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Violin Hold Question
Need advice regarding Violin Hold.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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JoeP
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August 27, 2013 - 6:19 pm
Member Since: November 4, 2012
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Two steps forward, one step back... today is a one step back day.  I've recently begun to add vibrato practice back into my routine and it has thrown into question my fundamental violin hold.  In the video I talk about three alternatives that I have been experimenting with.

1)  The "classic" approach that I seem to see often where the fleshy part of the end of the thumb is placed under and somewhat to the side of the neck.  This for me is extremely uncomfortable, unstable, and is the most likely to lead to choking the life out of the neck of the instrument.

2)  Place the fleshy part of the thumb between the last tow knuckles under the neck.  This is much more comfortable and stable than #1 and is much less prone to squeezing.  However, during string crossings and other circumstances this often reverts into #3.

3)  The neck rests on the fleshy part of the thumb, just below the 2nd knuckle.  Not in the crook between the thumb and index finger but actually on top of the muscle at the base of the thumb.  This is extremely comfortable by comparison.  I can reach all the strings, including my Low C, I can shift easily.  I don't squeeze, and I can even make some sort of vibrato-like motion.

So, is there any good reason to not go with #3?

If some other video angle would help to demonstrate, please let me know.

Thanks in advance for having a look and any advice or observations you might have.

joe

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 27, 2013 - 7:02 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

2) and 3) are fine.
Nothing wrong with that at all. Actually I use 3 more often with hand and finger vibrato.
If it feels better it often is. :-)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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JoeP
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August 27, 2013 - 8:14 pm
Member Since: November 4, 2012
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Fiddlerman said
2) and 3) are fine.
Nothing wrong with that at all. Actually I use 3 more often with hand and finger vibrato.
If it feels better it often is. :-)

Thanks so much Pierre,  I thought I'd seen a similar hold in some of your videos.  It's a comfort to hear it's OK.

joe

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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August 27, 2013 - 8:44 pm
Member Since: June 25, 2012
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@Joe for the non virtuoso, symphony hobbiest there are few rules you must abide by. There are some techniques that work better than others, approaches and efficiencies but few actual rules.......and those are more like guidelines....(like Pirates of the Carribean "Parle")

Rule 1. Be relaxed
Rule 2. Have fun
Rule 3. Play for your own enjoyment
Rule 4. Dont let anyone or anything muck with rules 1-3!

If it works for you and you can make it sound right, on time at a tempo you like, Im good with it too!

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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cdennyb
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August 28, 2013 - 2:11 am
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Joe,

I've tried all those different positions and find that just resting the neck flat on my thumb print to be the easiest and most versitile way to hold it.

It allows my fingers to curve over the strings and not touch the A and E string when fingering the others...and...

Also trying to play some notes on the A string and then quickly cross over to the E string requires you to keep your fingers over the top.

Give it a try. See what you think.

Also note that as you play different finger positions on the neck, you will be moving your thumb from place to place. It's easier if that movement doesn't restrict movement of the other fingers.

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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