Do you have a child who just started learning the violin? Do you teach beginner pianists? One of the very best ways to get a young student excited about learning a musical instrument is to get them playing songs that they like, know, or can at least recognize. Even adults enjoy playing along to violin songs that they know. That’s why we’ve put together the following list of best violin books for beginners and advanced students so that regardless of the level your violinist, there is a violin book for them.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure to get a great violin as well.
What kind of violin book should you get?
A growing number of beginner violin books include simple, recognizable songs that teach the child how to play. These books are especially great and tend to be the ones that the school or private teacher will recommend to their beginning students. Beyond that, there are a ton of books of sheet music available at music stores with the music of Harry Potter, Disney, Lord of the Rings, and more. While many of these books are on the easier side, some of them will require the beginner violin player to have a year or two of playing under their belt before being able to play them.
Intermediate and advanced students should have technique books, such as for scales and etudes. They should also have pieces in their repertoire that they can perform for solos.
Best Violin Books for Beginners
Essential Elements for Strings by Hal Leonard
Essential Elements is the classic beginner violin book. It contains great lessons on how to play the violin and simple songs that many young violinists will recognize. The first two Essential Elements books include access to Essential Elements Interactive (EEi), a great online education resource.
All for Strings – Violin
All for Strings is a comprehensive violin book that is great for beginners. It explains how scales work (including whole-and-half-step systems), how to place your fingers for positions, and other music fundamentals. It also goes through the various parts of a violin so that students learn all about the violin including the parts of the violin bow and how to hold the violin bow.
Suzuki Violin School Volume 1 by Shinichi Suzuki
The Suzuki method is a world-famous technique for teaching beginner violinists how to play. The Suzuki method was conceived by Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki in the mid-20th century. It is modeled after the Mother Tongue Method which models the process of how a child learns the language spoken in his home.
The ABCs of Violin for the Absolute Beginner
The ABCs of Violin book that teaches the basics of playing violin. The best-selling book teaches violin technique through melodies, folk songs, classical music, and fiddle music.
It includes warm-ups, worksheets, and exercises that are easy and enjoyable for beginners.
Best Play-Along Violin Books
Play-along songbooks are books that have fun and recognizable songs. When you want to take a break from standard beginner violin lesson books, play-along books are a great way. Sometimes playing along to recognizable melodies actually makes learning violin easier.
The Big Book of Disney Songs
The Big Book of Disney Songs is ideal for beginner violinists that love the music of Disney. It has some slightly more advanced key signatures and tricky rhythms (often found in popular music). It’s possible that the talented and advanced player might be able to play a few songs in their first year, but it’s probably best to hold off a year to make sure nobody is getting frustrated, unable to play their favorite songs.
Included in this are such hits as “Under the Sea” (The Little Mermaid), “Trashin’ the Camp” (Tarzan), “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” (The Lion King), “Beauty and the Beast” (Beauty and the Beast), “Scales and Arpeggios” (The Aristocats) “The Bare Necessities” (The Jungle Book), and so much more!
The Lord of the Rings Instrumental Solos
This book includes music from all 3 Lord of the Rings movies and a demo CD with performance tracks and play-along tracks as well as piano accompaniment. These songs are arranged at the beginner-intermediate range so don’t expect an absolute beginner to be able to play them.
Violin Books for Intermediate Violin Students
Suzuki Violin School, Vol 2 and Vol 3
The next two books in the Suzuki series are tailored for intermediate students. Volume 2 primarily builds on the fundamentals taught in the first volume and focuses on more refined classical music that helps to build technique. Volume 3 focuses on more advanced techniques like developing tone and vibrato. As with the first volume, the student listens to the recordings and works with their Suzuki violin teacher to develop their potential as a musician and as a person.
Franz Wohlfahrt – 60 Studies, Op. 45 Complete
This 2-in-1 combination includes all 60 studies (both books) by Franz Wohlfahrt. The etudes in this book are fun to play and build core skills. This was one of the core books I used when I was learning to play.
Schradieck – The School For Violin Technics (Complete Books 1-3 And Complete Scale Studies)
Schradieck is another core etude collection that builds flexibility in the fingers to build endurance, speed, and shifting abilities. I still use the very first exercise as a warmup every time I took my violin out. The added collection of scales makes this book collection really valuable and a timeless investment that will be used by you or your violin player time and time again.
The Heifetz Scale Book for Violin
If you’re just looking for a scale book, the Heifetz scale book is a great option. It includes all of the scale routines that Jascha Heifetz’s developed over his lifetime.
Violin Books for Advanced Violin Students
Suzuki Violin School, Vol 4-6
The final books in the Suzuki series focus on developing advanced technique and building repertoire.
42 Studies for Violin by Rodolphe Kreutzer
Another book of etudes that are made for the advanced violin player. I only ever made through about 10 of these etudes, but the ones I did play definitely built up my stamina. Each etude builds up a different technique including double stops, trills, and staccato.
Paganini – 24 Caprices
Another challenging set of etudes designed to test the abilities of your technique. It’s fair to say if you can master these, you have mastered the violin.
We hope that this list of the best violin books will help you in your journey to learn the violin. The violin books on this list are taken from our personal experiences learning violin and what helped us along the way. We hope that they will help you as well.