How to Hold the Violin

  • Place the violin on your left shoulder and rest the left side of your jaw on the chin rest. The violin should be parallel to the floor.  Most prefer to use a shoulder rest to help rest the violin comfortably on the shoulder.
  • Your elbow should be under the center of the violin.  Avoid resting your arm against your side.
  • Your wrist should remain relaxed and held straight.  Avoid bending the wrist and resting against the violin neck.
  • Your left hand should be positioned approximately one inch from the end of the fingerboard with your fingers on the front and your thumb on the back side of the neck. 
  • Place your thumb on the back side of the neck just above the knuckle.  It should be opposite your first and second fingers.
  • Maintain a curved, open space between your thumb and your first finger (a backwards “C”) to allow flexibility in your fingers.
  • See the Left Hand warm-up below for help maintaining this posture.

 


Left Hand Warm-up

1.      Preparing Left Hand

a.     Draw a smiley face on the palm of your left hand.  With your left hand relaxed to your side, turn your hand so that the smiley face is looking away from you. 

b.     Without looking, bring your hand up to your side and make a straight arm with smiley face looking at you.

c.     Once your arm is up, turn your head and look at smiley! Make sure your arm is straight!  Smiley face always looks at you – never at the ceiling!

 2.     Finger Drops.

a.     With arm up straight to your side, tap your first finger to your thumb 4 times.  Listen for a “popping” sound.  Make sure your fingers form a perfect circle!

b.     Repeat this with all fingers – tap each one 4 times.

c.     Place your violin on your shoulder.  Bring arm up straight with smiley face looking at you.  Tap fingers on the strings 4 times each and listen for a “popping” sound! Make sure your fingers form a perfect circle!

 3.     Left Hand Stretch.

a.     Bring your arm up with smiley face looking at you.  Check your thumb for correct position (across from 1st finger).  Keep your arm and shoulder relaxed under the violin.

b.     Place fingers on the strings, starting with 4th finger.  4 on G, 3 on D, 2 on A, and 1 on E. Make sure they land on the finger tapes!

c.     Check your thumb and wrist for correct posture!

                        d.    Repeat this several times before you practice.