Simon Fischer's Basics Book

April 2, 2017 at 03:18 PM · Been reading a little here and there about Simon Fischers Basic book. Is it really worth the $56 to get? I bought the Warming Up book and found it way too complicated and too much to think about. Someone convince me it's worth it!

Replies (23)

April 2, 2017 at 03:28 PM · If you own a single book of technical exercises, I think it should be Basics.

Your ability to use the book without the aid of a teacher likely depends on your current stage of playing, though.

April 2, 2017 at 03:40 PM · Where do you live? The book is only 27 GBP at Boosey & Hawkes.

April 2, 2017 at 04:01 PM · If he is quoting the price in dollars then he doesn't live in the UK. That means there will be a shipping cost that is likely just rolled into the price.

$56 is what I pay for a one-hour violin lesson. I find it rather comical that one would have to debate spending the same money on a book that is widely regarded as one of the best technical manuals ever prepared for the violin. The other Fischer book that is absolutely wonderful is "The Violin Lesson."

That said, you can get a Dover edition of Galamian's "Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching" for $13.

I wonder if people ever reach out to their public libraries with requests to buy these kinds of books.

April 2, 2017 at 04:30 PM · Basics is only 24 British pounds or $30 US on Simon Fischer's website,

I bought the book and it worth twice the price...stuff your teacher never tells you...I highly recommend it. P.S. I also have Galamian and Menuhin...Fischer is superior.

April 2, 2017 at 06:46 PM · What level is it meant for? Complete beginners? Advanced beginners? Intermediate players?

April 2, 2017 at 06:51 PM · It is meant for all levels of players, but the less advanced the player the less exercises their are in the book that the player can use.

April 2, 2017 at 06:58 PM · I don't think Fischer Basics will be that useful to a beginner.

April 2, 2017 at 07:36 PM · For beginners, "The Violin Lesson" another book by Fischer might be more suitable.

April 2, 2017 at 08:42 PM · Not for the complete beginner, but after a year or two you might start to draw your profit from it, I'm sure. What I really do like is that you can either work through it systematically, or look for advice to work on a specific problem. All in all, I have to agree with Helen.

April 2, 2017 at 10:21 PM · It's certainly a wonderful book! It will remain useful to you far into your studies... that is to say, probably forever, since I use it all the time. :)

April 3, 2017 at 12:58 AM · I am a very advanced player (30+ years) that is just getting back into playing again after having having children and being a full time mother the last 4 years. I'll be doing a monthly lesson with my former teacher/mentor. I've noticed I'm in dire need of brushing up with the "basics!" I had never even heard of Simon Fischer until the last month or so. Amazon sells the basic book for $56 dollars but I guess checking out his site may be worth it and will just have to see what the currency conversion comes out to. Thank you everyone!

April 3, 2017 at 01:27 AM · I also vote for "The Violin Lesson". It pretty much has all the stuff The Basics has but I find it is better organized and more user-friendly. After all, it was published 16 years after the Basics. I wouldn't be surprised it is a more developed piece of work. That said, Mr.Fischer's books worth every penny. Each page is a lesson of itself. I've got all of them.

April 3, 2017 at 02:02 AM · I vote for all of them, too. :-)

April 3, 2017 at 02:09 PM · It depends on your current level of play.

If you can do an OK job with a 2 octave G Major scale in first position, then you can benefit from Basics as soon as you open the book. It is not a method book, i.e., you start at page one and work your way systematically to the end. It is more of a pick and choose what fundamentals you would like to work on.

If you are just starting out, having trouble creating a decent tone on open strings and open string crossings, or are struggling with intonation when playing simple songs, your benefit from Basics will be limited.

I think the money is better spent on some lessons with a well regarded teacher of new students, then switching to books written specifically for beginners if you want to try learning on your own.

If Basics is a bit too technical from the outset for you, then I recommend starting with Auer Book 1 for great open string work and bow technique that is also musical, and gradually starting on Wohlfahrt Op 38 for musical fingering exercises and scales.

April 3, 2017 at 02:09 PM · [deleted double post]

April 3, 2017 at 02:33 PM · Carmen wrote, "I think the money is better spent on some lessons."

Might I ask, How many lessons can you get for $30 US ? Where I live, one lesson, if that! The idea that one lesson is more valuable than this book is indefensible. This book is like 260 lessons from the best teacher you will find. Sad to say, some of the topics covered by Fischer will never even be mentioned by your teacher...I would like to add that I took the book to a print shop to have it spiral bound so it would lie flat when open, which works perfectly. Cost for the spiral binding was $7.

April 3, 2017 at 02:40 PM · I've got 4 of Simon Fischer's books (BASICS, PRACTICE, DOUBLE STOPS and THE VIOLIN LESSON), because it offers many technique suggestions I would recommend "LESSONS" to the OP. It also has segments of exercises from BASICS. But I think any of the books the OP used in the past would offer exercises for use in daily warmups to help regain her chops.

In my opinion Fischer's contributions, and especially THE VIOLIN LESSON, will become the benchmark for the coming century. There are also videos that he has produced, such as WARMING UP and TONE PRODUCTION - and he has a few performance videos from his Brahms Sonatas on youtube. Visit his website: .

April 3, 2017 at 03:24 PM · Interestingly enough, "Basics" costs $50 CAD on; and "The Violin Lesson" is up for... $160 CAD?! Why'd anyone buy it there if it's cheaper to buy it on Mr Fischer's own website?


Does anyone know if he ships to Canada? If yes, how much is the cost?

April 3, 2017 at 03:30 PM · G.A., I too was astonished at the Amazon can fill out the order form on Fischer's website to see the shipping cost before you decide.

April 3, 2017 at 03:33 PM · G.A, I live in BC and I bought all his works directly from his online shop. I don't remember the shipping costs but it can change from time to time. You should be able to find out on his website.

April 3, 2017 at 04:05 PM · Order them directly from Simon Fischer. If you buy several at once the shipping isn't terrible. I got all of the books he had offered, plus his arrangements, for less than 250 including shipping.

This was before the GBP tanked too, so it should be even less now.

April 3, 2017 at 06:17 PM · "Might I ask, How many lessons can you get for $30 US ?"

When first starting out, $30 spent on anything that is of very limited usefulness is simply a waste of money. Until one develops some basic proficiency in the instrument, Basics will be relegated to a dusty corner of the book shelf.

The very first series of exercises at the start of the book require a degree of bow control and intonation that a beginner is not going to have.

April 3, 2017 at 07:02 PM · Carmen raises a very good point: the importance of knowing how to use a great book. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced player, if you are a book person and are willing to spend quality time to read certain books intensively, rather than reading extensively like we read a novel or on FaceBook, and if you are willing to treat the "Basics" or "The Violin Lesson" as a violin "Bible", then you will find $56 plus shipping is a huge bargain. Otherwise, if his books are collecting dust on the shelf, whose fault is that? ;) I mean the same thing with having a teacher. No matter how great our teachers are, if we don't put in the time and thoughts and all other resources needed into it, we can't expect to achieve our potential, which some of us would consider to be the biggest waste. As the saying goes, you get what you have put into it, or something like that.

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