Solid first position repertoire

January 9, 2018, 11:59 AM · I'm only a beginner violinist. I'm currently working my way through beginner books but have first position relatively down. However, I would like to polish it more before learning third position or vibrato, but find myself bored with the standard scales music and short 20-measure excerpts. Does anyone have any good suggestion on long pieces, preferably lyrical and not too technical in nature, that utilizes primarily first position that can practice in addition to the fundamentals? It would give me motivation to improve! Thanks in advance.

Replies (13)

January 9, 2018, 12:11 PM · Ashokan Farewell, Amazing Grace, The Volga Boatmen, etc.
January 9, 2018, 12:59 PM · Rieding concerto in B minor
January 9, 2018, 2:07 PM · Seitz concertos
Edited: January 9, 2018, 3:20 PM · Yes--Seitz concertos 2 and 5: Rieding b minor and the G major op. 64; there's a 1st position kuchler too though i can't remember op #. Several Bach transcriptions in Suzuki 3, and a nice volume called Old Masters for Young Players that i haven't used in a while but I believe is mostly in first.
Edited: January 9, 2018, 7:33 PM · Bosworth (publishers) got my late father to produce first position versions of several of the great concertos, cut down of course, and published them. They got this idea when the Bruch came out top in the Classic FM Hall of Fame. Bosworth no longer exists, but some of these versions are probably available through Amazon or eBay, etc. He also gave the treatment to Schubert's 2nd Sonatina, calling it a concerto. I think they are called the Easy Concertos series.
Edited: January 9, 2018, 8:17 PM · As the first poster mentioned, so along the same vain, if you like fiddle tunes in addition to classical try out Appalachia Waltz. It’s on the long side time wise especially for a fiddle tune.....the melody is all in first position and if you can pull off the double stops even better:)
January 10, 2018, 3:39 AM · Louis, third position is not only there to be able to play two more notes on the E-string! It also helps to play a group of notes on the same string where that is desirable or actually easier. So by all means, practice lyrical pieces whose note range falls in first position, but please use it as a movitation to move to third position so that you can play notes on a single string when needed. It should also motivate you to practice vibrato which is essential to make lyrical pieces sound beautiful. The two go hand in hand, for example you typically move to third position to use an easier finger for vibrato, e.g., E on the A-string, or F on the A-string instead of playing it low on the E-string. By the way also bowing is essential for playing lyrical pieces. Use enough speed on the bow to produce a good sound.
January 10, 2018, 6:11 AM · Janschinow Concertino in a-minor is very nice, also as mentioned above Rieding b-minor. Küchler Concertino in G-major is also nice.
January 10, 2018, 8:39 AM · You could always come over to the Dark Side - fiddle tunes!
("Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy...")

Most fiddle music is played entirely in first position, is definitely lyrical, and sounds good without vibrato.

The technical aspect is limited only as far as how "authentic" you want to sound while playing in the various fiddle genres (Irish, Scottish, American old-time, bluegrass, etc.). Mastering fast Texas "contest-style" fiddling would definitely give you a workout!

Get ahold of a book of fiddle tunes like The Fiddler's Fakebook

https://www.amazon.com/Fiddlers-Fakebook-Ultimate-Sourcebook-Traditional/dp/0825602386/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_1/143-4356007-0832851?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=QV8HZ8CJ45MWGD39W2GS

or The Portland Collection

https://www.amazon.com/Portland-Collection-Pacific-Northwest-Revised/dp/0965747646

Who knows, you might find playing "fiddle" could be a lot more fun than "violin"!

January 10, 2018, 9:15 AM · oh, just a ton of blue grass, Cape Breton etc.
January 17, 2018, 7:46 PM · Look at Perlman's pieces. Indian Concerto is all first position and I think two pages.
January 19, 2018, 3:16 PM · If you want lyrical and first position, then you could take a look at some of the collections of harp music by Turnaugh O'Calloghan, which have been frequently arranged for the violin, and which generally only require playing in first position. Many of these have been adopted into the Irish traditional music repertoire, e.g. Si Bheag Si Mhor, which is regularly heard at sessions around me.
January 19, 2018, 3:16 PM · If you want lyrical and first position, then you could take a look at some of the collections of harp music by Turnaugh O'Calloghan, which have been frequently arranged for the violin, and which generally only require playing in first position. Many of these have been adopted into the Irish traditional music repertoire, e.g. Si Bheag Si Mhor, which is regularly heard at sessions around me.


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