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VicM

I need violin method suggestions

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I am taking up violin again after many years and I would like suggestions for a good no nonsense violin method.

Suzuki excluded. Also I would like to know if anybody has used it and what benefits or problems it had.

 

I am practicing slowly for the past 3 months or so and my problem is very stiff fingers and intonation. If I record

myself is very out of tune but when I play I do not hear it. It seems fine.  I would welcome any suggestions.

 

Thank you.

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Have you tried to search for information?  We've just had lots of discussion on similar questions! :)
 
This didn't get me too far, but might be of help:

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/332827-belwin-string-builder-samuel-applebaum/

More recent discussion here:

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/332917-switching-to-classical-where-to-start/

...and here:

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/332917-switching-to-classical-where-to-start/
 
I am currently 'loosely' following the RCM program. While not a method, it is a progression. The Syllabus is available here:

https://examinations.rcmusic.ca/sites/default/files/files/S36_Violin%20Syl_2013_RCM_ONLINE_SECURED.pdf
 
Hope some of that is useful to you!
 
Just curious...why have you nixed the Suzuki Method?

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I should add:  a lesson with a good teacher would be your best place to start.  They can evaluate how you are playing and make suggestions that will be much more appropriate than anything we can come up with - without having seen/heard you play.

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Have a look at IMSLP, Internet Archive, and Google Books. Most of the older methods are available free online. Look at lots, and see if any suit your needs. Personally, I like the Maia Bang books. They can be found on IMSLP.

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Have a look at IMSLP, Internet Archive, and Google Books. Most of the older methods are available free online. Look at lots, and see if any suit your needs. Personally, I like the Maia Bang books. They can be found on IMSLP.

 

Thank you. I like it. How far did you get into it and do you find it to quick ?

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Just curious...why have you nixed the Suzuki Method?

 

It looks to me it is more for children. I stopped playing violin long ago but I kept playing piano and I play fairly well. Piano was secondary instrument in my music school. I would like to see if I can get back some proficinecy in violin like enough to play Bach double concerto and the like, some cafe-concert pieces, some Hungarian Dances. etc

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 Welcome,  VicM,

 

It might be a good idea if you tell us about your background to this point and what your goals are.

 

Personally, I never pass up a chance to promote the Charles DeBeriot Method, but the main thing I look for is a an orderly, directional, and thorough approach.  However, how a novice would recognize that when pouring over all the choices is usually a problem.  

 

Of course, Rue is right about getting to a teacher if possible. 

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RCM and ABRSM syllabi offer solid goals and you will develop a repertoire consistent with your level of ability.

 

But they have two shortcomings: they don't teach technique to achieve the goals and many of the required pieces are still under copyright, meaning you can drop quite a bit of cash obtaining publications that might contain only 1 recommended piece.

 

One of the things you can do is use RCM or ABRSM to plot a direction, then make use of the vast resources on youtube to learn technique to achieve those goals. Use IMSLP to find any pieces in the syllabus that are no longer under copyright.

 

A disadvantage of most complete methods is that they are too ambitious for an adult learner who is looking to play for enjoyment and not a career. I'd like someone to start with a 2 octave scale in the key of G and transpose all the starter etudes and tunes to that key from first position. Lots of ring tones to guide your ear and two basic, easy hand shapes cover all 4 strings.

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I am practicing slowly for the past 3 months or so and my problem is very stiff fingers and intonation. If I record

myself is very out of tune but when I play I do not hear it. It seems fine.  I would welcome any suggestions.

 

 

 

I will make a suggestion - no need to bite my head off. :) Take up cello.  It's a far nicer instrument to play and learn and much easier to hear oneself realistically on it. Get a 1/2 size cello, buy the best strings / bow you can afford and look ahead towards a lifetime of great fun making music in comfort. The alternative is torturing yourself with the violin.

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 Welcome,  VicM,

 

It might be a good idea if you tell us about your background to this point and what your goals are.

 

Personally, I never pass up a chance to promote the Charles DeBeriot Method, but the main thing I look for is a an orderly, directional, and thorough approach.  However, how a novice would recognize that when pouring over all the choices is usually a problem.  

 

Of course, Rue is right about getting to a teacher if possible. 

 

I studied violin for 6 years as a child in a music school. I was not very good at it and in my 6th grade they downgraded me to viola but I kept playing violin also. Then I went to an Industrial High School and stopped playing completely. I kept playing piano and still do.

 

Thank you for the Beriot method suggestion. I downloaded it and I like it. I am doing some Sevcik for now to make some agility in my fingers. That is where I have most of the problems.

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One of the things you can do is use RCM or ABRSM to plot a direction, then make use of the vast resources on youtube to learn technique to achieve those goals. Use IMSLP to find any pieces in the syllabus that are no longer under copyright.

 

 

 

I found some very good learning resourses on YT. Something named violinmasterclass. He seems like an excellent teacher.

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..Something named violinmasterclass....

http://www.violinmasterclass.com/

 

This is one of the best sites to learn core techniques for two reasons:

 

1. The techniques are clearly and succinctly demonstrated, from both a beginner to an advanced player perspective (many of the YT teachers tend to be painfully chatty for my taste), and

 

2. Practice plans are clearly stated (although it is a bit disheartening when Sassmannshaus says "practice this 3 minutes every day for two YEARS and you will have a beautiful <insert technique here>".  :o

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 Welcome,  VicM,

 

It might be a good idea if you tell us about your background to this point and what your goals are.

 

Personally, I never pass up a chance to promote the Charles DeBeriot Method, but the main thing I look for is a an orderly, directional, and thorough approach.  However, how a novice would recognize that when pouring over all the choices is usually a problem.  

 

Of course, Rue is right about getting to a teacher if possible. 

 

Thank you Will. I looked at the Beriot method and I like it most. I will stick to this one then. I also downloaded Sevcik books from IMSLP.

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http://www.violinmasterclass.com/

 

This is one of the best sites to learn core techniques for two reasons:

 

1. The techniques are clearly and succinctly demonstrated, from both a beginner to an advanced player perspective (many of the YT teachers tend to be painfully chatty for my taste), and

 

2. Practice plans are clearly stated (although it is a bit disheartening when Sassmannshaus says "practice this 3 minutes every day for two YEARS and you will have a beautiful <insert technique here>".  :o

 

Yes I like how clear the explanation is. And two years to learn a technique is not much. Vilolin eats time. Also on that site the sound quality is very good.

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At the risk of nagging...I am still curious as to why you nixed the Suzuki method?

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At the risk of nagging...I am still curious as to why you nixed the Suzuki method?

 

I do not think it is a method. I think it is just marketing for teachers and  waste of time. In my opinion. I studied violin ( two years viola ) for eight years in a full time violin school. Piano , solfege, dictee, harmony. I play piano aceptably. I am interested in a professional method made by a reputable professional which takes care of structuring the studies.

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I do not think it is a method. I think it is just marketing for teachers and  waste of time. In my opinion. I studied violin ( two years viola ) for eight years in a full time violin school. Piano , solfege, dictee, harmony. I play piano aceptably. I am interested in a professional method made by a reputable professional which takes care of structuring the studies.

You could go back to the stopping point of your previous violin playing experience and continue from there.  Then you may be reminded of why you quit back then. :):angry::mellow:

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I like William Henley's Modern Violin School (1922), downloadable at IMSLP http://imslp.org/wiki/Modern_Violin_School,_Op.51_(Henley,_William) , as practice material for adults.  It assumes you have been instructed in basics such as how to find notes, bow, and count time, etc, (which the videos on You Tube mentioned above can deal with), and teaches you to read music.

 

Edit-- I just downloaded and started reading the Maia Bang method that Addie recommended, http://imslp.org/wiki/Violin_Method_(Bang,_Maia), and am becoming of the opinion that a combination of Bang and Henley, with some videos thrown in, might be just the ticket for people starting out on their own.  :)

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 I am interested in a professional method made by a reputable professional which takes care of structuring the studies.

See, this is where I think you are very wise!  Structure, order, direction, not leaving anything out, building from the easier to the harder. etc.  

 

I hate to get into it about Suzuki, because I can't say I'm that well versed in his program.  But I always have the nagging feeling that it is disorganized and therefore not ideal.

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Thank you. It is always good to get feedback...

...on just about everything! ;)

Seriously...it does help.

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 Structure, order, direction, not leaving anything out, building from the easier to the harder. etc.  

 

 

 

If I may add to this : one GREAT benefit of following an established method and not a "seat of the pants" pseudo-system is that inherently one knows how one compares with generations of learners. A lot of thought and a lot of experience from real violin players goes into a method like Beriot. 

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Well put, Carl.  Absolutely.  

 

A player the caliber of DeBeriot, for example, distills his remarkable knowledge, whereas certain modern methods are from limited violinists.  That doesn't mean that someone can't put together a pretty good learning tool without being one of the great violinists of his day.  But, "who you gonna trust?"  :)

 

I notice VicM gets it when he writes:  "I am interested in a professional method made by a reputable professional which takes care of structuring the studies."   REPUTABLE PROFESSIONAL.

 

BTW, I am not proud of not being up to date on the new 21st Century possibilities.  I looked at the Sassmannhaus site, and I think something like that is a wonderful source.  I'm always recommending "Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching" by Galamian because it describes HOW to play such things as martele bowing, but with the video one can see the stroke performed.  A huge advantage.

 

The only thing I'm not sure of about that site is whether there is a structured sense of order, but there may well be.  I think for VicM, I could see using DeBeriot, Galamian, AND Sassmannhaus.

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The thing I like about looking at lots of old methods is that it gives one a sense of the larger picture of what professional experience was and is, and also repetition (which is a key to learning) without as much tedium as reading the same work 10 times. Of course, some works are worth rereading 10 times, but some of that is personal judgement. I can't imagine reading Leopold Mozart ten times, but someone else might find his muse...

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You might like the Tune a Day series; this is what was frequently used in the public schools before the appearance of the Suzuki method in the early 1950's in the US. But your teacher is the best guide, and honestly, you can't really do it on your own.

 

I think he went trough an East European professional music school and I think I even now where because of his clue that in grade six he was moved to viola not being good enough for violin. He might want to use the same method he started on and re learn the same pieces.

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