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Habits of a Successful String Musician

By Christopher Selby, Scott Rush, & Rich Moon

Habits Strings Books

For High School and Intermediate-to-Advanced Level string musicians


Methods for Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass


Available as a physical book or online digital version
Online digital version available for $6.95


Available on both MusicFirst and MakeMusic Cloud online teaching platforms


Habits of a Successful String Musician is a field-tested, vital, and—most importantly—musical collection of almost 400 sequenced exercises for building fundamentals. Perfect to use with the entire string orchestra or solo player at virtually any skill level, this series contains carefully sequenced warm-ups, sight-reading etudes, rhythm vocabulary studies, chorales, tuning canons, and much more.

In one place, this series collects everything an aspiring player needs to build fundamental musicianship skills and then be able to transfer those skills directly into the performance of great literature.

Habits of a Successful String Musician:

  • Presents a differentiated, sequential, and comprehensive method for developing skills that lead to the mastery of reading rhythms, and ultimately, to musical sight-reading.
  • Creates a method for teaching scales, arpeggios and thirds that simultaneously accommodates students of different ability levels.
  • Organizes tone, rhythm and articulation patterns into a flexible and sequential series.
  • Creates finger pattern and velocity studies that address the most common problems encountered by intermediate orchestra students.
  • Provides beginning through advanced shifting exercises for students of every level.
  • Creates exercises for learning alternate clefs and higher positions.
  • Provides chorales for the development of intonation, tone quality, blend and musicianship.
  • Presents rhythm charts in a new format that allows transfer from timing and rhythm to pitches in a musical context.
  • Provides audition sight-reading in a classroom “full ensemble” format that is well planned in scope and sequence. There are over 130 sight-reading examples in this book.
  • Promotes the idea that students should cross the threshold from the “technical components of playing” to music making.

Available Editions


Habits of a Successful String Musician is a tremendous resource for string teachers and students. It is comprehensive, well thought-out and offers strong pedagogical tools while allowing for individual teaching styles and priorities. For me, “Habits” is a time-saver and a great catalyst for teachable moments with my students on technique and broad string playing concepts in the classroom.

Scott Laird

Music Instructor and Fine Arts Coordinator

NC School of Science and Math

Habits of a Successful String Musician is a terrific educational resource and supplemental book for advanced middle and high school string students. I found the tuning canons and sight-reading to be particularly effective. My students have enjoyed all the exercises, and I have found them very useful in assembling their focus and preparing them to play high level repertoire.

Jonathan Glawe

Director of String Studies - Pioneer High School

Ann Arbor, MI

ASTA National Orchestra Festival Grand Champion

Did You Know...

Each student method book in the HABITS series is available digitally for access on any device of choice!

Even More!

Habits of a Successful Beginner Band Musician comes with a FREE digital access code printed on the inside cover!

All other Habits student method books are available digitally for $6.95 (a $3 saving compared to the physical edition).

View Habits Digital Books