Chronological order of Etudes/studies?

May 27, 2004 at 06:29 AM · Hello all,

Well, I am officially without a teacher for the next 3 months and I am attempting to keep a 2-4 hour per day practice routine throughout the week.

To hold me over, I have my trusty copy of Basics, and my shiny new copy of 'CD Sheet Music: Violin Methods and Studies'.

My problem: I have no idea in what order such etudes should be studied.

At the moment, I'm going back over the Bang violin method and Wohlfahrt, but after that I am completely lost.

In addition, my mother (a rather competent pianist) has offered to accompany me in practicing a sonata or two, but again, where to start?...Actually, I'll save that one for another thread :P

I'm not asking this question because I'm lazy (I am currently searching through the archives as I know allot of suggestions have already been given to others), but I would greatly appreciate some recommendations.

Essentially, I am looking for a chronological list regardless of my current skill level. I can always address specific issues in later threads.

A list of the studies *currently* at my disposal can be found here (but I have no objection to purchasing a few more):

Thanks in advance,


Replies (23)

May 27, 2004 at 06:37 AM · Greetings,

Ryan you might find a search for Westbury Violin England - or something like that on Google -very- helpful.

This is a small violin school with two world class violnists discussing all kinds of problems in depth with massive atention to etudes, their study, ordering and so forth.

In the meantime, after studying Wolfarht and Kayser very thoroughly you could move on to the Masaz etudes opus 36 book one. This is a whole new level of elegance and style but you should be able to handle this if the Wolfart was done well.

There are also some early books by Dancla that are helpful. The Bang course is helpful and imfomrative but if you are trying to avoid excess then you can dispense with it without missing a great deal. Certainly worth perusing though.

A gent called Whistler has also put together a set of studies preparatory to doing the Kreutzer etudes which are well organized and helpful. This book would also include some good studies by Wolfart that you have already done.

The complicating factor is Sevcik. I think it is worth working through the opus one etudes - a good way to do this is just a line or so a day. Practice each short unit slowly trying to get perfetc intonation, keep as many fingers down as possible and a beautiful sound. Double the speed and play again, double tyhe4 spped and so on. Also practice with dotted rythms and the reverse. You can also do the opus 8 position changing stuff at this stage, always hearing the notes in your head before you shift. I think you could prractice Sevcik for about half an hour a day. At first it is a bit boring but it starts to become fascinating and after a week or so of no change you might suddenly notice a new kind of strength and efficiency in your hands that allows you to do all sorts of interesting things.

I suggest you start looking at the Corelli violin sonatas for now. There are also some early Mozart but the more you play them the harder they seem to get. The whole Italian baroque repertoire is worth taking a look at I think.



May 27, 2004 at 10:50 AM · Greetings,

BTW I am still trying to get a handle on this name Wolfart.

Is it cave paintings of lupus lupus?

Or the insalubrious effect of eating too many prunes while wearing long johns?



May 27, 2004 at 05:20 PM · Thanks a ton Buri!

Not only for the info, but also for reminding me of a site I had long since forgotten.

I remember using that site as a reference before I had even found a teacher. But, somewhere along the way (between studies assigned by my teacher, reading too many posts on, and trying to pay the rent) I completely forgot about it.

Looking at the Etudes section now while I should be getting ready for work. :o}

I found Bang useful the first time round and I particularly like the sprinkling of quotes from Auer, but I think I will go with your advice as I am looking for the most expedient practice I can utilize for the summer.

Since we're on the topic of things I had forgotten, in Basics, I completely ignored excercise 3 for bowing (twisting the bow toward/away from the bridge on full bows), not because I did not think it could be useful, but I really don't conceptually understand what the heck he is talking about...Is this, like so much of the bowing section, a more for dexterity developement or am I actually supposed to try for decent tone production as well?

Finally, I think Wholfahrt would have suffered deep psycological trauma in a modern American grade school. {:o[

My favorite application of prunes to date, was your analogy to Kriesler's Prelude and Allegro.

May 27, 2004 at 05:56 PM · check the archives as well, this topic has been covered quit a bit

May 27, 2004 at 06:54 PM · I did. I just wanted a more broad overview.

Most of the threads are on etudes for specific issues (bowing, shifting, etc...)while I was looking for a slightly more 'generic' version.

I did find enough to point me in the right direction though.

I also learned allot more about prunes!

By the way, when did you first start on Tartini's 'Art of the bow'? Just a random question I've had in the back of my already cluttered brain.

May 27, 2004 at 09:28 PM · From the very beginner to virtuoso etudes are....

Wolfhart 60 studies

Kayser 36 studies

Mazas etudes specials book 1

Dont op. 37

Kreutzer 42 studies

Fiorillo 36 studies

Rode 24 caprices are optional at this point as are Gavinies

Gavines studies (I forgot the number of studies but there is only one etude book for violin by this composer)

Dont op. 35

Wieiawski etudes/caprices

Viextemps concert studies

Paganini 24 capricios

Ernst polyphonic I guess

*Once your at the level of the last four, I doesnt matter which book you play first, as they are all show

May 27, 2004 at 11:47 PM · Greetings,

I think Alex is pretty on the ball here. But there are some minor chnages I would make based on what Flesch had to say which is pretty much the stable I emerged from.

The Dont opus 37 are underrated but you might want to pass on them as some are actually much harder than the Kreutzer they are intendedto prepare for.

The Kreutzer etude sare basically split into three section: so called `easy` (theseare the one soyu cna spend a lifetime on) trilss, and double stops.

The rode caprices can, according to the Flesch procedures be inserted between the firsts ection and the trill studies. this cna be very benificial.

If I as going to cut anything else I would get rid of the Firillo which are only marginally useful after having done Kreutzer and Rode correctly and then again, and again and again.

I would spend the extra time on the Dont Caprices op 35 using the Rostal edition.

After that you can begin tackling Paginini but it is helpful to work through the Barucaba Variations first which you cna actually do while tackling late Kreutzer.



May 28, 2004 at 12:15 AM · Alex: Thanks for that clear, concise list. That is pretty much what I was after.

Buri: Your comments are always appreciated, but honestly, I think I'll be lucky to get to Dont in the next 3 months...and even there, I may be underestimating the amount of work ahead of me...

Still, you have all given me much to aim for. Thanks again!

Any responses for my question about bowing excercise #3 in Basics? (see earlier post)

May 28, 2004 at 01:02 AM · that list is more or less what i am doing/did minus the vieuxtemps concert studies which i've never heard of. the dounis op 12 has some good stuff in it, probably can be studied around the same time as dont. 35, sevcik can be studied the whole time, although it seems some people put too much emphesis on this. i started tartini when i was low/intermediate i guess about when i started the mendelssohn, when i first started on rode. I have continued to practice them up to this point, theres'; a lot more there than meets the eye. THe trick is to play them way under tempo and to see how many colors and different interesting things you can do with the bow. My interpretation of the theme has changed so many times i try not to htink about it anymore, my teacher says it is different every week.

May 28, 2004 at 03:32 AM · Greetings,

Ryan, sorry I don`t haveBasics with me now so I am not exactly sure what you are referring to.

Basically there is an element of technique where one learns to keep the bow parallel to the bridge. A lot of the top players on thelist diagree with this for a number of very complex reasons. but, it is not a bad place to start thinking about bowing and the proces sof arriving at that condition which is actually bette rdesvcribed as keepng the bow on the spot on the stirng is quite useful.

Except I have to run now so I can`t tell you what the hell I am talking about.

Mor elater, maybe.

Owen, take over,



May 28, 2004 at 04:26 AM · Greetings,

Owen is on vacation.

Anyway... the ability to draw the bow parallel with the bridge is crucial in the early stages of violin playing but , paradoxically it 8is not achived by being parallel as such and any attempt to bow in such a rigid way is likely to cause problems. In violin playing any straight lines are actually cause by complex combinations of curves, rathe r like prunes in fact.

So the basic straight bow requires that you push the arm forward from the elbow when approaching the tip. However the degre e you need to do this depends on the length of your arm. If it is long the forward movement is almost non-existant but more pronounced if you have short arms. Another major point is that if you have short arns and you push forward too much in attempt to keep the bow exactly parallel you will caus e serious tension in the bowing arm , so short armed people can be bette r off bowing around the corner or not using the absolute point until they grow bigger.

On the up bow the reverse if tue. Now if you think about this push forwrad and pull back what you get is a curve shape described by the hand in the air(the bow a swell).

If you are confuse by this an alterative and useful way of thinking is to pay attention to the shape made by the bow hairs and the bridge. Combined with the strings you get a parlellogram. Focus on this shape and draw bows without allowing it to change its size.

The way Fischer talks about this issue in basics is to suggets that the best way to learn straightish bowin g is to practice the two extremes of crooked bowing so thta the body knows what it has to work with. this is very sensible. The bow can be placed very slightly slanted on the string at the fingerboard and as you draw it slanted it will naturally slide to the bridge during the course of the down stroke. The procedure is rverse dfor the up bow. I reocmmend you study this section of the book very carefully and practice the exercises he says eveyrday. After a while you will have no problem with @straight` bowing.

This slant movement abiltiy is crucial becaus e in order to produce all the colors of the rainbow a violnist is constantly moving the boew between bridge and fingerboard and although the technique of pushin a parallel bow towards and away from the bridge is also importnat it is a rather crude way of playing.

if you watch Heifetz, Milstein or Oistrakh close up the first impression might be thta they are blundering bow amateurs who simply cannot keep the damn thing straight or on the same spot. On the contrary they are so gifted in producing different colors on every single note thta their bow are constaly slanted in various directions to move freely around to get the best possible. When they choose to do so, they can bow more parallel than a laser. if you ewant to see perfetc high speed parallel whole bows watch Oistrakh playing the last movement of the Franck sonata on the Devils Instrument video.

At a more advanced level top soloist tend to use a straight slanted bow. that is the bow retains the same spot on the string between bridge and fingerboard while being slanted -away- from the bridge. the natural tendency of the bow to drift is then physically resisted by the soloist. However, this is a more advanced technique so don`t think about it for a couple of years...



May 28, 2004 at 07:35 AM · What?! The Maestro of the Prune without his copy of Basics?! It's unheard of!

Actually, excercise #3 is a slightly different topic, but miraculously you managed to answer a question I hadn't asked...but have been wondering for a long time...

One thing that was ground into my noggin from day one (from online sources and my teacher) was the concept of 'straight bowing'. As you pointed out when watching some of these great players, it seems contrary to what they are doing.

The way you explain it, it sounds like a far more efficient means for accessing sound points, with the caveat that one has sufficient skill to employ it. Thanks for clearing that up.

Back to excercise #3...

It is the one in which you twist the wood/hair toward and away from the bridge/fingerboard using only your fingers on full bows. Fischer states that you should be getting 10 'twists' per bow, but does not clarify whether tone production is part of the excercise.

Now, I understand the instructions (I think), but I didn't quite grasp the objective...

Is this purely an excercise in dexterity or should there be decent tone production during the process?

If it is that later I have some serious work ahead of me...

Ironically, I too am without my copy of Basics, but if it will help, I can quote the excercise tomorrow when I am at my practice studio (it is fairly breif for Fischer).

Thanks again,


May 28, 2004 at 05:35 PM · i tend to try to slant more at the frog, but whatever. I think its a lot harder to get the correct bridge/bow angle with long arms when playing at teh frog i've noticed. And coincidentally im going on vacation now, but only until monday. I've noticed that while its extremely important to be able to play parallel that sometimes its advantageouys not to as well, for instance string crossings like bach adagio in g or bruch concerto third movement, i've noticed a lot of high level people use an interesting sort of angle. That is towards the e string when they start on the bottom to strings nad reversing the angle a bit as they cross. I copy them, because it makes me look cool, no actually my teacher had me do this when i was polisihing my bruch and i fou nd it very helpful.

May 28, 2004 at 09:54 PM · Greetings,

Ahh, I think I got you now although the hangover is not helping. That is an exercise beloved by Capet that isalso recommended in the Galamian book. Its basic purpose is to increase sensitivity of the fingers and make sure all the springs are nice and flexible. It is certainly worth working on but as you say, producing a good tone at the same time is not so easy....



May 29, 2004 at 12:57 AM · Buri, did you have too many prune martinis? Shaken or stired?


Well, I think I can comfortabley return to this one now that I know what I'm shooting for.

When I first tried it, I was begining to feel it was my civic duty to stop playing.

Owen: Thanks for the info; I do happen to have long arms (relitavely speaking) and I have found it fairly easy to make straight full bows right up to the point, however I have always had trouble near the frog. From what I've read, I don't seem to be alone on this...

Ejoy your vacation.

May 29, 2004 at 03:31 AM · Greetings,

Ryan you might try shiftong the violin more to the left. Of course you have heard that one bfore ;) But with a slight twist?

Don"t move the left hand and arm so much as slide chinn rest further to the right. That is, move the arse end of the fiddle and keep the scroll stationary. Soemtimes this ishelpful for people with long arms,



May 29, 2004 at 08:56 AM · Hmmm...

After practicing my Son File I often spend a little time just trying to get a slow, smooth detache near the frog (it's funny how it is easier to do it faster than slower), during which I try to play with and observe things like position of violin, bow, body, etc...

But I don't think I've ever tried to move the chinrest (or 'bum' or 'keester', if you prefer) without leading from the scroll...I'll give it a try.

September 26, 2016 at 08:37 AM ·

Wohlfahrt (Schirmer) Op.38 Easiest Elementary Studies. + As the preface of this edition explains, this is a method designed exclusively for beginners. It's the first book of studies I give a student. Its virtues lie with the simplicity of the exercises, the shortness, and the gradual building up of difficulty. Immediate use of the main finger patterns for all four strings in the key of C major is the starting point. Even note values (I recommend a slow tempo almost all the time) ensure the student uses the whole bow from heel to tip, and develops an even, beautiful sound across the whole range of violin notes in first position. This method runs from UK Abrsm Grades 0 up to approx. Grade 4. The book is written in duet format for Pupil / Teacher. Highly recommended.

Dancla : (Ricordi) 36 Easiest Melodic Studies Op.84. + These are some of the very first book of studies I give a student. I find at least a year's preparation is necessary before starting these studies. The styles and techniques needed to play these studies require the utmost purity and simplicity in execution. The purity and evenness of sound and the need to keep the tone sustained and unspoiled require the student to maximize their bowing skills. The Cantabile line and concept throughout these studies demand even and fluent bowing and careful execution from all violinists whatever their calibre. Pieces are often preceded with elementary détaché scales in the relevant key or preliminary exercises for the study. Smooth string crossing, Whole bow legato, French style up bow staccato, saltellato, slurred arpeggios and towards the end position changing studies and operatic arias with variations are introduced.

Wohlfahrt (Augener Edition) 60 Studies Op.45 Bk I / Bk II + These studies, very similar in difficulty and nature to those of Kayser help the student build a basic knowledge of détaché and mixed bowings ( in the middle of the bow ) and elementary left hand techniques, such as left hand ( on the string ) preparation. After the first 7 studies ( to be played using the middle of the bow ) whole bow legato studies are introduced ( for lighter left hand passage work, and whole bow distribution ). Mixed bowings ( always passing through the middle ) are continued, and elementary bowing strokes such as up bow staccato ( on the string ) , and marcato are tackled. Détaché in triplets are used more commonly. Book 1 is all in 1st position. Book 2 starts in 3rd position, moving on to the traditional 1st - 3rd position change studies. There is a study dedicated exclusively to second position.

Wohlfahrt ( Peters ) 40 Elementary Studies Op.54 + Provide further variety and bowing combinations. Among the usual détaché numbers there are more legato studies here, with more dotted rhythms, including a study in Mazurka style. These studies, while commendable in their attempt to impart a balanced bowing technique, firmly alla corda, are best complemented with studies of the lighter and more adventurous bowing of the French School.

Sitt 50 Daily Exercises Good left hand mechanical finger exercises for even finger action.

Kayser (IMC) 36 Elementary and Progressive Studies Op.20. + These studies establish a solid Germanic style. Most Études concentrate on détaché, Legato and overall a reliable right hand technique that compliments the French School. This style could be considered an elementary or initial preparation for Solo Bach.

Mazas ( Peters / IMC ) 75 Melodious and Progressive Studies Op 36

Op 36/1 Études Spéciales. + Mazas produced 3 sets of studies which are progressive in difficulty. These études contain some of the most stylish and violinistic writing in all violin literature. They are indispensable to every violinists journey in mastering his / her instrument. They combine elegance in bowing and fingering methods with a fine sense of melodic line and expressive phrasing. The finest use of technique is in the successful marriage of technique and music, and almost nowhere else has this been achieved with such simplicity and purity.

Op 36/2 Brilliant Studies + are even better, slightly more advanced, very useful in furthering technique along the same melodic lines.

Op 36/3 Artists's Studies is the third and final book in the series, but is on a completely different and much more advanced level... "Studies for Artists".

Fiorillo (IMC) 36 Études or Caprices. + Although the Italian school does not equal the German or French Schools in quantity and in educational value, these studies provide a preview of the styles of Locatelli and Paganini. It is by no means important to master as many of these studies as it is to master the Rode, for example.

Kreutzer (Simrock ) 19 Etudes or Caprices. Not the famous 40 / 42 Studies everyone knows, but a much less well known collection of studies. Also very valuable in technical development. A lesser work ; not quite the masterpiece of the famous 42 studies.

Campagnoli (Peters Ed.) 7 Divertimenti One for each position on the violin. A thorough investigation and presentation of the first 7 positions for the violin. Each caprice exhaustively takes you through all the possible effects and uses of technique that each position has to offer.

Dont (Peters Edition) Preparatory Studies Op.37. These are preparatory to the famous studies of Kreutzer and Rode. In UK they have been set for Grade 7 syllabus, and I would say average at around Grade 7/8 in difficulty. Dont supplies a great deal of legato studies, which are combined with slight 4th finger extensions. In this respect they are not to dissimilar to the studies of Gavinées in appearance. In general the 4th finger is put to considerable use. The main emphasis is on fingering and bowing dexterity. The musical strength of these masterful Austrian studies will prepare every young budding virtuoso with a flexible and resourceful technique. A few double stop and thirds studies towards the end (n 19, 22, 24) can easily be classed as equal in difficulty to the studies of Rode.

Kreutzer (Peters Hermann / Hug Flesch / IMC Galamian / Ricordi Borciani / Stringology with CD) 42 Études. + These are considered "The Violinists Bible". Even Wieniawski, when caught studying them in his hotel room, replied " one does not realize how difficult they really are ". These studies span a vast range of difficulty, but are not set out in order of difficulty. They are classified into 3 or 4 sections (which also represent 3/4 distinct levels of difficulty) : Simple détaché or mixed bowing studies / Trill studies / (Advanced single notes) / Double stop studies. They contain an extremely comprehensive set of contrasting techniques combining the best of the French and German Schools.

Rode (IMC / Peters) 24 Caprices + These studies are considered indispensable. Leonid Kogan described how every violinist in Russia was required to study these études thoroughly. Continuing much in the same style as Dancla, Rode's search for beautiful and refined sound permeates these studies. You can read a study guide to caprice number 8 here. Kogan was very adamant that you need to master a study... learn it by heart, thoroughly, studying each passage meticulously, so that an optimal elegance of both hands is achieved.

Dancla (Russian Ed.) Op 73 Études These studies are not as widely used or known as the Rode, Kreutzer or Gavinées. However they are in much the same style, and therefore are invaluable in developing a refined and polished technique of both hands. From this music we can tell how masterful The French school of violin playing had become in Dancla's time

Gavinées (IMC) 24 Matinées. + 24 "Morning" studies covering advanced right hand string crossing and advanced left hand structure, such as the combined finger pattern of sixths and tenths. These studies were written quite early in the life of Gavinées ( 23 yrs old ). They are remarkably advanced for their time.

DeBériot (Schirmer) Op.123 The first 30 Concert Studies. + From 60 Concert Studies, these pieces are greatly valued as essential stepping-stones to the acquirement of higher technique. The ability to play technical passage work with the same expressive qualities that would be given to a melodic line was considered, according to DeBériot, the hallmark of a true artist. Until these studies can be played with all these essential elements of expression, they can not be considered thoroughly mastered. ( Applies to all studies ! )

DeBériot (OOP) Rare out of Print Studies (Op 102 book2); I am collecting some rare specimen studies such as those from the Book 2 of the Violin Method.

Dont (IMC) Op.35 Études and Caprices. + Dont's studies comprised the most advanced technical material in the time of Auer. Right hand chord playing and left hand extensions are major features of these works. The violinist who knows these studies, and plays them with confidence shows the mark of a competent Professional.

Wieniawski (Peters) Op.10 École Moderne. + These highly playable, even if advanced studies are in the French School tradition. At any rate their approach is based traditional methods. All of the unconventional finger extensions and abnormalities of Paganini's technique are totally absent, making these études the last stage in compulsory studies for the performer. Wieniawski's Violin literature is carefully devised to fall into place for those who have acquired lightness and agility in their left hand passage work.

Paganini (M.Abbado edition)24 Caprices These pieces are not really studies. No violinist should build his technique on them, rather should approach them armed with a polished traditional technique, built from all the previous études. The "Artist" who is lucky enough to tackle and master these ingenious musical compositions will have full musical command of his instrument. Some of the unconventional extensions within prohibited violinists with small hands ( such as Sarasate ) from studying them. Though these pieces are becoming more frequently tackled by the "average" violinist, they are not a requirement when auditioning for even good quality orchestras.

Ernst 6 Polyphonic Studies : These studies provide further insight into technique of post-Paganini difficulty. There exists a considerable amount of material of an extremely complex standard for violinists and for which these studies provide a suitable preparation. Possibly the hardest studies ever written for the violin. Not strictly necessary nor required for standard development .. I do not even have a copy !

Also of note & therefore to be included soon : Sevcik / Sandor (more modern Hungarian series) / Auer's Graded series / Sivori / Rovelli / also scale and exercise type works : Flesch / Galamian / Hrimaly & others

September 26, 2016 at 10:44 AM · For accuracy's sake, Kai's useful and comprehensive compilation is not his own, but copied from Roland Herrera's (Westbury Park Strings) website, which unfortunately has been offline for a while.

September 26, 2016 at 03:40 PM · That website was a real treasure trove. Fortunately you can still access it through the Internet Archive (which, by the way, is a real service to the community, please consider donating to them as they are a voluntary organisation):

Westbury Park Strings

September 26, 2016 at 04:05 PM · Wow, old thread, but I really appreciate the post by Kai above. He didn't mention Schradieck, though, and I really believe starting the first two pages of that as soon as possible will be of great help (but, pros, please provide some insight on when you start beginners on it).

I never was exposed to it when I was younger, but I started practicing it (going from 60-200 bpm on each line, but no more than 10-15 minutes per day, as after that you may have lost the will to live) thoroughly and my left hand is completely different and better than it was before. After practicing that I can zip through something like Kreutzer 2 at speeds I never thought possible before; or, more practically, it makes most music, which is not nearly as fast, seem nice and leisurely in comparison--my left hand just does what it needs to, and I can focus on my right hand and the music.

September 26, 2016 at 04:25 PM · Jean, thank you for posting that link (and thanks to the internet archive)! That site used to offer so much useful information that it's a shame it's no longer online.

September 27, 2016 at 09:34 PM · From this list i am all excited reading that this is 19 more Kreutzer etudes to learn. Can anyone tell me where I can purchase this book?

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