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Self learning problem
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Gordon Shumway
London, England
Pro advisor

August 13, 2019 - 8:10 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 1073
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It's very difficult.

I don't know the book Essential Elements, but I have a friend who swears by Violin for Dummies. It's partly a matter of taste whether you love or hate such books.

The bad news is, by 1980 I was an experienced pianist and oboist. 10 years ago I found it easy to teach myself classical guitar. BUT the violin is a different kettle of fish.

Try as hard as you can to get a teacher, Adrian. What is your approximate location?

Youtube, yes, but there's as much bad stuff there as good stuff.

Nicola Benedetti has posted some good videos. As has @Fiddlerman !



August 13, 2019 - 11:54 am
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 736
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Gordon said...Nicola Benedetti has posted some good videos. As has @Fiddlerman !


The sheet music link here..above in the link section..has a beginner Amazing Grace.  Check it out.  Good point Gordon.  I keep forgetting about the other part of the site.

Brora, North-east Scotland
September 24, 2019 - 11:00 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3340
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Didn't best know where to post this - but "Self Learning" seemed  a reasonable thread...

It didn't take as long as I thought to learn violin.....

Actually, it took longer....  ta-da, BOOM-BOOM !rofloldrummer

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Advanced member
September 24, 2019 - 6:43 pm
Member Since: July 14, 2019
Forum Posts: 54
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Here's a link to something that maps the notes on the staff to the violin strings and fingering.  It does not take into account sharps and flats, but will help you to see which notes are in which strings.


I have recently started playing (after a 60 year break) and I'm using Essential Elements for Violin Interactive.  It is well organized and will help you get started, so I am another voice recommending you buy that.  Once you buy it, you register and it has online tools available as well as music tracks to play along with.  It shows you fingering, and which notes are which, and then introduces songs using that fingering.  Much easier than figuring it all out onyour own!

One thing people have been saying that may not be clear to you is that the song you are learning has 1 sharp on the F line before the notes start. This indicates a key signature.  It is a short-hand way of telling you that every F (including the F on the D string) will be played as F# unless it is specially designated as Natural (not sharp).  If the key signature has one sharp, it is always F#.

If there were 2 sharps, they would be C# and F#, and the same would be true -- every C and every F, no matter the string, would be played as a sharp unless specially designated as Natural.

Starting with no background is hard, without some structure.  It's no wonder you are confused.  You can order Essential Elements for Violin Interactive online.  Be sure it says Interactive so you get the online tools.  There's a version that's not interactive.  Get Book 1.  It will help you a lot.

September 24, 2019 - 7:15 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 1918
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@Gordon Shumway @GregW I just ordered a Nicola Benedetti CD. She is very good. I watched a video of hers and loved her playing style so looked for a CD. Jer videos are really nice. I should review those and watch again. It has been a while. I bookmarked them. 

All the Fiddlerman videos are good. The beginner Amazing Grace mentioned in the post up a few is a very good beginner piece. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

September 24, 2019 - 7:16 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 1918
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@BillyG LOL That was funny!

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

Advanced member
September 24, 2019 - 7:38 pm
Member Since: July 14, 2019
Forum Posts: 54
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@Gordon Shumway, I have Violin for Dummies, and I can assure you it goes way faster than Essential Elements.  I think it has more music theory information, but as a raw beginner it started being too much to take in.  I stopped reading it, figuring that as I progressed using Essential Elements I would get back to it.  Violin for Dummies covers a LOT of information.  At my level, it's more like a reference book.  I DID make it more than halfway, but it started covering positions and trills and such, which is beyond my pay grade.  I DID think it did a good job of explaining keys, key signatures and major and minor scales, as well as the 1/2 steps between B & C, and E and F.

I was almost going to mention it, but thought it might be too much to start out with.  It'd be a great addition.

Stroudsburg, PA
Honorary tenured advisor

September 25, 2019 - 4:54 am
Member Since: January 30, 2019
Forum Posts: 633
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Here is a note finder I use:

Notefinder-3.4.18.jpgImage Enlarger

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