Simon Fischer Podcast Interview

Edited: May 3, 2021, 11:12 AM · Greetings,
some very interesting content on this podcast:

Replies (12)

April 29, 2021, 12:57 PM · Buri,

This is excellent. Question: which of Simon's books would you recommend as a starter: Scales or Basics?


April 29, 2021, 1:19 PM · Thanks Buri. Will definitely check it out.
Edited: April 29, 2021, 3:43 PM · Hi John,
Although Basics is a classic work I don’t always recommend this for entry level. Although it is systematically set out and is just an unending stream of exercises relevant for both complete beginners and player sat the highest level I have noticed that some people are overwhelmed by it. The most useful way to us eit , in my opinion, is to systematically work through it from beginning to end, trying each exercise a few times and seeing which ones have the most radical influence on your technique. Having practised these techniques for a day or to make a note about which ones you are going to discard and which to carry on using within your practice program and then move on to the next few techniques. This is an absolutely marvellous experience but, not everybody has the time to do this perhaps.
So. although basics is my goal to book, I would suggest you buy the violin lesson which came out much later I would suggest you buy the violin lesson. this is divided into manageable sections such as internation or tone production. And you can just pick a topic that you are interested in and work on the slightly less overwhelming number of recommended exercises which were probably in basics anyway. The other advantage of the violin lesson is that I think Simon is writing style actually evolved somewhat over the years and he produced a book which is an absolute joy to read. So even when you are not motivated so much to practice you can just sit down and enjoy the fascinating commentary and anecdotes interwoven with the technical advice. It really is a great read!
The question as to whether you should buy this amazing book or scales is a little tricky. If you really have been struggling a little with scales or just want to finally get to gripsWith the dam things then this is pretty much the best material available. it really does disprove the banal claim I still hear on YouTube videos that all scale books are pretty much the same. Scales has proven to be a beacon of light for violinists who more often than not suffer from the problem that nobody dares to speak of, like Voldemort‘s name. Simon solved the horrors of scale practice for a huge percentage of violinists who practice scales because they are supposed to and honestly speaking , Hated the experience but just did it as a duty. A kind of practice that actually does more harm than good. This is something that had been swept under the carpet for too long.
Actually, the best thing to do is buy both books.
April 29, 2021, 4:26 PM · Yes, The Violin Lesson is great, and easy to follow as needed. Mr. Fischer writes with violinistic wisdom and experience, but also possesses an incredibly open mind, which many other otherwise excellent teachers often lack.

I have Basics, TVL, and Scales, but still haven't ordered the Double Stops volume, which appears to be available only in Europe, so I would need to order it online from there.

April 29, 2021, 8:37 PM · Excellent advice. Thanks Gents!
April 29, 2021, 10:32 PM · Greetings,
another possibility might be TVL plus Warming Up. The latter has been becoming widely used by professionals over the last ten years or so. The vibrato exercises are especially popular. If you are feeling flush with cash the video that goes with it ios worth then money.
April 30, 2021, 7:48 AM · I agree with Buri that "Basics" can be daunting. But it is truly packed with wisdom -- the kind of stuff where you say, "Why wasn't I ever taught this?" "The Violin Lesson" is more approachable and better organized for the intermediate player. "Basics" is probably better for an advanced player -- I'll let you know when I become one.
Edited: April 30, 2021, 3:52 PM · Greetings,
But it is truly packed with wisdom -- the kind of stuff where you say, "Why wasn't I ever taught this?"
Exactly how I felt working through it. Although I do detect a tendency for it to be more used by advanced players, teachers and professionals, I am trying to be careful about saying even an absolute beginner shouldn’t buy it. If a newbie to the instrument is willing to buckle up, try an exercise, maybe come here and ask questions, do the next and so on then they will without doubt make fantastic progress. By the time they have finished they could also arguably be more knowledgeable about the violin than the average professional :)
One of the most important myths thatSimon challenged, in my my opinion ,was that ‘you cannot learn from a book.` If the directions are clear, then you can. Ultimately, what is the difference between an explanation form the mouth of a teacher as sound waves or light waves? (I know there are differences, but this was a kind of old wives tale that had been unchallenged for too long)
May 1, 2021, 10:34 AM · I sure do wish this podcast were a video. Simon is so passionate and expressive when he speaks.
May 1, 2021, 4:45 PM · Hi there,

If you would like to see Simon as well as hear him, you can tomorrow! He is doing a live webinar for the European String Teachers Association. It begins at 4pm London time, so sometime in the morning USA time. Here is the link for it:

Hope to see you there!

May 2, 2021, 8:14 AM · London is five hours ahead of Washington DC. So this would be 11 AM EDT. Note price is L15 for non-members.
May 27, 2021, 1:48 AM · Hi again!
For anyone that missed the last session, just thought I’d let you know there is another one this coming Sunday (30th May), focusing mainly on vibrato. I’ve been especially looking forward to this one.

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