What are some alternatives to the 10-vol. Suzuki Violin School series suited for self-taught adult beginners with a solid musical background?

  • 1
    Are you an adult looking to self teach, or a teacher looking for appropriate resources? It matters because a good book designed to work with a teacher's guidance, like the Suzuki books, isn't always best for a self-taught student.
    – Karen
    May 3, 2017 at 14:21
  • @Karen I've added "self-taught" to my question.
    – Geremia
    May 4, 2017 at 1:23
  • Delcrose maybe?
    – Neil Meyer
    May 5, 2017 at 16:00
  • @NeilMeyer What's the violin book that Dalcroze wrote called?
    – Geremia
    May 5, 2017 at 18:56
  • This question makes it sound like Suzuki is the overwhelming mainstream, which it is not. Also, Suzuki is the only music teaching method like it, and if not the only, almost certainly the best. Why look for alternatives? Sep 4, 2017 at 3:45

3 Answers 3


Essential Elements - Violin and the O'Conner violin method are good alternatives by my estimation. I was 'self taught' for my first few years of violin with very little musical background before. At the time I didn't try anything but Suzuki but I as I got more advanced and tried different instruments and teachers I got did a bit from both mentioned above. They all have different philosophies and motivations but at the end of each you'll be able to hold the violin and play a few pieces. You might even be able to play a song or two that you hear on the radio by ear.

Side note I wish the string community would calm down a bit. People have to work with what they have. Nobody ever accidentally nuked an allied state while self-learning violin. If a guy wants to try something out and asks for a book recommendation just give him a book recommendation. Violin playing isn't brain surgery; It is for the majority of players a fun little pastime. No need to be all preachy to people who just want to step in for a little fun.


As I understand it, the Suzuki method is designed to train young children by a system of imitation. Not at all appropriate for a musically literate adult.

I'm not going to recommend a book. There are just too many ways to learn violin wrong. Take at least SOME lessons. The teacher will then recommend material.

  • I might be inclined to agree with you. I have heard say before that the role of a music instructor is not to teach how to play, but to teach how to learn how to play. As I've never had a private instructor I've no idea if this is the case, but it's been enlightening whenever I play in front of someone who clearly has more skill than me, and whatever they end up imparting on me it becomes something I practice until I master, even something as simple (and as important!) as posture.
    – psosuna
    Oct 3, 2017 at 23:25

As Karen said, this is better for you to get a teacher and start with him/her. But If you cannot do this, there are many useful resources on the internet such as youtube clips, some pdf books, etc. Also you can start with Le violin books along with Hrimaly scale studies and wohlfahrt etudes.

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