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Hi. I have been learning to play the violin for about 2 months, mostly self taught. I have had a couple of lessons. My biggest problem is in reaching the strings with my fingers. I can barely reach the E and A string with all fingers without strain, and reaching the D and G string causes a lot of strain. I started with a violin teacher last week, and she was baffled by my problem. Worse yet, she told me that the inside of my left hand isn't even supposed to touch the violin when I am on the E and A strings. It made sense to me, and I can tell how much easier it would be to reach certain notes if my hand isn't right up against the violin, but this causes a lot of strain for me ven on the E and A strings.
As near as I can tell, I have a range of motion problem. I can't turn my left hand far enough. Has anyone else had, or seen this problem? Will my range of motion increase with time and use? I would really hate to give up on the violin.
Also, if my range of motion will increase with time, are there any good ideas on how I can avoid injury in the mean time? right now I have cut back on my practice to 45 minutes a day, I do very little on the D and G strings, and I just accept that for now I can't position my left hand like my teacher says I should.
Lets skype sometime, that way I can see what you are doing, show you what I am doing and hopefully find a solution that works for you...PM me anytime Im online.
p.s. I am not an expert but I do have a firm grasp of the basics. I dont charge anything ever for helpin anyone. How could I when everyone helps me for free.
"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.
I can't say I had your problem exactly but a year ago, I never thought I would be able to do some of the things on the violin with my fingers. Even fourth finger was an issue...It really gets better..there was a bit of pain and stiffness from being tense in the beginning... I tried not to over do it. But I did not let the pain and soreness deter me... a bit of tylenol here and there and I got used to it and that part of the soreness went away.
I think a teacher should be able to help you and encourage you and show you some counter movements. I am no expert. Thank goodness for this site and Rob is a generous guy!
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
Try the following ....stand-up straight, place your left arm straight down by your side, bend your elbow so that the left forearm comes up to a horizontal position (left elbow is still be your side), turn the wrist so that the palm is facing directly down.
Now without moving anything else, rotate the left forward/wrist so that the palm turns anti-clockwise.
You should be able to turn it such that the palm points directly upwards. (dont force anything!).
I've been playing 7 months now, and have similar problems. But I am starting to see small improvements. I can just about reach the G string, but its a bit of a strain.
Try tucking your left elbow in so it's more in front of you rather than to the side. In other word's, try moving your elbow toward's your bellybutton. This may be uncomfortabe in the beginning but will improve with time. This will allow your left hand more freedom to reach the A and D string's. Don't try to grasp the neck with your hand.
If you're not already doing this.