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Which Fantastic Finger Guide for violin should I choose?

Which guide is best for me? D Major, A Major or All Notes Fantastic Finger Guide?

I get asked quite a bit as to which guide is recommended between the D Major Beginner Guide, A Major Beginner Guide, and All Notes Finger Guide. In this post I will explain the difference between the three guides and give my recommendation. Let's get started.

Most beginning students that have never played the violin start with either the D Major Beginner Guide or the A Major Beginner Guide depending on which method book they plan to use and then transition to the intermediate All Notes Finger Guide. If you have experience playing another musical instrument and/or have an understanding of how to read music then you may consider skipping the beginner guides and go right to the intermediate All Notes Finger Guide.

Why should I choose the A Major Finger Guide?

If you plan to learn with Suzuki Method Book 1...

      ...then choose the A Major Beginner Guide.

The A Major Beginner Guide shows the A major scale on the top of the fingerboard and the on side shows you where each finger goes.

Fantastic Finger Guide A Major Beginner Guide Front ViewFantastic Finger Guide A Major Beginner Guide Side View Finger Placement

Continue to use the A Major Beginner Guide for Violin through the first 9 songs in the Suzuki Method Book 1. The list of songs includes:

  1. Twinkle,  Twinkle, Little Star
  2. Lightly Row
  3. Song of the Wind
  4. Go Tell Aunt Rhody
  5. O Come, Little Children
  6. May Song
  7. Long, Long Ago
  8. Allegro
  9. Perpetual Motion

Upon removing the A Major Beginner Guide you will know all the notes of the A major scale and have good muscle memory for the correct spacing. I recommend after you remove it, that you spend a week or so playing the A major scale and the songs you learned without the guide to focus on playing in tune without the finger guide. Your ears will get stronger with the guide gone.

Following a week or two without the A Major Beginner Guide, then install the All Notes Fantastic Finger Guide to learn the rest of the strings, all chromatic notes and how to play in different positions.

Why would I choose the D Major Beginner Guide?

Use the D Major Beginner Guide if your method book of choice starts by teaching you how to play songs on the D & A string.

With the D Major Beginner Guide on your instrument you will learn to play all the notes in the D major scale and the correct placement of your fingers.

Fantastic Finger Guide - D Major Beginner Guide Front View

Fantastic Finger D Major Beginner Guide Side View

 
Do you have any recommendations for method books that start with D & A string notes?

All of the method books below start using the D & A string and work great with the D Major Beginner Guide:

  1. All for Strings - pages 1 to 32
  2. Essential Elements - page 1 to 29
  3. New Directions for Strings - pages 1 to 31
  4. Sound Innovations - pages 1  to 24
  5. String Basics - pages 1 to 31
  6. String Explorer - pages 1 to 25
  7. Strictly Strings pages 1-25

The page numbers beside each book listed above refer to the pages in the book that focus on the D & A string notes.

    When should I remove the D Major Beginner Guide?

    I would work through all of the D major scale exercises and music found in your method book of choice through the pages above based upon your book of choice. Upon removing the D Major Beginner Guide you will know all the notes of the D major scale and have good muscle memory for the correct spacing.   After you remove the guide, that you spend a week or two playing the D major scale and the songs you learned without any guide on the instrument to focus on playing in tune without a fingering aide. This will strengthen your ears and musical confidence.

    When should I add the All Notes Fantastic Finger Guide?

    Following a week or two without the D Major Beginner Guide, then add the All Notes Fantastic Finger Guide to learn the rest of the strings, all chromatic notes and how to play in different positions.

    Fantastic Finger Guide All Notes Sharp - Flat Direction Indicator Side 1
    Fantastic Finger Guide All Notes Sharp - Flat Direction Indicator Side 1Fantastic Finger Guides All Notes Guide Side view position indicator

    Most students will keep the All Notes Fantastic Finger Guide on as they work through their second method book. With the help of the finger guide you will gain confidence in:

    • learning all notes - sharp, flat and natural
    • shifting into 1/2, 2nd, 3rd & 4th position
    • playing in different keys
    • correct placement of fingers for playing in tune

    We hope you enjoy your Fantastic Finger Guides. Have a musical day!

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