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Violin Hold

A series of images to help beginner violin students learn how to hold the violin with the correct technique. Designed to help younger children when first starting lessons.


The Violin Rest Position

It is important to know what to do with the violin when not playing or when in rest position. Place it under your arm as shown with your wrist supporting the violin from underneath. Do not rest your arm against the tail piece or the bridge, which are part of the string support system.

Rest to Playing Position

With the instrument in rest position place your left hand on the body of the violin in the same place it would be when holding the violin up under your chin. Lift the violin into playing position with your left hand remembering to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed maintaining a natural posture as if standing without the violin.


Relax & Keep Your Head Straight

Hold the violin by your side then place under your chin as illustrated by the two images.

Your posture with the violin should be very close to your normal posture without the violin. Take care to keep both shoulders back and to look straight ahead throughout the movement.

Do not clamp down on the violin with your chin, this can be a common cause of neck ache particularly when a shoulder rest is used.

The above image shows the correct angle of the violin looking down from high above at the top of the head and shoulders of the violinist.

The violin should be pointing half way between straight ahead and left.

Now use your other hand on the end of the violin as shown taking care to maintain good posture. This is the playing position.

Keep your left shoulder back - don't roll it forward.

The violin should be kept level along the length of the instrument so that both ends of it are at the same height from the ground, however the left side of the instrument should be higher than the right. Never let your elbow rest on the side of your body, hold the instrument up.

The end of your chin should be very near to the tail piece and the underside of the violin should be touching your collar bone, with the instrument resting against your neck.
If your collar bone gets sore then you can use a cloth as a cushion but make sure the instrument does not slide all over the place because you are using too much to protect yourself. Doing this will cause clamping up in an effort to control the instrument and compound the problem.

The key here is to relax, hold the violin up with your left hand and sit the instrument gently up against your neck.

The image on the right illustrates how the violin is rotated with one side of the instrument being higher than the other. If both sides of the violin were level you would have to lift your bowing arm very high to playing the instrument which would be both difficult and uncomfortable.

Hold the violin up as shown in the image above, with your left hand on the body of the violin and not the neck as shown here.

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