How to study 3rd position
I've been playing violin for one year and I'm now studying 3rd position with Laureoux II. However, I'm really discouraged to practice because I'm finding it too hard and I can barely see my progress, which discourages me even more. I feel like I may be wasting my time because I can't even vibrate yet and my teacher is already teaching me 3rd position.
I don't really know if Laureoux II is a good idea for beginners at 3rd position (sometimes it seems too hard to start with), if I should be studying something else before or even if it's normal feeling so much difficulty in the beginning.
I'd appreciate some advices.
Hi! Welcome to the forum :)
Most teachers don’t teach vibrato until after 3rd position is learned. I would work on one string at a time doing scale patterns. Just do a C major scale in 3rd position but only one string at a time until you can do it 8 times in a row with no mistakes. What I mean is, for example, put first finger on C on the G string, using a tuner if you need help finding C. Then, go C D E F E D C and repeat. Go very slowly and listen to intonation. If you aren’t sure use a tuner for the first few. Do this every string every day for a few weeks and, if you did it slowly and carefully, you should have a good introduction to 3rd position.
Hi Henrique, is this the book you're talking about?
My teacher always told me to think with your fingers and know the note before you reach for it. In other words, don't focus on the postion—focus on the note you want to hit and go for it.
Question: What is it about this that is actually holding you back? Knowing where to put the left hand? Shifting up and down? Figuring out which finger plays which note (this is after all the first time you have changing assignments)? It is difficult to advise if we don't know more detail.
The Whistler book mentioned above is how I was also introduced to 3rd position
Whistler is what I use.
I did "Introducing the Positions" (Whistler) when I was a kid too. That's a good book. Eventually you'll find shifting and positions to be one of the most blissfully logical features of violin playing. As Scott said, third position is kind of a "sweet spot" on the violin because of just the way you're holding your violin and because the first finger makes an octave with another string (G, D, & A) and those are primary reference points for intonation.
I also second what Scott said. Like him, I eventually found that first position causes quite a bit more fatigue than third. These days, playing in third is so instinctive that I sometimes have to write in fingerings to remind myself to play in first position!
Position Changing For the Violin by Neil Mackay (OUP, 1963, ISBN 978-0-19-357653-7) sounds technical, but in reality it is a very gentle introduction to 3rd position and shifting between 1st and 3rd and back.
Kristen Stadelmaier, great idea about the black tape (although I'm afraid to "get addicted", not being able to play without it) as well as playing nice stuff in 3rd position because methods can be very boring. Thank you very much!
Hi again Henrique, I think that the people you are referring to that appear to play so effortlessly and flawlessly have put their hours in the practice room day in and day out most of their life. There are many videos out of six and seven year old kids playing memorized first movements of concertos that just simply astound me and so i guess they are truly gifted in this life to play the violin like they do.
Henrique, yesterday I discovered Mackay also wrote "A TUNEFUL INTRODUCTION TO THE THIRD POSITION" ISBN 9790220210709
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