You may feel that learning the violin is all about playing the right notes at the right time. It is – to an extent. But in order to learn the various techniques and play for longer periods of time, there are other skills that every student needs to master too, and that includes proper violin posture.
Because it affects all areas of violin playing, such as tone, intonation, bow hold and stroke, as well as shifting, all violin technique is built around proper violin posture. If you ignore or forget to work on this aspect, your ability to progress will be hindered.
You can find tons of online videos reviewing correct violin posture. However, watching a video is one thing; actually doing it is another. The most efficient way to learn the proper stance is by taking lessons with a qualified instructor. They can ensure that you start out correctly, and can identify issues early on.
Although the term “posture” immediately conjures up thoughts of simply standing up straight, there are actually several facets that are involved.
There is a lot of debate over how to hold the violin and what is the best way to play it.
While there are many different techniques that work for different people, there are some basics that everyone should follow in order to have good posture and avoid pain or injury. In this post, we’ll discuss the basics of proper violin posture and give you some tips on how to find the best position for you.
Here are the basics of violin posture to know!
What is Proper Violin Posture?
Correct violin posture is essential for playing the instrument correctly and avoiding injury. Here are some tips for achieving the right stance:
- Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Tuck your chin and look forward, keeping your head level
- Relax your shoulders and let your arms hang naturally at your sides
- Bend your elbows so that your hands are in line with your shoulders
- Place the violin under your chin, making sure that the scroll is pointing away from you
- Hold the violin firmly but gently in place with your left hand, while resting the bow on the strings with your right hand
By following these tips, you’ll be able to achieve proper violin posture and start playing beautiful music!
And if you’d like to get more personalized advice on how to properly hold a violin, make sure you sign up for violin lessons. The video below gives you more information on all the other benefits of doing so:
Does Playing Violin Help With Posture?
Violinists often have excellent posture. This is likely because they need to maintain a good position in order to play their instrument well. The violin is held upright, and the left hand must be positioned correctly in order to produce the desired sound. The right hand is also positioned in a specific way in order to hold the bow correctly.
As a result, violinists must pay close attention to their posture in order to play effectively. This focus on posture can help to improve overall posture, even when not playing the violin. In addition, the regular practice of violin can help to increase strength and flexibility, both of which contribute to good posture.
What is “Bad” Violin Posture?
The term “bad” violin posture is used to describe a number of different things. Most often, it refers to the position of the body in relation to the violin.
In order to play the violin correctly, it is important to maintain good posture. This means standing or sitting up straight, with the shoulders relaxed and the chin level with the strings. It is also important to hold the violin securely against the collarbone, and to support the bow with the left hand.
Many beginners tend to slouch when they play, which can lead to back pain and other problems. Additionally, poor posture can make it difficult to produce a good sound. For these reasons, it is important to practice good posture from the very beginning.
Proper Violin Posture Tips
Many beginning violin students don’t give much thought to their posture, but the way you hold your instrument and bow can have a big impact on your sound and comfort level while playing. Here are a few tips to help you find the ideal posture for playing the violin:
The first step to having correct violin posture is playing on the correct size violin!
To find out if you have the correct size, reach under your violin while in a playing position. When you extend your arm in front of you, the scroll should touch your palm. Additionally, you should be able to stretch your middle fingers around the scroll easily. A qualified instructor can help you with this.
Also, don’t forget your left hand! It needs to be free to move around your violin so you can shift and play with vibrato later in your learning.
Knowing how to stand properly will ensure more efficient and better playing in the future. First is body balance. When standing, your weight needs to be evenly distributed between your feet. Common body stance problems include unintentionally shifting weight to one foot, locking your knees, and keeping your feet too close together, which will throw your body off balance.
Also, stand up straight! Slouching your upper body can cause problems both with your bow position and instrument hold. While standing up straight, you also need to keep your shoulders both level and relaxed. If you do need to sit, perch yourself at the edge of your chair.
Once you have mastered correct stance, you then need to learn how to hold your violin.
Holding Your Violin
First, the height of your collarbone to chin should be the same height as the combined height of your shoulder rest, violin, and chin rest. Your violin should remain horizontal without using your left hand for support.
Next, you should be able to pull your bow straight from the frog to the tip. If you can’t, the position of the chin rest should be changed accordingly. Ask your instructor for help in this regard.
Violin Holding Posture
Although there are many ways that violinists can hold their bow for optimal playing and comfort, you can only get there by starting out with proper technique.
First, you need to hold the bow properly. The tip of your thumb needs to support the bow between the frog and the winding. Next, your middle finger should rest opposite your thumb with the joint just touching your bow, but without any pressure. Also, your index finger, specifically its second phalanx or section, needs only to touch the bow.
The joint between the second and third phalanx of your ring finger should also gently touch your bow. Finally, your pinky simply rests on top of your bow. And you need to do all this while keeping your hand relaxed! It is a lot to take in at first, but with practice, it will become more automatic.
Left Hand Finger Placement
Once you have mastered the positions above, you need to add your left hand into the fray. You use it to drop your fingers onto the strings to make notes and add ornamentation to a piece. To do this, you need to understand the correct pressure to use on your strings. Too little and you won’t make any sounds, or they will be very weak, and too much pressure will distort each note.
To practice proper pressure, drop your finger onto a string, and immediately lift it off again. Try working on this technique with your teacher until you can create a proper sound.
Violin Hand Posture
Maintaining the correct hand posture while playing the violin is essential for preventing pain and injury. The hand should be relaxed and held slightly curved, with the thumb positioned underneath the neck of the instrument. The fingers should be lightly touching the strings, and the wrist should be level with the fingerboard.
Small adjustments may be necessary to find a comfortable position, but it is important to avoid excessive tension in the hands and arms. With proper hand posture, violinists can play with ease and avoid strain on the muscles and joints.
Violin Bow Posture
Proper posture when holding the bow is important for several reasons.
First, it helps to ensure that the bow is being held at the correct angle. This ensures that the bow hair is making contact with the string, and that the sound produced is clear and resonant.
Second, proper posture helps to prevent pain and injury. The muscles and tendons in the arm need to be in alignment in order to avoid strain, and poor posture can lead to repetitive strain injuries. Finally, good posture simply looks more impressive, and gives the performer a sense of confidence and authority.
There are many different ways to hold the bow, but all of them involve keeping the elbow tucked in close to the body and maintaining a firm grip. With practice, it will become second nature to adopt the correct posture when playing the violin.
Violin Sitting Posture
When sitting, the violin should be held upright, with the left shoulder supporting the weight of the instrument. The chin should be resting on the chin rest, and the head should be held level with the neck. The right hand should be placed behind the neck, with the thumb extended and the other fingers curled around the back of the neck.
The left hand should be placed in the middle of the strings, with the index finger positioned on the string closest to you. When playing, your elbow should be relaxed and close to your body, and your wrist should extend slightly beyond the fingerboard.
Remember to sit up straight, keeping your back straight and your feet planted firmly on the ground. With proper posture, you’ll be able to play more effectively and avoid unnecessary strain on your body.
Good Violin Posture Comes With Practice!
In order to have a healthy and successful violin playing career, it is important to maintain good posture. Many famous violinists attribute their health and long careers to proper posture.
While bad habits can be broken eventually, it is definitely better to prevent them from the very start. Learning proper violin posture and bow hold can take years to master, but establishing these proper habits early on are critical for your success.
Because understanding how proper posture feels can be difficult and awkward for a beginning student, always work with a qualified professional who can correct changes before they become true issues. Playing the violin isn’t just about the instrument, but a combination of performer and instrument. When they work together, the result is truly magnificent.
Violin teachers are the best people to help you learn how to maintain good posture; they will be able to observe your playing and correct any bad habits that you may have. If you don’t currently have a violin teacher, we suggest signing up for online lessons with one of our many talented instructors. With regular practice and by following these simple tips, you too can improve your posture and play the violin with ease!
Photo by aldenchadwick