I was just playing right now and changed how i place my thumb and general position of my left hand. I now feel I can comfortably play all the notes in first position without looking. My question is, do any of you experiment with different grips and placement? Also is it bad to adjust this late in playing? 7 months in now.
Yes... I can find all notes without looking in 1st... and can do vibrato... but my thumb is sticking out on the side in a really ugly way 🙂 (the violin's neck is at the very bottom of the gap between my thumb and index).
I tried fixing it, but still can't.. whenever I try to place it slightly under the neck like I'm supposed to.. not only can I not do vibrato at all... I sometimes can't even find the notes properly... Fiddlerman suggested I just ignore the thumb there and stop trying to 'fix' it 😉 I saw he made a video of some fancy invention called 'wonderthumb'... maybe I should try that..
But in any case.. yea I'm always trying to experiment with those hand placements to see if I can somehow magically do it properly...
@Ferenc Simon from what I read the thumb position isn't that important as long as it is relaxed and with the rate you are progressing I think you should listen to Fiddlerman haha.
@Fiddlerman funny thing is when I was thinking of what to change I rememberd watching one of your videos about a year ago that talked about thumb placement. You said "I have it come all the way back so when I shift I will always have a reference point". I tried that and it works well! So thank you for making all the videos you make and for supporting all of us noobies!
@Ferenc Simon I noticed that your vibrato often has wrist and arm movement canceling each other out. That's what I've been working on correcting in my own playing on the low strings. It's connected to your troubles with lowering your thumb, because letting the violin sink too far into your hand reduces your range of motion. Try moving your elbow to the right a little bit so that your fingers can reach higher and farther over the fingerboard with your thumb in the lower position.
@AndrewH Yea.. but something's definitely not 'standard' there.. either my thumb is too long or not flexible enough.. or my wrist joint is not flexible enough on one side and it closes at a different angle...
I honestly don't know what's up with that.. (It's kinda driving me mad though) however I think I know how it's 'supposed to work', but whenever I have my thumb in the correct position I cannot raise my knuckles enough so that it doesn't block the movement.. (my thumb doesn't go down enough) If I force it.. obviously it stretches and hurts so I'm not doing that 🙂 I think I need to make a video somehow from my perspective so you see what I mean...
Just throwing this out there, but for anyone with a left hand orientation problem, maybe the problem isn't actually in the left hand (or wrist, or elbow, or shoulder). When I finally picked up my violin to learn how to play it, I was very concerned that I was doing something wrong when I realized I couldn't arch my fingers enough to play on the G without their interfering with other strings. Half of the time, I also had the neck at the bottom of the valley between the thumb and index finger. I think being a beginner was what clued me in to my problem: the violin wasn't oriented properly. Because I was still getting used to the instrument, I changed the way I held it and the orientation of my shoulder rest until I found a comfortable playing position, which also solved my left hand problem without my realizing it. Maybe you could experiment with different chin and shoulder rests that would support the violin at different angles to see if the same thing happens for you.
EDIT: I meant to mention this site: violinistinbalance.nl. It's kind of tough to click through, but it outlines a study that was done over a year or two at what I assume was some kind of music school. Basically, they found that when a violin's setup was properly fitted to the player, pretty much all of the mechanical problems solved themselves.
wonderputz that actually makes a lot of sense and i've noticed I never have one way of holding my violin. I will be getting a new shoulder rest in a couple of weeks so I will make sure to check my violin position. Thanks!
@AndrewH 18 years? I guess 7 months isn't too late to change positions. Thanks for letting me know