Is Salut d'Amour easy for adult starters?

February 9, 2016 at 05:40 AM · I'm an adult beginner. Self learnner.

I would like to play Salut d'Amour. How can I play the tune?

What ways do you recommend to play the tune?

These days, I'm practicing some easy tunes. Like, "London Bridge Is Falling Down" or "My Favorite Things."

How do you think? The best way is continuing easy tunes practice more?

Or try to play Salut d'Amour directly?

For example, start to practice from easy part of the tune, or some arrangement of it?

(Sorry for my no good English. I'm also a beginner of English language)

(Oh, this is my first post at

(Nice to meet you)

Naba :)


I'm not good at sight reading too, yet. So, I can't read by solmization, if there are many (three or four?) "#" or "b".

Replies (26)

February 9, 2016 at 06:02 AM ·

But here is the "simplified" version, Mr. Saenger's:'amour,_Op.12_(Elgar,_Edward)#For_Violin_and_Simplified_Piano_.28Saenger.29

Be patient, and work out your skills with a good teacher. Would be very nice if you tackle the "simplified" version, and the in the future play the standard version as you keep advancing. Best of luck on your musical journey.

February 9, 2016 at 09:52 AM · The "simplified" version is a sort of early intermediate piece, but it still isn't a beginner piece.

While it can all be played in 1st position, there is still a lot of string crossing within slurs, and a lot of accidentals resulting in stretched hand positions (low 1st fingers adjacent to high 3rd fingers).

I would definitely suggest getting a teacher. But if for some reason that isn't possible, I suggest continuing to learn with whatever method you're using now until you reach these techniques, and *then* have a go at Salut d'Amour

February 9, 2016 at 12:48 PM · You're not going to cripple yourself by trying it. But don't get frustrated if the results aren't what you expect. There's kind of a time-tested progression in violin study. The purpose of hiring a teacher is to guide you through that while helping you correct flaws in your technique and address specific problems that arise. If you're like me you'll really enjoy your lessons as a break from everyday life.

February 10, 2016 at 01:56 AM · Yea, Salut d'Amour is not so easy as I thought.

Also, I'd like to know how long it takes to play.

I have seen that a little girl is playing it, once, on the web.

If it possible by little kids, how long time does it take in a case of adult beginners?


Thanks, for the info of simplified version. I try it.

Oh, method, I have to know about some methods as well. I only know that Suzuki method is famous, but I don't know much about it.

Recently I'm reading "The Simplicity of Playing the Violin", Herbert Whone's.

Does he have own method? I wonder.

How about Menuin?

Well, is this another story?

Yea, I have to find good teacher too. Yes it is.

Anyway, thank you for your replies, all of you. :)

February 10, 2016 at 03:37 PM · Whether you can learn the violin as fast as a small child depends on so many different factors that nobody can predict whether you will or won't. Here are some of the factors that will influence progress in general.

1. Your attention span and the quality of your concentration, and your mental discipline to stay on the tough tasks rather than allowing yourself to just enjoy playing the easy parts.

2. The skill and wisdom of your teacher, and your willingness to accept and follow their advice.

3. The amount of time that you are able to devote to practice.

A child starting the violin at the age of 8 or 9 might be expected to be able to play Salut d'Amour after maybe two years of study, but of course that depends on how well they progress.

February 10, 2016 at 04:49 PM · That would be the simplified Salut d'Amour, not the original. And that'd still be a kid who's learning at a pretty fast pace, I think. (ABRSM has the simplified version as Grade 5.)

February 10, 2016 at 05:16 PM · Yes I meant the simplified one, the one that is in the collections of violin solos for young students that you can get on IMSLP. It's a nice piece. It's not fast, but there is more shifting than you'll see in the first three or four Suzuki books. Also Salut d'Amour requires vibrato.

February 10, 2016 at 07:17 PM · It's not a piece we want to scrape through...

PS Whone's book is excellent.

February 11, 2016 at 02:02 AM · I'm glad I had more replies, but forgive me, eh, maybe I can't response quickly, because I take a long time to write in English. :)

So.., children can learn Salut d'Amour, by, about 2 years. If they are good students. Yea, I wanted to know that.

Oh, there are the organization in UK? It's a good info too.

Yea, Whone's book is really great. I almost read it. (But I will read it again and again)

> It's not a piece we want to scrape through...

Really? Or you have other good idea to learn Salut d'Amour?

Please tell me. :)

Anyway, thank you again, everyone!

February 11, 2016 at 11:52 PM · Naba, I mean that if your playing can already convey dreamy tenderness, or gentle passion, (to those listening!) than try it; if not, wait a bit.

February 12, 2016 at 01:35 AM · Okay, thanks, Adrian.

For now, Things I have to do (or things I can do) are continuing to practice very easy tunes, like "London Bridge Is Falling Down", and to find a good teacher or a community, or ensemble for beginner with lesson, I think.

At least, yet I can't play by staccato or legato. (I also don't see the difference of these, when I'm listening to some music)

February 12, 2016 at 11:27 AM · Staccato notes are clearly separated, legato ones flow smoothly, whatever the instrument or voice.

But thes terms get taken differntly for different instruments.

Violinists use "détaché" for notes played with separate bow strokes, even though there are no gaps between notes. Confusing!

Then we use "staccato" for a series of separated notes within one bow stroke.

Then we often use "legato" to mean slurring several notes in one bow stroke.

NB slurs in the score can suggest bowing several notes in one stroke, or they can mean just play soothly, and work out the bowings yourself. Which is why violinists "edit" composers' music for other violinists..

February 12, 2016 at 01:09 PM · I know the word "détaché" but I'm not sure the meaning and what it is, so, I searched and read the part of the article of Wikipedia.

( )

When is it, to learn "staccato" or "legato" in the case of Suzuki Method?

(I'm going to go to read some books of Suzuki Method, tomorrow or day after tomorrow, at a bit far instruments store)

Someday, if I could play Salut d'Amour, even though it's simplified version, I'm going to upload the sound file somewhere on the web, then I tell you that, on this thread.

(2 years later? 4 years?? Mmm, 6?)



If possible, if it's fit for this thread, would you tell me how to practice staccato? For example, to practice staccato, what is the most easy composition? Could I practice staccato by "London Bridge Is Falling Down"?

February 12, 2016 at 03:54 PM · If you do not have the Suzuki method books, that's where you start. Staccato and legato are covered in the very first piece in the first book, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." The theme is played legato, but the variation with four sixteenth notes and two eighth notes is played with the eighth notes being staccato. My daughter's teacher had her doing all kinds of different bowing techniques just in Book 1.

In the London Bridge tune, the two "falling" syllables can be played staccato. Staccato is really just a short, firm stroke, entirely on the string, that starts and ends abruptly. You want to do it so that your tone is even and full without being scratchy, and so that your bow stays on the string, no bouncing or skittering at the end. If your tune is all quarter notes, you can play the whole thing staccato. Think about driving your bow from your elbow but let your wrist remain flexible so that your bow stays straight.

Look for videos on YouTube by Todd Ehle. He shows a lot of basic techniques and he doesn't cut corners, he's the real deal as a teacher and as a violinist.

February 13, 2016 at 07:25 AM · Oh, another good info, thank you, Paul.

It takes few weeks, even though, to view his video.. (I will)

I went to some instruments store and read some books about some methods.

"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", a variation for the violin by Shinichi Suzuki. Mmm, interesting.

And, staccato and legato (and détaché?) are very basic technique of the violin, I didn't know that.

So, this means, you, as violinists, think (consider?) about, when you playing, how long time you should play the notes, before you play?

Is it correct?

Also, I saw the index of Suzuki Method book 1 to 6, but there are not "Salut d'Amour", unfortunately.

What do you think if you put the tune in the books, which level it is?

(Is it more higher level?)

February 13, 2016 at 10:08 AM · The melody of Salut d'Amour itself is not so difficult, but the setting is more so.

And this little gem should only be played beautifully!

Suzuki might have put it in Book 5 at least, where the student is developing long expressive phrases, ease in the "positions", and vibrato.

I gave it to an advanced student with a meltingly beautiful pianissimo and a really warm mezzo-forte

February 13, 2016 at 05:29 PM · We definitely plan out the length of notes, the articulation we want, and the bow strokes needed to accomplish that, beforehand. That goes together with deciding which notes should be slurred, whether the bow needs to come off the string, and so on. You want to make the best use of the length of your bow (that doesn't mean always using all of it, far from that!) and for may strokes you need to be in just the right spot, so you plan the bowings right before that so that you can get there. By and by you can get sufficiently good at sight-reading that for relatively simple pieces this planning can be done more-or-less on the fly, but otherwise part of the process of learning and studying a piece is planning out all of the bowings. Again, a good teacher can guide you through that quite effectively, but even if you had a teacher, it's something that you would want to try a little on your own with a new piece before your lesson. You just have to be willing to be corrected when you get there. :)

Many teachers will start out a young student with a plastic straw that is cut open along its length and taped around the middle section of the bow. The student is then instructed to use just this portion (the middle third or so) for the time being until (s)he can become comfortable with the bow hold and start to make a good sound. Eventually, though, you want to play something every day with whole bows (even just open strings) so that you can get comfortable producing sound all throughout the length of the bow. Especially, beginners are often afraid of the frog because you might scratch. Go ahead and scratch. Conquer the frog!

February 13, 2016 at 09:28 PM · I enjoy scratching!

But only in scrtatchy music...

Paul is right about starting in the middle of the bow. Might I suggest contrasting a dead staight stroke with a slightly curved, swung motion with no pressure at each end of the stroke. I let the whole arm take part in the swing, even though the stroke stays quite straight. This allows depth of tone without roughness. There are no straight lines in nature, only very long curves.

February 13, 2016 at 10:16 PM · Adrian makes good points. My point about "scratch" is that if you start to become too fearful of scratch, you won't explore the limits of what you can do with your bow. A truly excellent violinist (and teacher who has placed students into good conservatories) told me that he gives this advice to anyone who will listen. And you have to explore the limits if you want to move them.

February 14, 2016 at 01:53 AM · It's a industry term that you call scratch sound as frog, isn't it? Or a secret code which is forgiven for special violinists? :D

Of course, I'm not scared of it, and do not despise it.

But, excuse me, is it only a story of middle of the bow?

I also would like to know, at this moment, how you decide which part of the bow, you should use for the notes.

For example, if you play "My Favorite Things", starts from 4th finger on the G strings, which part will you use?

(I don't know the original key of the song, yet)

The left side of top of the bow's hair?

Oh, and, "meltingly beautiful pianissimo and a really warm mezzo-forte"? I'd like to play like that, someday..

re la la, mi re re, La re re mi ree ...


February 14, 2016 at 04:37 AM · The fact that you are an adult beginner is irrelevant to considering your approach to learning this piece. If your teacher says that your age is an insurmountable handicap, especially without having analyzed the factors in your life or approach to the instrument that might be slowing you down and bases his/her opinion on the wives tales people like to throw around about old dogs not learning new tricks, then you should look elsewhere for instruction. There is unfortunately a dearth of research on adult pedagogy and a host of other cultural constructions that have obstructed our path examining the best conditions under which adults learn and whether biology really does prevent attainment of expertise at later ages.

February 14, 2016 at 04:39 AM · Take a look at this article while you're at it.

February 14, 2016 at 05:02 AM · I welcome the OP and wish him well. And I hope that he won't take it too personally when I say that I can't help but be reminded of the old saying, "fools rush in where angels fear to tread".

I recorded this piece on my 2nd CD - and believe me it's not so easy to play it well even for an advanced professional. While having none of the overt monumental and different challenges of say, the Bach D minor Partita that I have on the same CD, it calls for a great deal of control and a lot of style. At a tribute to the late David Nadien, one of the greats, they played just one selection from his many recordings to show how special he was. They chose no Paganini Moto Perpetuo, no Sarasate, no movement from the Mendelssohn concerto. They chose this very Salut d'Amour!

Please find a teacher and take lessons.

February 14, 2016 at 06:16 AM · Thank you, Mr. Raphael Klayman,

I agree with you. Salut d'Amour is not easy even for an advanced professional.

Thank you, Ms. Lieschen Müller,

I appreciate you telling me your honest opinion.

(And more information. I will read it sometime when I need it)

Well, all of you,

I had two disagree opinion to continue this thread.

If there are not other objection, I think I should quit this conversation on here.

Thank you all,

Naba :)

February 14, 2016 at 05:30 PM · We all wish you joy in your adventure!

February 14, 2016 at 08:48 PM · Many thanks, Adrian! ;)

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