Practice for novice older student

September 9, 2017, 4:20 PM · I am forty one years old and I have been playing the Violin for about three years. I had a violin teacher for two years and then life got complicated and expensive. I am on Volume II of Suzuki, and I am slowly working through that volume. Since I did have a tutor for a while, I have a basic idea of what I should be doing for practice, but I would also like to expand into other practice books. However, I am not sure if I should bother with Wolfhart or Kreutzer, because I am only working through Suzuki Vol. II. I would like to work through the entire Suzuki volumes. Also, I enjoy learning blue grass and sea shanties. Should I just concentrate on Suzuki? Or should I mix stuff up and do some variety? Eventually, I would like to get a tutor again, but that is at least another year off. Thank you in advance for your time.

Replies (7)

September 9, 2017, 5:01 PM · One posibility might be to find an online teacher. That is better than nothing. You can learn a variety of different styles of music.
Edited: September 9, 2017, 5:31 PM · If you are in book 2 of Suzuki then I don't recommend Kreutzer just yet because you have not covered shifting. The easiest Wohlfahrt should be fine. I recommend the Pine edition, but if you cannot afford that then just get it from IMSLP. Also try two-octave G major and A major scales to start out with; the goal is to get them in perfect tune with nice even tone, and the string changes not noticeable ("seamless"). The problem with "mixing stuff up" is that it's very hard to choose things for yourself that are exactly at the right level and will just barely challenge your skill set. That's what the Suzuki books do for you, but even then you will get more out of them with a teacher who is trained to know how to use them. Even one half-hour Skype lesson per month is better than nothing. If you're just playing for enjoyment it doesn't matter, but if you're trying to improve it does.
September 9, 2017, 5:46 PM · Welcome here Mr. French,

Kreutzer would be wonderful for you and offer you fresh material to work on. Hrimaly scales would also be beneficial to your routine as you can start with one octave scales and then two octave scales. The Hrimaly scales are simple and will aid you in bluegrass down the road. The Kreutzer has some great easier etudes for you but I think you might stumble in this book without guidance.

I have taught many children and helped a few adults and never charged a fee becauseI saw they had much less than I did. Perhaps you can advertise on Craigslist and find someone willing to help you or a gifted high school player willing to help you for a much more affordable fee.

Fiddlers Fakebook miight also be of value in your learning as it contains exact transcriptions of music you are interested in. Many of these transcriptions are on YouTube and you can work on your playing to sound as they do the best you can on your own.

I do know what it is like to be short of money and hopefully in a short time things turn out better for you Matthew.

September 9, 2017, 7:17 PM · I agree with Paul; Kreutzer is beyond you at this point (the first few etudes are probably do-able but it gets harder pretty quickly). The first volume of Wohlfahrt (first position) is more your speed.

September 9, 2017, 8:44 PM · I think it's always okay to teach yourself sea shanties. But I don't really recommend off-roading when it comes to etudes. They exist for pedagogical purposes, so you are unlikely to get that much benefit from them without a teacher.
September 10, 2017, 4:51 AM · Awesome. Thank you everyone for all the help!
September 11, 2017, 5:06 AM · The easiest Wohlfahrt is great. You will get scale, leaps and arpeggio practice, the whole range of rhythms, and eventually some double stops. And it all comes in short musical phrases instead of boring up-the-scale/down-the-scale work.

Without a teacher I would suggest you play around with the dynamics, tempo and slurring of each etude so you get practice in adding expression to a phrase.

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