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Looking for book that tackles positions...

High Strung

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I'm looking for a book that has exercises that teach the higher positions separately. This means, it works on the third position alone, the fifth alone, the others alone...and then perhaps puts them all together. Is there such an exercise book out there?

If not, what is the best exercise book that deals with higher positions and teaches them porductively?

Thank you for any suggestions.

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The Harvey Whistler series published by Rubank does what you want. Essential Elements has an advanced book- I think it's called "Advanced Technique for Strings" with a lot of small samples involving specific positions. I like that one a lot as a warm-up. When you gradually kick up the speed they're good for intonation, too.

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Hi Highstrung,

I am currently working on a book that deals only with the Third Position.

"Violin - The Third Postion - A new and comprehensive approach to the study of the third positon on the violin"- by Belisario Errante.

Approach: (quoted from the first page of the book)

1. Third position is introduced on the E string. This alleviates a reading problem which confronts students when the lower strings are introduced prior or simlutaneously with the E string. Students have difficulty in correlating one and the same notes on different strings.

2. Different finger patterns and shifting exercises are thoroughly covered on the E string before introducing the other strings.

3. Each new string is introduced in the same manner as the E string and systematically combined with the previous string, using appropriate studies.

4. Shifting exercises and finger patterns are related to key signatures as an aid to melodic and harmonic thinking.

5. Exercises in shifting when crossing strings are included. (end quote)

I am finding this book very helpful as a new adult beginner.

Hope this helps!!


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Here are your books, made to order!

[*] Franz Wohlfahrt Foundation Studies Book 2

"42 Studies - 1st, 2nd and Third Positions" - Selected and arranged in progressive order by K.H. Aiqouni

[*] Hans Sitt Op. 32 Book 2 - Carl Fischer L111 "20 Studies in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Position"

[*] Hans Sitt Op. 32 Book 4 - Carl Fischer L113

"Studies in 6th & 7th Positions and Position Changes"

I believe that the Sitt book #4 is out of print - darn! it was the best one for what you want. If you don't mind using your printer, you can get a whole bunch of etudes HERE at CD Sheet Music. Unfortunately, book 4 isn't on that list either . See the contents HERE

Good luck.



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I'm not sure that once you get the gist of shifting, you should really NEED a book to specifically "teach" you the higher positions (despite the fact that there are such books out there). One set of etudes that helped me get around in the higher positions were the Gavinies studies. Not for the faint-hearted, and only after I'd worked my way through Kreutzer and Rode.

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I agree wholeheartedly. There has been an interesting discussion on viola.com lately about learning through literature or learning though traditional training materials. If you are playing in an ensemble and have learned 1/2-5, going farther is an area that can be approached by practice. (IMNHO)

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Thank you all. The reason I would like exercises in the higher positions is because I don't play music that ever uses them and therefore learning (memorizing) them could only come from exercises. Of course I can understand that once you've learned to shift it's just a matter of learning "where" and the "fingering positions", but because I don't play up there and because it's rather difficult to REALLY learn the fingering simply by doing scales and not putting the notes into context...exercises would help me greatly. That's my reasoning!

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I've used fiddle tunes for position work, just not with a "position fiddle tunes" book. That might work for High Strung too- just take any tune and play it way up high on your violin. It doesn't need to be written out any special way- just pick a position to play it in, figure out fingerings, and go! That would be more interesting than Sevcik and probably more useful since you'd have to figure out your own fingerings.

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