Moving from "fiddle" to "violin" playing
I've been playing fiddle for probably 17 years or so; a combination of Irish/Scottish music, Western swing, gospel, etc. It's very much a side activity these days, but I can certainly hold my own as a fiddle player. I can also read music fluently (my primary instrument is the pipe organ, and I learned how to read music on fiddle early on as well). So I'd say I have the basics down.
However, I'd very much like to learn more classical violin music, particularly Baroque (I love Corelli's sonatas and Telemann's violin solo fantasias). But when I try to play this sort of music, my fiddle technique seems to fail me. Intonation falls apart, double stops are especially out of tune, and playing in anything but first position is shaky at best. I've taken some classical violin lessons in the past, but it's been a while, and I don't really have the cash at the moment to spend on something that is, essentially, a hobby. But I've got a gorgeous violin that my parents gave me as a graduation present that I hate to have just sitting around in its case.
So my question: what exercises, books, repertoire, etc, would you recommend for someone like me, to improve these areas? I currently own copies of Suzuki 4-6, Mazas' Etudes Speciales book 1, Schradieck "School of Violin-Technics" book 1, and Telemann's 12 violin fantasias (tried learning no. 1 in Bb, but the double stops sound horrific at the moment...).
Suzuki Volume 4 would be a fine place to start. Book 3 is good too, and you'll learn to shift into 3rd position properly there. What's really probably failing you is your general posture and hand positions.
Barbara Barber's Solo Violin books might be worth checking out, as well as RCM levels 4-6.
I would suggest that you get somewhere Paganini's Op. 1, 24 Caprices. They are beginner pieces for solo violin that should tell you how classical works in its fundamental basic roots. If it's way too easy for you and consider it a waste of time, you could go get some Twinkle Twinkle music sheets.
Take a look at the Dolflein Series. It's got violin technique and nice, short musical examples- a lot of baroque in there. I would look at books 1 and 2.
Don't really see how you can do this successfully without the discipline of a good classical teacher.
Thanks for all these suggestions! I'll definitely look into these.
I'm not sure that studying additional repertoire is in order here, after all, you already have plenty of experience in music due to your ongoing graduate studies in organ?
Lol Tim, are you drunk?
Hahaha, I was joking around.
Aaron, Paganini composed a respectable number of not-too-difficult pieces for violin and guitar, dedicated for his high-born lady pupils (one related to Napoleon) at the Court of Lucca, when he was its music director. I would guess some of these ladies were of beginner/intermediate standard.
You can read music!!
I grew up around fiddlers and old time music, so the following advice is based on playing in both the classically trained and fiddle traditions:
> *Disclaimer, I'm not a fan of Suzuki for anyone...
Lol- no relation!
Julie: Actually, those aspects of my technique aren't TOO bad. I started off classically trained, so my basic technique is rooted in that. I moved to fiddle styles fairly soon, but I had enough exposure to classical technique to know to hold the bow at the frog and how to position my right hand fingers, and to keep my elbow and wrist relaxed. I could probably use some minor corrections, but I do have those basics covered anyway.
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