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87380985 Violin for Dummies 2nd Edition

87380985 Violin for Dummies 2nd Edition

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05/13/2014

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Katharine Rapoport

Learn to:
• Hold, tune, and play your violin
• Understand musical notation, rhythm,
and harmony
• Play popular classical, jazz,
gypsy, and fiddle tunes
Audio and video samples and
tutorials on the companion CD
V
i
o
l
i
n
2nd Edition
M
aking Everything Easier!

Contents at a Glance
Introduction ................................................................ 1
Part I: So You Want to Play the Violin ........................... 7
Chapter 1: Introducing the Violin .................................................................................... 9
Chapter 2: Getting Started with the Violin ................................................................... 17
Chapter 3: Holding Up Well ............................................................................................ 39
Part II: Getting Started: The Basics ............................ 53
Chapter 4: Taking a Bow ................................................................................................. 55
Chapter 5: Getting the Left Hand Right ......................................................................... 73
Chapter 6: All Together Now .......................................................................................... 91
Part III: Reading Music for the Violin ........................ 107
Chapter 7: Translating Five Lines onto Four Strings ................................................. 109
Chapter 8: Making Rhythm Count ............................................................................... 127
Chapter 9: Measuring Up: A Guide to Meter ............................................................... 141
Part IV: Musicianship and Harmony .......................... 163
Chapter 10: Weighing In on Scales ............................................................................... 165
Chapter 11: Cracking Key Signatures .......................................................................... 189
Chapter 12: Making Sweet Music Together: Harmony .............................................. 197
Part V: Taking It Up a Notch: Techniques and Styles .....207
Chapter 13: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Bowing ........................................ 209
Chapter 14: Putting Your Finger on It ......................................................................... 241
Chapter 15: Playing with Style...................................................................................... 285
Part VI: Getting into Gear, Staying in Gear ................ 309
Chapter 16: Finding the Right Violin and Bow for You ............................................. 311
Chapter 17: Protecting Your Assets: Violin Care and Maintenance ........................ 329
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Part VII: The Part of Tens ......................................... 355
Chapter 18: Ten Performers — and Their Recordings.............................................. 357
Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Go beyond This Book ........................................................ 363
Chapter 20: Ten (Or So) Tips on Finding a Teacher .................................................. 373
Appendix: How to Use the Audio and Video Tracks ..... 383
Index ...................................................................... 395
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Table of Contents
Introduction ................................................................. 1
Why This Book Is for You ............................................................................... 1
Foolish Assumptions ....................................................................................... 2
How This Book Is Organized .......................................................................... 2
Part I: So You Want to Play the Violin ................................................. 3
Part II: Getting Started: The Basics ...................................................... 3
Part III: Reading Music for the Violin ................................................... 3
Part IV: Musicianship and Harmony .................................................... 3
Part V: Taking It Up a Notch: Techniques and Styles ........................ 3
Part VI: Getting into Gear, Staying in Gear .......................................... 4
Part VII: The Part of Tens ...................................................................... 4
The Audio and Video Tracks ................................................................ 4
Icons Used in This Book ................................................................................. 4
Where to Go from Here ................................................................................... 5
Part I: So You Want to Play the Violin ........................... 7
Chapter 1: Introducing the Violin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Meeting the String Family ............................................................................... 9
Tuning up .............................................................................................. 10
Holding on ............................................................................................. 10
Bowing Out Some Sounds ............................................................................. 11
Looking closely at the bow ................................................................. 11
Using both your hands ........................................................................ 11
Reading between the Lines .......................................................................... 12
Knowing the notes ............................................................................... 12
Getting rhythm ..................................................................................... 13
Digging Deeper into Music ........................................................................... 13
Scales and key signatures ................................................................... 13
Harmony................................................................................................ 13
Getting Stylish ................................................................................................ 14
Dazzling technique .............................................................................. 14
Multicultural music.............................................................................. 14
Having Your Own Violin ............................................................................... 15
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Violin For Dummies, 2nd Edition
x
Chapter 2: Getting Started with the Violin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Examining the Violin ..................................................................................... 18
How Violins Work .......................................................................................... 21
String vibration and string length ...................................................... 21
Using both hands to make a sound ................................................... 21
How the bow helps .............................................................................. 22
Using the Violin Case .................................................................................... 23
Taking the violin out of its case ......................................................... 23
Putting the violin away ........................................................................ 24
Protecting your violin.......................................................................... 25
Tuning the Violin ........................................................................................... 25
Working the pegs and fne tuners ...................................................... 26
Tuning with the piano ......................................................................... 29
Using an electronic tuner .................................................................... 30
Using a pitch pipe ................................................................................ 32
Using a tuning fork ............................................................................... 33
Troubleshooting Guide to Dealing with Pegs and Fine Tuners ............... 34
Peg problems ........................................................................................ 34
Fine tuner problems ............................................................................ 36
Chapter 3: Holding Up Well . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Understanding the Importance of a Good Violin Hold ............................. 39
When standing...................................................................................... 40
When sitting .......................................................................................... 42
Reading from a Music Stand ......................................................................... 43
Finding a Good Fit: Chinrests and Shoulder Rests .................................... 44
Chinrests ............................................................................................... 45
Shoulder rests ...................................................................................... 47
Fixing Common Problems with the Violin Hold ......................................... 49
Keeping the scroll afoat ..................................................................... 49
Watching the horizontal angle ........................................................... 50
Keeping your elbow under ................................................................. 51
Gripping too much with the shoulder ............................................... 52
Part II: Getting Started: The Basics ............................. 53
Chapter 4: Taking a Bow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
Saying Hello to the Bow ................................................................................ 56
Preparing the Bow ......................................................................................... 57
Tightening and loosening the horsehair ........................................... 58
Using rosin on the bow ....................................................................... 59
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Table of Contents
Getting a Grip on Your Bow Hold ................................................................ 61
The famous diva method .................................................................... 61
The hidden treasures method ............................................................ 62
Conquering common problems with the bow hold......................... 64
Setting the Bow on the Strings ..................................................................... 65
Bowing on different strings ................................................................ 66
Understanding bowing signs .............................................................. 67
Playing Your First Concert! .......................................................................... 67
Mr. Smooth and Mr. Clean: Two Bowing Styles ......................................... 70
Chapter 5: Getting the Left Hand Right . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73
Shaping Up Your Arm and Fingers .............................................................. 73
Getting your arm in shape .................................................................. 74
Taking your fngers to tap dancing class .......................................... 75
Making a hand frame that works ....................................................... 75
Keeping your thumb loose on the violin’s neck .............................. 77
Putting Your Fingers on the Strings ............................................................ 78
Getting groovy fngertips .................................................................... 78
Counting your fngers .......................................................................... 79
Knowing which fnger to use for what note ...................................... 80
Lifting and placing your fngers ......................................................... 80
Getting It Taped ............................................................................................. 81
Preparing Your Pizzicato .............................................................................. 84
Exploring the fngerboard guidesthrough pizzicato ....................... 85
Three’s Company: Putting Finger 2 to Work .............................................. 87
Chapter 6: All Together Now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91
Using Your Hands Together ......................................................................... 91
Starting to use both hands ................................................................. 91
Developing ftness for hands together .............................................. 92
Crossing Over to a Different String ............................................................. 95
Crossing strings with the bow............................................................ 95
Crossing strings with the fngers ....................................................... 98
Playing Music with Both Hands ................................................................. 102
Warming up to the task ..................................................................... 102
Topping the charts: Three simple songs ........................................ 103
Expanding Your Bow Strokes ..................................................................... 105
Using more bow, gradually ............................................................... 105
Preparing to play Pachelbel ............................................................. 105
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Violin For Dummies, 2nd Edition
xii
Part III: Reading Music for the Violin ........................ 107
Chapter 7: Translating Five Lines onto Four Strings . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
Lining Up the Music ..................................................................................... 109
Keeping up with the clef ................................................................... 110
Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (and so do girls!) ...................... 112
Climbing the ledger lines .................................................................. 112
Naming Your Notes, String by String ........................................................ 113
Knowing 17 notes ............................................................................... 114
A string ................................................................................................ 114
E string ................................................................................................ 115
D string ................................................................................................ 117
G string ................................................................................................ 118
Meeting the Sharps, Flats, and Naturals ................................................... 119
Looking at sharps, fats, and naturals ............................................. 119
Playing sharps and fats .................................................................... 120
Playing Music by Reading the Notes ......................................................... 120
Playing Loud and Soft — Dynamite Dynamics! ........................................ 121
Making loud sounds........................................................................... 123
Making soft sounds ............................................................................ 123
Adding crescendo and diminuendo ................................................ 124
Chapter 8: Making Rhythm Count . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127
Dissecting a Musical Note .......................................................................... 127
Adding Up the Value of Notes .................................................................... 128
Whole notes ........................................................................................ 129
Half notes ............................................................................................ 130
Quarter notes ..................................................................................... 131
Eighth notes ........................................................................................ 132
Sixteenth notes ................................................................................... 133
Triplets ................................................................................................ 134
Adding Dots .................................................................................................. 135
Dotted half notes................................................................................ 135
Dotted quarter notes ......................................................................... 136
Taking a Rest ................................................................................................ 136
You’ve Got Rhythm: Pieces to Play! .......................................................... 137
Chapter 9: Measuring Up: A Guide to Meter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .141
Measure for Measure .................................................................................. 141
Keeping Time: Time Signatures ................................................................. 143
Tapping into the beat ........................................................................ 143
Counting rests .................................................................................... 145
Emphasizing the right beat ............................................................... 145
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Table of Contents
Using Metronomes ...................................................................................... 147
Mechanical metronomes................................................................... 147
Electronic metronomes ..................................................................... 148
Making friends with your metronome ............................................. 150
Making Music in
4
⁄4 Meter ............................................................................ 151
Counting and Playing in Threes ................................................................. 153
Doing (Just About) Everything Else from Fours and Threes ................. 154
4
⁄4 time .................................................................................................. 155
6
⁄8 time .................................................................................................. 156
Getting Up to Speed: What Those Tempo Markings Mean ..................... 157
Time for Some Songs ................................................................................... 158
Part IV: Musicianship and Harmony ........................... 163
Chapter 10: Weighing In on Scales. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165
Climbing Up and Down ............................................................................... 165
Marching through the Major Scales .......................................................... 166
Building major scales ........................................................................ 167
Major scales you need to know ........................................................ 168
A major scale ...................................................................................... 168
G major scale, upper octave ............................................................. 171
G major scale, two octaves ............................................................... 173
E major scale ...................................................................................... 174
A major scale, two octaves ............................................................... 176
F major scale....................................................................................... 178
Casting Light on Those Minors .................................................................. 179
Building a minor scale ....................................................................... 179
Playing A melodic minor scale ......................................................... 179
Playing A harmonic minor scale ...................................................... 181
Meeting Other Scales in Brief ..................................................................... 182
Natural minor scales ......................................................................... 182
Pentatonic scales ............................................................................... 183
Chromatic scales................................................................................ 183
Harping On about Arpeggios ...................................................................... 184
A major arpeggio ................................................................................ 185
A minor arpeggio ............................................................................... 186
Major (and Minor) Achievements ............................................................. 186
Chapter 11: Cracking Key Signatures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .189
The Keys to Reading Music ........................................................................ 189
Getting keyed up about key signatures ........................................... 189
Reading the key signatures for major keys .................................... 190
Keeping order ..................................................................................... 192
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Violin For Dummies, 2nd Edition
xiv
Unlocking the Music with the Right Key ................................................... 193
Figuring Out Minor Keys ............................................................................. 193
Forming the relative minor ............................................................... 194
Recognizing minor keys when reading music ................................ 194
Having the Last Dance ................................................................................ 195
Chapter 12: Making Sweet Music Together: Harmony . . . . . . . . . . . .197
Making Sense of Chords and Harmony ..................................................... 197
In the Big Leagues: Major Chords .............................................................. 198
Finding the primary triads ................................................................ 199
Breaking out in chords ...................................................................... 200
Digging for Minor Chords ........................................................................... 201
Making the Most of Major and Minor Chords .......................................... 202
Meet the Bossy Chords: Dominant 7ths ................................................... 203
Harmonizing in Thirds and Sixths ............................................................. 205
Part V: Taking It Up a Notch: Techniques and Styles ... 207
Chapter 13: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Bowing . . . . . . . . .209
Two Notes (Or More) with One Stroke: Legato ....................................... 210
Changing bow direction smoothly................................................... 211
Starting to slur two notes ................................................................. 212
Slurring across strings ...................................................................... 216
Playing three notes in a bow stroke ................................................ 219
Fitting four notes in a bow stroke .................................................... 222
Getting Up to Speed and Figuring Out Bow Division .............................. 223
Deciding how much bow to use on a note or measure ................. 224
Doing the math: Dividing the bow by note values ......................... 225
Dividing the bow strokes in anticipation of the next note ........... 226
Adjusting the amounts of bow for dynamics ................................. 226
Mais Oui, Maestro: Taking On Ze Accents ................................................ 227
Accenting the positive....................................................................... 228
Hammering it out: Martelé ................................................................ 230
Meeting the Fanciest Bowings ................................................................... 233
Slurred staccato ................................................................................. 233
Meet the off-the-string family ........................................................... 234
Chapter 14: Putting Your Finger on It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241
Two Notes Are Better Than One: Easy Double Stops ............................. 241
Preparing your bow for double stops ............................................. 242
Going from one string to two and back again ................................ 244
Ballet dancing with your fngers on the lower string .................... 246
Playing double stops where both notes use fngers ..................... 247
Playing double stops galore ............................................................. 249
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Table of Contents
Pulling Out All the Stops: Three- and Four-Note Chords ........................ 250
Three-note chords ............................................................................. 250
Four-note chords ............................................................................... 252
A grand fnale with chords................................................................ 253
Getting into the First Four Positions ......................................................... 254
Finding frst position ......................................................................... 254
Smoothing out the second position ................................................ 255
Putting second position to work ...................................................... 256
Playing in third position.................................................................... 258
Venturing forth in fourth position ................................................... 260
Knowing what position you’re in ..................................................... 263
Changing Position ........................................................................................ 263
Easing into shifting positions ........................................................... 264
Getting to know the four kinds of shifts .......................................... 266
Changing position to go to a different string ................................. 272
Playing a shifty song .......................................................................... 273
All Aquiver: Vibrato ..................................................................................... 274
Getting started with vibrato ............................................................. 275
Good vibrations: Using your vibrato in a real song....................... 279
Tapping into Trills ....................................................................................... 279
Building speed of repetition ............................................................. 280
Speeding from fnger to fnger .......................................................... 280
Trilling techniques ............................................................................. 281
Chapter 15: Playing with Style. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .285
Fiddling Around with Country Music ........................................................ 285
Familiarizing yourself with fddle music ......................................... 286
Fiddling in different styles ................................................................ 288
Sounding like a fddler ....................................................................... 289
Fiddling your way to songs ............................................................... 291
Grooving to Jazz .......................................................................................... 293
Listening to some jazz violin ............................................................ 293
Getting the jazz sound ....................................................................... 294
Jazzing up your violin ........................................................................ 297
Enchanting with Gypsy Violin .................................................................... 300
Listening to some great gypsy violin ............................................... 300
Romancing the violin ......................................................................... 301
Playing in the gypsy style ................................................................. 305
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Violin For Dummies, 2nd Edition
xvi
Part VI: Getting into Gear, Staying in Gear ................ 309
Chapter 16: Finding the Right Violin and Bow for You . . . . . . . . . . . .311
Picking a Violin That’s Right for You ........................................................ 312
The price is right ................................................................................ 312
Tip-top condition ............................................................................... 313
Old news ............................................................................................. 315
Sound advice ...................................................................................... 315
All about appearance ........................................................................ 316
Sizing Up the Violin ..................................................................................... 317
Buying the Best Bow ................................................................................... 319
What bows are made of..................................................................... 319
How the bow feels .............................................................................. 320
Buying or Renting Your Violin ................................................................... 321
Buying .................................................................................................. 321
Renting ................................................................................................ 322
Renting to buy .................................................................................... 323
Finding Your Violin ...................................................................................... 324
Getting Plugged into Electric Violins ........................................................ 326
Acoustic pickups ................................................................................ 326
Electric violins .................................................................................... 327
Chapter 17: Protecting Your Assets: Violin Care and Maintenance . . . .329
Cleaning Up .................................................................................................. 329
Daily dusting ....................................................................................... 330
Cleaning the strings ........................................................................... 330
Polishing the wood ............................................................................ 332
Changing Strings .......................................................................................... 333
Taking off the old strings .................................................................. 333
Prepping the pegs and string ........................................................... 336
Putting on strings attached at the tailpiece ................................... 337
Putting on strings attached to fne tuners ...................................... 338
Tightening the strings ....................................................................... 339
Protecting Your Violin ................................................................................ 340
Practicing safety at rehearsals ......................................................... 340
Traveling with your violin................................................................. 340
Upgrading Your Case .................................................................................. 342
The makings of a good case ............................................................. 343
Testing a case ..................................................................................... 345
Looking at extra features .................................................................. 345
Changing Chinrests ..................................................................................... 346
Taking off the old chinrest ................................................................ 347
Attaching the new chinrest .............................................................. 348
Rehairing the Bow ....................................................................................... 348
Finding Useful Accessories ......................................................................... 349
Necessities .......................................................................................... 350
Extras ................................................................................................... 350
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Table of Contents
Part VII: The Part of Tens .......................................... 355
Chapter 18: Ten Performers — and Their Recordings. . . . . . . . . . . . .357
Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840) .................................................................... 357
Fritz Kreisler (1875–1962) ........................................................................... 358
Jascha Heifetz (1899–1987) ........................................................................ 358
Stéphane Grappelli (1908–1997) ................................................................ 359
Yehudi Menuhin (1916–1999) ..................................................................... 359
Itzhak Perlman (1945) ................................................................................. 360
Nigel Kennedy (1956) .................................................................................. 361
Mark O’Connor (1961) ................................................................................. 361
Natalie MacMaster (1973) ........................................................................... 361
Rachel Barton Pine (1974) .......................................................................... 362
Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Go beyond This Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .363
Subscribing to a Magazine .......................................................................... 363
Attending Concerts ..................................................................................... 364
Joining a Community Orchestra ................................................................ 365
Going to Summer Camps ............................................................................ 365
Playing in Small Groups .............................................................................. 366
Participating in Festivals ............................................................................ 368
Local music festivals (competitive and noncompetitive) ............ 368
International music festivals ............................................................ 368
Building a Music Collection ........................................................................ 369
Watching and Collecting Videos and DVDs .............................................. 369
Visiting Competitions .................................................................................. 370
Performing at Hospitals and Seniors’ Homes .......................................... 371
Chapter 20: Ten (Or So) Tips on Finding a Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .373
Networking ................................................................................................... 373
Calling the Local Orchestra ........................................................................ 375
Inquiring at Music Schools ......................................................................... 375
Checking Out Community Colleges ........................................................... 376
Asking at the University .............................................................................. 377
Hearing Students Play ................................................................................. 377
Asking at the Music Store ........................................................................... 378
Mentioning Your Quest Everywhere ......................................................... 379
Checking Out Violin Lessons on the Internet .......................................... 379
Looking for a Good Gut Feeling before You Start .................................... 379
Meeting a Teacher for the First Time ........................................................ 381
Auditioning ......................................................................................... 381
Planning lessons ................................................................................ 382
Making business arrangements ....................................................... 382
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Violin For Dummies, 2nd Edition
xviii
Appendix: How to Use the Audio and Video Tracks ...... 383
Relating the Text to the Audio and Video Tracks ................................... 383
Hearing the audio tracks ................................................................... 383
Watching the video tracks ................................................................ 384
System Requirements ................................................................................. 384
Using Microsoft Windows ........................................................................... 384
What You Find on the Audio and Video Tracks ...................................... 385
MP3 audio tracks ............................................................................... 385
Video tracks ........................................................................................ 390
Troubleshooting .......................................................................................... 393
Index ....................................................................... 395
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Chapter 1
Introducing the Violin
In This Chapter
▶ Getting to know the instrument
▶ Making sounds with the violin
▶ Reading and playing music
▶ Putting music theory into practice
▶ Trying different playing styles
▶ Choosing and caring for your instrument
Y
ou don’t have to be a professional musician to enjoy playing the violin.
Learning to play for your own enjoyment — for the joy of making music —
can be really satisfying. If you’ve always wanted to play but have never had the
chance, or if you’ve taken some lessons or played a bit at school, this book is for
you: It starts right from the first time you open your case and takes you step-by-
step to playing real music on your violin.
Meeting the String Family
The violin is a member of the string family, which also claims the illustrious
viola, the magnificent cello, and the imposing double bass as its own, actually
totaling 16 strings among them –– or even 17, as some basses have five strings!
People also often include such instruments as the guitar and the harp in the
string family, but these relatives lack an essential accoutrement: Players don’t
need a bow to make sounds. So the string family has become known by another
name too: bowed strings. All of the bowed strings’ family members bear a distinct
resemblance. The overall shape of the instruments is similar, and their sound is
instantly recognizable.
The smallest member of the string family, the violin, is an instrument that’s
familiar to people all over the world. Just because the violin’s the smallest in
size, however, doesn’t mean it’s the least important or least powerful — quite
the contrary. The violin’s special soprano voice can express a whole gamut
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10
Part I: So You Want to Play the Violin
of emotions, even those beyond the power of words. The violin can produce
tone colors and intensities like the greatest of painters, and it has fascinated
and moved players and audiences alike for generations.
Making a violin requires great skill, honed through a long apprenticeship,
to get more than 70 component parts put together into one beautiful instru-
ment. But many violinists wouldn’t know their scroll (the beautifully carved
whorl of wood at the end of the violin, farthest from the player) from their
saddle (the small ebony ridge that supports the whole course of the strings).
This unawareness isn’t surprising; although most people are familiar with
cars, they can’t name auto parts either.
Plenty of experienced violinists can’t name all the component parts of a
violin, mainly because many parts are completely hidden inside the violin
after it’s put together. They can name the key ones, though. I discuss the key
parts of the violin in Chapter 2 as I take you on a tour of your violin. I also
discuss in Chapter 2 some different violin-making processes, and I walk you
through the steps for getting your violin safely out of its case when you begin
your playing session, and for putting it away when you’re done.
Tuning up
After being properly introduced to the violin, you need to tune your instru-
ment before you begin to play. Each string has its own set note that you tune
to, so that when you put down your fingers, you get the sound you expect.
Tuning the violin can be intimidating: Those four strings need a checkup
tuning every time you start your daily playing session, and they occasionally
slip out of tune as you play. This frequent tuning seems a bit unfair. After all,
pianists don’t have to tune for themselves; they just have to call in a profes-
sional piano tuner a couple of times a year. And flautists use a fairly simple
process to adjust the tuning of their flutes. On the violin, some aspects of
tuning can be pretty tricky, so I offer tips on how to tune — and how to deal
with managing the tricky stuff too (see Chapter 2).
Eventually, the tuning process becomes second nature, and violinists don’t
mind tuning their instruments, because proper tuning makes them sound
good. And think of those pianos with several notes slipping out of tune, and
the tuner not due for months — pianists have to grit their teeth and wait!
Violinists can fix out-of-tune strings right away.
Holding on
In addition to your violin being undoubtedly the most elegant of instruments,
another part of its appeal is how debonair violinists look when they’re actually
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11
Chapter 1: Introducing the Violin
playing. Great violinists often look like their instrument is an extension of them-
selves — but this seemingly effortless posture actually involves a lot of practice.
Apart from looking great, taking time to get the instrument comfortably lodged
and balanced prevents your playing from becoming a literal pain in the neck.
Your arm and finger functions also work best when all their muscles are free
to move as needed, with no excess tension or creaky joints. Chapter 3 shows
you how to hold the violin really well, and provides a few tips on finding useful
accessories to help you in your quest for balance and comfort.
Bowing Out Some Sounds
The violin may get most of the glory, but its renown wouldn’t be possible
without its slender companion, the bow. The bow’s job is to activate the
vibrations of the strings so that your violin can sing out. When you look at
the narrow bow stick — only 29 inches long with a ribbon of powdery-white
horsehair — realizing how much sound a bow can draw out, and in how
many different ways, is quite amazing.
Looking closely at the bow
The bow may have fewer components than its more celebrated case-mate,
but it has its own quirks and nuances. How can you not appreciate something
with a part named “frog”? I introduce you to the frog and more prosaically
named parts of the bow (no toads or princesses) in Chapter 4, which also
tells you how to care for your bow so that it stays in tip-top condition.
Although your bow doesn’t require tuning, it does need its own type of atten-
tion before and after every use. And just like the violin, you need to hold the
bow a certain way. Chapter 4 introduces you to holding the bow properly and
even shows you how to bow out a few tunes.
Using both your hands
Think of trying to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time (or is
it the other way around?). Playing the violin is a good exercise for your brain
and hand coordination because your two hands move very differently to make
sounds. If you’re an adult taking up the violin for the first time, you can earn
extra points for all that new brain activity.
Your left hand has a lot of responsibilities on the violin, making notes both
by landing and by lifting fingers on and off the four strings. Fingers also
have to move horizontally and laterally to reach various notes on different
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12
Part I: So You Want to Play the Violin
strings. Eventually, the left hand also moves to different locations farther up
the strings to find those impressive high notes. Chapter 5 gets your left hand
actions off on the right track, showing you the finger-numbering system for
the violin and the way to successfully land your fingers on the strings without
getting a pilot’s license.
But all that left-hand work can’t make an impact if the bow doesn’t stroke the
strings — and that’s your right hand’s important job: holding your bow just
right. When you assemble all your bowing skills, the bow can make a whole
range of sounds, from singing sweetly in lyrical music to hammering out
sounds in passionate passages. Chapter 6 sets you on the right path by bring-
ing your hands together to bow and finger the notes simultaneously. You
make music by using some simple charts, and you finish up with songs that
put all your skills into action.
Reading between the Lines
The first songs you meet in this book don’t require the ability to read music,
because they’re written out in handy charts. The charts allow you to play
simple songs right away as you begin to play your violin. However, when you
find out how to read actual musical notation, you can play more advanced
music and enjoy a wealth of songs and pieces.
Printed musical notation is a shorthand system that communicates a whole
world of playing instructions to musicians. These instructions include infor-
mation about which notes to play, and at what speed and rhythm; how loud
or soft the music needs to be; and a rich resource of other visual information
that helps you to make the sounds right. As an added advantage, the ability
to read music allows you to understand music that’s been written for any
instrument or singer, not just for the violin.
Knowing the notes
Reading music is a bit like reading a language written with a different alpha-
bet than the one you’re used to. Printed music has similarities to what you
already know; you just need to get to know the new system. The notes belong
on those famous five lines, which function much like a ladder: the higher the
notes climb the ladder, the higher the sound you get. Notes have slightly dif-
ferent appearances according to their time values. Various symbols tell musi-
cians about the volume, how to “attack” the notes (just with a bow, no arrow
necessary), and so on.
To crack the secret code, see Chapter “007” (or Chapter 7, if you’re not the
espionage type), which takes you through the symbols and signs and shows
you how to make them into musical sounds.
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Chapter 1: Introducing the Violin
Getting rhythm
All the melodies in the world would be a lot less listenable without rhythm.
Dancers would trip over one another, soldiers would fall over like dominoes,
and toe-tappers would be toe-tally frustrated. Rhythm gives life and energy to
music and lets you dance along to many different drummers (or violinists).
Chapter 8 introduces you to the most important elements of rhythm and
shows you how to count your way through the different values. In Chapter 9,
you put those rhythms together into different measures so you know when to
waltz and when to polka.
Digging Deeper into Music
Reading notes on the page and knowing the time values of the notes is just
the start of playing music. After you know those basics, doors open to the
big leagues.
Scales and key signatures
I know that scales often inspire dread because they used to be drilled and
repeated endlessly in the bad ol’ days. But scales are really the building blocks
to music, enabling musicians to find their way around just about any piece.
Knowing your scales well gives you fluency and confidence — nothing wrong
with that! Chapter 10 covers some of the most essential scales for a violinist.
After you know some scales, you have the picks to unlock key signatures.
These little signs, containing up to seven sharps or flats, occur at the very
start of each piece of music and are repeated as reminders at the start of
every line throughout the piece. A key signature is a way of telling musicians
exactly which notes to play in a particular piece. Chapter 11 shows you how
to read and recognize the different key signatures.
Harmony
Although violins usually play the melody one note at a time, one of the advan-
tages of a string instrument is that its four strings enable players to play up
to four notes at once, when needed. But just as pickles and ice cream don’t
mix, not all notes work well together. Chapter 12 combines some of these
notes into sweet harmonies, so you don’t marry dill and vanilla.
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Part I: So You Want to Play the Violin
Getting Stylish
The violin is well loved for its versatility and for the panoply of sounds it can
make, from the gentle singing of a slow, peaceful lullaby to the dazzling cas-
cade of brilliance in a virtuoso showpiece. You’re probably already itching
to tackle some fancy tricks and to coax all kinds of exotic sounds out of your
violin. The good news is that you can begin to do some really neat things as
you look into the chapters about fancier techniques and styles.
Dazzling technique
After you master some different ways of playing with the bow, you can add
new dash and panache to your sounds. Even the names of the different bow-
ings sound fancy. When you bump into your friends, you can casually let
drop that you’re playing spiccato, and then after a suitable pause for effect,
you can let them know that this is a bow stroke where the bow bounces off
the violin strings.
Seeing the words brush stroke may make you wonder what a violinist is
doing with a brush, but you don’t have to transform into Chagall to play
your violin — you just add an artistic brushing movement to your bow
strokes, bringing a whole new palette of sounds to your fingertips. Chapter 13
introduces you to a choice menu of bowings, some in the meat-and-potato
department, and some in the sinful dessert category!
In Chapter 14, you go through a similar journey of discovery with your left
hand, getting your fingers to dance across the strings (almost doing a violin
version of the Highland fling) and do other neat moves. Not only do your
fingertips lift and land on one string, but they also slide and hop to different
spots on that same string, ready to leap across to another string at any time.
Sometimes two different fingers play on two different strings at once. Just
when you have those fingers in line, you find out how to move your left hand
to high positions (and back again) so that you can play high notes or make
slinky-sounding slides.
Multicultural music
The violin is like a chameleon — it’s at home just about anywhere. In addition
to the more classical styles of playing, cultures all over the world have their
own unique styles featuring the violin and its relatives — from the Chinese
two-string erhu, which has a ravishing and magical vocal sound, to the Indian
sarangi, an expressive and exotic instrument with three gut strings to play on
and a whole array of metal strings that vibrate sympathetically.
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Chapter 1: Introducing the Violin
But you don’t need to get hold of an erhu or a sarangi to play in different
styles. Chapter 15 takes you on a visit to some different musical styles that
you can play with your very own violin. You can fit right in, whether you’re
at a joyful ceilidh, at a smoky jazz club, or in a sultry gypsy caravan.
Having Your Own Violin
As you embark on your important and exciting violin project, you may be so
in love with the instrument that you want to buy one right away. However,
you may feel cautious about jumping in, so you may rent an instrument for a
while. Either option is a good way to get started.
Finding the right instrument with the right price tag for you, whether it’s
through buying or renting a violin, is a personal decision that affects your
enjoyment and progress. You want to feel satisfied with the instrument you
play, so your violin needs to sound good enough. Chapter 16 discusses some
of the issues to consider before you make a decision about what’s best.
After you’re equipped with all the gear, you can find out how to take good
care of it and do the necessary maintenance. Keeping your violin and bow
in tip-top condition takes only a few simple steps. Chapter 17 covers these
in detail (even talking about what to do if an accident occurs to your violin),
discussing daily care, changing strings, and traveling safely with your violin
in hand (or should I say, in case?).
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Part I: So You Want to Play the Violin
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Index
• Numerics •
eighth notes, 132–133
eighth rest, 137
ffth position and higher, 262
frst position, 254–255
4/4 time, 143–145, 151–153
four-note chords, 252–253
four-note slurs, 222–223
fourth position, 260–263
second position, 255–258
17 notes, 114
6/8 time, 156–157
sixteenth notes, 133–134
sixteenth rest, 137
sixth interval below note, 205–206
third position, 258–260
three notes in a bow stroke, playing,
219–222
3/4 time, 153–154
three-note chords, 250–251
three-note slurs
arpeggios, adding three-note slurs to, 221
overview, 219–221
songs, adding three-note slurs to, 221–222
2/4 time, 155–156
two-note slurs
fngers, slurring between, 213–214
half a bow, using, 215–216
overview, 212–213
scales, adding two-note slurs to, 214–215
song, adding two-note slurs to, 215
• A •
A harmonic minor scale, 181–182
A major arpeggio, 185
A major key signature, 191
A major scale
ascending, 169–170
descending, 170–171
overview, 168–169
A major scale (two octaves), 176–177
A melodic minor scale, 179–180
A minor arpeggio, 186
A string, 114–115
accelerando (accel.), 158
accents, 227–232
accessories, adding, 349–353
accidentals, 119, 194
accidents to your violin, coping with, 342
acoustic pickups, 326–327
adagio, 157
adjustable music stands, 44
Alberti, Domenico (composer), 201
Alberti bass, 201
allegretto, 157
allegro, 157
alto clef (C-clef), 110–111
Amazon (web site), 369
American Federation of Violin and Bow
Makers, 314
American String Teachers Association
(ASTA), 376
andante, 157
anticipation of next note, dividing bow
strokes in, 226
Appalachian Fiddle (Krassen), 286
appearance of violin, assessing before
buying, 316–317
arm, left hand work exercise for, 74–75
arm steering, 98–101
arpeggios
A major arpeggio, 185
A minor arpeggio, 186
overview, 184–185
three-note slurs, adding, 221
articulations, 209
The Art of Henryk Szeryng (video), 370
The Art of Violin (video), 370
“Asian Mood,” 86, 219
associations, professional teaching, 376
auctions, buying a violin from, 325–326
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audio tracks (MP3)
list of, 385–390
listening to, 383
with Microsoft Windows, 384–385
system requirements, 384
troubleshooting, 393
auditioning teachers, 381
augmented second, 181
“Aunt Rhody,” 187
• B •
“Bach’s G Minor Gavotte,” 195
back of violin, 18
bagatelle, 86
Baillot, Pierre (violinist-composer), 45
ball-end strings, 338
bar. See measure
bar lines, 119, 141–142
basic major scales, 168
bass bar, 18
bass clef (F-clef), 110–111
Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles’
Father (mnemonic device for
remembering order of fats in key
signature), 192
B fat major key signature, 192
BBC Music Magazine, 364
beam, 128
beat
described, 129
emphasizing correct, 145–146
Beethoven, Ludwig van (composer and
pianist), 146, 227
Bill Monroe: The Essential Collection
(Monroe), 287
Blue Lake (music camp), 366
bluegrass, 286–287, 288
blues scales, 296–297
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, 287
body of violin, 18
“Boil the Cabbage Down,” 121, 139
bow
brazilwood, 319
buying a, 319–320
case, 23, 352
composite, 319
condition of, checklist for, 320
cost of, 319
crossing strings with, 95–98
double stops, preparation for, 242–244
eye, 56
famous diva method for holding, 61–62
feel of, assessing, 320
ferrule, 56
frog, 56
grip, 56
hidden treasures method for holding,
61, 62–64
holding, 12, 61–64
horsehair, 56–57, 58–59
lapping, 57
left hand, using, 74
material used in making a, 319
more bow, gradually using, 105
overview, 11–12, 22, 56–57
parts of, 56–57
pernambuco, 319
point, 57
preparation, 57–61
rehairing, 56, 348–349
rosin, 59–61
screw, 57
spare, 351
stick, 57
strings, setting bow on, 65–67
winding, 57
bow circles. See circular retake
bow division
anticipation of next note, dividing bow
strokes in, 226
dynamics, adjusting amounts of bow for,
226–227
measure, deciding how much bow to use
on a, 224–225
note, deciding how much bow to use
on a, 224–225
note values, dividing bow by, 225
overview, 223–225
bowed strings, 9
bowing. See also bow division
accents, 227–232
the beat, 144–145
brush stroke, 235
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Index
détaché style, 70–71
on different strings, 66–67
down-bow, 67
expanding strokes, 105–106
legato
contact point, 211–212
direction, changing bow, 211–212
four-note slurs, 222–223
marking for, 210–211
overview, 210–211
slurring across strings, 216–219
slurring two notes, 212–216
speed, 211
three notes in a bow stroke, playing,
219–222
weight, 211
martelé strokes, 230–232
pizzicato, 238–239
separate bows, going from one string
to two strings and back again with,
244–245
seven bow levels, 97
signs, 67
slurred staccato, 233–234
spiccato, 236–237
staccato style, 71
styles, 70–71
troubleshooting, 66
up-bow, 67
“Brahm’s Lullaby,” 204–205
brazilwood bow, 319
bridge
assessing before buying a violin, 314
described, 19
broken chords, 200
broken strings, taking off, 334–336
brush stroke, 14, 235
business arrangements with teacher,
discussing, 382
buying a violin
acoustic pickups, 326–327
appearance, assessing, 316–317
from auctions, 325–326
bow, buying a, 319–320
bridge, assessing, 314
carbon fber violins, 317
for children, 317–318
condition of violin, assessing, 313–315
cost of, 312–313
cracks, checking for, 314
electric violins, 326–327
ethical issues, 321
factory outfts, 313
fnding your violin, 324–326
fngerboard, assessing, 314
fractional size violins, 317–318
handmade violins, 313, 314
from individual private sellers, 325
joints, assessing, 315
from music stores, 324–325
neck, assessing, 314
older violins, 315
outfts, 313
overview, 15, 311–312
price bracket, choosing a, 312–313
from private dealers, 325
reasons for, 321–322
renting instead of, 322–324
renting to buy, 323–324
size of violin, 317–318
sound, assessing, 315–316
from specialist violin stores, 325
wood, assessing, 315
workshop violins, 313, 316
from your teacher, 321
• C •
C (common time), 143–144
C major key signature, 190
Cajun and Zydeco music, 288, 289
CAMMAC (Canadian Amateur Musicians/
Musiciens amateurs du Canada)
(music camp), 366
“Cancan,” 200–201
carbon fber violins, 317
care and maintenance
accessories, adding, 349–353
accidents, coping with, 342
bow, rehairing, 348–349
case, upgrading your, 342–346
chinrests, changing, 346–348
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Violin For Dummies, 2nd Edition
care and maintenance (continued)
cleaning your violin, 329–333
protecting your violin, 340–342
repairing your violin, 342
strings, changing, 333–340
carrying strap, 345
cars, protecting your violin in, 341
case
carrying strap, 345
compartments for accessories, 346
cover, 344
fasteners, 346
features of, 345–346
humidifer, 346
hygrometer, 346
instrument blanket, 346
protecting your violin, tips for, 25
putting violin away, 24
shape of, 343–344
string tube, 346
subway grip handle, 346
taking violin out of, 23–24
testing, 345
upgrading, 342–346
weight of, 343–344
case bags, 351
case strap, 351
C-clef (alto clef), 110–111
Celtic music, 286, 288
changing position
fnger-substitution shifts, 270–272
intermediate-note shifts, 268–270
open-string shifts, 266–267
overview, 263–266
same-fnger shifts, 267–268
“Chicken Reel,” 293
children, buying violins for, 317–318
chinrests
attaching new, 347
changing, 346–348
choosing, 46–47
Flesch, 46
Guarneri, 47
history of, 45
holding your violin, 44–47
overview, 19, 45–46
taking off old, 347
Tekka, 46
Vermeer, 46
chords
breaking up, 200–201
dominant 7ths, 203–205
forming, 198
major
overview, 198–199
primary triads, 198–200
minor, 201–202
overview, 197–198
recognizing, 198
chromatic scales, 183–184
chromatic tuners, 31
circular retake, 138, 253
cleaner, polish, and cloth, 352
cleaning your violin
dusting, daily, 330
overview, 329
polishing the wood, 332–333
strings, cleaning, 330–332
Clements, Vassar (Livin’ with the
Blues), 294
common time (C), 143–144
community colleges as place to fnd
teachers, 376
compartments for accessories in case, 346
competitions
International Tchaikovsky Competition
(Moscow), 371
Queen Elizabeth Competition (Brussels),
370
visiting, 370–371
Wieniawski Competition (Warsaw), 371
composite bow, 319
concerts, attending, 364–365
condition of violin, assessing, 313–315
conducting to the beat, 144
contact point, 122, 211–212
coordinating fngers and bow in string
crossing, 101
corner blocks, 20
cost of buying a violin, 312–313
country and western music, 287, 288
“Country Club,” 298
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Index
cover for case, 344
cracks in violin, checking for, 314
crescendo (cresc.)
adding, 124–125
described, 122
“Cripple Creek,” 292
• D •
D major key signature, 191
D string, 117
decrescendo, 122
degrees of a scale, 167–168
détaché style of bowing, 70–71
different string, changing position to
go to a, 272
diminuendo (dim.)
adding, 124–125
described, 122
direction, changing bow, 211–212
dominant, 167
dominant 7th chords, 203–205
dominant triad
in major keys, 199
in minor keys, 202
dots, 135–136
dotted half notes, 135
dotted quarter notes, 136
double bar, 142
double stops
both notes using fngers, 247–248
bow preparation for, 242–244
emotional intensity with, 242
fuller sound with, 242
lower string, with fngers on, 246–247
overview, 241–242, 290–291
separate bows, going from one string
to two strings and back again with,
244–245
shading with, 242
single string to two strings and back
again, 244–246
slurred bows, going from one string
to two strings and back again with,
245–246
using, 249–250
downbeat, 145
down-bow, 67
“Drink to Me Only,” 234
dropped stroke, 236
duration of notes
described, 127
dotted half notes, 135
dotted quarter notes, 136
eighth notes, 132–133
half notes, 130–131
quarter notes, 131–132
sixteenth notes, 133–134
triplets, 134–135
whole notes, 129–130
dusting your violin, 330
DVDs/videos, watching, 369–370
“Dvorak’s New World Symphony, theme
from,” 68
dynamics
bow for, adjusting amounts of, 226–227
contact point, 122
crescendo (cresc.), 122, 124–125
diminuendo (dim.), 122, 124–125
forte (f), 122
fortissimo (ff), 122
loud sounds, making, 123
mezzoforte (mf), 122
mezzopiano (mp), 122
overview, 121–122
pianissimo (pp), 122
piano (p), 122
soft sounds, making, 123
speed, 122
weight, 122
• E •
E major scale, 174–176
E string, 115–117
eighth notes, 132–133
eighth rest, 137
elbow, positioning, 51–52
elbow steering, 98–101
electric violins, 326–327
electronic humidity and temperature
sensor, 353
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electronic metronomes, 148–150
electronic tuner, 30–31
emotional intensity with double stops, 242
end button, 19
erhu, 14
ethical issues and buying a violin, 321
European String Teachers Association
(ESTA), 376
“Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge”
(mnemonic device for remembering
order of notes on lines of staff), 112
exercises
for left hand work, 75, 102–103
for string crossing, 97–98, 99–101
for using both hands, 92–95
vibrato, 276–278
expanding bow strokes, 105–106
eye, 56
• F •
f (forte), 122
F major key signature, 191–192
F major scale, 178
“face in the space” (mnemonic device for
remembering order of spaces between
lines of staff), 112
factory outfts, 313
famous diva method for holding bow,
61–62
fasteners, 346
Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle
(mnemonic device for remembering
order of sharps in key signature), 192
F-clef (bass clef), 110–111
ferrule, 56
festivals
international music, 368–369
local music, 368
participating in, 368–369
Festive Strings (Martin), 367
Feuermann, Emanuel (musician), 359
ff (fortissimo), 122
f-holes, 19
fddle music
bluegrass, 286–287, 288
Cajun and Zydeco, 288, 289
Celtic, 286, 288
country and western, 287, 288
double stops, 290–291
origins of, 287
overview, 285–286
shuffes, 289–290
slides, 291
tags, 291–292
ffth position and higher, 262
fnding your violin, 324–326
fne tuners, 19, 26–27, 36–37, 338–339
fnger patterns, 87–88
fnger techniques
changing position
fnger-substitution shifts, 270–272
intermediate-note shifts, 268–270
open-string shifts, 266–267
overview, 263–266
same-fnger shifts, 267–268
double stops, 241–250
ffth position and higher, 262
frst position, 254–255
four-note chords, 252–253
fourth position, 260–263
knowing what position you’re in, 263
second position, 255–258
third position, 258–260
three-note chords, 250–251
trills
fnger to fnger, speeding from, 280–281
with fats, 282–283
with naturals, 282–283
overview, 279
repetition, building speed of, 280
with sharps, 282–283
timing for, 281–282
vibrato
exercise with violin and bow, 278
exercise with violin and without bow,
277
exercise without violin and bow,
276–277
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Index
overview, 274–276
preparation for, 276
using, 279
fngerboard
assessing, 314
described, 19
fngerboard guides, 81–84, 85–87
fngering, 80
fngernails, importance of keeping short,
169
fngers. See also fnger techniques
fnger 2, 87–90
grooves on your fngertips, placement of,
78–79
lifting and placing, 80
on lower string, double stops with,
246–247
marking spots for placement of, 81–84
numbering, 79–80
placement of, 78–79
slurring across strings and between
fngers, 217–218
slurring between, 213–214
string crossing with, 98–101
strings, putting your fngers on the, 78–80
fnger-substitution shifts, 270–272
frst position, 113, 254–255
fve-line system. See staff
fats
order of fats in key signatures, 192
overview, 119–120
playing, 120
trills with, 282–283
Flesch chinrests, 46
Folk Strings (Martin), 367
forming chords, 198
forte (f), 122
fortissimo (ff), 122
4/4 time, 143–145, 151–153
four-note chords, 252–253
four-note slurs, 222–223
fourth position, 260–263
fractional size violins, 317–318
“Frère Jacques,” 104
frog, 23, 56
fuller sound with double stops, 242
• G •
gavitte, 194
G major key signature, 191
G major scale (two octaves)
with four-note slurs, 223
overview, 173–174
G major scale (upper octave)
ascending, 172
descending, 172–173
overview, 171–172
G major scale with slurs, 218
G string, 118
Gil Shaham Mozart Violin Sonatas
(video), 370
glissando, 301–302
Gramophone (web site), 369
The Gramophone (magazine), 364
“Grand Finale,” 254
“Grand Old Duke of York,” 232
Grappelli, Stéphane
Satin Doll, 294
violinist, 359
Grigorian (web site), 369
grip, 56
grooves on your fngertips, placement
of, 78–79
Guarneri chinrests, 47
Gypsy (St. John), 300
gypsy music
glissando, 301–302
gypsy scale, 301
harmonics, 302–305
origins of, 300
overview, 300–301
tremolo, 302
trills, 305
gypsy scale, 301
The Gypsy Violin (Laszlo Berki Gypsy
Ensemble), 300
• H •
half a bow, using, 215–216
half notes, 130–131
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half rest, 137
half step, 120
hand exercises, 177
hand frame, 75–77
handmade violins, 313, 314
hands. See also left hand work
both hands, playing music with, 102–104
bow, crossing strings with, 95–98
checklist for using both hands together
properly, 94
exercises for using both hands, 92–95
hopping your fngers around exercise,
94–95
marching your fngers exercise, 93–94
preparation workouts for using both
hands, 92–95
starting to use both hands, 91–92
string, crossing over to a different, 95–101
using together, 21–22, 91–95
harmonic minor scales, 179
harmonics
octave, 303–304
overview, 302–303
third-fnger, 304–305
harmony. See also chords
described, 13, 198
sixth interval below note, 205–206
third interval above note, 205–206
Heifetz, Jascha (violinist), 358–359
Heroes (O’Connor), 286
hidden treasures method for holding bow,
61, 62–64
holding bow, 12, 61–64
holding your violin
chinrests, 44–47
elbow, positioning, 51–52
at horizontal angle, 50–51
importance of a good hold, 39–43
music stand, reading from, 43–44
overview, 10–11, 39
problems with, 49–52
scroll, positioning, 49–50
shoulder, positioning, 52
shoulder rests, 44–45, 47–49
troubleshooting, 49–52
while sitting, 42–43
while standing, 40–42
“Homage to Kreutzer,” 228, 231, 233,
235, 237
hopping your fngers around exercise,
94–95
horizontal angle, holding your violin at a,
50–51
horsehair
overview, 56–57
tightening and loosening, 58–59
hospitals, performing at, 371
“Hot Cross Buns,” 103–104
humidifers, 346, 352
“Hungarian Dance No. 1,” 306–307
“Hunting Horn Song,” 250
hygrometer, 346
• I •
individual private sellers, buying a violin
from, 325
The Inner Mounting Flame (Mahavishnu
Orchestra), 294
instrument blanket, 346
intermediate-note shifts, 268–270
international music festivals, 368–369
international pitch, 26
International Suzuki Association, 376
Internet, checking out violin lesson on, 379
intervals, 120
“Irish Washerwoman,” 157
iTunes (web site), 369
“I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad,” 69–70
• J •
jazz
blues scales, 296–297
overview, 293–294
sul ponticello, 295–296
swing rhythms, 296
syncopated rhythms, 295
“Jingle Bells,” 68–69, 89
joints, assessing, 315
“Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho,” 202–203
“Joy to the World,” 258
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Index
• K •
“Kalinka,” 306
Kennedy, Nigel (violinist), 361
key note, 167, 189
key signatures
A major, 191
B fat major, 192
C major, 190
D major, 191
F major, 191–192
G major, 191
major keys, 190–192, 193
minor keys, 193–194
order of sharps and fats in,
remembering, 192
overview, 13, 189–190
reading, 190–192
The King of Western Swing: 25 Hits
(1935–1945) [Bob Wills and His Texas
Playboys], 287
Krassen, Miles (Appalachian Fiddle), 286
Kreisler, Fritz (violinist), 358
Kreutzer, Rodolphe (violinist), 227
“Kreutzer Sonata Op. 47” (Beethoven), 227
• L •
Lang, Eddie (Wild Cats), 294
lapping, 57
largo, 157
Laszlo Berki Gypsy Ensemble (The Gypsy
Violin), 300
leading note, 167
Leahy Family: Live (Koch Entertainment),
286
learning styles, 380
ledger lines, 112–113
left hand, using, 11–12
left hand work
arm exercise, 74–75
exercises for, 74–75, 102–103
fnger exercise, 75
hand frame, 75–77
overview, 73
thumb grip, 77–78
left-handed violins, 74
legato
contact point, 211–212
direction, changing bow, 211–212
four-note slurs, 222–223
marking for, 210–211
overview, 210–211
slurring across strings
from an open string to a fnger, 216–217
and between fngers, 217–218
overview, 216
speed, 211
three-note slurs
arpeggios, adding three-note slurs
to, 221
overview, 219–221
songs, adding three-note slurs to,
221–222
two-note slurs
fngers, slurring between, 213–214
half a bow, using, 215–216
overview, 212–213
scales, adding two-note slurs to,
214–215
song, adding two-note slurs to, 215
weight, 211
Leguia, Luis (inventor of carbon fber
violins), 317
length of strings, 21–22
lento, 157
lifting and placing fngers, 80
“Little Brown Jug,” 138
Livin’ with the Blues (Clements), 294
local music festivals, 368
local orchestra as means of fnding
teachers, 375
long notes, playing, 160
loop-end strings, 338
loud sounds, making, 123
luthier, 19
• M •
MacMaster, Buddy (Traditional Music from
Cape Breton Island), 286
MacMaster, Natalie (violinist), 361
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Maelzel, Johannes (manufacturer of
metronome), 146
Maelzel Metronome (M.M.), 150
maestoso, 253
Maestronet (magazine), 364
magazines, subscribing to, 363–364
“Magic Flute Overture” (Mozart), 237
Mahavishnu Orchestra (The Inner Mounting
Flame), 294
maintenance and care
accessories, adding, 349–353
accidents, coping with, 342
bow, rehairing, 348–349
case, upgrading your, 342–346
chinrests, changing, 346–348
cleaning your violin, 329–333
protecting your violin, 340–342
repairing your violin, 342
strings, changing, 333–340
major chords
overview, 198–199
primary triads
fnding, 199–200
overview, 198–199
major keys
dominant triad, 199
identifying major keys in key signatures,
193
in key signatures, 190–192
subdominant triad, 199
tonic triad, 199
major scales
A major scale, 168–171
A major scale (two octaves), 176–177
basic, 168
building, 167–168
E major scale, 174–176
F major scale, 178
G major scale (two octaves), 173–174
G major scale (upper octave), 171–173
key note, scale named after, 167
overview, 166
pattern, 167
practicing, 169
whole step in, 167
maker’s label, 20
marching your fngers exercise, 93–94
Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp, 366
marking spots for placement of fngers,
81–84
martelé strokes, 230–232
Martin, Joanne (author of books for Suzuki
students), 367
“Mary Had a Little Lamb,” 216
Master of the Russian Gypsy Violin
(Ponomarev), 300
measure
described, 141
how much bow to use on a, 224–225
mechanical metronomes, 147–148
mediant, 167
meeting teacher for frst time, 381–382
Meissner, Eric (world’s smallest violin),
318
melodic minor scales, 179
melody, 198
Menuhin, Yehudi (violinist), 359–360
meter. See also time signatures
beat, emphasizing the correct, 145–146
described, 142
downbeat, 145
long notes, playing, 160
measure, 141
metronomes, 146–151
repeat sign, 142
rests, counting, 145
tempo markings, 157–158
upbeat, 146
metronome marking, 150
metronomes
electronic, 148–150
history of, 146
mechanical, 147–148
steps for using, 150–151
using, 147–151
mezzoforte (mf), 122
mezzopiano (mp), 122
middle C, 111
minor chords, 201–202
minor keys
dominant triad, 202
key signatures, 193–194
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Index
subdominant triad, 202
tonic triad, 202
minor scales
A harmonic minor scale, 181–182
A melodic minor scale, 179–180
building, 179
harmonic, 179
melodic, 179
overview, 179
M.M. (Maelzel Metronome), 150
moderato, 157
Monroe, Bill (Bill Monroe: The Essential
Collection), 287
More Festive Strings (Martin), 367
More Folk Strings (Martin), 367
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
(composer), 167
“Mozart Clarinet Quintet,” 186
MP3 fles with this book
audio tracks
list of, 385–390
listening to, 383
with Microsoft Windows, 384–385
system requirements, 384
technical support, 393
video tracks
list of, 390–392
watching, 384
multicultural music, 14–15
music
“Asian Mood,” 86, 219
“Aunt Rhody,” 187
“Bach’s G Minor Gavotte,” 195
“Boil the Cabbage Down,” 121, 139
“Brahm’s Lullaby,” 204–205
“Cancan,” 200–201
“Chicken Reel,” 293
“Country Club,” 298
“Cripple Creek,” 292
“Drink to Me Only,” 234
“Dvorak’s New World Symphony, theme
from,” 68
“Frère Jacques,” 104
“Grand Finale,” 254
“Grand Old Duke of York,” 232
“Homage to Kreutzer,” 228, 231, 233,
235, 237
“Hot Cross Buns,” 103–104
“Hungarian Dance No. 1,” 306–307
“Hunting Horn Song,” 250
“Irish Washerwoman,” 157
“I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad,”
69–70
“Jingle Bells,” 68–69, 89
“Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho,” 202–203
“Joy to the World,” 258
“Kalinka,” 306
“Little Brown Jug,” 138
“Magic Flute Overture,” 237
“Mary Had a Little Lamb,” 216
“Mozart Clarinet Quintet,” 186
“My Dame Hath a Lame Tame Crane,” 270
“Nutcracker Sweet,” 139–140
“O Come, All Ye Faithful,” 146
“Octave Ping-Pong,” 86–87
“Ode to Joy,” 125
“Old French Folk Song,” 159, 221–222
“Old MacDonald,” 151–152
“Oranges and Lemons,” 160–161
“Pachelbel Canon,” 105–106, 129, 130–131,
152–153, 279
“Pussycat Pussycat, Where Have You
Been?”, 154
“Shortenin’ Bread,” 90
“Simple Gifts,” 159–160
“Speed, Bonnie Boat,” 273–274
“Surprise Symphony,” 229
“Sweet Georgia Brown,” 299
“Symphony No. 1 by Brahms theme,” 158
“Trio from Haffner Symphony,” 271–272
“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” 155–156
music collection, building a, 369
music festivals
international, 368–369
local, 368
participating in, 368–369
Music of the Heart (video), 370
music schools, inquiring for teachers
at, 375
music stand, 43–44, 350
music stand extenders, 352
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music store
buying a violin from, 324–325
fnding teachers through, 378
musical key, 189
musical notes. See notes
musical styles
fddle music
bluegrass, 286–287, 288
Cajun and Zydeco, 288, 289
Celtic, 286, 288
country and western, 287, 288
double stops, 290–291
origins of, 287
overview, 285–286
shuffes, 289–290
slides, 291
tags, 291–292
gypsy music
glissando, 301–302
gypsy scale, 301
harmonics, 302–305
origins of, 300
overview, 300–301
tremolo, 302
trills, 305
jazz
blues scales, 296–297
overview, 293–294
sul ponticello, 295–296
swing rhythms, 296
syncopated rhythms, 295
overview, 285
rock music, 297
musician, help from an experienced, 28
mute, 350
“My Dame Hath a Lame Tame Crane,” 270
• N •
naming notes, 113–118
natural minor, 182–183, 194
naturals
described, 119
trills with, 282–283
neck block, 20
neck of violin, 19, 314
neighboring strings, 96
networking as means of fnding teachers,
373–374
nodes, 302
non-neighboring strings, crossing, 96–97
note head, 128
note names, 112, 113–118
note values, dividing bow by, 225
notes. See also scales
A string, 114–115
accidentals, 119
beam, 128
D string, 117
deciding how much bow to use on a,
224–225
dotted half notes, 135
dotted quarter notes, 136
duration of
described, 127
dotted half notes, 135
dotted quarter notes, 136
eighth notes, 132–133
half notes, 130–131
quarter notes, 131–132
sixteenth notes, 133–134
triplets, 134–135
whole notes, 129–130
E string, 115–117
eighth notes, 132–133
fats, 119–120
G string, 118
half notes, 130–131
intervals, 120
long notes, playing, 160
naming, 113–118
naturals, 119
note head, 128
overview, 12, 114
parts of, 128
quarter notes, 131–132
reading, 120–121
17 notes, 114
sharps, 119–120
sixteenth notes, 133–134
stem, 128
tail, 128
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Index
triplets, 134–135
value, 128–135
whole notes, 129–130
numbering fngers, 79–80
nut, 19
“Nutcracker Sweet,” 139–140
• O •
“O Come, All Ye Faithful,” 146
O’Connor, Mark
Heroes, 286
violinist, 361
octave, 116, 166
octave harmonics, 303–304
“Octave Ping-Pong,” 86–87
“Ode to Joy,” 125
“Old French Folk Song,” 159, 221–222
“Old MacDonald,” 151–152
old strings, taking off, 333–336
older violins, 315
open string to a fnger, slurring across
strings from, 216–217
open-string shifts, 266–267
“Orange Blossom Special” (Rouse and
Wise), 289
“Oranges and Lemons,” 160–161
orchestra, joining a community, 365
outfts, 313
• P •
“Pachelbel Canon,” 105–106, 129, 130–131,
152–153, 279
Paganini, Niccolò (violinist), 45, 118,
357–358
peg dope, 34, 36
pegbox, 19
pegs, 19, 26, 28–29, 36–37
pencil shelf, 352
pentatonic scales, 183
Perlman, Itzhak (violinist), 360
pernambuco bow, 319
Persinger, Louis (violinist), 359–360
Peterson, Oscar (musician), 360
phrases, 129
pianissimo (pp), 122
piano (p), 122
piano, tuning with, 29–30
Pine, Rachel Barton (violinist), 362
pitch, 25–26
pitch pipe, 32
pizzicato, 84–87, 238–239
placement of fngers, 78–79
planes, protecting your violin on, 341
plastic rib protector, 353
point, 57
polishing violin wood, 332–333
Ponomarev, Oleg (Master of the Russian
Gypsy Violin), 300
Ponty, Jean-Luc (rock violinist), 297
position, changing. See changing position
practice mute, 351
practicing major scales, 169
preparation, bow, 57–61
preparation workouts for using both
hands, 92–95
prestissimo, 157
presto, 157
price bracket for buying a violin, choosing
a, 312–313
primary triads
fnding, 199–200
overview, 198–199
Primrose, William (musician), 359
private dealers, buying a violin from, 325
professional teaching associations, 376
protecting your violin
accidents, coping with, 342
in cars, 341
on planes, 341
at rehearsals, 340
tips for, 25
on trains or buses, 341
traveling with your violin, 340–342
purfing, 19
“Pussycat Pussycat, Where Have You
Been?”, 154
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• Q •
quarter notes, 131–132
quarter rest, 137
• R •
rallentando (rall.), 158
reading
key signatures, 190–192
music, 12–13
notes, 120–121
The Red Violin (video), 370
rehairing bow, 56, 348–349
rehearsals, protecting your violin at, 340
relative minor key, 193–194
removing bow from bow case, 23
renting a violin, 15, 322–324
renting to buy a violin, 323–324
repairing your violin, 342
repeat sign, 142
repetition, building speed of, 280
rests
counting, 145
eighth rest, 137
half rest, 137
overview, 136–137
quarter rest, 137
sixteenth rest, 137
whole rest, 137
rhythm
duration of notes, 128–136
musical examples, 137–140
overview, 13
rests, 136–137
ribs, 19
right hand, holding violin in your, 74
ritardando (rit.), 158
rock music, 297
rosin, 59–61, 350
The Rough Guide to Cajun and Zydeco
(World Music Network), 288
Rouse, Ervin (“Orange Blossom Special”),
289
Rubinstein, Arthur (musician), 359
• S •
SAA (Suzuki Association of the Americas),
375, 376
saddle, 10, 20
same-fnger shifts, 267–268
sarangi, 14
Satin Doll (Grappelli), 294
scales
chromatic, 183–184
degrees of a scale, 167–168
major
A major scale, 168–171
A major scale (two octaves), 176–177
basic, 168
building, 167–168
E major scale, 174–176
F major scale, 178
G major scale (two octaves), 173–174
G major scale (upper octave), 171–173
key note, scale named after, 167
overview, 166
pattern, 167
practicing, 169
whole step in, 167
minor
A harmonic minor scale, 181–182
A melodic minor scale, 179–180
building, 179
harmonic, 179
melodic, 179
overview, 179
natural minor, 182–183
overview, 13, 165–166
pentatonic, 183
songs utilizing, 186–187
two-note slurs, adding, 214–215
screw, 57
scroll
described, 10, 20
positioning, 49–50
second position, 255–258
semitone, 120
seniors’ homes, performing at, 371
17 notes, 114
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Index
shading with double stops, 242
sharps
order of sharps in key signatures, 192
overview, 119–120
playing, 120
trills with, 282–283
shifting position. See changing position
Shore, John (inventor of tuning fork), 33
“Shortenin’ Bread,” 90
shoulder, positioning, 52
shoulder rests, 44–45, 47–49, 350
shuffes, 289–290
silk covering cloth or bag, 350
“Simple Gifts,” 159–160
sitting, holding your violin while, 42–43
6/8 time, 156–157
sixteenth notes, 133–134
sixteenth rest, 137
sixth interval below note, 205–206
size of violin, 317–318
slides, 291
sliding position. See changing position
slurred bows, going from one string to two
strings and back again with, 245–246
slurred legato, 210
slurred staccato, 233–234
slurring across strings
from an open string to a fnger, 216–217
and between fngers, 217–218
overview, 216
slurring three notes
arpeggios, adding three-note slurs to, 221
overview, 219–221
songs, adding three-note slurs to, 221–222
slurring two notes
fngers, slurring between, 213–214
half a bow, using, 215–216
overview, 212–213
scales, adding two-note slurs to, 214–215
song, adding two-note slurs to, 215
small groups, playing in, 366–368
soft sounds, making, 123
sound, assessing, 315–316
sound post, 20
specialist violin stores, buying a violin
from, 325
speed, 122, 211
“Speed, Bonnie Boat,” 273–274
spiccato, 14, 236–237
Spohr, Louis (musician), 45
St. John, Lara (Gypsy), 300
staccato style of bowing, 71
Stadler, Anton (clarinetist), 186
staff
alto clef (C-clef), 110–111
bar lines, 119, 141–142
bass clef (F-clef), 110–111
double bar, 142
“Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge,” 112
“face in the space,” 112
ledger lines, 112–113
note names, 112, 113–118
overview, 109–110
repeat sign, 142
treble clef (G-clef), 110–111
Stamitz, Anton (violinist), 227
stand light, 352
standing, holding your violin while, 40–42
stem, 128
stick, 57
Stradivari (video), 370
Stradivarius, Antonio (violin maker), 324
Stradivarius violin, 324
The Strad (magazine), 363
string crossing
with bow, 95–98
coordinating fngers and bow in, 101
exercises, 97–98, 99–101
with fngers, 98–101
neighboring strings, 96
non-neighboring strings, 96–97
overview, 95–96
seven bow levels, 97
string family, 9, 22
string tube, 346
string vibration, 21–22
strings
ball-end, 338
broken strings, taking off, 334–336
changing, 333–340
cleaning, 330–332
described, 20
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strings (continued)
different strings, bowing on, 66–67
fne tuners, putting on strings attached
to, 338–339
length, 21–22
loop-end, 338
old strings, taking off, 333–336
prepping pegs and strings for replacing,
336–337
putting your fngers on, 78–80
setting bow on, 65–67
tailpiece, putting on strings attached
at, 337
tightening, 339–340
undoing a string to change it, 334
Strings (magazine), 364
student recitals, attending, 377–378
Stuff Smith: Masters of Jazz Vol. 6
(Storyville), 294
subdominant, 167
subdominant triad
in major keys, 199
in minor keys, 202
submediant, 167
subway grip handle for case, 346
sul ponticello, 295–296
summer camps, going to, 365–366
supertonic, 167
“Surprise Symphony” (Haydn), 229
Suzuki, Shinichi (violin teacher/inventor of
Suzuki method), 367
Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA),
375, 376
Suzuki Violin School (Suzuki), 368
“Sweet Georgia Brown,” 299
swing rhythms, 296
“Symphony No. 1 by Brahms theme,” 158
syncopated rhythms, 295
• T •
tags, 291–292
tail, 128
tailpiece, 20, 337
teachers
auditioning, 381
business arrangements with,
discussing, 382
buying a violin from your teacher, 321
community colleges as place to fnd, 376
fnding, 373–381
Internet, checking out violin lesson on,
379
lessons, planning, 382
local orchestra as means of fnding,
calling, 375
meeting for frst time, 381–382
music schools, inquiring for teachers
at, 375
music stores, asking about teachers
at, 378
networking as means of fnding, 373–374
professional associations for, 376
qualities to look for in, 374
student recitals as place to fnd, 377–378
universities as place to fnd, 377
your connection to, 379–381
Tekka chinrests, 46
tempo
accelerando (accel.), 158
adagio, 157
allegretto, 157
allegro, 157
andante, 157
described, 150
largo, 157
lento, 157
moderato, 157
overview, 157–158
prestissimo, 157
presto, 157
ritardando (rit.), 158
tempo markings, 157–158
testing your case, 345
third interval above note, 205–206
third position, 258–260
third-fnger harmonics, 304–305
three notes in a bow stroke, playing,
219–222
3/4 time, 153–154
three-note chords, 250–251
three-note slurs
arpeggios, adding three-note slurs to, 221
overview, 219–221
songs, adding three-note slurs to, 221–222
thumb grip, 77–78
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Index
tightening and loosening horsehair, 58–59
tightening strings, 339–340
timbre, 255
time signatures
bowing out the beat, 144–145
C (common time), 143–144
conducting to the beat, 144
4/4 time, 143–145
overview, 143, 143–146
6/8 time, 156–157
3/4 time, 153–154
2/4 time, 155–156
timing for trills, 281–282
tonic, 167, 189, 193
tonic triad
in major keys, 199
in minor keys, 202
top (or table), 20
Tourte, Francois (bow maker), 328
Traditional Music from Cape Breton Island
(MacMaster), 286
trains or buses, protecting your violin
on, 341
transducer, 326–327
traveling with your violin, 340–342
treble clef (G-clef), 110–111
tremolo, 302
trills
fnger to fnger, speeding from, 280–281
with fats, 282–283
gypsy music, 305
with naturals, 282–283
overview, 279
repetition, building speed of, 280
with sharps, 282–283
timing for, 281–282
“Trio from Haffner Symphony” (Mozart),
271–272
triplets, 134–135
troubleshooting
audio tracks (MP3), 393
bow hold, 64
bowing, 66
fne tuners, 36–37
holding your violin, 49–52
tuning, 34–37
video tracks (MP3), 393
tuning
with electronic tuner, 30–31
with fne tuners, 26–27, 36–37
musician, help from an experienced, 28
overview, 10, 17, 25–26
with pegs, 26, 28–29, 34–36
with piano, 29–30
pitch, 25–26
with pitch pipe, 32
troubleshooting, 34–37
with tuning fork, 33
tuning fork, 33
“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” 155–156
2/4 time, 155–156
two-note slurs
fngers, slurring between, 213–214
half a bow, using, 215–216
overview, 212–213
scales, adding two-note slurs to, 214–215
song, adding two-note slurs to, 215
• U •
undoing a string to change it, 334
universities as place to fnd teachers, 377
upbeat, 146
up-bow, 67
upgrading case, 342–346
• V •
value, 128–135
Venuti, Joe
jazz violinist, 299
Wild Cats, 294
Vermeer chinrests, 46
vibrating length of a string, 21–22, 81–83
vibrato
exercise with violin and bow, 278
exercise with violin and without bow, 277
exercise without violin and bow, 276–277
history of, 275
overview, 274–276
preparation for, 276
using, 279
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video tracks (MP3)
list of, 390–392
with Microsoft Windows, 384–385
system requirements, 384
troubleshooting, 393
watching, 384
videos/DVDs, watching, 369–370
violin. See also buying a violin; holding
your violin
how it works, 21–22
overview, 9–10
protecting your violin, 25, 340–342
renting, 15, 322–324
violin case. See case
violin parts
back, 18
bass bar, 18
body, 18
bridge, 19
chinrest, 19
corner blocks, 20
end button, 19
f-holes, 19
fne tuners, 19
fngerboard, 19
neck, 19
neck block, 20
nut, 19
pegbox, 19
pegs, 19
purfing, 19
ribs, 19
saddle, 20
scroll, 20
sound post, 20
strings, 20
tailpiece, 20
top (or table), 20
Violin Series (Royal Conservatory of
Music), 367
Violin Society of America, 314
violin/viola amplifer, 353
Viotti (violinist-composer), 45
• W •
weight of case, 343–344
whole notes, 129–130
whole rest, 137
whole step, 120
whole step in major scales, 167
whole tone, 120, 167
Wild Cats (Venuti and Lang), 294
winding, 57
Winkel, Dietrich Johannes (metronome
inventor), 146
Wise, Chubby (“Orange Blossom
Special”), 289
wolf note, 316
wood, assessing, 315
workshop violins, 313
workshops, buying from violin, 316
• Z •
Zydeco and Cajun music, 288, 289
32_9781118273593-bindex.indd 412 2/27/12 3:17 PM

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