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So far I've made a lot of progress just watching the videos and learning some easy tunes and figuring things out as I go. But I'd like to get better and see some landmarks in progress as the months and years go by.
It seems like with so much attention paid to education in strings, there might be a recognized sequence of milestones for progress in learning to play. There might even be a program I could follow.
Does anyone have any insight or experience with this point of view?
Unfortunately, private lessons are not an option.
One way to track progress is to pursue one of the many "method" books which the newer and younger members of this forum are more familiar with and will probably make suggestions.
Method books can be very worthwhile without having a teacher. I have used some very good books but I'll see if anyone posts more modern references.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
In a way here I'm questioning your premise. Some or most of the method books are supposed to be followed with a teacher, so while the book presents the "what to do", you are left to guess about the "how to do it" if you are teacherless.
So I would suggest some books that have details of how to play. I think the Dummies and Complete Idiot books may take a comprehensive approach.
One book that I have found very useful is Galamian's Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching. A pdf of it is free for the download here: http://archive.org/download/pr.....gala.pdf You can buy a nice hardcopy for about $10.
I hadn't realized the extent to which using videos and websites alone left me pretty ignorant of some basic do's and don'ts.
While there are almost certainly some "milestones" that one might use to gauge progress, that does not mean that any two teachers or players would necessarily agree on them. LOL
The image of milestones implies one single road with predictable points along it to learning an instrument. But there is more than one way one can go about it, and so that falls a bit short as an analogy.
Still, I doubt it hurts to at least look over a few method books, if you have them or can find them online. You may at least find some useful ideas, or you may luck out and find a "method" that seems very sensible to you that you can go with.
Just don't expect any miracles from them. Maybe some good advice, and some ideas, though.
If you are enjoying your learning and playing, I think that is probably the best indicator that things are going at least reasonably well.
"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
Great topic and conversation.
First of all good luck. I started out on my own for four months. I got a teacher that started me out on the Essentials book. I like that book a lot. I took lessons over 10 months or so. I have been on my own for over a year now. (I am hitting the 2.5 year mark in playing).
I have to say there are some here in the forum that are WAY more disciplined than myself. They learn the theory, and they learn suggested techniques and don't move on until they have something down really well.
While I play an hour to an hour and a half each day. I lack discipline to do some of the basic scales, and even using my pinky. I do pick more challenging songs and I learn.
Things are coming together more slowly for me. But I am happy as a clam in my playing. Mini dreams have come true.
Thanks for this topic. I had been not moving forward in the Essentials book, because I didn't have Minuet 1, Bach as perfect as I thought. I also never learned Simple Gifts, so I think I was not giving myself permission to move on.
Going Hit the Method Books soon.
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato