Simon Fischer

November 15, 2018, 5:50 AM · I've got Fischer's Basics, but I find Galamian more useful.
Fischer strikes me as being rather heavy on what to do, but rather light on how to do much of it.
Do you agree or disagree?
I will keep my copy - maybe intermediate violinists find it more useful.

Replies (12)

Edited: November 15, 2018, 6:46 AM · The whole point of much of Fischer's work is that he breaks down the "how to do" practicing tips into individual "what to do" steps. "Basics" is not really for beginners. "Basic" in that context means the basic skills that a player would need to have mastered thoroughly and properly to reach a fairly advanced level. Beginners don't need the "how" of tenths or 4-octave scales. That said, as you take on new skills like shifting or vibrato, you might find useful material in Fischer to help you along your way. Nothing is as useful, however, as expert individual tutelage.
November 15, 2018, 5:23 PM · Yes, Basics is not a method, but an resource book, like Flesch's Urstüdien.
Fischer's books have a lot of overlap; but then so does my practice!!
November 15, 2018, 5:50 PM · Galamian's book was great for its time, but Simon Fischer's book "THE VIOLIN LESSON" will, in my opinion, become THE CLASSIC of the genre.
November 15, 2018, 8:19 PM · I have all Fischer books. For good and bad, I consider them the Violin Playing Encyclopedia. That means that I can't use them as the core of my practice and studies. However, whenever I have a problem, I can find an analysis of it and some possible solutions in Fischer's books.

So, yes. Like the old fashioned Encyclopedia at home. You use it maybe a bunch of times per year, but you need it (or at least, you needed it before the internet).

November 15, 2018, 9:10 PM · If you want "how to", buy Fischer's "The Violin Lesson".
November 16, 2018, 10:48 AM · You are getting some good advice. Let me summarize:

1. Fischer's "The Violin Lesson" is the quintessential breakdown of how to play the violin. It does not substitute for a teacher, but augments it.

2. His book "Basics" is to me like a repair manual, which is good. Have to tackle a technique issue, then he has at least one exercise to work through that will get you where you need to be.

Both are worth the money. "The Violin Lesson" completely changed how I approach tone production.

November 16, 2018, 11:03 AM · " "THE VIOLIN LESSON" will, in my opinion, become THE CLASSIC of the genre."

This.

November 19, 2018, 10:23 AM · I tend to agree Andrew, although I find Flesch more interesting than the Galamian, but maybe I should give "The Violin Lesson" a shot, since I haven't seen it. Basics has always seemed like kind of a slog to me.
Edited: November 19, 2018, 10:48 AM · I'll give The Violin Lesson a shot one day, but not at the current price, until I feel a little richer. Flesch's stuff may be out of copyright and free on the web, so I'll keep an eye open for that.
Edited: November 19, 2018, 3:19 PM · I agree on the good reviews of The Violin Lesson. Have been using it for some years now. Found it to be way cheaper to buy in UK (amazon.co.uk) and have it shipped. With the strong dollar and the really weak UKP, you might be surprised. Check it out.

I have both. I think of the two books like this
The Violin Lesson : Basics = user guide : reference manual

TVL has chapters on how to get best tone, how to start playing vibrato, how to practice and keep music log book etc. Stuff useful at beginning, middle and end. Basics is more like, here's a problem, here's a solution.

Sometimes I'll just crack open TVL and just read wherever I land. Always useful and enlightening.

November 27, 2018, 9:33 AM · Mr Fischer has pinched all my best ideas...and added a whole lot more!
December 2, 2018, 12:33 PM · The Violin Lesson is a structured course based on a consistent pedagogic approach. Basics is more loosely organised collection of explorations and exercises collected from a long-running magazine column.

Start with The Violin Lesson - it contains many of the most useful exercises from Basics, but with more advice and context. Then if you have an issue that you want to tackle in more detail, you can go to Basics for additional ideas.

For those who complain about the price of TVL - for the cost of a single live lesson you are getting a lifetime of inspiration. There can hardly be a player at any level who wouldn't learn something - it really is that good.

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