#13732 Reply

Dianne Adkins
Moderator

Charles! Thank you for sharing a video with us! This is such a great song. Did you know it is from an Italian opera composed by Giacomo Puccini? Translated, the title means “Oh My Beloved Father”. In the opera, a girl is begging her father to let her be with the one she loves. 😀

Like other commenters, I would like to see the violin angled at a better position. Please consider using a shoulder rest. The first, and hardest thing to learn about violin is that you have to hold it confidently with your head only. You have to be able to let go with the left hand. I have a five year old student right now who is trying to learn this. She cries when it is time to let go. 😀 This important skill is hard for most people.

Here are the shoulder rests available at Superior Violins.

I recommend the KUN shoulder rest to my students and I also use it myself. If you can’t buy a shoulder rest now, you can use a foam sponge and a rubber band, whatever you find around the house. As a result of not using a shoulder rest, your violin is angled very low. The scroll should be even in height to your mouth. I call it ‘cake eating high’. 🙂 Right now, your cake, when placed on the scroll, will slide off and down to the floor. No cake for you! Please raise the scroll up and practice letting go with the left hand.

On the right hand, although you have a lovely tone, the fingers of your bow grip could be better placed. Please try this simple exercise without the bow. Looking at the right hand, palm facing you, bring the thumb to meet fingertips with the middle and ring fingers. The pinkie and first finger are up, like bunny ears. Now slide the tip of the thumb to the first knuckle of the middle and ring fingers. Now the bunny has long front teeth.

violin bow grip

Now open the bunny mouth and take the bow, maintaining this shape to your hand. The ‘teeth’ fingers hug the bow, the thumb stays rounded. Lay the first finger down where it falls naturally on the stick. Pull the pinkie close to ring finger, then place pinkie tip on the inner edge of the bow.

There are a million pictures of bow grips on google, but many, many of them are bad examples. This is a good example. Sorry the image is so small.

violin bow grip

Hold the bow grip firmly as you play. This may feel awkward at first but try to get used to it. You can use a pencil to practice. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about bow grip or violin playing. Thanks again, Charles, for bringing this beautiful song to my ears!