Let's discuss first what is muscle memory for the sake of those who are new to the term. Muscle memory is the automatic, unconscious finger action on the violin produced by hours and hours of violin playing. The more you practice, the better your fingers will learn not to rely on your conscious command on where to go.
How fast one develops muscle memory for violin varies from person to person. Some can practice for several days and will not need the tapes at all. Others find it difficult to remember where the notes are and have a hard time developing muscle memory even with the tapes. Your violin instructor cannot predict how fast or how slow you'll learn your notes; in order to help you get a good start and also make your lessons less frustrating, instructors will often put on tapes to your violin.
|Violin tapes guided with help from ViolinLab.com|
If you have a hard time mastering your music piece because you're concentrating on where your fingers should go for the proper note, then putting tapes on your violin may be for you. As a beginner, it can be hard to focus between straight bowing, intonation, beat, timing, and finger placement all at once. And it can be frustrating to play a section of your music sheet over and over again because you always miss hitting the right notes. With guide tapes, playing your first piece will be relatively easy.
One question you may well be asking about fingerboard tapes is developing dependency on them. You may be relying on them at first because you don't know where to put your fingers. But once you have developed muscle memory, you will notice that you no longer have to concentrate on finger placement as you play your piece. You can concentrate on bowing, right intonation, and keeping up with your metronome or accompanying music. You'll forget worrying about finger placement eventually.
Violin playing with tapes will make memorization of the piece easier and more fun. No more constant trackbacks just get the notes right and you'll have more time concentrating on your techniques instead. But if you feel that the tapes are not for you, don't be afraid to tell your instructor. Regardless on having tapes or not, learning to play the violin should be a fun, enjoyable experience.
Next on my blog: how to put violin guide tapes with bits and pieces of ideas I got from ViolinLab.com . Thanks for reading and please comment below about this topic and your preference on putting tapes on your violin.