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Thread: Taping Up the Violin

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    Default Taping Up the Violin

    Hi,

    As I'm starting to learn the violin (currently without a teacher), I was wondering whether anyone could tell me at which points on the violin neck do I put practice tapes on? I can't seem to find any information about it from the internet.

    Thanks,
    crimson

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    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    It's inadvisable to start without some help from a good player or teacher - unless you're a natural for violin, in which case please disregard this post. If you get into bad habits now they'll take a lot to undo later as they will hinder your technical development.

    It's also inadvisable to rely on tapes across the fingerboard. The distances depend on the nut to bridge distance although a tape at third position (where C is on the G string)would help with position changing when you get to that. Better to rely on your ear. If you start on any open string - let's say D, put your first second and third fingers down in a major key sequence - D E F# G, the G should be exactly an octave above the open G string. Play both strings together and if you hear a slight beat-wave, your 3rd finger isn't quite in the right position so adjust it until the octave is perfect.

    Once you've got the hang of this (first position) the intonation will come with practice. Keep your ear critical and if something doesn't sound right, you can check against a piano or chromatic tuner at this stage.

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm definitely not a natural with the violin, so any help is appreciated. I don't know but it might be hard for me to find a violin teacher at this time of the year, so I probably have to rely on books until fall. I already ordered one, so I'll see if that has helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crimson View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm definitely not a natural with the violin, so any help is appreciated. I don't know but it might be hard for me to find a violin teacher at this time of the year, so I probably have to rely on books until fall .
    Don't do that. Frasier is absolutely right when pointing out you need an instructor. Unless you have spent the last 9 years of your life watching videos of the great violinists (or you are a natural of the instrument, something you have already denied) you will only mess it up. You may think it's just catching the violin with the left hand and bowing with the right one, it's a lot harder than it seems. And what is worst, once you get a teacher you will spend your first classes dedicated to correct all the wrong things you learned by yourself.

    If you can't get a teacher right now, I suggest you to start listening to recordings (Heifetz, Milstein, Menuhin, Perlman, etc), discover what made them so great. Watch a lot of videos too.
    But don't start on your own, it's a waste of time.

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    Senior Member Leporello87's Avatar
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    I agree wholeheartedly with Frasier and Manuel, it is definitely best to wait until you have a teacher. That said, I'm not sure I would so quickly deny the use of tapes on the fingerboard. Frasier is of course right that it's important to develop a good ear for proper intonation, but having tapes on is useful so that your fingers can get used to working in the right ballpark area on the fingerboard, at least right at the beginning. I wouldn't recommend keeping them on there for too long (so that the tapes don't become a substitute for really good listening), but they can be useful at first; I guess just see which method your teacher prefers.

    The tape for shifting to 3rd that Frasier mentioned might indeed be helpful, but it seems like if you're at this point, you might not really need the tapes anymore to begin with. I used tapes at the very beginning when I first started to learn, but they were long gone by the time I started playing in different positions.

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