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Robert B
Hey gang; Bob here again.

I sent three sets of simple first position sheet music to Beth and she has posted them online. Go to Resources > Member's Page > Shared Files - to find them.

Requiem for a Dream
Ava Maria
Game of Thrones

These are very fun songs that entertain people. I'm very much a beginner, but I can slowly learn each staff  line of these songs and memorize them. Let me make some comments: first about Ava Maria.

Ava Maria is a very simple song with many whole notes in it. It's played slow and romantically. This song is excellent for practicing long - full bow strokes and for trying to change bow directions without the music sounding like you reversed the bow. What a challenge that is! I've quickly realized that simple, slow, songs can be the most challenging to play well. I think I'll spend the rest of my life mastering the performance of Ava Maria despite how simple it is. Now about Requiem for a Dream.

Requiem for a Dream also has many whole notes and some quarter and eighth notes happening in it but the note changes aren't hard to perform in this arrangement. The song is very dynamic and this sheet music has the piano accompaniment included. This is a very dramatic song and entertaining for others to hear. Finally Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones is the official music of the Emmy Award winning show on HBO of the same name. The original version is played by a bass and cellos but the violin version is equally fun to hear and play, and very simple too. The note work is easy except for a rift of quarter and eighth notes that are an easy transition on the fingering board mostly played on the G string.

I posted this thread in the hopes you too have some fun songs for beginners especially to find here and enjoy. If so send them to Beth and if she can (assuming copyright issues) she will probably post them for the rest of us.

Keep that wrist straight!


7 Responses
Posted: December 5, 2011


Hi everyone :)

First I had a rented viola in summer, but nearly no time for practice... but I knew that I wanted to learn to play (at least a bit ;) ), so I bought a viola in september, deciding for this special instrument "by ear". Now I´m practicing for 2 and a half month, about 5 times a week for half an hour approxemately (no lessons so far besides VL)...

So here is my first video (wahh excited ;)  )... it is a little bit strange to see yourself playing, but you can see so many things you can´t see while playing...

I thought that I use my elbow pretty much... but I don´t,  a lot of movement comes from the upper arm

I slip off the sounding point so often and the sound suffers immediately :/

Practice straight bowing will be a good idea

aaand the intonation ;)  I´m trying to get from "in-tune-by-accident" to "only-sometimes-out-of-tune" ;)

A very good effect of VL is, that I can practice my school-english, too ;)

Greetings, Andreas :)

This discussion includes members-only video content

19 Responses
Posted: December 5, 2011

Patrick Regan
I will try to get some videos of me playing the Violin this weekend but prelude maybe sometime in the next couple weeks.

2 Responses
Posted: December 6, 2011

Robert B
Hello everyone,

Newbie here with a month of constantly learning under my belt. I'm retired so I can spend hours each day on this other-worldly instrument we all adore so much.

My current problem concerns vibratos. I've watched all the videos about doing them here (and other videos online) and no matter how hard I practice and try, I feel like a man attempting to do pushups and run at the same time. It's not happening!

When I try to perform the technique my bow arm freezes up totally. Like my brain will only perform one thing or the other. To my simple mind they are two distinctly different behaviors and so far couldn't be more in-compatible. The irony is without a violin in my hand I can perform the actions but not with the instrument. Duh?

Is this normal for a beginner to experience or am I destined to move on to bongos? (snicker - never!)

I've really enjoyed this website and all the stuff you guys have posted here. It inspires me to know I too can one day really play this challenging and beautiful music.


21 Responses
Posted: December 3, 2011


Hi Eileen,

If you watch most bands on stage they will have some sort of ear piece.  These ear pieces do exactly that, they allow the player to be able to hear exactly what they are playing and some devises will let them listen to other members of the band.  I'm afraid that is all I know about it right now.


3 Responses
Posted: December 5, 2011

Ian Renshaw
Hello everyone,

I thought I'd start a new thread: "To train formally and take exams or not to train formally and take exams."

There's been some good discussion about this in other threads so I'm interested to hear different views and experiences. Some of you will know I'm going down the ABRSM route (in the UK they're the standard music examination body).

I'm doing it by way of apology to my younger self for not learning the piano in the same way; at 43 I vamp away at the keyboard like a cocky 17-year-old (which is about when my learning process stopped!). When I met the violin I fell in love so owed it to myself and the instrument to learn 'properly'. As someone who needs constant motivation and assessment the exams are essential for me - I'm lost without regular gold stars and Brownie points!

However... I've met some stunning professional musicians who never trained and can't read a dot of music...

32 Responses
Posted: November 30, 2011

Beth, how about a series on timing drills ?   Could be fun !   :-)

8 Responses
Posted: December 2, 2011

Anne aMaudPowellFan
Etüdes / Caprices "In the style of ..." by Amy Barlowe

In response to a question by Sean:

Amy Barlowe is at There is also new sheet music for pieces that are not in her book.

She is also on Facebook, Sean, you can look her up in the list of my friends. There is a student playing some of her works on YouTube, starting with Bartok and then going on with unpublished pieces. The video is from Meadowmount, I believe. Here is the link:

Amy Barlowe was brought to our attention here some time ago by Diane Allen. She has an interview on her Blog at and introduces her in her YouTube channel

For what's it worth: I have played two of the earlier ones, in the style of Vivaldi ( and Händel (

5 Responses
Posted: December 2, 2011


If anyone uses "Hill" type tuners, could i request an image from the side showing the mechanism and how it works?  odd request i know, but i can't figure it out from a catalog image so maybe if it is in use, i'll understand it.  thanks.

6 Responses
Posted: November 29, 2011

Hello all!

I've discovered some beautiful songs here at the VL via some of our member's posts that often makes me practice harder so that perhaps some day I can play the same tunes myself.  This is not Paganini, but it is one of my favorite songs performed by Vanessa Mae.

Enjoy!  ;-)
This discussion includes members-only video content

3 Responses
Posted: December 2, 2011

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