There are quite a few “method” books on the market. They all pretty much do the same thing… teach you how to read staff music notation. I have been successfully using Hal Leonard’s “Essential Elements 2000” for quite a few years to help teach violinists to read music. It is a very well written book (I wish I had wrote it myself! They sell a zillion of them every year it seems). It is a great value for under $9.00US in that not only do you get the book, but also computer discs with recordings of back-up tracks and some software (like tempo adjustment and notation writing).
If you want to learn how to read standard staff music notation (*see below), this book will take you step by step, teaching one new note at a time and giving you a few lines of music to apply it. I’ll post some of the audio I have recorded for my own private students below.
*To read or not to read?… Why not? If you are reading this, you obviously know how to read words… it is a really useful skill to have. If you want to learn anything, you can go to a library, take out a book and read all about it. Directions to 23 Montgomery Ave?… no problem… you can read all the signs.
I’ve heard the argument that learning to read music sucks the soul out of your playing… I find that pretty amusing, slightly irritating, and sadly mis-informed.
Does reading too many books turn you into a zombie? Hardly. Not to say that some can spend so much time on any one thing (like reading books) that the rest of their life skills can get out of balance (like being kind of a book-worm nerd)… but that is not reading’s fault, or the book’s fault, but the READER’S fault! Yes, there definitely are some players (many Classically trained) who can ONLY read, and I feel, do not have much emotional content to their performances, but again, that is not reading’s fault, but one of their own, or maybe their teacher’s for not directing them in a more balanced approach. Music reading is not bad in and of itself… it only becomes so, if you can not play without it! …the Fiddle Jam Method makes sure of that!!
“Fiddle Jam Club” & enrolled “All Access Pass” members get to see more learning materials below…