Why you should NOT use violin tabs

by | Nov 1, 2019 | 1 comment

As a beginner violinist violin tabs might seem like a shortcut

However, it’s not helpful at all and can get you stuck, here’s why:

Violin tabs are are only useful in the first 1% of your violin progress. They are extremely limited.

As you advance, you’ll play various keys, rhythmical figures, positions, bowing (and more). It’s impossible to cover that in violin tabs or it would be much harder than to read than notes.

All that time you’ve been getting used to coordinate violin tabs to fingerings, while that time could have been spent usefully…

Reading notes

There is a beautiful system around for centuries that can capture all keys, rhythms, positions, bowing, dynamics, articulation and more… yup, it’s our Western system of music notation and it’s great.

Reading notes is very easy to learn

I’ve taught it to beginner violin players who were so young they couldn’t even read yet (age four or five). Why can’t you?

Don’t worry, you can… and you can learn it quickly. You don’t have to know everything about music theory or notation when you start playing violin. You just have to be able to read what you play and in the beginning that’s extremely simple. Just a couple of notes… as you progress you learn little bits of notation. This doesn’t cost you time at all and in the future it saves you time.

Hi! I'm Zlata

Classical violinist helping you overcome technical struggles and play with feeling by improving your bow technique.

You’re not too cool to read notes

Some people even seem to take pride in not reading notes. That’s like feminists being proud of not being able to bake an egg. That’s not something to be proud of… it’s simply stupid. Nobody ever got repressed by the patriarchy by eating a good English breakfast.

Reading notes won’t hold back your expression

In contrary: it gives you the opportunity to easily explore a lot of music. If you learn it right from the beginning you can do it fast, fluent and without thinking. You free yourself up for expression and technical progress.

Do you think reading will hold you back in learning a language?

That sounds stupid, doesn’t it? Well… reading notes won’t hold you back learning a musical instrument as well. You can still improvise, play by heart and do whatever you want. Reading notes greatly expands your possibilities.

Now I’ve read your article, Zlata, but you didn’t get me any closer to reading notes

Ok, ok, I’ll make up for that. Here’s a FREE violin finger chart. On it you can see the exact spots of ALL notes on the violin (and the viola!) and those same notes in sheet music and audio files. With this beautiful poster you can connect fingerings (tabs so you will) to notation and sound. Yay! Enjoy!

1 Comment

  1. Kaspar Wise

    WRONG violin tab is very useful Tablature has been around since before standard written notation
    Tab is very useful in communicating which finger to use in beginner and higher positions
    Rhythm and bowing can be written in as well Does tab replace standard notification
    No
    Tab written correctly can be much more useful than just one percent
    Music would be very poor indeed if there was only one way to play it write it or listen to it
    Rather music is very rich and extremely rewarding A vibrant changing growing art past present and future

    Reply

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