Finding Violin Sheet Music

Edited: August 29, 2017, 1:18 PM · Hello all! I am a beginning violinist (and musician in general) and have been having a lot of trouble finding sheet music for songs I am interested in playing. I have not been able to find a clear description of what kind of sheet music to look for. For example, if I am trying to find violin sheets for a specific song (In this case "These Days" by Jackson Browne) is there a way to make piano or guitar sheet music work for this instrument? I also don't quite understand where chord sheet music fits into the mix either. If anyone has information on this or a reference to a clear explanation of the differences between these kinds of sheet music it would be much appreciated! Also if anyone knows where I could find the sheet music for the song I referenced above that would be amazing!
Thanks! Aidan

Replies (6)

August 29, 2017, 1:39 PM · Ok let's slow down there for a bit.

You can't play chords yet. You can do single line melodies.

In order to learn you need a teacher, reading and videos and obviously practice.

Sheet music can be found on imslp and enscorser

But i think what you're looking for will be copyrighted thus not in the public domain. So it'll be very hard to get without paying.

For the violin here are classic books

Otakar Sevick
Hans sitt ├ętudes
Felsch urstudien

Imslp will have tons of technique and books. And composition books if u need more theory.

Good luck

August 29, 2017, 2:09 PM · Aidan,

A beginner, probably without a teacher, and you want to play a popular tune.

Most of the popular music you will find in music store will be for either piano or guitar (generally chords over the piano or melody line). The violin can play the melody line but you have to be able to both read musical notation as well as know how to properly stop the notes on the fingerboard.

Most popular music has to be purchased as it is still under copy right. Ask the clerk at the music shop for music with melody line words and chords only. Then find a teacher to teach you how to play the instrument with some emphasis on the particular tune you want to play.

Of course, that tune is only a gateway to a much larger world of playing the instrument and that requires a lot of training and practice, mostly classical and that is true for all musicians. Well, maybe not for the Three-Chord-Wonders on guitar but everybody else goes through the same apprenticeship.

Welcome to the wonderful world of music and the violin.

August 29, 2017, 4:43 PM · Do you have a teacher right now? If not, and it's for legitimate reasons (e.g location, finances, personal issues, etc), I would learn the basics online before you try to play your tune.
Edited: August 29, 2017, 11:10 PM · Popular music songbooks are most often arranged for piano/vocal/guitar, or just piano/vocal, and violinists can play from the vocal part. Of course there won't be fingering or bowing suggestions, you'll have to create those on your own.

Also, there's jazz "fake books," which are collections of jazz standard songs. The most popular series currently is the "Real Book" franchise, which has been greatly expanded in recent years to include books of rock music collections, among many other musical genres. I can't promise that you'll find the piece you're looking for, but that's where I'd start looking.

And please note that fake books are published transposed to different keys, like Bb and Eb for woodwind and brass instrument players, but you as a violinist (or vocalist) would need your fake books in the key of C. It will always be specified on the book cover.

September 4, 2017, 9:05 AM · When I first started teaching myself violin a little over 2 years ago, I took a similar approach, fiddling around with the 2-volume Beatles Complete sheet music books that are for piano and voice (with guitar chords also noted). But quickly I decided that the best way to learn violin is to buy violin sheet music, and after some more wandering around through the easy repertoire I settled on a baroque focus. Probably that's more a question of personal taste than good general advice, but it has been working great for me as I collect various baroque violin sheet music and practice by sight-reading. I turn many pages, some pieces are easy enough I sound almost musical and some are excruciatingly difficult where every few months I take it out just to set up various chords and phrases as exercises to whet my appetite for the future when I am a better player.
September 4, 2017, 9:21 AM · I agree with Mark. Just get arrangements with voice parts, then you can work out your own fingerings and bowings. Most of the stuff you want to play is not all that hard.

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