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on February 23, 2018
I am an adult trying to teach myself how to play violin, as it is something I have always wanted to do, but I was never allowed to take lessons as a kid. So I bought this book hoping it would be a good place to start... but it is definitely written for children in a classroom setting. I was hoping for more how-to's, but most of that is relegated to side notes of "have your teacher show you..." but fortunately, there is Youtube, so I can deal with that. And that being said, it seems to have a decent selection of beginner scales and compositions to practice, the only thing disappointing there, is that for the first few pages they label all the notes (ie G, F#, A, etc) which is incredibly helpful for someone who hasn't attempted to read music ever, or at least in a long time, but this stops within the first few pages -- which is frustrating as it would be nice to have more practice getting the hang of the notes before having that little extra bit of aid dropped. It is also a very thin book... in the age of the internet, I kind of expected a bit more to make it worth the money vs simply printing all the information offline, which is absolutely the route I would have gone if I had easy access to a printer. So all things considered, this just gets a solid "okay" from me.
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on August 18, 2017
This has been an excellent product to purchase for an adult beginner violinist. I am really happy with this. I have been practicing for only 2 weeks now and I am learning very quickly and am more than half way through this book. I enjoyed Essential Elements for Strings Book 1 so much that I decided that I need Book 2 and Book 3, and they will be arriving in the next few days. This is an excellent book for learning the violin. It really helps.
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on September 4, 2017
My son is 10 years old. He just began viola lessons and has never played an insturment before. I do not sit in on his lessons with him however sometimes during the week he has questions. I am able to look thru his book and help him with the easy to follow instructions on finger placement, descriptions on what the different notations are within the music, etc.
I appreciate that this book has songs he recognizes, such as Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star". The fact that he already knows the melody helps him to hear when his finger is slightly misplaced and he is able to make the adjustment himself. I think that's one of the biggest battles for him as a beginning viola student, so these familiar songs are a great feature to this book. I'm glad his music teacher suggested we purchase it for his lessons!
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on January 25, 2018
The book came in good condition, and all of the music in it was well-printed, you can see every note in dark, black, ink. The book can teach you very well if you are learning on your own as well. It goes step-by-step, and at some songs you'd have to skip because it requires other instruments to play along with you. The book can fold and get wrinkly lines of the outside cover, so it is best to keep it in a safe place or folder.
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on June 13, 2016
The online stuff looks like it would be great, but I was unable to use it. I take private lessons, so I am not in a class. I bought the teachers manual to give to my teacher. Hopefully, I will be able to use it after he sets an account up. What good is buying a book with an online interactive account, if you can't access the account?
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on January 10, 2014
I have been playing for 5 years now. I started with guitar then mandolin, then banjo, then fiddle. I have taken many classes and lessons. I have bought a stack of terrible music instruction books. Many Mel Bay books are ridiculous by giving sheet music and telling you 'now play this.' This book has diagrams where to place your arms, hands and finger to play notes. It also has little letters inside notes signafying what note it is. I made sheet music for myself in photoshop like this when I first started playing. It was how I learned to read standard notation. Viola is played in ALTO CLEF and the notes are in (even another place than treble or bass clef). This book is what you want.
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on June 21, 2015
This is a great book for someone just getting started like myself. It isn't thick so I can slip it right into my viola case without any problems, and the online resources are great. You also have to option to apply for the dvd which is like all the music to play along with and the starter videos. When I bought this book at the time I wasn't aware that there were more to the little series, but I was pleasantly surprised by that and am happy that I can continue learning to play this wonderful instrument.

The one thing I will say though, is that in the beginning it is a little confusing, at least for me it was. With trying to memorize the strings and what strings made what sound, but I got it in the end.
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Good, clear instruction. Very very basic. If the Suzuki books are too fast for you, then the EE for Strings may just be your speed.
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on October 24, 2017
This book was recommended by kids' violin teacher. She uses it as the textbook for her zero-based violin students.
During the time I accompany with my kiddos playing the violin, I noticed that this book is also good for self-learning. It provides pictures showing how to hold the bow, and how to hold strings, etc.
This seems to be a very popular book for lots of violins learners. I found there are many Youtube videos introduce how to play the songs in the book as well, which are extra resources for helping my kids learning the violin. I highly recommend!
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on August 28, 2013
Essential Elements 2000 is a good handbook Essential Elements 2000 for Strings, Book 1, Disc 1for a beginning violinist or one coming back to the instrument, who is not an accomplished musician, after a lengthy layoff.

This would be particularly good for the returnee who did not pay close attention initially to his/her teacher on the basic elements before a note was originally sounded. Read and follow every page of instruction and the user may find themselves saying, "I didn't remember that," quite often. That was my reaction as I found that I was not as smart as I once thought I was.

I think the investment is good, though the volume is a rudimentary approach to making music with the instrument. Once having purchased this item, have a positive approach to the basics it drills into you and don't let yourself be bored or indifferent to the lessons it coveys. Once the practice drills sound like the real music as it was written, think about using a one-on-one teacher whom you will impress with your basics knowledge and who can easily help you, then, improve your technique.

See ya' in Carnegie Hall!
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