- WOHLFAHRT (Schirmer) Op.38 Easiest Elementary Studies. + As the preface of this edition explains, this is a method designed exclusively for beginners. It's the first book of studies I give a student. Its virtues lie with the simplicity of the exercises, the shortness, and the gradual building up of difficulty. Immediate use of the main finger patterns for all four strings in the key of C major is the starting point. Even note values (I recommend a slow tempo almost all the time) ensure the student uses the whole bow from heel to tip, and develops an even, beautiful sound across the whole range of violin notes in first position. This method runs from UK Abrsm Grades 0 up to approx. Grade 4. The book is written in duet format for Pupil / Teacher. Highly recommended.
- DANCLA (Ricordi) 36 Easiest Melodic Studies Op.84. + These are some of the very first book of studies I give a student. I find at least a year's preparation is necessary before starting these studies. The styles and techniques needed to play these studies require the utmost purity and simplicity in execution. The purity and evenness of sound and the need to keep the tone sustained and unspoiled require the student to maximize their bowing skills. The Cantabile line and concept throughout these studies demand even and fluent bowing and careful execution from all violinists whatever their calibre. Pieces are often preceded with elementary détaché scales in the relevant key or preliminary exercises for the study. Smooth string crossing, Whole bow legato, French style up bow staccato, saltellato, slurred arpeggios and towards the end position changing studies and operatic arias with variations are introduced.
- WOHLFAHRT (Augener Edition) 60 Studies Op.45 Bk I / Bk II + These studies, very similar in difficulty and nature to those of Kayser help the student build a basic knowledge of détaché and mixed bowings ( in the middle of the bow ) and elementary left hand techniques, such as left hand ( on the string ) preparation. After the first 7 studies ( to be played using the middle of the bow ) whole bow legato studies are introduced ( for lighter left hand passage work, and whole bow distribution ). Mixed bowings ( always passing through the middle ) are continued, and elementary bowing strokes such as up bow staccato ( on the string ) , and marcato are tackled. Détaché in triplets are used more commonly. Book 1 is all in 1st position. Book 2 starts in 3rd position, moving on to the traditional 1st - 3rd position change studies. There is a study dedicated exclusively to second position.
- WOHLFAHRT (Peters) 40 Elementary Studies Op.54 + Provide further variety and bowing combinations. Among the usual détaché numbers there are more legato studies here, with more dotted rhythms, including a study in Mazurka style. These studies, while commendable in their attempt to impart a balanced bowing technique, firmly alla corda, are best complemented with studies of the lighter and more adventurous bowing of the French School.
- DANCLA 15 Studies for Violin Op.68 (download the complete pdf from Petrucci Music library here publ. Jean White with 2nd violin accompaniment). Contain shifts into 3rd and 5th positions. Very pure melodic studies which require a high level of purity in technique. Simple shifts, mostly into 3rd position, but some 5th also included and some simple harmonics. A small minority of passages contain 2nd, 4th and 6th position, and in one study ends in 9th position. Highly recommended for someone wanting to gain some experience shifting and getting to know some fingerboard geography.
- SITT 50 Daily Exercises Good left hand mechanical finger exercises for even finger action.
- KAYSER (IMC) 36 Elementary and Progressive Studies Op.20. + These studies establish a solid Germanic style. Most Études concentrate on détaché, Legato and overall a reliable right hand technique that compliments the French School. This style could be considered an elementary or initial preparation for Solo Bach.
- MAZAS (Peters / IMC) 75 Melodious and Progressive Studies Op 36
Op 36/1 Études Spéciales. + Mazas produced 3 sets of studies which are progressive in difficulty. These études contain some of the most stylish and violinistic writing in all violin literature. They are indispensable to every violinists journey in mastering his / her instrument. They combine elegance in bowing and fingering methods with a fine sense of melodic line and expressive phrasing. The finest use of technique is in the successful marriage of technique and music, and almost nowhere else has this been achieved with such simplicity and purity.
Op 36/2 Brilliant Studies + are even better, slightly more advanced, very useful in furthering technique along the same melodic lines.
Op 36/3 Artists's Studies is the third and final book in the series, but is on a completely different and much more advanced level... "Studies for Artists".
- SITT (Kunzelmann) 100 Studies Op.32 + is an overlooked superb comprehensive collection of studies for violin. These hard to find study books will reward the Intermediate Student immeasurably. Each book consists of 20 studies. Book 1 in 1st position. Book 2 = fixed 2nd to 5th position. Book 3 = Changes of position (Positions 1-5). Book 4 = 6th and 7th positions and all positions from 1st to 7th. Book 5 = Double Stops.
- FIORILLO (IMC) 36 Études or Caprices. Although the Italian school does not equal the German or French Schools in quantity and in educational value, these studies provide a preview of the styles of Locatelli and Paganini. It is by no means important to master as many of these studies as it is to master the Rode, for example.
- KREUTZER (Simrock ) 19 Etudes or Caprices. Not the famous 40 / 42 Studies everyone knows, but a much less well known collection of studies. Also very valuable in technical development. A lesser work ; not quite the masterpiece of the famous 42 studies.
- CAMPAGNOLI (Peters Ed.) 7 Divertimenti One for each position on the violin. A thorough investigation and presentation of the first 7 positions for the violin. Each caprice exhaustively takes you through all the possible effects and uses of technique that each position has to offer.
- DONT (Peters Edition) Preparatory Studies Op.37. These are preparatory to the famous studies of Kreutzer and Rode. In UK they have been set for Grade 7 syllabus, and I would say average at around Grade 7/8 in difficulty. Dont supplies a great deal of legato studies, which are combined with slight 4th finger extensions. In this respect they are not to dissimilar to the studies of Gavinées in appearance. In general the 4th finger is put to considerable use. The main emphasis is on fingering and bowing dexterity. The musical strength of these masterful Austrian studies will prepare every young budding virtuoso with a flexible and resourceful technique. A few double stop and thirds studies towards the end (n 19, 22, 24) can easily be classed as equal in difficulty to the studies of Rode.
- KREUTZER (Peters Hermann / Hug Flesch / IMC Galamian / Ricordi Borciani / Stringology with CD) 42 Études. + These are considered "The Violinists Bible". Even Wieniawski, when caught studying them in his hotel room, replied " one does not realize how difficult they really are ". These studies span a vast range of difficulty, but are not set out in order of difficulty. They are classified into 3 or 4 sections (which also represent 3/4 distinct levels of difficulty) : Simple détaché or mixed bowing studies / Trill studies / (Advanced single notes) / Double stop studies. They contain an extremely comprehensive set of contrasting techniques combining the best of the French and German Schools.
- RODE (IMC / Peters) 24 Caprices + These studies are considered indispensable. Leonid Kogan described how every violinist in Russia was required to study these études thoroughly. Continuing much in the same style as Dancla, Rode's search for beautiful and refined sound permeates these studies. You can read a study guide to caprice number 8 here. Kogan was very adamant that you need to master a study... learn it by heart, thoroughly, studying each passage meticulously, so that an optimal elegance of both hands is achieved.
- DANCLA (Russian Ed.) Op 73 Études These studies are not as widely used or known as the Rode, Kreutzer or Gavinées. However they are in much the same style, and therefore are invaluable in developing a refined and polished technique of both hands. From this music we can tell how masterful The French school of violin playing had become in Dancla's time
- GAVINÉES (IMC) 24 Matinées. + 24 "Morning" studies covering advanced right hand string crossing and advanced left hand structure, such as the combined finger pattern of sixths and tenths. These studies were written quite early in the life of Gavinées ( 23 yrs old ). They are remarkably advanced for their time.
- DeBÉRIOT (Schirmer) Op.123 The first 30 Concert Studies. + From 60 Concert Studies, these pieces are greatly valued as essential stepping-stones to the acquirement of higher technique. The ability to play technical passage work with the same expressive qualities that would be given to a melodic line was considered, according to DeBériot, the hallmark of a true artist. Until these studies can be played with all these essential elements of expression, they can not be considered thoroughly mastered. ( Applies to all studies ! )
- DeBÉRIOT From Method, Op 102 book 2; I am collecting some rare specimen studies such as those from the Book 2 of the Violin Method.
- DONT (IMC) Op.35 Études and Caprices. + Dont's studies comprised the most advanced technical material in the time of Auer. Right hand chord playing and left hand extensions are major features of these works. The violinist who knows these studies, and plays them with confidence shows the mark of a competent Professional.
- WIENIAWSKY (Peters) Op.10 École Moderne. + These highly playable, even if advanced studies are in the French School tradition. At any rate their approach is based traditional methods. All of the unconventional finger extensions and abnormalities of Paganini's technique are totally absent, making these études the last stage in compulsory studies for the performer. Wieniawski's Violin literature is carefully devised to fall into place for those who have acquired lightness and agility in their left hand passage work.
- PAGANINI (M.Abbado edition) 24 Caprices These pieces are not really studies. No violinist should build his technique on them, rather should approach them armed with a polished traditional technique, built from all the previous études. The "Artist" who is lucky enough to tackle and master these ingenious musical compositions will have full musical command of his instrument. Some of the unconventional extensions within prohibited violinists with small hands ( such as Sarasate ) from studying them. Though these pieces are becoming more frequently tackled by the "average" violinist, they are not a requirement when auditioning for even good quality orchestras.
- ERNST 6 Polyphonic Studies : These studies provide further insight into technique of post-Paganini difficulty. There exists a considerable amount of material of an extremely complex standard for violinists and for which these studies provide a suitable preparation. Possibly the hardest studies ever written for the violin. Not strictly necessary nor required for standard development