead. :S
Sorry if this was messy. 

Advanced member
February 21, 2019 - 11:37 am
Member Since: July 11, 2018
Forum Posts: 95
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I really don't have a lot to add to this. My main thing is playing the violin should be fun and a way to relieve stress. It shouldn't be adding stress. When I need to relax I go and play a few songs. Practice should be fun too. Get your fundamentals in, work on intonation, and push yourself a little bit so you can grow. 


I hope that you keep working on the violin and don't get too frustrated. I also hope that you stress level goes down as well as the pain you are experiencing.

my own little world

February 21, 2019 - 12:17 pm
Member Since: July 23, 2015
Forum Posts: 1992
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To answer your question on the bowing, those etudes you're asking about list several different bowings at the top of the page. You are supposed to go through the etude using each one. They don't list them either so you memorize the pattern and probably so that they didn't have to have several pages with each pattern printed out. The bowings are something that eventually become second nature and really don't feel weird not having them printed out.

That said, maybe jumping back in with etudes isn't the right thing for you to be motivated at the moment. You can use learning fun tunes for the same purpose (getting comfortable in 1st position and intonation).

It depends on my mood what I personally find motivating. Some days just having fun playing tunes keeps me going, other days I need a good challenge, other days I just need my scales and a metronome clicking at me. Find what keeps it fun for you.

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February 21, 2019 - 12:38 pm
Member Since: July 13, 2017
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@Bella86 there is a violin teacher in North Carolina that has recorded all of Book 1 of Wohlfahrt's 60 etudes and is currently working on recording book 2. 


For many of the etudes he explains what the focus for the etude is and explains how to practice it. 

He also is responsive to questions send to comments about each etude. Highly recommended. 

If you're interested in Skype lessons, he also does that, but I don't know how that would work from North Carolina to Sweden :)

Also violinWiki has explanations of these etudes here:


Enjoy... etudes can be fun :)

Bob in Lone Oak, Texas

Advanced member
February 21, 2019 - 4:29 pm
Member Since: June 12, 2017
Forum Posts: 84
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Oh it's not the playing that stress me out. Well it is, but that is because EVERYTHING in my life cause me stress right now as I am sick. Most likely an exhaustion syndrome, but we'll see what the doctor thinks on Monday..
At least I've felt like playing the last couple of weeks, it's just hard to do on my own.

That actually confused me more lol. But after looking at the violinwiki I think I get it. The bowings are suggestions and each bar is a separate pattern you can apply to the whole etude. As in, measure 1 is one pattern that would be repeated in every measure of the etude. Then measure 2 is another pattern that would be applied on its own. Is that correct?
Not the confusing thing I was thinking, that all those 14 measures of bowing are to be memorized at once and somehow applied in some odd way when the measures in the etudes are way more than 14.
I managed to find some videos on demonstrations and tutorials on some of the etudes and they are all played detaché, which is what I've been doing.
I actually prefer technical stuff. I absolutely hate playing simple tunes or simplifications of songs I do want to play. They either bore or frustrate me as I usually don't agree with the arrangements. What I want to play is all way too advanced and will be for a long time. So I find scales and technique much more fun to do.

Thank you for the links, I will check it out! :)
Online lessons is an option, but not for someone like me who absolutely refuse to be on live cam infront of anyone at all lol 
There is another teacher at the school I was going to, but when money is a huge issue right now it's a no go. Hopefully I will be able to pay for at least a few lessons before they go on a break over summer. I live in a real shitty place for lessons on anything but guitar and piano for adults. Had I lived in southern Sweden, education would be everywhere.

Thanks for all your quick replies guys!

February 21, 2019 - 4:42 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 3637
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@Bella86 I am a beginner violinist. But, I did start cello at one point, then I had to stop. I then was able to start again. I did not pick up where I left off. I reviewed and became comfortable with everything I had done from day 1. I don’t know what book series your violin instructor had used, I am assuming one was used. 

I would go back to that book one, do the simple songs, read all the instruction between songs. What you don’t understand, ask here, or Google it. I have looked at etudes online because I was told to do etudes to practice bowing, intonatiin, etc. The easy ones were not even easy enough for that.

What I really like is Essential Elements. If I were you, I would buy Essential Elements. Get the one with the online interaction, not the CD or DVD. You can play with accompaniment, and I think you can change the tempo with the online help. You just register the code that is in the book. For that reason, do not get a used one as I would assume that code was registered by the previous owner.

I do not like the Suzuki method and I don’t like it when instructors use Suzuki as a guide. That said, the Suzuki book 1 does have some really easy beginner songs in the beginning to refresh you. It does progress oddly, but you will get different levels. I would only use it for a variety of songs to play. I think they are fine for the student to use on his/her own and not brought to class.

Etudes may be fine for someone who has played and has pretty good intonation and bowing. The ones I have seen, and I could be wrong, are not for someone trying a restart, or a beginner. Scales books would be better. It is hard to make yourself do scales. If you do the scale of a song you want to work on a few times before working on the song each time, that should help. Also, warm up with slow long bowing to stretch your bowing arm and get the fingers, arm and elbow working properly.

I hope this helps. That is what I would do. I am not interested in becoming a classical violinist. Maybe that is why etudes are a complete turn off, and why, to me, they all look more for a learner beyond book 1, or even book 2. As someone else stated here, you can learn bowing and intonation with songs you like, and easy songs. I think they are better learned on easier songs. Then you can hone the skills with the more difficult pieces. It should be fun.

I don’t know if you have an instructor, but if you can, I would get one. If you can’t don’t let that stop you.



The Bumblebee Flies!

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February 21, 2019 - 6:05 pm
Member Since: June 12, 2017
Forum Posts: 84
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@Mouse If you read my post you should know that I do not have an instructor anymore nor the money for one. 
We did start with a book, not suzuki thankfully. Some series of books made by a swede. We got through maybe a quarter of it, if even that, for lessons but after that she kept bringing me other stuff from various other sources. I don't know if it's because she thought I was progressing much faster than any of her other students. I did play through the whole book myself during christmas break the first semester. I have been thinking about getting the rest of the books but at the same time I feel like even book 2 might be too easy for me at this point. But basics are always good though and I'm sure it would bring up bowings or technique that my teacher never got around to. But money is still an issue for the time being. 
I still really like doing scales. They are boring on a piano but fun on a violin lol. Etudes might not always sound the best but there is still something fun about them, maybe the technicality of the fingering. So far I don't find them that hard. Just take a bit of practice. Those low 1's that I'm not used to doing does give me some grief, but some repetition is all I need.
After my teacher got me started on 3rd position I got Heather Broadbents Mastering 3rd position book which is just finger patterns and scale exercises. I found them real fun to do. Especially when I started hitting those fifths right on the spot lol. But maybe I'm just weird. 
I'm not completely starting over either. Playing has been irregular and sporadic the last 2-3 months but I've still played now and then which has been enough to keep my brain in check.

Anyway I was mostly just wanting info on the Wohlfahrt which I think I've gotten and understood now. 

Fort Lauderdale
February 22, 2019 - 9:21 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15833

Bella86 said
................I think I get it. The bowings are suggestions and each bar is a separate pattern you can apply to the whole etude. As in, measure 1 is one pattern that would be repeated in every measure of the etude. Then measure 2 is another pattern that would be applied on its own. Is that correct?......

Yes. Since the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 7th etudes are simple none bowed back and forth notes, they give you 14 different bowing options to use throughout the etude. One suggestion at a time.

Choose one suggested bow option from the 14 and play the whole etude using that one. Another time or day, choose a different one. The idea for the author is to avoid having to write out all those etudes with all the different bowing suggestions. It will hopefully teach you to play different bowing combinations with greater ease.

With some of them you need to draw one fast bow to be able to play 3 using the same amount of bow in each direction. With one of them you need to play 3 notes moving the bow a bit faster and 5 moving it slower.

It's about learning "economy of the bow". LOL

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

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