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Been over twenty years since I have read music(Saxophone in school) and never played a string instrument.
I became intrigued about the violin after seeing reviews on very reasonably priced violin outfits. Always thought it would be fun to play so I placed the order on Amazon and suddenly I have a violin.
So now I am doing the same thing every new player does, wondering if I am holding the violin and bow right and working on learning notes. Only been able to practice a couple of times but one thing I seem to be having an issue with is my obviously stubby fingers. That along with my old and creaky shoulders are proving a challenge reaching strings especially the G string comfortably.
I am assuming that it will take time to "Loosen" up my over worked and abused body.
I am happy to be on my journey and want to thank everyone for the forum and great advice in advance.
Being in the same boat (old and creaky body), the best thing that will help in reaching the G string is to swing your left elbow under the violin (and maybe even past it a bit, if you can get it there.)
That won't be easy, either, but it's easier than trying to twist my wrist around 270 degrees or something.
Check out the home page of this site. Pierre (Fiddlerman) has several introductory videos, including how to to hold it.
Everybody is different. Expect to have to do some experimentation to find a combination of violin position, chin rest, shoulder rest, and body position that will work comfortably for you. There's no magic answer that works for everybody.
A couple of things I didn't know at first:
- It's ok to partially hold the violin up with your left hand. Also with your chin/jaw, and the shoulder rest. Don't hunch your shoulder up, and don't clamp down with your head. (In general, don't do anything that hurts, or takes lots of force (because that will hurt soon).) Otherwise, experiment.
- It's ok to move the violin around some, and use different ways of hold it up at different times. In fact, it's encouraged, because moving things around and taking pressure off of them once in a while decreases/prevents tension. (Tension is probably the number one enemy of things sounding decent.)
Thanks for the advice Charles!
It will take same time for my shoulders to "loosen up" so that holding the violin feels more natural. I got plenty of time and not worried about impressing anyone for a while so I will take it slow.
Did get about 20mins worth of practice before leaving for work tonight and was following Fiddlermans "G" string exercises. I found that planting my left elbow into my side gave me more reach and movement to reach the g string, even my fourth finger.
I do think I saw this on the site with a picture showing that exact thing.
I am going to get with a local violin player and have her check out my form, I think I am holding everything right but having someone with experience will reassure me.
I placed an order for a new shoulder rest today, the Fiddlerman wooden rest. Curious how much difference it will make compared to the one that came with my violin.