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Zhenya absolute beginner violin (22) RE: absolute beginner violin 05 Feb 09

Hi Maria,

Here are some things you could look at. This first one is a set of short videos on Youtube, covering the basics and beyond of violin playing. I've looked at these a bit, and thought they were helpful for general technique issues, even though they're not specifically geared towards fiddle playing. The teacher is very detail oriented, and I think you can't have too much detail when you're trying to learn any point of fiddle technique!
You Tube Fiddle Instruction from Todd Ehle

A good source for some instruction books/CDs/videos is Homespun tapes, in upstate New York . I think some of their books/videos are widely available, and you may be able to find these in Scotland as well. On the main page, look at the left hand column and click on Fiddle Lessons. You might want to check out the beginner section and some of the bluegrass items. If you click on an individual item, it takes you to another page, and on those pages it tells you the level of instruction. It looks like you want to stick with Level 1 for now, which is for complete beginners. There are some level I videos in the bluegrass section, but the Cajun videos are all at least level 2. So you have something to aspire to! I don't know these individual videos offhand, but I have other instruction tapes from Homespun that are very good, and they have a good reputation in general.
Homespun Tapes

Just searching around, I also found this interesting site that teaches some fiddle basics:
Fiddle Hub
I didn't have time tonight, but this weekend, I may register and check out the free lessons section to see what I think. From the description, it sounds like it could be really helpful. It uses Old Time and Irish tunes, apparently, but it still may be helpful to learn how to hold the bow, where the basic pitches are, etc.

One last thing I'll mention is that its a good idea is to get used to learning everything by memory right from the beginning. (That is, either learn it by ear, or learn it from the sheet music but then memorize it right away.) It sounds like you've done that with the guitar anyway, and most fiddlers will play their tunes by ear. Also, if you don't have to refer to the sheet music, it frees you up to pay more attention to your fiddle technique.


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