Dounis Finger Independence

October 26, 2011 at 01:46 AM ·

I'm considering including the Dounis Finger Independence Exercises into my practice routine.

Are they worth spending time and are the two books (Vol I & II) public domain?

If yes, could someone upload it please?


Replies (20)

October 26, 2011 at 02:43 AM ·

When I was in college I regularly practiced 4 - 5 hours daily. When 5 minutes of Daily Dounis was assigned to me I could only practice 3 hours daily! I made the executive decision to stop practicing Dounis. I quietly packed up the book and stopped bringing it to my lessons. Somehow I got away with it!

Smiles! Diane

October 26, 2011 at 03:33 AM ·


don@t know about the domain issue.  I tried them for a while.  Can`t honestly say I am convinced by them.  My own view is practicng etudes like Dont Opus 35 no 1,  the Bach Fugues and any paginini lh pizz stuff will do just as well and be a lot more fun.  Or Ernst etudes......



October 26, 2011 at 03:40 AM ·

I recently incorporated some Dounis exercises into my practice routine, putting them right after my scales... they have had no noticeable negative effect on my practicing; if anything, I feel that they are extremely beneficial to my left hand. The string crossing exercises are also great.

October 26, 2011 at 05:03 AM ·


yes but which ones. There are a lot.   I think the ones in his advanced technique book are extremely good for example.  The Daily Dozen is not to be sneedzed at either.  But the Independence exercises are ,  just my opinion,  soul destroying and frustrating and in the long run that doesn`t lead to a good payoff.  Others experience with those specific exercises may well be different but I stand by my original recommendations as a direct substitute for those -specific = exercises.

There wa s arumor that Heifetz used them but I neve rheard itsubtantiated by himself,. Whereas he stated he used the Flesch Urstudien which are an excellent set of exercises which I also prefer to the exercises by Dounis `specifically@ mentioned.



October 26, 2011 at 01:41 PM ·

My collegues I have study Dounis vol 1-2 I dont see the potencial for violn indpendence. I do belive in the old shool of kreutzer,Don"t,Gavines,fiorrilo,Seveciks, Scales  from auer chool, shradieck and many others. Anne sophy mutters study with sevick tudies auber scales systems and the old method. She is a well trained violinist. Just paid attenion when she plays, Her finger and bow action and conination is well outgoing focus playing. GO ann Sophie mutter bibliography.

October 26, 2011 at 03:34 PM ·

Re public domain--- are you really worried about having to pay the publisher for putting them on your next recital program?

October 27, 2011 at 07:02 AM ·

 Hi,  I have studied with two teachers who studied with Dounis:  Marvin Morgenstern and David Nadien. I studied with each of them for several years. They never recommended any of the Dounis exercises. In fact, they were both opposed to exercises, etudes, and scales. I don't think they would be of any use, unless you study with a Dounis product.  And if you do study with one, you won't need the exercises. If you are nonetheless eager to use them, go to u-tube, find Yehudi Menuhin and watch his "Six Lessons With Yehudi Menuhin". He gives a superb account of violin playing, recommends the Dounis exercises, and even shows you how to use them.  Charles Johnston

October 28, 2011 at 08:42 PM · Thanks for your responses.

I find the "Six lessons with Yehudi Menuhin" very interesting concerning Menuhin's approach to Left Hand Technique and that he tries to base everything on a vibrato-like waving motion..

about Dounis: i now think i'm better off working on scales even more instead of spending time on the Finger Independence exercises.

October 28, 2011 at 09:45 PM · I studied violin with George Neikrug who worked with Dounis extensively. He could actually do the exercises for the absolute independence of the fingers. Boy, and did it sound weird to hear sliding, trilling, left hand pizz., all at the same time coming from one instrument! However, he never recommended working on them and said that a lot of Dounis' ideas were misunderstood, especially by mainstream violin teachers.

October 29, 2011 at 02:58 AM · WOW BRUCE!!! YOU ARE SOO LUCKY TO HAVE STYDIED WITH NEIKRUG FOR A LONG TIME! i had one lesson with him, when i went to Boston and i instantly improved in the lesson! He is i think one of the greatest teachers that ever existed!

January 16, 2014 at 09:15 PM · You should find it here:,d.b2I

January 16, 2014 at 11:05 PM · When I tried this link, the download failed ('file damaged'). Perhaps it will work when it's a clickable link? Select "save target as" to save the file.

Edit: no, it doesn't work that way. May others have better luck.

January 17, 2014 at 05:31 AM · That link opened for me, but it has funny page numbering. There is a copy on imslp that seems to end at page 26. This work is in the public domain in the US. It is not listed in the Stanford database of works originally copyright 1923-1963, as having had its copyright renewed, and neither of those online versions say "renewed". Though the publisher of those two online copies try to bluff by saying "this version copyright 2005", that certainly does not pass the "threshold of originality" that the USPTO requires for copyright. You can't just render a public domain book in some form and achieve copyright status without new creative content.

If someone can scan you a copy you are in the clear morally and legally. But the easiest thing is to buy it. Hope I haven't bored you...!

January 17, 2014 at 07:13 AM · There are some great exercises in there, but watch out. There are one or two that are pretty hazardous for your hand health...will have to look at the book when I'm at the studio next and remember which one it was I tell people to avoid!

January 17, 2014 at 02:20 PM · Is this it?

It's called the daily dozen?

January 17, 2014 at 02:28 PM · Winifred Copperwheat was Dounis-based, but she didn't attempt any of this stuff with me. Not surprising, really. The Canary Polka I only ever did with my father (for good reason, it was only a piece to play at my Eastgate House Supper), and I only got to the slow movement of the Sibelius well after I had stopped having lessons, probably after her death. Judging by my difficulties with the Bach D minor organ fugue, I wonder whether I'd have managed any really fast stuff of this nature on the violin.

Your turn. I give the url again as it worked for me,d.b2I

. I've left a space before the full stop deliberately, as you need to select only from http to b2I before copying and pasting.

January 17, 2014 at 03:30 PM · Here you go Bart.


Personally I think the Dounis independence exercises are overkill, useful if you want to play Last Rose or something like that (in which case, why not just play Ernst?) but for most I think exercises by Singer or Zajic are more than sufficient.

January 17, 2014 at 04:38 PM · Thank you, Jeewon! It worked now.

January 18, 2014 at 01:02 AM · I agree with Jeewon. There are many great players who never did any Dounis. There aren't however any truly great violinists, who leave scale practice out. Practicing scales and arpeggios are infinitely more important than any Dounis exercise in my opinion.

January 18, 2014 at 02:58 AM · Having studied with probably the greatist "disciple" of Dounis, George Neikrug,I can state that what Dounis was attempting through these exercises was to present a concept rather than a practice method. Mr. Neikrug could actually do and demonstrate some of the absolute indepence exercise of 4 fingers. However, he told me that in relation to a Chopin etude Dounis transcribed for violin that the piece was never meant to be performed, but only studied one measure at a time to increase left hand dexterity. The piece is unplayable in any other way. I believe that Dounis' contribution to the art of violin playing was to give the student a concept of how to solve very basic problems in violin playing. This gift passed on to me by George Neikrug has become the basis of my violin teaching.

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