Hi Seth, nice to meet you. I’m also self taught, for 10 months now. The first months I watched lots of videos with beginner tips: how to hold the violin, how to hold the bow, how to get a decent tone etc. And I played all those easy songs that you can find on this website in Michaels book 1 and Suzuki book 1. It was fun but I was not really having a serious practice plan. I really want to have a nice tone and good intonation so I’m working a lot on this. I have now established a practice routine that works great for me:
– open strings exercises: play long slow bows, then play them soft, loud, staccato, in the different lanes (close to the fingerboard, close to the bridge, etc)
– scales: to work on intonation
– etudes: I don’t follow the order in the books. I use Wohlfahrt, Sitt, Pracht. I choose an etude based on the technique I want to learn. Or based on the scales I’m practicing
This is about 75% of my practice time. The last 25% of my practice time I dedicate to practicing songs or pieces I really like. So my focus is heavily on technique, but it helps to study my pieces faster. Hope there is something useful for you in this strategy too.