Tagged: violin thumb position
March 30, 2016 at 2:10 pm #14732
I’ve played for 5 yrs using instruction from the internet but a few months ago someone talked about the thumb should be against the curve of the neck. I tried that and my teacher I hired did not correct it. But then I watched Michaels video of thumb placement opposite the first finger and now I’m back to where I started. But all these changes has messed up my accuracy and finger memory.March 31, 2016 at 12:27 am #14748
Hi Jmcculley! Changing the position of the violin thumb will definitely effect muscle memory and accuracy of pitch. You will have a period of time that requires adjustment and relearning but it is necessary and worth it. I haven’t seen Michael’s video, but I do advocate thumb opposite the first finger. More specifically, with the left hand turned with the palm looking at you, the thumb closes up next to the base of the first finger, but remains straight. For most people, this results in a ‘little V’ where the violin neck touches the thumb and base of first finger. There are acceptable variations of this position of the thumb, and if we look at the greatest players of our day, we’ll see as many unique approaches to thumb positions as we find shapes and sizes of thumbs. Even so, there are ‘rules of thumb’ (pun intended) that are understood and then professionals break them for various reasons, most often temporarily.
Here’s a great left hand thumb position. Notice the thumb is straight, but relaxed. It sits opposite the base of the first finger and just behind the first finger tape. Almost none of the thumb sits above the fingerboard.
I know it’s frustrating to change something in your playing after you’ve put a lot of time into it a different way but let me encourage you to stick with it! And take heart! At least no one asked you to do this!
April 5, 2016 at 7:12 pm #14762
LOL yes luckily we don’t have to do that with our hand!!! 🙂
Thanks for the tips about thumb placement. I have rather small hands and I put my thumb more below the violin. Not so much to hold it but to give my other fingers more space. If I keep my thumb opposite the first finger, then I can’t reach good enough with the fourth finger and definitely can’t do extensions. With my thumb below I can. So, I guess it really also depends of the size of our hands/fingers?April 26, 2016 at 6:28 pm #15442
Hi again Mariko! It definitely dependent upon the length of the fingers and the size of our hands. You having a small hand, it makes sense to keep the thumb under just a little.April 26, 2016 at 7:44 pm #15444
Glad it’s OK like that because otherwise it’s really very hard use fourth finger. 🙂May 16, 2016 at 8:40 pm #15521