#13753 Reply

Dianne Adkins

Kevin! Thank you for posting your video! What a great start you have! Foremost, that it brings you joy to play violin is so wonderful! For some of us it also brings tears ha ha ha! So now let me give you a quick commentary about your start on learning to play the violin.

I LOVE your violin position. You have cleared the way for easy progress by getting a shoulder rest and mastering a good violin position right from the start. Congratulations! You can hold the violin with only your head. You will be ready for vibrato and shifting into higher positions because of this excellent violin position. Please practice putting the violin on your shoulder with the violin hand only. Your bow hand will be holding the bow, so too busy to help! Take the violin at the shoulder, and put it on your shoulder.

Here is a pic of how to hold the violin at the shoulder. (The thumb is behind the violin)
violin position

Spend some time with the bow only. It’s important to get the bow grip just right. Here is a good pic of the bow grip, with each finger in its place.

violin bow grip

Notice the middle and ring finger are hugging the bow. Therefore, I call them the ‘hugger fingers’. The index finger ‘guides’ the bow. Keep it placed near the knuckle closest to the fingertip. The pinkie sits close to the third finger, rounded and on its tip, on the back/ top of the bow stick. Keep fingers evenly spaced apart.

The thumb is square. Its tip is opposite the middle two fingers and presses into the wood. The pad of your thumb might be able to feel the nub of the frog. The outer part of the thumb may feel the bow hair a little.

Now that you have demonstrated that you can find all four strings easily, focus your practice on E string only. Place the bow on E string, finding the square of the arm. Make sure the elbow is relaxed and at your side. Make sure your bow grip is correct.

bow arm square of the arm

This is the middle of your bow. Your bow strokes should begin there. Practice down and up bows on E, stopping every bow. Anyone can put the bow on the string and move it. It is stopping the bow gracefully that is hard! Listen for the sound of the beginning of your bow stroke, and the sound at the end of your bow stroke. When you stop the bow, whether down or up, keep the bow on the string.

The beginning of the bow stroke should have a crisp ‘K’ sound. Let the bow thumb push a little up at the beginning of the stroke. You don’t need much! The end of the bow stroke should sound open and ringing. No thumb power needed. Practice a crisp, stopped bow in the upper half of the bow, starting at the square of your arm, to perfect the E string sound. Then proceed to A, D, and G.

I hope to hear you play again soon!