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Squeezing violin thumb and tension on neck and shoulder
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Fort Lauderdale
December 21, 2019 - 3:55 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15214
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I always have my thumb under the instrument carrying the weight though I don't really need it. I could easily support the violin between my jaw and collarbone/chest Basically the weight of the violin is supported where it rests on your body, collarbone, shoulder, chest, stomach..... etc, and in your left hand. The weight on your left hand is very little since it's the lighter part of the violin and only the balanced weight. Your thumb should not be gripping the neck, rather just allowing it to rest.
When you shift down, it's nice to support the violin a bit more at your neck but with all other playing it will suffice to just have the instrument resting loosly. A great chin-rest and shoulder-rest combo is essential to a good posture and relaxation.

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

Stroudsburg, PA
Honorary tenured advisor

December 21, 2019 - 5:21 pm
Member Since: January 30, 2019
Forum Posts: 636
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bunify said
 I can still shift tho but my thumb is always gripping to help me press the strings and all. 


"Gripping" That word makes me think you are holding onto the neck to tightly. There is a difference between gripping and supporting, but that is not something I can explain with words on a forum.


Gordon Shumway
London, England
Pro advisor

December 22, 2019 - 4:31 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 1250
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The key is in bunify's use of the word "always". Change that to "when it's necessary", bunify.

An important thing about shifting is anticipation. If you relax everything more and only grip with your chin when you are about to shift and relax your thumb even more when about to shift, etc.

Maybe you could use shifting exercises as a way of developing more relaxed playing?

This book is good. (bad luck - it's dirt cheap in the UK). Don't attempt Whistler yet, even if someone on vcom persuades you you should.


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