Good evening everyone,
I am awaiting the arrival of my very first violin (electro acoustic). I’ve been wanting to play for many many years and have very recently purchased one. I was wondering if you could possibly advise me as to the best learning materials / books for adult beginners? Also the best tuner to purchase?
Have a lovely evening.
Welcome to the violin world! The best learning material - is a teacher!! I can't emphasize that enough. If you try to start by yourself you are inviting many years of frustrating re-learning. Even if you can only manage a lesson or two it is WELL worth it.
A lot of adult beginners recommend the Doflein method -- if you want method books. There are also lots of good videos on YouTube. Look for those by Todd Ehle ("Professor V"). I think the Harvey S. Whistler books are good too, and so is the American Fiddle Method (Brian Wicklund). The Wicklund book is probably not for a raw beginner but you should be able to do it in a year or so.
You may want to look on You Tube. There are a ton of lessons there and the visuals really enhance the learning experience over just a book. I sort of like the Fiddlerman series, but there are several to choose from. Try them all out and see which ones you like.
I used a mixture of Essential Elements (for learning the techniques) and Suzuki (for repertoire only) when starting out as a self-teaching late starter.
Warning that some of those online resources require subscriptions. Not to say they aren't worth it.
If you're truly a beginner without a private teacher, I can't agree with the Doflein method recommendation. It requires too much extrapolation for an absolute beginner (little to no prior music experience) to use it without private instruction. And if you're already getting private lessons, then the instructor is most likely already going to have a method series they use.
Are you also new to music theory? If so, I highly recommend "Edly's Music Theory for Practical People" by Ed Roseman. It is beyond a doubt the most entertaining book on exactly what music is. You might say It describes the physics of music. It is very entertaining and instructive.
Depending on your current music reading skills/theory, the Violin Lab has a nice stand-alone note reading course that goes far beyond what I had expected for a single one-time fee. There are videos, exams that test both understanding and hearing, etc. This is a good resource, for now or for the future depending on your starting point:
I know some teachers work via Skype, if having no local teachers is the problem then it might be worth considering. All I know is the value of my private teacher becomes ever more apparent on a weekly basis.
As one of the Doflein advocates (and students) I have to add to Erik's thoughts that Doflein is based in the bio-mechanics of the skills and the playing of duets - hence you need a teacher or at least a skilled partner to make it worthwhile.
At the Suzuki Book 3 level you should be able to do Dont Op. 20 and Wohlfahrt. Those are good study books to play through. You should also be ready for American Fiddle Method which is fun even if fiddle is not totally your thing. Whistler's "Introducing the Positions" would be good for you too.
Thank you Paul! I've ordered all the books you mentioned. Let's see how it goes. Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it. I will keep you updated.
Leopold Auer Grade Violin Course Book One
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