Beginner Technique Videos

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How to Use These Videos

Welcome to my section of The String Club! The videos are in order from the most basic skills to more difficult ones. The best way to use these videos is to print each page out and watch the video that goes with the exercise. Then practice the exercise, focusing on the technique elements that I highlighted in the video. Work on it until you feel like you have a reasonable command of the technique, not necessarily total mastery. It is usually best to have a handful of exercises you are working on at once, so rotate through three or four of them at a time. When you drop one, start on the next exercise in the order they are listed.

These are all beginner level exercises for now, but I will be adding on to them continuously. Once you have worked through everything on this page, you can keep up with the new videos as they show up in the blog posts. I will also be adding viola and bass specific videos over time as well.

-Todd Markey


Violin & Viola Videos

Cello & Bass Videos


The Benefits of Using Online Education

This set of videos was initially conceived of as a supplement to my own students’ private lessons. I find myself giving the same lessons to each student as they become ready for the next step in their development. I figured, “why not just make a video that they can watch, print out the exercise, work on it all week, then play it for me at the next lesson?” This will save lesson time since they can get started on their own. Then in the lesson, I help them determine what they are doing well and what still needs work.

This is how the Khan Academy got started. The Khan Academy is a great resource for people to learn many different academic subjects on their own, completely for free. I believe that learning can happen much faster when a student can control the speed that he or she is going. I would like to make it possible for students around the world to use my resources for playing string instruments in the same way that people are using the Khan Academy for academic subjects.

Certainly, there are limitations to this. Learning an instrument practically requires a private teacher because spotting small mistakes in your own technique and performance is extremely difficult. You need someone to watch and listen to help you identify where those are. However, you can learn a lot just by watching and listening to a video. These exercises may be helpful for people who need to break down their technique further than they have before. Also may be very helpful to students who are in orchestras at school, but don’t have private lessons. They get instruction on the basics, and can use these videos as a step-by-step program to develop on their own.