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First of all I hope this is the right section for this question, since I'm new here and all..
Secondly, this community looks really awesome!! It's friendly and it seems like just the right place to learn!
Ok, as for the heart of the matter... I think I might have a problem with the size of my bow and my violin.
I recently bought a Stentor Student I adult size and found I could reach my hand confortably around the scroll, which I read, is a good way of knowing if it is the right size for you.
ON the other hand, upon trying to extend my right arm to try the bow, I found out I couldn't bow on the tip, which left me head-scratching.
My arm is extended all the way, my elbow joint can't give one single degree more and yet I can't reach the tip!
I've read that this can prove the violin is not the right size for me... So I'm quite confused.
Is this something that can happen? Should I keep the violin and buy a new (7/8, 3/4) bow? Should I buy a new violin entirely?
The first thing that came to mind after reading this is that this is why it is so important to buy things at Fiddlershop where this kind of question can be asked and the solution quickly discerned. The knowledge that FM and Mike share with customers is without equal. Sadly I don't have the information you seek, so I'll let others answer.
There are some other factors to consider before jumping to conclusions. Where you hold the violin and the angle and etc have an effect on how far down your hand needs to go to get a full stroke. So you may want to check your hold of the violin and your form first.
You also didn't mention if the violin itself feels comfortable in regards to if you can comfortably finger notes in the low positions.
"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman
There's a good nose-strings-elbow-alignment; the violin sits on my collarbone and my shoulder is reasonably (no pain) higher for further sustain. I'd say the violin itself is at about a 70° degree angle. My jaw sits on the chin rest, pretty much smack-dab, I think.
I can even reach the g string with my pinky (in first position) and when I do so my fingers are not touching the d string and my left elbow isn't compensating by moving to the center of the chest.
On the other hand, I could snap a couple photos to make sure everything's alright?
Wow, it took a bit but here's what I got:
A) My hold without the bow or the left arm (front)
B) My hold with the left arm (front) (the elbow isn't exactly in frame)
C) My hold from the side (nose-strings-elbow alignment)
D) Trying to reach the tip (side) (as you can see the tip is still far, but my right hand is already so far out it has renounced to the correct bow hold; the wrist is lower then the bow, etc etc...)
E) Still trying (front)
F) Violin hold (front) (the elbow is in frame this time)
G) Another 1 from the side (a bit more vertically centered, perhaps)
Ouch! It appears to me that your violin is pointed directly off your shoulder, or 90 degrees from the front of your body. Bring it in about 30 degrees towards you so the instrument points more towards a 10 o'clock position. You'll be able to use your entire bow effortlessly then. I'm just getting started too, so keep at it!
Wait, just one more question.
I was thinking that if I move the violin further up my shoulder, then I might have to twist my wrist a lot more to get my pinky on the g string, because the overall angle of the strings (and therefore the fingerboard) will be different, thanks to the change in position of the end pin (if we consider my hand to be the "fulcrum" of the violin hold).
Is this right?
@NoStringsAttached Thanks! Looking back at it, I have to admit it is practically aligned with my shoulder. That can't be too good...
I'm just starting out myself, so I have a feeling this isn't gonna be my last mistake. Good luck with your violin journey!
Looks like you found a lot of good help. I'll just reiterate what the others said. Put the button on the end of the fiddle on your neck about where the carotid artery is (where you can feel the pulse in your neck) and the violin shoulder rest on your collar bone. If the bow tip doesn't reach the strings, turn the scroll of the fiddle forwards to the front side of your body until it does. Then adjust your shoulder rest so that is the natural way for it to rest on your shoulder.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright
Ok, I'm back... Yesterday hasn't been very nice, timewise
Ok. I'll be very mindful of my position, and hopefully everything will fit into place.
thank you! You are right. I'm counting 25 inches here! This has given me a great confidence boost. As for the pictures, yeah, I knew it was the right thing to do, as I know I just can't trust myself on this whole new thing.
And, about that, I would also like to say that it's great to be part of a community of learners and experts willing to help, most of all in case you might not have money/time for lessons!! What you're doing is rare... Karma gives back!
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