Essential beginner to intermediate etudes and exercises?

Edited: April 27, 2018, 10:01 AM · I'm teaching my aunt the violin, but I don't know many beginner etudes and exercises. Do you know some really simple, basic ones?
Because I was taught fiddle, I didn't do those, so I'd also like some at intermediate level for myself. Can you give me any suggestions?
Anything from beginner to intermediate would be helpful.
Thanks in advance.

Replies (16)

April 27, 2018, 7:24 PM · Wohlfahrt Opus 38 for your Aunt. Rather than dry interval studies, they are little tunes to develop both musicality and technique while making music!

April 28, 2018, 12:21 AM · "building technic with beautiful music" by applebaum might be what you're looking for.
April 28, 2018, 9:31 AM · Whistler's "First Etude Album" is pretty good as straight etude book (there is no text, explanations, teaching, guidance, etc.). Etudes are melodic, grouped in four by key: C, G, F, D, B-flat, A, E-flat, then cycling through this order as they get harder.
Edited: April 30, 2018, 8:50 PM · Here's another: "Violin Playtime Studies: A First Book of Studies for the Young Violinist". Young at heart counts.

Many of the selections are in the RCM syllabus -- preparatory (before level 1), level 1 and level 2.

May 3, 2018, 12:38 PM · I second Whistler's 1st Etude album.

It's a great first crack at playing studies.

May 3, 2018, 12:41 PM · Wohlfahrt. Wohlfahrt. Wohlfahrt.
May 17, 2018, 6:11 AM · Thanks, everyone! I will look into those.
Edited: May 17, 2018, 10:40 AM · Wohlfahrt is NOT for raw beginners. I would expect a student to progress through Suzuki Book 1 (at least) before starting that. I'll offer a third vote for the Whistler books. First Etude Album is good, and so is Elementary Scales and Bowings. And, honestly, Suzuki Book 1 is pretty darn good too (a whole lot of good players started with that). Since you are fiddle oriented there is also the O'Connor Method Books but be prepared for sticker shock -- they're expensive.

For you -- intermediate level -- if Wohlfahrt is too easy then there is Kayser, Dont Op 20, and Mazas after that.

Start looking also for simple duet books that you can play with your aunt. I have some at home so if you are curious about this I can find them and pass along their titles. When I was very small my teacher often played duets with me. I learned to listen and I learned how to sight read, both extremely valuable skills.

May 17, 2018, 10:35 AM ·
Edited: May 18, 2018, 1:45 PM · Paul Deck, I am quite interested in the duets. My teacher occasionally did duets with me, and I found it improved intonation and coordination. I've always had a love/hate relationship with duets, but they are extremely useful, and fun, usually. I would very much like to teach a few duets to my aunt to help improve these areas. I've been trying to find beginner classical duets, but have found very few.
I was taught fiddle, but I hate the genre. Before I started learning, I'd been obsessed with "modern" Celtic violin pieces, but quickly realized that fiddle is not like those. I also quickly outgrew the obsession, and turned to classical music instead.
Edited: May 18, 2018, 5:40 PM · Selected Duets for Violin, Volume 1, by Whistler and Hummel.

Suzuki Book 1 to Book 2 level. Everything in first position.

Whistler and Hummel were productive arrangers. They arranged huge troves of stuff for strings, winds, etc. A lot of it is still in print. The old "Rubank" label maybe on the book but it is probably all owned by Hal Leonard now.

Edited: May 18, 2018, 7:43 PM · I can also recommend the Whistler "First Duets Album" book. I currently don't have anyone to play duets with, so I record myself playing one part and play against it. I like it so much I just picked up the "First Trio Album (for 3 violins)" for the same approach (there's a quartet book to for standard string quartet). And finally, there's the Whistler "First Solo Album" book, for violin and piano. I don't have a piano, so I use Sibelius 7 to play the piano part for me.
May 19, 2018, 6:18 PM · Mazas - 12 Easy Duets.

They get progressively harder and are not what I would call "easy", but not that hard. Even the last movement of #1 requires decent bow control, especially if you try to bounce the triplet accompaniment figures.

And they're charming musically. There's one (I think #7 or #8) that is truly beautiful.

May 19, 2018, 6:46 PM · I think we really just need more info on your aunt's level. "Beginner," to me, means someone who is just starting to understand the concept of how to hold the bow, how to only play one string at a time, how to position the fingers, etc..

Someone needs who doesn't know how too hold the bow isn't going to be able to just jump into duets, regardless of the ease of the songs.

May 19, 2018, 6:51 PM · I was responding to Jeanette's question about duets.

Of course a raw beginner wouldn't be ready for those, although beginners playing Suzuki vol 1 don't generally have any difficulty when I play duet parts along with them.

May 21, 2018, 11:01 AM · As Martha Argerich would say, practice technique in pieces, not separately!

Just food for thought

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