Putting tape on violin-any where that tells where?

October 3, 2004 at 04:26 AM · I've been playing guitar for some years and I've always wanted to play the violin, and yesterday I got one.

I did all the starting work, put rosin on the pegs so they dont slip, primed the bow for the longest, and tuned it up by ear.

One thing I do not think I can do, is to put the markers for the notes on the fingerboard. I do not trust my ears because I might be off intonation, especially if the string distance is to be changed.

I need a place that can tell me how long the strings need to be (from nut to bridge) and where each halfstep is on the fingerboard on a 4/4 fullsize.

Replies (20)

October 3, 2004 at 04:51 AM · no i dont have a teacher. and upon reading many websites I am very much aware that i can develop multiple bad habits, so im a bit guilty at this point... :/

i do plan on seeing one that is giving lessons to my mother's friend's daughter, and I have a friend that has been taking lessons for quite a few years.

I do have that in my head right now, I am trying to do everything carefully so as not to do bad habit now, I want to get it down perfectly.

October 3, 2004 at 07:13 PM · You could try and sing the scale of D major. So pluck your D string and sing in tune with it. Then sing E and move your finger up slowly the fingerboard whilst plucking constantly until the note reaches the E you are singing. Then stick the sticker on. Repeat this process with the other fingering and strings.

But you must make sure first your violin is in tune!

Give it a go!

One-Sim :)

October 3, 2004 at 07:56 PM · Trust your voice ;)

October 3, 2004 at 11:38 PM · should I play in just temperament or equal temperament?

the thought just crossed my mind since im going to be playing a fretless instrument.

I have bad voice control, but I learned perfect pitch so I'll go from there. but does that mean that nobody puts the tape/stickers by having a standard distance in centimeters?

October 4, 2004 at 01:30 AM · Have you learned perfect pitch and still don't trust your ears?

You'll have to learn both intonation patterns eventually. And a couple more :)

October 4, 2004 at 02:32 AM · i dont trust my ears because im no mozart, im off by 1/8th step a lot. im thankful i could actually learn it at such an old age though.

how does one learn these patterns??? that is amazing that a violinist is expected to know the different intonations...I dont think ill be at that level any time soon heh.

October 4, 2004 at 02:45 AM · I dreamed last night that I was trying to teach violin to a man who was self-taught and thought he was quite advanced but could barely play a thing. He brought to his lesson a five-stringed violin with frets. Have I been reading this website too much, or teaching too much?

October 4, 2004 at 03:04 AM · maybe 5 strings and frets doesnt sound like a bad idea...even I shudder at the thought.

Really though, I don't know what i'd do with a teacher, i would just sit there and ask questions. Knowing somebody that knows is a bit more of a benefit, as allows friendly exchange of mass questioning.

I really am striving to learn proper technique, Laurie. I cannot get myself to do the balance-the-marble-on-the-bridge-while-holding-the-violin-with-only-your-chin-and-left-shoulder. I heard that trick from someone, and is supposed to check your posture. I am staying with my guitar until I can find someone that can show me. I assure you I wont get frets. heh

I do admit I am hasty at this point and want to start playing 5th caprice NOW, and I want to start learning anything I know on guitar NOW, and compose NOW. Will be a lesson for me though to be patient, wont it?

im not an adult, so I dont have the audacity to try making violin easier :P

October 4, 2004 at 02:47 PM · In response to the question, I'm also a guitar player learning the violin. I used my electric tuner to tune the strings and find the places where to put the tape. Maybe that's cheating, but I use the tuner to teach me the right pitch. When I started playing I'd sit there with the tuner on the stand and play until I learned to hear the notes. For me, the violin is teaching me pitch to help me with the piano and other things. I guess things can work many different ways.

Good luck!!

October 5, 2004 at 09:39 PM · No, there is no standard 'placing' of the stickers because each violin is different I'm afraid. :(

October 5, 2004 at 09:46 PM · oh, i thought all 4/4 instruments were the exact same lengths, including the bridge.

so I guess I'll get to work then. :)

October 9, 2004 at 04:32 PM · Actually, using tapes on the the fingerboard is not advisable, speaking from my own experience, although it may work for others. I became too reliant on the tapes, and at one point, when my new teacher removed them, I went haywire. It took me a looong while to get used to it.

October 10, 2004 at 05:07 AM · Most people need tapes in the beginning, and that is fine. You need not only to train your ear, but also to train your fingers where to go, physically. To expect to train the fingers without the tapes is expecting way too much of most beginners, unless they come to the violin with not only an exceptionally fine-tuned sense of pitch, but also extremely coordinated fingers. In more than 10 years of teaching, I've never met such a person.

October 10, 2004 at 09:25 AM · So you say, that I should put some tape onto my violin too? :) Where can I find some tips how to do that (the position of the tapes, and so on?).

October 10, 2004 at 05:09 PM · "To expect to train the fingers without the tapes is expecting way too much of most beginners, unless they come to the violin with not only an exceptionally fine-tuned sense of pitch, but also extremely coordinated fingers."

Really? I never had tapes. The note above the open string is a tone up. That's not so hard to conceive. When I first began learning I would play open D, then E, and then check my E with the keyboard, etc. Then I learned about the ringing quality of G on D being in tune with open G and I used that. F# and F lived between those two notes. A of course was a cinch since it matches the A above it. My main intonation problem these days involves a more effective way of moving the hands and fingers rather than knowing where the sounds themselves live. I have in fact toyed with the idea of a fret-like tape simply to visualize the path that the finger takes from string to string when being in the same position, but not to know where the tone itself is located. And I tend to be quite "third finger oriented" in 1st position because my earliest approach. I don't know if that's good or bad.

October 10, 2004 at 10:53 PM · It is a rare child (or adult) who can grasp where to put down a finger without any guidance in the very beginning.

A teacher does need to train a beginner precisely where to put the fingers, without making them slide about, looking for the pitch from day one.

I would concede that many leave the tapes on for far too long. But taking them off and having a student play out of tune all the time doesn't really train his ear, either.

October 11, 2004 at 02:54 AM · I've been self teaching now for 1.5+ years, used 5 different violins, and never usd tapes. Whether I have good pitch or intonation I can only guess - though those I occasionally impose my noise on are kind. Get a beginners book they instruct finger placement. Make sure your violin is in tune - how can you learn if it isn't.

I'm going to a first lesson with a local teacher in a week, and hope we mesh. I know I can't advance without a teacher, and probably should have done so earlier.

I've fooled with fretted instruments at times in life, got quite good with the mtn. dulcimer - VERY different from the violin. The learning of left hand possitions and sound are so crutial. I hope I can avoid tape as I learn positions in shifting!

Good luck.

October 11, 2004 at 07:10 AM · "I hope I can avoid tape as I learn positions in shifting!"

Third position: you get the sympathetic ringing of the open string below to tell you you're on track when you put your first finger where the third would have been in 1st position. Fourth position: 1st finger is on the note corresponding to the open string above. So you have audial clues just like before and should be able to avoid tapes, IMHO. I wonder why the 2nd position seems so much avoided.

Laurie: I never thought about the "sliding about to find the note" factor. No idea whether I slid about in the beginning. How do the "no tape" teachers avoid that?

October 11, 2004 at 05:26 PM · I just use the tapes for students until their fingers are trained enough to know approximately where to go, and until I can say "high" or "low" to them, and they know what that means in relation to their fingers (not just their ears, they are two different things until you connect them).

Wow, with no tapes. Hmm. I guess you wiggle around until you find the right place, then close your eyes and try to memorize your finger position, then try to nail the note without wiggling.

It's just that this process might not even be possible to achieve with some students, and you'd spend so much time on it that...I just put the tapes on!

October 11, 2004 at 11:03 PM · i have both absolute pitch(which doesnt involve perfect tuning, just knowing what note im hearing), also a considerable amount of coordination.

As I said, I play guitar too. Fingerstyle picking and shredding is what I've learned to do. Playing at around 12 notes a second and being able to play 6 string arpeggios helps a bit.

Yet I still believe I need those tapes, and so far they have been helping a lot!

The tapes have limited visibility, and as such I only occasionaly glance at the tapes to make sure Im on the right track.

One thing I realized what when I put my electric guitar In violin position(painful), I could play songs without looking at the fretboard at all, despite playing in a position that i've never played in before. I think i'll apply that to learning where to put your fingers on the violin, although frets and nonfrets are a big difference in the accuracy department.

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