Finger position with no stickers and books
I'm a 27 year old adult learner, I've been playing for 2 months now, and am working with a teacher.
I've been working from "A Tune A Day" book 1 by C. Paul Herfurth.
I'm just starting to get to the lessons where I'm moving from open strings to first finger position. During lessons when I'm trying to find the correct place my teacher will play the note I'm looking for either on her violin or the piano.
However I don't have that available to me when I'm at home, and my teacher is fairly adamant that I don't use stickers. So my first question is any advice on how to go about training my ear and finding the correct finger position when I practice at home?
Secondly I'd like to ask about books, I only have the one book and i'm thinking about getting others. I'm looking to learn fiddle playing, specifically English, Irish and Scottish, that kind of thing.
At this stage I'm not too concerned with the music I'm playing, though I'd prefer folk, but I'm more concerned about practising my music reading and technique. Can anyone recommend any good books which start right at the basics that I can go through and solidify my knowledge, perhaps pick up on anything I might have missed?
Thanks in advance,
For something a little less classical, you might try Mark O' Connor. I have never used it, so I have no idea how good it is. Additionally, some guitar shops have some transcriptions of all kinds of stuff for random instruments.
I didn't want to become dependent on the stickers so I opted to learn without them. I found if I could get the first note in pitch, the rest of the song tended to fall in line since based on that pitch and knowing the key. After awhile it becomes muscle memory to get the right positions.
Download the app "Da Tuner Lite" for your phone. It displays the note you are playing in large, color-coded letters. So you get instant feedback on your intonation.
The reason you play familiar tunes like "Mary Had a Little Lamb" or "Twinkle Twinkle" or "Lightly Row" is because you know what they should sound like. Record yourself playing these tunes -- once you work up to them -- and listen to the recording. You'll know if your C# is not high enough, etc. What might be hard for you now is knowing that
Thanks for the replies, the tuner app seems to have been a very good idea. I'm at least able to hit something that sounds right using it as a very rough reference.
You may want to search this site for similar threads, as there's a gazillion topics related/about this.
Teachers have all sorts of opinions about stickers (well actually, either "good" or "bad'.....).
Scott is right on the ball. Personally, I would go without by default unless the violin happens to come with stickers already on them.
The idea of the tuner is a good idea. I use it, even with the tape, since it may take a micro movement higher or lower to get the note on the money.
Try not to obsess too much over getting the note precisely in tune with the tuner. This gets into an involved discussion about scale "temperaments" and "expressive" playing which might be too much information for you at this point in your violin playing. You can do a search on this forum to read many great discussions about this.
I am not opposed to using tapes as markers for beginning students. But I taught I would start students without the tapes. When I started the violin 79 years ago there was no Suzuki program in the USA and I do not recall ever having tapes on my violin. But I do recall that the first piece I was taught was "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," just as it now is with the Suzuki books (and program).
@Fred I've been learning violin for 14 months. I use the book 'Eta Cohen' and it has the sort of music pieces you're looking for.
"Secondly I'd like to ask about books, I only have the one book and i'm thinking about getting others. I'm looking to learn fiddle playing, specifically English, Irish and Scottish, that kind of thing."
For information on Irish music and the necessary ornamentation I suggest visiting www.thesession.org and doing a search for books. Also visit the tune section to get Fiddle tunes in standard notation.
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'm a native of London so geography isn't a barrier at all for listening to music from the British isles. I do try and go to see people playing as often as I can.