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The Well Tempered Elbow
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June 12, 2011 - 9:45 am
Member Since: February 28, 2011
Forum Posts: 2439
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Being essentially teacherless during my violin career(?), I have the habit of observing everything about a violin performance.  I have recently become aware of the dynamics of left elbow positioning.  Is anyone out there schooled about that subject?

The FIDDLERMAN tutorials generally show an extreme elbow postion falling under the right side "f" hole with the forearm almost vertical.  This in turn places the fingers well over the fingerboard AND achieves an economy of hand motion ( i.e. very little motion needed ).  (See presto passage in SPICCATO video).

The good news is that Hilary Hahn plays much the same way ( she must have seen the video!).

So, what more is there that I don't know?


When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Fort Lauderdale
June 12, 2011 - 10:39 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14766

The only reason not to play with the elbow too far to the right is the bad angle that your fingers can have on the E string. The angle is slightly different for each string but I prefer to move as little as possible when playing fast. Also it is possible to adjust the wrist as long as you only make slight adjustments. Some people don't have fingers that are flexible enough to play the first 5 positions on the E string without keeping the arm further to the left. The problem is that if you go high enough up in positions you will have to move your arm over anyway to get around the fingerboard.

I've had professional musicians take just a few lessons with me and make radical improvements with only adjusting the basics. You, Oliver, are a smart man who sees the logic of simple and obvious solutions.

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

June 12, 2011 - 1:57 pm
Member Since: February 28, 2011
Forum Posts: 2439
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My being so naive gives me an advantage.  I actually think that playing the violin is much easier than advertised.  I think that there are a limited number of skills required but they must be just about perfect.  I can recognize almost all my faults with a fast 2 octave C scale ; )


When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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