How To Hold The Violin

Learning to play the violin is exciting. Set yourself up for success by learning how to hold the violin correctly.

Attach The Shoulder Rest

Place the feet of the shoulder rest on both sides of the instrument at an angle and then gently pull the feet on. Move feet around the violin by gently pulling on either side. If the feet will not move pull off the violin on the other side for it to move. Never force the feet to move across the violin.

Fit the Shoulder Rest

The most important thing is to spend a lot of time to properly fit shoulder rest. This is really important to being able to play well. It does take time to make the correct adjustments in order for it to fit correctly.

The shoulder rest is set up in a way that when holding the violin the person can look straight
with the violin under your chin. And the player can immediately hold the violin with their chin.

Mad adjustments to the feet of the shoulder rest until it feels comfortable, making sure that the player can hold the violin with their chin while looking ahead.

Left Hand

It’s important to remember that the violin is held by our chin not our left hand. Our left hand job is to place our fingers on the string and make a sound. Our left hand is not set up to hold the violin but to help make a sound.

To play the fingers curve around the neck of the instrument. The thumb rests on the side of the neck. To play you simply put your fingers on their tips on the stings and take them off to make different sounds.

Left Hand C Shape

With out the violin we can see that the fingers and thumb curve around to make a C shape. It is also important to make sure that the wrist stays straight and isn’t over or under extended.

Common Violin Mistakes

Extensions of the Wrist

Holding the violin may feel award or the student may be afraid they are going to drop the instrument. This leads to over or under extensions of the wrist as pictured below. Most common is where the student holds the violin like a tray or flat as a pancake. Practice playing in front of a mirror to check for mistakes.

Left Hand C Shape

Check to make sure the thumb is gently resting in between the first two finger tapes and the hand is rounded into a C shape. Avoid squeezing the thumb and hand together as pictured below. The fingers should be relaxed and free to move around the fingerboard.

Holding the Violin

Be careful not to hold the violin too high or too low. It should simply sit horizontally. Be aware of where your head is tilted. Look straight ahead with your chin sitting at normal eye level. Be careful not to tilt your head to the side or pull your chin down towards the ground. The pictures above show common incorrect posture.