Music Theory and Note Reading


In this section you will find tools and resources related to music theory and note reading, as well as some background information on sound as it relates to stringed instruments. Topics like "Rhythm" or tips relating to the Fingerboard you will find in the section "Violin Practice".

Sight Reading

Improve Your Sight-reading! Violin, Grade 1: Grade 1
I'm a huge fan of anything Faber Music Publishes, and the Author Paul Harris is a great violin pedagogue. This is the first of a series of books to help improve sight reading skills. Buy all of them.
SightReading Factory
This is a web based app that generates sight reading sheets according to parameters you set for it. The pricing is reasonable: 29.99/year Go to For some reason I can't link to this url.
Great sheets for sight reading!

Rhythm Study Aids

Rhythm a Week
This is one of the rhythm training books I grew up with as a kid. Excellent for developing fluid rhythmic skills.
Rhythm Flash Cards
Basics in Rhythm (Meredith Music Resource)
Well organized and presentation of rhythmic study sheets.
More Basics in Rhythm (Meredith Music Resource)
This is a level beyond the Basics in Rhythm.


 Fingerboard Chart Horizontal Orientation
 Fingerboard Chart Vertical Orientation
Shaded notes D, A, E, B show the pitch where the next higher string begins and indicates the end of first position.
 Quick Piano Keyboard Reference Chart
 Blank Fingerboard Chart
 Fingerboard Chart with Tapes
This chart shows all the pitches as well as the position of your tapes. This might make the overview of the fingerboard more comprehendible for those of you who use tapes.
 Fingering Chart for All Keys
 Interval Chart as it relates to the Violin Fingerboard
This is a beautifully designed chart by Elke to follow along with the video on Kinesthetic Intonation. Be sure to print on card stock and use the sliding pitch line for maximum benefit.
 Note Names on the Fingerboard: G string
Stephen Neff designed the following charts to help memorize the note names for each string. Print, laminate and study!
 Note Names on the Fingerboard: D string
 Note Names on the Fingerboard: A string
 Note Names on the Fingerboard: E string
This video is a demo on how to use the Fingering Chart for All Keys chart.


Other theory/note reading resources

Blank Music Theory Paper
Theta Music Trainer
This is a super interactive music theory site. Have loads of fun!
 Sound and Sound Waves by Douglas and Catherine Jones
This is a very informative paper written on sound production as it relates to stringed instruments.
Also check out "Sight Reading" in the "Recommended Sheet Music Library"


Learn to Read Music (Softcover)
This is a concise little book with well presented material.
Basic Music Theory: How to Read, Write, and Understand Written Music

Music Theory

Ascension Sounds - Theory Website with clear lessons and explanations
Dolmetsch - Music Theory and History Online
Music Theory Minute
Short music theory videos
Table of Pitches on Staff Corresponding to Piano Keys
There is a section on music with several articles on music fundamentals.
This website was developed by a group of composers and theory majors from University of Texas. The subscription price is reasonable and I sampled some of the games and quizzes and they are excellent.

Background Information on Violin and the Physics of Sound

How Standing Waves are Made
This is an animation produced by the University of Colorado. Experiment and watch how our strings work.