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I am an 87 year old violin lover who did not pick up a violin till I was seventy years old. I cannot read music and need the notes in the fingering positions and am wondering if there might be an app out there that could read the notes of a song and then print out the fingering position for each note of the song. Thank you.

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    Richard, I don't know of an app like that - but you can find many violin fingering charts online that will help you decipher where the notes on the page are located on the violin. I would also recommend getting some private lessons to specifically work on learning music reading. It would not take you very long to get a rudimentary understanding of the relationship between the staff and the violin which would make playing much easier and more rewarding! Best of luck! Emily Williams|Creator of the Strategic Strings Approach: howtoteachviolin.com – Emily Williams Jan 11 '17 at 22:30
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    Learn to read music. There really is no substitute. – Carl Witthoft Jan 12 '17 at 14:24
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It's possible to get a very crude fingering chart for an entire song if you have the MIDI-file. (you can find midi files online for almost any songs)

The MIDI-file can be imported into a tabulature software like GuitarPro. GuitarPro has presets for violins, but the biggest problem with all fretboard instruments is that most notes can be played on a multitude of positions, and the software isn't always smart enough to figure out which position is the best. But it would actually work like you described it.

That being said, beginning to read tablature is just a detour in my opinion. And as Emily Williams said, understanding how the notational system works and transferring that understanding to an instrument is not as hard as most people think. You don't have to sight read anything ever really, all you need to know is "how to know" where a written note on the staff is played on a violin.

Good luck, and it's never too late to learn a new skill!

/"Former beginner-violinist"

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Can I share the following thoughts.

If you want to play the violin you are going to be severely hampered by not being able to read music. If what you want to do does not involve reading music then fine, but your question suggests that it will, so unfortunately this is something you have to face. You will never regret it.

Whilst you are learning and the music is simple why don't you annotate what music you have by writing a few fingerings in? Not every note, just enough to guide you through. You might be surprised by how soon you no longer need them.

Bear in mind that many notes on the violin can be played in many ways - different fingers on different strings - so the app that you are thinking about might not be as useful as you think.

We're all behind you here. Go for it!

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In addition to the other answers, I would suggest trying to bypass all notation and simply try to duplicate what you hear by ear. You could start with some fiddle tune on youtube: see if you can find the first note by ear. Then the second. And so forth.

Yes, being able to read music or tabulature is a great tool. But it's quite possible to play well without worrying about it, if you have a good ear.

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Not sure if this is still relevant, given the initial question was posed over six years ago, but here goes anyway:

I'm in the process of developing a tool that should close the gap between music/tab editing software and MIDI converters by generating actually playable fingerings. It is currently the object of a Kickstarter campaign, but as things stand, the tool is probably ready to take on anything that you can reasonably expect to perform on a violin without outstanding skills. The associated web interface is now available at ebassotti.eu.

  • I'm not sure that this answers the question, given that the app isn't yet available. – jdjazz Jul 30 '17 at 17:02
  • You are right: The app wasn't available just yet, but now it is! I've added the URL to the original post. – ebassotti Aug 2 '17 at 6:54

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