Suggested Repertory For A (Potential) Violinist
Each method lights up your knowledge a bit more. They are amazing results of hardwork, experience, love to teach, desire to be heard.
When I teach, I follow a combination of methods. The fundamentals I teach stays the same, which are the results of hardwork of my own teachers, following their own favorite combination of methods.
A well known melody just makes things simpler for the beginner. A desire to learn a specific piece just makes things more passionate for a developer. Depending on the student’s age, whereabouts, personal taste, childhood memories (everyone grows up with different songs, depending on the country, the family culture etc.), the material I use varies.
So, even when you put technical approach differences aside, not all methods suit to the cause of the student from beginning to end in some cases. You may pick up a book liking its cover and its approach (nothing wrong with judging a book by its cover, otherwise there would be no designers working like crazy), but the content might be too unfamiliar besides that song that you recognize its title, or an entire book can only provide you few songs you really like to play. If this happens don’t feel frustrated, that is part of the game.
Below are some of the books I use material from. They are individually valuable and are hiding lots of nice melodies to discover, I recommend them all, you liking them is an option.
The images are linked to their amazon.com page, you can see details of the books there. The full book titles include their edition names, which you can search to reach other books from the same series.
During my lessons I share my learning content with you, so if you are thinking of having lessons, you don’t have to purchase these.
This edition has 3 levels, good for beginners. Visuals of the books are nice, not baby-like but fun, suitable for grown-ups as well as children. It follows a nice development concept. The pieces slowly get more melodic, which satisfies the player in terms of achieving new challenges and reaching to the next page quickly.
Amazing classical/early music playing material. Once you know how to play in the first position fluently, this book provides a lot of nice and mostly one page long pieces that introduces you to the different styles of works in classical/early music.
Anyone interested in world music should follow up the other editions of this book as well. Most are easy to play in the first position, Schott World Music Series introduces to any violinist nice ornamentation styles, rhythmic ideas, and different kinds of melodies from all around the world.
This is an introduction book to double stop playing on the violin. It uses only first position and short fiddly tunes give a folky feeling. There are more editions of it as well.
Another world music series which also adds “simple violin” parts to most of its editions which are really fun for beginners (careful, not all!). These books cover many traditional styles, including Bosnian, Welsh, American, and any other you may imagine.
Piccolo Paganini provides nice and slightly challenging classical pieces in first position. It is good for a matured improver to go to. It has romantic pieces in which you can work a lot on details like dynamics and expression aside from bowing techniques, and the pieces are all very musical.
A good edition for beginner level concertos, they have most of them.
Hello there 3rd position! This is a nice book (series) that has a lot of short and medium long pieces that introduces the positions and position shifting into your music playing. Each piece contains technical difficulities but it is a fresh breath in terms of music, they are not at all etudes or exercises.
A must have if you are starting to get curious about the world of jazz violin. Solos are carefully transcribed, and it includes works of many jazz violinists. Solo transcriptions are not handy for a beginner but the information given in the book is useful and fresh for all of us.
Can’t Decide What to Play?
If you are in a level of self dependency, but still wanting to follow a path, you can consult me for recommendations by asking your question via firstname.lastname@example.org and/or having a one-time Skype session. Imslp.org is under your fingertips but I might give you repertory suggestions depending on your taste. “I want to play something Grieg-like, you know? Has that romantic, Scandanivian magic, but maybe not so hard, and not so long, what piece would you recommend?” is an answerable question, as answerable as “I am curious about the funk orchestral string lines of the ’70’s music and want recommendations, which songs would be the useful stuff to check?”
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I am not trying to be “over picky” here, but there is not a jazz violin method book I could recommend from the bottom of my heart. There are great sources but most of them has a really basic level of introduction and they progress too quickly (in a way that it makes me think the beginning was not written for the development of the book or vice versa). There are many transcription books and jazz lick collections, which are useful but also are not necessarily pedagogical. I might have not done my homework enough in terms of searching, which looking at my bookshelf I believe I did, but do recommend me your favorites. Sharing is caring.