Violin Lessons – Using Your Left Arm and Hand

Violin Lessons – Using Your Left Arm and Hand

By now you probably already know that the left hand is responsible for holding the violin and for using the fingerboard. There are many ways people hold the violin, but for the purposes of this article you will be shown how to hold the violin between your chin and shoulder.

To start with, have your left shoulder supporting your left arm with the violin at forty degrees to your shoulder. By letting your shoulder support your left arm, your arm won’t become rigid with limited mobility and movement. Then imagine that your left arm is almost hanging from the violin fingerboard, but your arm still needs to support the violin.

By adopting this method of letting your arm hang from the fingerboard, it uses the force of gravity that will help you to apply the necessary pressure when pressing down on the violin strings.

After taking the approach of letting your arm hang from the fingerboard, just let your elbow hang where it feels comfortable and natural. If you have small fingers you will find that your elbow will need to move more to the right.

The reason this happens is because your fingers will not be able to properly press down on the fingerboard if your fingers are smaller, therefore forcing your elbow to move to the right.

Keep your elbow loose so that you can freely maneuver your hand and fingers on the fingerboard. Your left wrist should remain straight and with little or no curve and should be in alignment with your forearm. As a rule of thumb keep your wrist aligned with the forearm as much as possible.

Although, sometimes you may need to curve your wrist slightly because when your hand moves towards the body of the violin, you don’t want your wrist hitting it. If you bend your wrist too much it can be harder to shift it to other positions on the fingerboard.

Make sure that your left hand contacts the both sides of the fingerboard at all times when holding the violin. Many times the index finger stays in contact with the fingerboard until 4th position. If you apply excessive force on the fingerboard with the index finger, this will cause a sight movement of the violin with it twisting to the left.

Also make sure you don’t press on the fingerboard too hard with your thumb. Ideally you want your whole arm to be loose and relaxed so that your fingers can freely move about the fingerboard with ease and grace. This will then help bring ease and grace to the rest of the other components of playing the violin.

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