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Violin and Fiddle Lessons
Fresno and Clovis
Private or Group Lessons :: Beginner through Intermediate
Classical Violin, Bluegrass, Country, Old Time Fiddle
Violin and Fiddle Instruction
Online - Positioning
All violinists when
beginning quickly realize that the violin can be a most awkward
instrument to hold. Strict classical training requires that the student
hold the violin in such a way that produces much strain and rigidity in
the body. With this technique the student will be constantly fighting
the violin to maintain a hold that is acceptable to the left hand.
Here methods will be discussed that shall bring confidence in handling
the instrument with comfort and style.
Foremost in the art of violin playing is the way in which the instrument
rests upon the left hand. There is no need to grip the neck as though it
were going to fall. A light pressure from the chin onto the chin rest is
enough to keep the violin in its correct playing position. Having the
left hand void of tension is essential in creating fluid music and an
enjoyable learning atmosphere.
Start with the left arm pointing down, in this position twist arm
anti-clockwise until the palm is facing forwards. Raise the hand to the
playing position and let the wrist flop backwards.
With the right hand place the violin into position so that the neck
comes to rest upon the index fingers base joint. The thumb should
delicately rest against the neck exerting no pressure upon the
Right hand fundamentals.
Placement of the hand and fingers.
For the first position is such that the index finger rests on the note B
of the A string and the fourth finger is upon the B of the E string.
Fingers that are not in use should be kept near their respective
positions close to the string. The further away from the finger board
they are the longer it will take them to fall into position. Those that
are not in use should never be pushing into the finger board as this
would result in complete rigidity of the left hand where fluid
expression would be lost.
The fingers touch upon the strings should be absolutely minimal. The
harder the touch the less mobility the hand has for playing which will
result in poor intonation. Place the index finger lightly on the F# of
the E string and take note of any tension in the thumb. Here is one of
the most common problems where by the player will contract and squeeze
the muscles of the left hand. The greater the pressure that is applied
to the string the more the thumb has to compensate by pushing against
the neck to hold it into place. This rigidity will make it harder to
find the note and dampens a players creativity.
With the following example, check after each note that the hand is fully
When comfortable with this phrase, keep the same fingering positions and
move onto the A, D and G strings. With each successive string allow the
left wrist and elbow to swing freely a little further out in front of
The Fourth Finger.
Becoming confident with the positioning of the fourth finger is another
vital aspect of violin playing. Much care should be taken that the
fourth finger does not 'freeze' the action of the other fingers when it
is in play. Often the fourth finger will become tense just prior to
being used preventing fluidity in the rest of the hand.
The following exercise aims at having the fourth finger in a state of
total relaxation when sounding a note. This is done by resting before
the finger is brought into action. Here the left hand is given a chance
to let go of all tension before continuing with the fourth finger.
The measure also includes a D octave to help intonation.