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Violin playing - Left and Right hand position

Updated on August 23, 2014

Fundamentals of Violin Playing

Playing a violin is a master art. It requires years of practice under expert supervision. If your basics are not good there wouldn't be much improvement even if you study for many many years. To improve further you should correct the basics. Bear in mind that these basics are the only thing your require to master advanced techniques. Most of these advanced lessons are easy if you have a strong basics. Ok, so what are these basics ?. Let us explore this further in this hub. From my experience i think the below are the fundamental qualities you should master to become an expert player.

  1. Correct left hand position
  2. Correct Right hand position
  3. Ear training

Understanding contact points or relative distance of thumb movement

Correct Left hand position

Make sure that the hand is slightly twister towards the inside and the fingers are placed at an angle of 45 degree to the violin string. That means the angle between top of the knuckle at the finger tip and point where the finger tip contacts the violin is 45 degrees.Make sure to make this finger tip joint flexible.

Correct Right hand position

Here the bow should be held as per the rules. Thats is tip of the middle finger and the thumb should form a ring and index finger should be just leaning on the bow. The small finger or pinky should be on top of the bow. Refer violinmasterclass.com to understand this position.

Ear training

Understanding whether you have hit the right note by ear is the fundamental stuff in violin playing. When you play fast passages and go to higher hand positions without this skill it would be difficult to progress further. Hence train your ear such that you can identify whether you have hit the right note. Of course this requires lots of practice. This can be achieved by playing the note and singing along with it so that both sounds are resonating. Now try to reproduce the sound vocally and check whether you reach the right note. Repeated practice like this for all notes will slowly improve the ear and after some time you may be able to tell a note by hearing.Once you achieve this , it is a big big step forward in mastering the violin or any other musical instrument. You may also use a chromatic tuner and check whether you can correctly reproduce the note vocally from memory.

Understanding contact points or relative distance of thumb movement

Understanding the amount of space you need to shift to reach to a whole step ahead and a half step ahead is fundamental to shifting. Make a note of where your thumb contacts the violin at various positions and practice to make it stick to memory. Once you know approximately how much the thumb ( the whole hand moves) moves to reach the various position you can shift with confidence. Once you master the skills in the Ear training section, you can adjust the minor variations in pitch by adjusting the fingers. Once you master the ear training skills then you can actually shift by just hearing. You can make quick adjustments while you shift as well
Master these basics and become a master player.

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