I'm curious about the use of tape on the fingerboard. When I learned as a kid, I never had it. I'm self-teaching now, and figured if I didn't need it as a kid, I don't need it now -- but I'm wondering if I'm making it harder on myself. I'd like to hear people's experiences.
I'm guessing the use of tape makes it easier to play in tune more quickly. I can certainly verify that it is slow going without it. OTOH, I notice people who have been playing 3 or more years and still have tape on their fingerboards.
1) Does it become a crutch? Anybody who started with tape on the fingerboard who no longer uses tape? How long did it take?
2) Anybody here who never used fingerboard tape who can play in tune? How long did it take?
3) Anybody who used fingerboard tape and wishes they did not, or vice versa? What's your reason.
I'd love to hear about all different kinds of experiences, both with a teacher and self-taught. Thanks!
I learned the violin with tapes on the fingerboard as a child, but within a year or two all of the kids including myself would get the tapes taken off. As a short term thing it can be ok to get used to the finger positions but sooner or later they need to come off and most violin teachers will remove them. Do I wish I never had the tapes, no, and if a student finds it helpful that's fine. However, I find most people naturally don't use them anymore when they start sightreading properly since you can't read music at look at the tapes at the same time anyway, and people get used to the right finger positions anyway, just like touch typing on a keyboard.
A bit late to the topic, but I have one violin, my main practice rig (I’m new enough that all I do, really, is practice) and I have fingering tape on it. I have a second violin (got it at an auction for 20 bucks but it holds a tune and sounds decent-ish) that I play for a bit each time I practice that has no tape. As I get a bit more confident/competent I am going to move the tape to “ol busted hotness” and go tape free on “the new hotness”. It’s a process. It allows me to develop other skills while slowly working on fingering.
I am self taught no lessons, been playing two years, never used tapes. My own opinion is, you have to train your ears, which isnt easy, in fact its one of the reasons violin is so hard. The only reason I look at the fingerboard is to make sure my bow is straight.
After saying that however, what does it really matter? unless you are aiming to play in an orchestra, as Andrew does, you could leave tapes on forever if you enjoy the playing, thats all that counts after all, better to have tapes and play, than not have tapes and not have the enjoyment and satisfaction.
I used tonalities and a tuner, as well as playing scales over and over, I still play bad notes but then again even the worlds greatest violinists practice intonation so I am in good company😉
Do what ever you want, just enjoy it.
I began to learn the violin at 21, without ANY prior knowledge (and before youtube or online discussions). I had to learn EVERYTHING, from holding, to playing the violin, managing the bow and reading music. All that took me a long time!
I had tape on my violin indicating where the first and fourth finger should go for about a year, I believe. After that, for some time (maybe weeks) I still felt insecure.
But similarly, for the first couple of MONTHS, I had to translate every note into "A1, D3" etc. I had learned to read music in elementary school, but forgotten everything about that at the age of 20.
So, yes, both helped a lot, even if the kids (10 to 12) learning at the same time as me in the music school always wondered at my "codes", because they could read music fluently.
If I had to learn EVERYTHING at once, holding the violin, the bow, reading music, naming the notes, finding them on the fingerboard, I would probably have quit. As it was, it took me 3 months to be able to play a little. In the first weeks, I could not hold the bow longer than 5 min before getting a cramp in my hand.
I think it may be different for people who already know music, have played another instrument, especially a string instrument. For me, knowing nothing, this was very important to even have a chance of learning how to hit the right notes. After the tapes went, it took me a long time again to place the fourth finger in 1st position on the right spot.