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Violin For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-67712-4
400 pages
July 2010
Violin For Dummies (0470677120) cover image


Take a bow and start playing tunes with this friendly guide!

Whether you're an aspiring classical musician or you just want to fiddle around, Violin For Dummies will have you making music in not time. This interactive book-and-CD-ROM package makes it easy with step-by-step instruction on everything from simple tunes to show-stopping techniques. With coverage of musical styles including classical, country, and jazz, this is the ultimate guide to the violin.

Discover how to:
* Choose the right violin and accessories
* Develop correct violin and bow hold
* Understand the language of music
* Play classical, country, gypsy, and jazz
* Tune, change strings, and perform simple maintenance

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MP3 files of every song and exercise from the book.

Video clips demonstrating techniques to help you pick up and play.

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

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Table of Contents


Part I: So You’ve Always Wanted to Play the Violin…

  1. Introducing the Violin

Strings and Bows: the Parts of a Violin

How Violins Work

Cracking the Case: Taking the Violin Out and Putting it Away

  1. In Tune with Things

    Tuning the Violin

    Using electronic tuners

    Tuning with the piano

    Dealing With Pegs and Fine Tuners

  2. Holding Up Well

    Understanding the Importance of a Good Violin Hold

    How to Hold Your Violin

    Standing position

    Sitting position

    Reading from a music stand

    Chinrests and Shoulder Rests: Finding a Good Fit

    Fixing Common Problems With the Violin Hold

    Part II: A Sound Start

  3. Take a Bow

    Preparing the Bow

    Tightening the horsehair

    Using rosin on your bow

    Getting a Grip on the Proper Bow Hold

    The famous diva method

    The hidden treasures method

    Setting the Bow on the Strings

    Understanding bowing signs

    Bowing on different strings

    Playing Your First Concert!

    Smooth and Clean: Two Bowing Styles

  4. Getting the Left Hand Right

    Getting in Touch With the Strings

    The Number System: Making Your Fingers Count

    Knowing which finger to use

    Putting Your Fingers on the Right Spots

    Step and Touch: How Semitones Work

  5. All Together Now

    Hands Together

    Bowing and fingering at the same time

    Exercising your co-ordination

    Making Music (without Actually Reading Any!)

    Using our handy charts

    Keeping an eye on the chart and your playing!

    The Top of the Charts: 4 Simple Songs

    Part III: Reading Music on the Violin

  6. 5 Lines Translated Onto 4 Strings

    What All Those Blobs Mean

    All Good Boys Deserve Fun –And So Do Girls!

    Charting Your Way With the Fingers On

    The Key To Key Signatures

  7. We’re Counting On You - Guide to Rhythm

    One Beat at a Time: Quarter Notes

    Raising the Bar

    Take Note: Other Common Notes

    Adding Dots (No Need to Cross the T’s!)

  8. Getting Ticked Off – A Guide to Metre

    Counting in 4s

    Counting in 3s

    Everything Else Can Be Done From 4s and 3s!

    Part IV: Musicianship and Harmony

  9. Scaling the Heights

    Climbing up and down

    Marching through the Major Scales

    Casting Light on those Minor Scales

    Harping On about Arpeggios

  10. The Keys to Knowledge

A Major And Its Finger Pattern

C Major And Its Finger Pattern

The Last 2 Finger Patterns You’ll Really Need!

12. Better Together: Harmony

In the Big Leagues: Major Chords

Digging For Minor Chords

Meet the Bossy Chords: Dominant 7ths

Part V: Taking it up a Notch; Techniques and Styles

  1. Fancy Bows

    Two Notes (or more) with One Stroke: Legato

    Getting up to Speed and Dividing the Bow

    Shaping the Sounds: Crescendo and Diminuendo

    Mais Oui, Maestro: Taking on Accents

  2. Putting Your Finger on It

    Two Notes Are Better Than One: Easy Double Stops

    Sliding into Shifts and Gaining an Advantageous Position

    All Aquiver: Vibrato

  3. Reeling Through the Years: A Quick Tour of Violin Styles

    Fiddling Around

    All That Jazz

    Join the Caravan: Gypsy Violin

    Part VI: Getting into Gear, Staying in Gear

  4. Finding the Right Instrument For You

    What Makes a Good Violin

    Where to Begin Your Search

    Deciding Whether to Buy or Rent Your Violin

    Getting Plugged into Electric and Electronic Violins

  5. Instrument care and Maintenance

    Changing Strings

    Upgrading Your Case

    Changing Chinrests

    Useful Accessories

    Cleaning the Violin

    Rehairing the Bow

    Part VII: The Part of Tens

  6. Ten Performers and Their Recordings
  7. Ten Ways to Go Beyond This Book

20. Finding a Teacher: Ten Tips


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Author Information

Katharine Rapoport (Toronto, ON) is a violinist and violist who currently lives and works in Toronto. After graduating with a degree in Music from the University of Cambridge, she completed her postgraduate Certificate of Advanced Studies in Violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. She has a very broad range of professional freelance experience including musicals such as Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and Showboat. After moving to Canada, Katharine was appointed to the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto.
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