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Comparison of different method books?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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fiddlrgrrl
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December 26, 2018 - 1:32 am
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i must have searched wrong, I can’t believe “method books” only finds 2 results. 

What method series do you like for child beginners, adult beginners, and beginners who can read music like from piano or other instrument training?

I’m most familiar with Essential Elements that’s used in our public schools. Piano methods like Faber, Bastien and Alfred have lots more teacher resources than I’m aware of for violin. 

Fiddlrgrrl

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Bob
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December 26, 2018 - 8:02 am
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@fiddlrgrrl I'm not sure where they fit in the groups mentioned, but when I started in 1996 my teacher started me with "Alfred Strictlly Strings", "KJOS All for Strings" and "Suzuki" books 1 and 2. As an early brass player I was able to read music already, so the focus was learning how to control the bow and intonation. 

Later lessons focused on Wohlfahrt and Mazas etudes and scales. I'm still using numerous etudes for practice. I've recently discovered some etudes by Samie that exercise numerous technical issues while still sounding musical. Here's the imslp link to one of these.

https://imslp.org/wiki/%C3%89t.....,_Auguste)

Bob in Lone Oak, Texas

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bocaholly
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December 26, 2018 - 8:17 am
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Hi @fiddlrgrrl,

I just started to learn to play piano (in addition to my 9 month-long violin addiction) and am using Nancy and Randall Faber's beginner book for adults so I have some idea what you mean by 'piano method'. For those who don't know it (or Alfred's or similar) there's an accompanying app with both the music to the lesson pieces and a short (and excellent) video tutorial for each learning unit. In Faber's expanded version, there are actually 4 books that move forward in parallel. One of them is exclusively music theory... so a lot more useful theory than the tidbits filleted into "Elements" or Suzuki for violin, for eg..

Beth Blackerby's online subscription method is about as close as I've seen in the violin world (with even more tutorials than Faber and downloadable sheet music.)
http://violinlab.com/About/
I'm lucky enough to live in a place where violin teachers abound but I've heard tons of good feedback on Beth. Some of the others on this forum were recently considering subscribing to violinlab so I hope they'll have more info for you.

Otherwise, I'm using the Suzuki books with my teacher (obviously adapted to an adult.) I didn't get the books with the CD supplements but I often check out the https://www.youtube.com/user/c.....astringsnc
renditions of the little pieces I'm working on. 

But in the end, even the famous Suzuki method is only a 'method' if that's how the teacher teaches it. 

It would probably help others to provide more answers if you could tell us about the context you'd like to apply a method in... specifically for someone learning on their own or with a teacher?

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Irv
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December 28, 2018 - 5:56 pm
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I am currently just about through the second book of the Muller Rusch String Method.  I am a little rusty at converting Roman numerals but it appears to have a copy right date of 1962.  Still in print.

I read on line that the major difference between school String methods is how advance the player becomes before the introduction of the “pinky finger” as a means of fretting a note.  

Speaking about learning new things, I just read the Mark Twain essay on learning to ride a bicycle.  This was the kind with the huge front wheel.  At least we don’t have to keep applying “Pond’s extract” when learning the violin!

Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. —Earl Nightingale.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 2, 2019 - 4:47 pm
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fiddlrgrrl said
i must have searched wrong, I can’t believe “method books” only finds 2 results...... 

.......Essential Elements that’s used in our public schools. Piano methods like Faber, Bastien and Alfred have lots more teacher resources than I’m aware of for violin.   

Methods, Etudes, Studies, are just some of the words you can search for.

I like Essential Elements for beginners.

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

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Gordon Shumway
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July 31, 2019 - 9:34 am
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Anyone looked at Mozart's dad's book?

Someone on v.com recommended it as still relevant (but I don't know if they were being sarcastic or not) and you can download it from IMSLP, if you know German, or maybe it has been translated.

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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July 31, 2019 - 9:35 am
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bocaholly said
But in the end, even the famous Suzuki method is only a 'method' if that's how the teacher teaches it.  

Absolutely!

Andrew

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Pete_Violin
Utah
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July 31, 2019 - 11:47 am
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So I am currently working out of Essential Elements for Strings by Michael Allen, Pamela Hayes, and Robert Gillespie.  Additionally, I am using the Belwin String Builder which has good scale work.

I also have some technique books that I am using as reference material.  The books I have are Habits of a Successful String Musician by Christopher Selby, Scott Rush and Rich Moon.  Also I use Simon Fischer Warmup for Violin for certain exercises.

- Pete -

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Gordon Shumway
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August 1, 2019 - 7:54 am
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I'm working from ABRSM exam books, btw.

They have the advantage of progressing simply from book to book, although superficially the occasional piece in a book might seem harder or easier than you'd expect; whereas the Suzuki books seem individually to span a wide range of difficulties and then have huge overlaps between books.

They place different emphasis on different aspects of technique - Suzuki treats positions other than first comparatively late, whereas ABRSM introduces very simple 2nd and 3rd position playing very early on. Suzuki seems to me to emphasise techniques at the expense of the music. E.g. it's obsessed by hooked bowing and finger-hopping from string to string over perfect fifths, things that need practice, sure, but when you look at Youtube videos of it, the demonstrators saw away at the stuff like robots.

Andrew

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Niklas
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Currently I am reading "The Violin Lesson" by Fischer and up until now I think that its an absolutely great book about the technique of violin playing. It may be the best violin-book I've read so far. Its wellwritten and even I (I am german, so I am not a native speaker) can understand everything. I had german books which I found harder to understand than this one in english.. So if youre looking for a good book about technique, I can really recommend this one.

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Gordon Shumway
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Niklas said
Currently I am reading "The Violin Lesson" by Fischer and up until now I think that its an absolutely great book about the technique of violin playing. It may be the best violin-book I've read so far. Its wellwritten and even I (I am german, so I am not a native speaker) can understand everything. I had german books which I found harder to understand than this one in english.. So if youre looking for a good book about technique, I can really recommend this one.

  

I'd advise using Fischer's books as reference manuals, not as textbooks to be read from cover to cover, lol! Galamian is readable from cover to cover.

Andrew

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Niklas
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August 10, 2019 - 2:10 pm
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Gordon Shumway said

Niklas said

Currently I am reading "The Violin Lesson" by Fischer and up until now I think that its an absolutely great book about the technique of violin playing. It may be the best violin-book I've read so far. Its wellwritten and even I (I am german, so I am not a native speaker) can understand everything. I had german books which I found harder to understand than this one in english.. So if youre looking for a good book about technique, I can really recommend this one.

  

I'd advise using Fischer's books as reference manuals, not as textbooks to be read from cover to cover, lol! Galamian is readable from cover to cover.

  

I agree with you when it comes to "Basics", "Practice" or one of those as these ones are more a collection of different exercises than a textbook but I found that "The Violin Lesson" is different. It also includes a lot of background knowledge and not only exercises, so I just read through the book and do the exercises or experiments. I found that a good way of working with this book. But thats just my opinion.

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UlisesFlores
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April 28, 2022 - 5:36 am
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Interesting article

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starise
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Pete_Violin said
So I am currently working out of Essential Elements for Strings

  

I have found this one helpful too. Particularly for scale and arpeggio work. I didn't find it, this was recommended by my teacher.

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Thomas B.
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May 21, 2022 - 7:28 am
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I am surprised nobody as mentioned Applebaum, unless that is not considered a method. My father and private teachers while I was growing up in the 70s pushed me to use all of Applebaums books when I was learning.

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SharonC
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I've used several Applebaum books; would recommend all of them.

Beautiful Music for Two String Instruments (Two Violins):  4 volumes--nice short duet pieces.

Building Technic with Beautiful Music: 4 volumes

Third and Fifth Position String Builder

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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AndrewH
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The "Beautiful Music for Two String Instruments" series is really good. I wasn't aware of Applebaum's other books until fairly recently, though. I'm not sure how many of them were still in print when I was a beginner/intermediate learner in the early 2000s.

By the way, Applebaum's son, Michael Tree (who changed his last name to something less "foreign-sounding"), was one of the leading violists of the second half of the 20th century.

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Thomas B.
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@AndrewH I never knew that about his son, thank you. I will post some images of what my grandfather had to use in the 1910s when he was learning violin. It will blow your mind, hahaha. Kinda weird how much harder violin books were for very young students over a century ago. Seems like they were either much more musically inclined, smarter or their teachers pushed them much harder back then, then today. I know my father told me in the early 40s when he was being taught by his father that he had to stand during every practice at home, back straight, never slouching...not even for a moment and when he messed up in just one bar, he had to bbegin all over again. 

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