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Violin and Fiddle Instruction Online - Positioning


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 instrument.

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 relaxed.


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 body.

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.

Lesson Three

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