Please feel free to share. “The Little Drummer Boy Project”
Hi, Fiddlerpeople! This is SemiNun, and some of you might remember when I jumped on here some months ago as an adult beginner. I dropped in to some of the Sunday jams too, back then. You were so nice to me!! Encouraging and friendly! So I wanted to let you know what happened. Just after I upgraded to a new Fiddlerman violin outfit--even though I was only at the Twinkle Twinkle stage--I took a bad fall down some concrete steps and broke my knee. Also sprained my left wrist badly, and my face looked like a crime scene photo, but that's another story. The broken bones healed, but the wrist has never quite recovered completely. With the weird way you have to torque your left hand around to play violin, I haven't been able to get back to it without problems. I haven't given up entirely--I keep the violin with me, even in my RV--but I've been concentrating on my art and calligraphy, which I can still do.
Just wanted to let you all know why I disappeared...
Love and thanks to you all, SemiNun
Sorry to hear about your accident.
While that contortion takes some getting used to, if there's an active problem, I'd say you have more wrong with the wrist than just a sprain. If you can, get it looked at.
If you can't, or they say "Oh, yes, that's a XYZ condition, very rare. Learn to like it, you'll have it all your life,", then a couple of other options:
Trade in this fiddle for a left-handed one, and learn to play left-handed. (Left handed violins are not common, but they do exist.) If you're a beginner, neither hand knows what it's doing all that well, so having them switch roles shouldn't be too confusing. (And if an experience of mine (when learning foil fencing) is any indication, if you try to reverse your left and right hand's jobs, it will be horribly awkward until suddenly, it's not. I had 95% of my skill at fencing right handed transfer over to my left, and it happened in just a few seconds. (A few seconds that came after several hours of attempts, mind you.)
Finally, you can play a violin somewhat like a cello. It will take some creativity to figure out how to anchor it, but it will work just fine, and it doesn't require you to contort your hand and arm into weird positions. Bowing will take some getting used to, because it's backward (the G string is what's closest to your hand and the E string furthest away), but you can get used to that. People (especially traditional violinists) will look at you funny, so practice in the mirror looking funny back at them. 🙂 Nicest thing about this option is that it's MUCH more ergonomic than the standard way to play a violin, so you're a lot less likely to injure yourself on down the line.
Of course, if either the funny looks or the getting creative about ways to attach it to you don't appeal, you could just switch to cello. 🙂
@SemiNun thank you for sharing your story. I hope you can find some relief from the pain in your wrist so that you can continue with the violin. You can keep practicing bowing without trying to place your left hand on the strings, just try using open strings to get the best possible clean tone. The violin can be great therapy even if you can't yet play it as you'd like. Good luck.
Bob in Lone Oak, Texas