How would you like to make teaching scales and fingering super easy? This lesson is going to transform how you teach scales and fingering to your string classroom, or your private violin, viola, cello or bass students. And it is absolutely fun because once you realize how easy it is going to make everything, you will jump for joy!
For years, I struggled with trying to get students to see the patterns on the fingerboards that seemed obvious enough to me. Why couldn’t they memorize the patterns that seemed so simple? But to most of my students, the fingerboard was a vast uncharted territory that they could never seem to master. As a student, I remember feeling like anything past third position seemed like a mystery to me as well.
Teaching Fingering Can Be Made Easy
I don’t know if many teachers use this method, and I myself have never encountered this at school or in private lessons*. We can transform how we teach fingering if we all set up our students with some basic patterns and vocabulary. This terminology makes it so easy to discuss and correct fingering, teach scales, and teach shifting because the terms are common to all the instruments. There is no need to shout out note names or different fingerings for each instrument, and with the support of a good scale method and good fingering charts, the students will easily learn to figure out fingerings for themselves.
Once you establish the following basics, which only takes one lesson, you not only have the foundation for fingering, shifting and intonation success, I have found that there really is no limit to where you can take your students.
In order not to overwhelm the students with terminology in the beginning, I introduce this after the students have had two or three months of playing, and can play fairly well using tapes on their instrument.
Six Basic Patterns For Teaching Fingering
There are six basic terms you need to establish with your beginner string students that will make fingering not only easy to teach but will actually help them visualize where their notes should be. When I feel that they are ready, here is how I introduce them….
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