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Note reading
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RDP
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October 28, 2021 - 8:32 pm
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Has anyone shaded the staff to denote which strings are which on the scale?  For instance, shading the A and the E section of the staff so I know what string my fingers are supposed to be on to play those notes?

 

Would this help or should I just power through it with endless repetition until my brain figures it out?

 

Right now I'm having trouble knowing what string for which note and I'm memorizing the finger positions (A1, A2, A3, etc) rather than learning to read the notes on the staff and mentally translate that to finger positions.  Twinkle is A0, A0, E0, E0, E1, E1, E0 ... rather than A, A, E, E, F, F, E ...

 

Anyone think this would help or hinder?

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AndrewH
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If it works for you at this stage, then it works.

But I could see some possible confusion with reading notes that are on a line, and more later on as you start to play the same note on more than one string (4th finger and then shifting positions).

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Gordon Shumway
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What Andrew said, but, yes, endless repetition too, and you'll wonder what the problems were.

Rather than shade staves, my approach would be (i.e. has been) to have a notebook in which I repetitively write out anything theoretical over and over again, such as guitar and uke chord shapes (fingerboard geography is always initially a mystery for people new to fingerboards), and then tenor guitar (in fifths) and thus mandolin and violin chord shapes. And instrument string notes. (You can also get cheap music manuscript notebooks, but they can be harder to find - you can hand-draw staves if you don't need them that often). Write the four notes G,D,A,E on a hand-drawn staff and play the G scale repeatedly (using the open strings where possible) to unite the two things in your mind.

Get a spiral bound A5 (or A4) notebook and start scribbling.

Andrew

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stringy
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October 29, 2021 - 5:30 am
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In the learning tools section, fiddlerman has put a violin fingerboatd chart which ahows were to place your fingers on each string and what the note is, so if you look atthe music stave with your tune on, work outwhich note is which and the chart shows you which string it  is on and were your finger goes, hope that helps.

and this video will show you how to remeber what the notes are on the stave,

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×?@?#?@

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RDP
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October 29, 2021 - 3:45 pm
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I think part of the problem is that my eyes drift off the staff while playing and I have to yank them back.  Of course that means that I have no idea where to look because I really don't know where I'm at for the notes I'm on.

 

I'm hoping this is a newbie problem and that it goes away with practice.

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stringy
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I wouldnt stress too much about reading the music it will come in time, I personally think its much more important to practice technique, get a tune in your head and try to play that without reading the music. Many fiddle players cant read music at all, they play by ear, I am not saying dont learn to read though, but dont expect to get it straight away, nothing happens with fiddle in that way. At first you should try very, very simple tunes consisting of not many notes and eventually it will sink in were they are on the fingerboard. when I read music I associate the dot with where I place my finger, Not which note it actually is, if You asked me I could tell you but I honestly dont think of which note it is, as others say in this thread the same notes are found in a few different places on the fingerboard but on the stave an e for instance is always an e no matter were it is, but dont worry tooo much about that just learn first position first and remember were the notes are placed .

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×?@?#?@

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ELCBK
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October 29, 2021 - 6:38 pm
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@RDP -

If you think color coding might help, there's 13 videos here at Adria Sorensen's YouTube Channel - that might be helpful to you. 

Here's the playlist for those videos.

Adria Sorensen - Shapes and Colors Violin

Eva Alexandrian has MANY Beginner Tutorial videos that use color coding!  Plus she offers teaching aides. 

Eva Alexandrian - Violin Tutorials

Don't forget Videos can be slowed down in their setting to help you even more

Now, I personally think there's a lot to tackle when you start out, so I don't see a problem with learning where the 4 strings are on the staff and then just picturing the next 3 higher combination of of lines and spaces as 1st, 2nd and 3rd finger on each. 

Another option, instead of always playing while you read, is to go through your simple beginner pieces, very slowly reading the notes - making sure you know where each note and how it sounds.  If you are good at aural memory (humming, whistling or singing), memorize the tune by how it sounds.  Then play by memory, which will free you up to focus on both of your hands and how you are playing. 

Many fiddlers to this day, still learn by watching someone else play - then mimic what they see and hear.  Not a bad way to start - and we are so lucky to have many video tutorials available, today! 

 

 

I think it's really great that you are exploring different approaches to learning the Violin! 

- Emily

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ABitRusty
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October 29, 2021 - 8:32 pm
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Gordon Shumway said
What Andrew said, but, yes, endless repetition too, and you'll wonder what the problems were.

Rather than shade staves, my approach would be (i.e. has been) to have a notebook in which I repetitively write out anything theoretical over and over again, such as guitar and uke chord shapes (fingerboard geography is always initially a mystery for people new to fingerboards), and then tenor guitar (in fifths) and thus mandolin and violin chord shapes. And instrument string notes. (You can also get cheap music manuscript notebooks, but they can be harder to find - you can hand-draw staves if you don't need them that often). Write the four notes G,D,A,E on a hand-drawn staff and play the G scale repeatedly (using the open strings where possible) to unite the two things in your mind.

Get a spiral bound A5 (or A4) notebook and start scribbling.

  

how i had to do it.  alot of this stuff just comes down to memorizing and how ever you do it best is best.

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ABitRusty
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October 29, 2021 - 9:14 pm
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to augment the repetition and to make things a little more interesting when i cant practice..i used games like this instead of playing solitaire or whatever..  This was mainly on guitar but you can change the fretboard to mandolin so strings will be the same

GOOGLE PLAY STORE android fretboard learn

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RDP
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October 29, 2021 - 11:51 pm
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Now, I personally think there's a lot to tackle when you start out, so I don't see a problem with learning where the 4 strings are on the staff and then just picturing the next 3 higher combination of of lines and spaces as 1st, 2nd and 3rd finger on each. 

 

Hah!  There's a tip I can use because it makes sense.  Now if only I can put it into practice.

 

Time to break out the highlighters.

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stringy
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personally I thought all the replies of those who took the time to respond to your question made sense. Glad Emilys has helped you out, good luck with your journey.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×?@?#?@

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RDP
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stringy said
personally I thought all the replies of those who took the time to respond to your question made sense. Glad Emilys has helped you out, good luck with your journey.

  

People think differently and 1 size doesn't fit all.  Which is why good instructors have an entire inventory of different methods they can use when students run into problems.  Try this.  Didn't work?  Ok, try this instead.  Still not working?  Ok, here's something else to try...

 

That doesn't mean those other things were "bad."  It means they weren't effective because people think differently.

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RDP
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The lightbulb went on for the first time yesterday.  I highlighted just the A and E sections of the staff and was practicing Twinkle when I actually saw the F and "knew" what it was.  Up until that point I was following the dots but really doing it by rote memory.  Until that magic moment.

Then the lightbulb promptly burned out.  I think the switch is faulty too but I remember what happened.  I actually saw the note on the line and knew it was F and not 1st finger on E.

So, there's hope that maybe I can do this.  Unless the electrician can't find a replacement lightbulb and fix the switch.

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ELCBK
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@RDP -

That's fabulous news! 

Now, what you really want is to remember what A, E and F, etc... sound like. 

...keep this in mind from the start - you'll be miles ahead. 

 

Here's a little 'Music Theory' for you.

  • 'Pitch' is the frequency we hear = a note. 
  • 'Interval' is the distance between the notes = basically 'half steps' or 'whole steps'. 

This is one of my favorite videos that can help you see the bigger picture. 

How to Achieve Perfect Intonation on the Violin - Part 1 - Prof. William Fitzpatrick

 

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/d4/c6/28/d4c628e64168de3e18e2f663a50b998c.jpg

 

- Emily

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RDP
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November 2, 2021 - 2:44 pm
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ELCBK said
@RDP -

That's fabulous news! 

Now, what you really want is to remember what A, E and F, etc... sound like. 

...keep this in mind from the start - you'll be miles ahead. 

 

Here's a little 'Music Theory' for you.

    • 'Pitch' is the frequency we hear = a note. 
    • 'Interval' is the distance between the notes = basically 'half steps' or 'whole steps'. 

This is one of my favorite videos that can help you see the bigger picture. 

How to Achieve Perfect Intonation on the Violin - Part 1 - Prof. William Fitzpatrick

 

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/d4/c6/28/d4c628e64168de3e18e2f663a50b998c.jpg

 

- Emily

  

I had to watch the videos (all 3) a couple of times and then re-read what you wrote to put it together.  It's why the finger positions are where they are on the strings/scale.  And how changing the intervals between the finger positions changes a note from, say, sharp to flat and that it works all across/down the fingerboard.

I can't quite see the value of the information, and I suspect it's because I'm too new at this and the information is fairly advanced as a musical theory concept.  Maybe sometime in the future it'll become clearer, although I also suspect that by then it'll be redundant in a practical sense and useful only in a theory discussion.  I could be wrong, but that's what I got out of it.

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ELCBK
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@RDP -

Sounds to me like you do understand some of this 'Music Theory'! 

Scales are made up of different patterns of intervals.  The 'Major' Scale is only one of them. 

Each melody you learn, for right now, will probably be made from one of these scales. 

Learn to recognize these scale patterns, and then understand - each melody you play on your violin is also a pattern of intervals on the fingerboard, will help you learn to play in tune. 

What can be confusing: 

When reading music notation, there is NO indication on the staff that there are different intervals between notes on the violin strings! 

You need to think like: I'm playing 'B' (1st note on the A string), now I need to play C - is that a whole step or a half step?  ...it's only a half step (aka. Semitone) on the violin string.  When you look at the written staff of lines/spaces, 'B' is on a line and 'C' is the next space up.  

This is where it gets crazy - 'C' and the next line up, 'D', is a whole step (aka. Whole tone), not a half - but they look just like every other 2 adjacent notes designated on the written staff. 

Here's the C Major Scale - this step/interval pattern is the SAME for ALL Major scales. 

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rHyt7ngVxNo/UDKogK0Ds7I/AAAAAAAAAbY/lx0lcpAsdGE/s1600/C%2Bmajor%2Bscale%2Bon%2Bstaff.jpgImage Enlarger

 

...just don't forget how important listening is, with all this. 😊 

Are you using a tuner?  It's not only good for tuning your 4 strings - can tell you what notes you are playing.

- Emily

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RDP
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November 3, 2021 - 12:26 pm
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ELCBK said
@RDP -

Sounds to me like you do understand some of this 'Music Theory'! 

Scales are made up of different patterns of intervals.  The 'Major' Scale is only one of them. 

Each melody you learn, for right now, will probably be made from one of these scales. 

Learn to recognize these scale patterns, and then understand - each melody you play on your violin is also a pattern of intervals on the fingerboard, will help you learn to play in tune. 

What can be confusing: 

When reading music notation, there is NO indication on the staff that there are different intervals between notes on the violin strings! 

You need to think like: I'm playing 'B' (1st note on the A string), now I need to play C - is that a whole step or a half step?  ...it's only a half step (aka. Semitone) on the violin string.  When you look at the written staff of lines/spaces, 'B' is on a line and 'C' is the next space up.  

This is where it gets crazy - 'C' and the next line up, 'D', is a whole step (aka. Whole tone), not a half - but they look just like every other 2 adjacent notes designated on the written staff. 

Here's the C Major Scale - this step/interval pattern is the SAME for ALL Major scales. 

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rHyt7ngVxNo/UDKogK0Ds7I/AAAAAAAAAbY/lx0lcpAsdGE/s1600/C%2Bmajor%2Bscale%2Bon%2Bstaff.jpgImage Enlarger

 

...just don't forget how important listening is, with all this. 😊 

Are you using a tuner?  It's not only good for tuning your 4 strings - can tell you what notes you are playing.

- Emily

  

I see what you're saying.  On the other hand, to me, it seems like it's just minutia without much real world value other than as a discussion in theory.

For instance, I'm learning to play from scratch.  My finger positions are dictated to me by my music teacher (You tube for now) who says to put my fingers in "these positions" for the notes.  Those positions are; 1st finger, then a space, 2nd finger, no space, 3rd finger, space, 4th finger.

From the video, that is a tetrachord for the scale (I don't know if major or minor at this point) that the video is talking about.  The question for me is whether I need to know WWWH or whatever variation is being discussed versus "put your fingers this way on the strings for these notes" at this level of my musical education.

To me it's excess information that does me little to no good because it's fairly esoteric from a practical standpoint.  It also might get in the way of me maintaining enthusiasm because I now have to engage my brain for something more than learning how to finger the strings and bow at the same time without making my neighbors throw rocks at me.  Basically, it takes my eye off the ball.

It also goes against a mantra of never making playtime feel like worktime.

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ABitRusty
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November 3, 2021 - 1:10 pm
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"The question for me is whether I need to know WWWH or whatever variation is being discussed versus "put your fingers this way on the strings for these notes" at this level of my musical education."..

short answer is no.  But...

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ELCBK
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@RDP -

Shoot, I'm really sorry - I understand. 🙁   

Fun IS the most important thing!

Still helps to listen and use a tuner to check how close you are to getting the notes in tune. 😊

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RDP
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ELCBK said
@RDP -

Shoot, I'm really sorry - I understand. 🙁   

Fun IS the most important thing!

Still helps to listen and use a tuner to check how close you are to getting the notes in tune. 😊

  

Hey, don't be sorry.  The discussion could be useful in the future and there are others who view the forum that might find the information helpful/insightful because we don't all learn the same way.  Plus it means more activity on the forum.  So, it's a good thing.

 

I think using a tuner is a good idea because it teaches the student to hear the correct notes and find them by ear rather than by seeing finger positioning tapes or frets.  For some, the tape/frets are helpful because we don't all learn the same way.  On the other hand, 100 years ago the method would have been to have someone stand behind you with a stick and whack you when you played the wrong notes.

I think I prefer the more modern approach.

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