Recommend Good Resources for Scales/Position Studies?

May 24, 2018, 9:34 PM · For various reasons, I'm embarking on a period of independent study. One of the main goals I've set for myself is to solidify and expand my left hand in a systematic way (which I never really had in lessons) so that I really know my fingerboard. To that end, can anyone recommend some good books/resources on position studies, scales, arpeggios, double stops, etc?

Replies (7)

Edited: May 25, 2018, 2:47 AM · Simon Fischer "The Violin Lesson" for the necessary theoretical background on left-hand position (and much more). Given that, then, Sevcik opus 1 gives you all the technical material you will need to work on. It is on IMSLP, but if you decide to really work with it it is handy to have the complete book volume: https://www.musicroom.com/product-detail/product1010234/variant1010234/otakar-sevcik-the-school-of-violin-technics-op-1-complete/
Edited: May 25, 2018, 4:38 AM · Galamian's scale book is very helpful for 3-4 octave scales. Flesch's Scale System is great for arpeggios.
For double stops, Flesch writes them out in each key. You could also take many of the one octave scales on each string that precede Flesch's three octave scales (numbers 1-4) and practice them for position work. Also you could practice many of those single octave scales as thirds, sixths and octaves on each string starting in different positions. Many (including Simon Fisher I believe) have recommended that when practicing double stops, play the lower note first while also silently fingering the upper note. Then do the opposite. (The lower note is usually the one that is most difficult to get in tune.) Hope this helps.
May 25, 2018, 5:56 AM · I actually prefer the fingerings in Barbara Barber’s Scales for Advanced Violinists over those in Flesch, and the book is more accessible for nonprofessional players.
May 25, 2018, 6:49 AM · +1 to Mary Ellen recommendation.
There are as many books for scales as there are to learn a language. Not always the most complete or most erudite is the best. You need to browse them and choose the one that guides you more clearly. The one you like. I have all the books mentioned, and they are collecting dust. I follow the Barbara Barber's ones.
May 25, 2018, 7:22 AM · I took Mary Ellen’s advice and got Barber’s scale book ( i have a stack of other scale books including CF and SF), and have been working from it ever since. It has been very helpful.
May 25, 2018, 12:29 PM · In addition to those already mentioned I would add Sevcik, Op. 1 , part 3, # 1--8. It is equally important not to get stuck in one system or book; the optimum fingering of a scale or arpeggio depends on the musical context. Rhythm and bowing have an effect. That is easily demonstrated by doing the broken-thirds scales on one string with both dotted and reverse-dotted rhythm. Also use excerpts from the literature; Tchaikovsky symphonies, Beethoven concerto,...
June 7, 2018, 1:36 PM · Thank you all for the recommendations! I've ordered the Barber's book -- I confess I already own the Galamian book, but never use it as it was always a bit intimidating and incomprehensible.

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