Welcome to Violin Fingers Plus!
Ever wished you had a personal violin teacher always ready to help make learning your violin scales interactive and fun? Thought so. Violin Fingers Plus is an iOS app that gives you everything you need to learn all the scales up to grade 5 (that's scales, arpeggios, natural/melodic/harmonic minors, chromatics, dominant and diminished 7ths).Take a look at what you get:
- Virtual Tutor gives emoji feedback as you play
- Current scale score changes as you play
- Current note being played is displayed
- Feedback on intonation, speed and tone (volume)
- Performance graphs track improvement over time
- A high score is maintained for each scale
- Assign scales to sets (e.g. to be practiced that week)
- Request a random scale from any set
- Fingerboard patterns given for all scales
- Recommended fingering given for all scales
- Music notation given for all scales (long tonic form)
- Built in chromatic tuner to tune up your violin
- Built in metronome to help monitor speed and maintain rhythm
- Advanced settings to fine tune app behaviour
Together, these features make learning scales more effective and fun. They boost motivation by introducing a "game playing" approach with instant performance feedback and personal (or shared) high scores to be beaten. The serious business of learning scales to support technique, help with sight reading and exam preparation is not compromised though. Presenting the recommended scale finger pattern and fingering along with the scale itself means you can start playing the scale straight away and learn how the finger patterns relate to the notes on the page. This is the fastest and most effective way to learn scales.
Feedback also plays a big role in learning and improving scale performance. The Virtual Tutor will react to your performance as you play and give an unbiased report at the end of each scale. The report highlights areas that need improvement (e.g. intonation, tone and speed). As any issues are addressed you can see your performance for each scale improve over time, visualised as a graph (for intonation and speed).
As well as boosting student learning, Violin Fingers Plus is also great for teachers wanting to monitor progress on scale practice between lessons.
Violin Fingers Plus does not use any ads, in-app purchases or subscriptions.
Take a Tour
1. Virtual Tutor
The feedback bar can be activated at any time using the slider switch. This wakes-up the Virtual Tutor who is then ready to assess your scale performance. The current note being played is displayed along with the current score. The score maintains a running average of scale accuracy during a performance, so there is still time to turn around a performance while playing! The Virtual Tutor emoji also reacts to scale accuracy as the scale is played. She is not shy to show her emotions (see below) so try to keep her smiling!
The recommended finger pattern and fingering is displayed for each scale along with the scale itself (in extended tonic form). This means you can start playing the scale straight away and learn how the finger patterns relate to the notes on the page.
When you've finished a scale performance, it takes a few seconds of silence for the Virtual Tutor to know you have finished (you can set how long this should be in the settings - see below). You will see the current note display go blank when she knows you are done. Her report for this scale will then be ready - you can view it by selecting the Report button at the bottom. Or you can go straight to another scale performance to keep her awake (she will doze off if you leave it too long).
The Virtual Tutor tracks your practice and gives a report on progress for each scale (she has to be awake for that!). Performance ratings for accuracy and speed are tracked on a graph so you can easily see how you improve over time. Your best score is also tracked - try and beat your high score (or your friends)! The Virtual Tutor will not save your score for tracking if it went really badly (you can decide what the minimum score is to save the scale using the settings - see below).
3. Violin Tuner and Metronome
A built-in tuner lets you tune the violin or check tuning while playing a scale. The Virtual Tutor has perfect pitch so it's a good idea to tune-up before asking her to listen to your scale performance.
The violin tuner displays the note being played. To tune the violin you need to play each of the "open" strings in turn (G, D, A, and E). The dial will show how well tuned each note is. You are aiming to get the dial in the centre pointing to 0 for each open string. If it goes to the left, you are too flat and need to tighten the string either by using the fine tuning screws (if it is a little flat) or the pegs (if it is very flat). If it goes to the right, you are too sharp and need to loosen the string using the fine tuners or pegs depending on how sharp you are.
There is also a built-in metronome (with authentic "tick") to help you maintain rhythm in your scales and to build up speed over time to the standard required for an exam.
The settings allow you to fine tune Violin Fingers Plus just how you like it:
- Assign scales to sets (see screenshot below)
- Set the speed of the built-in metronome (beats per minute)
- Set the minimum score needed to save a scale for the reports
- Set the time interval (seconds) before the scale is automaticaly saved and reset for the next performance
- Set the time interval (seconds) before the Virtual Tutor falls asleep
5. Assign scales to sets
You can select any scale to be assigned to one or more scale sets. These are great for storing a group of scales to be practiced that week, for supporting the practice of any pieces in a given key signature or for assigning all scales for a particular grade (1 to 5). Just select the scale and the list(s) to add it to. You can remove all scales from a set using the buttons at the bottom.
A note about scoring
The violin is an "analogue" instrument capable of producing virtually any note frequency between its upper and lower limits. This gives the player great power and is partly what makes the violin such a wonderfully expressive instrument. Think of vibratto where the player is deliberately varing the intonation around the note. You could think of the piano as more of a "digital" instrument where note frequencies are fixed on set values and you cannot reach the frequencies in between notes. The Virtual Tutor is also digital because she is looking for fixed frequencies for each note when rating note accuracy. This means you will probably never get a score of 100%, and we wouldn't want you to. Noone wants to play like a robot. If you make it into the 90's, you nailed it!
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