Left Handed players

October 28, 2006 at 05:27 AM · Are there any famous left handed violinists? i was just wondering as my friend's daughter is left handed and she wants to know if it still possible to learn to play well.

Replies (16)

November 2, 2006 at 02:19 PM · I don't specifically know of any left-handed violinists, but that is probably because they play in the typical right-handed manner. But to answer your qestion - yes, she absolutely can be left handed and play the violin well. As a fellow "south paw", I can tell you that she may even have a slight advantage. Since she already uses her left hand most of the time, it should have good coordination, and her fingers are likely stronger than on her right hand. The pre-existing coordination and strength will help a great deal when it comes to fingerings now and shifting later. So don't delay--tell your friend to sign her daughter up for lessons today! :)

November 2, 2006 at 03:26 PM · I'm left handed, too (but I'm not famous:-)still, I know many other violinists who are left handed, of course one can learn violin being left handed,but everything seems much more easy to me at the left hand then at the right one.

November 2, 2006 at 03:45 PM · I'm left-handed, and I play right-handed, just like almost all left-handed people who play. It comes naturally that way.

The violin professor at my university is left-handed, also.

November 2, 2006 at 03:47 PM · Ali S is right - being left handed does give you a slight advantage, in my opinion at least.

November 2, 2006 at 05:21 PM · I'm a leftie and play standard. But I tried using the bow in my left hand the other day and realized how much better I could use it that way--even though I've never done that before!

November 2, 2006 at 08:33 PM · I am left handed and have always felt "standard" really is left handed due to the dexterity of the left hand in fingering. But I finally got an answer fairly recently of why I should try playing true left handed. An instructor of 30+ years said the bow is the true voice of the instrument, and should be played with the dominant hand for maximum control. He challenged me to try it even though I've been playing right handed for about 3 years. He lets his beginner left handed students try both ways and pick what is most comfortable. He said the strings are not repositioned for left handed, so I turned it around and tried it. To my surprise I could pick out a simple tune, although scratchy.

The problem I'm having is with the chin rest. I tried putting a second chin rest on my fiddle but it wasn't shaped left handed and didn't work out. I've been researching (how I found this site) and plan to buy a Flesch center chin rest. I read they are good for short people, which I am, and it will also allow me to continue practicing left AND right handed without having to have two chin rests. The only drawback I've been told is that when you start playing up the neck it is harder to reach the E string left handed.

November 3, 2006 at 08:17 AM · The Auckland Philharmonia Associate Concertmaster, is left-handed.

November 4, 2006 at 10:03 AM · I play left handed tho i just started learning.i play with another girl like a duet sometimes but shes right handed and gets thrown off when she looks at what im doing.so we face opposite ways.but that throws me off since i am not good with timing.its best if a left handed person learns with their right hand.it helps them have more control over their right hand as well.as for playing as well as a right handed person...well it took the other girl several weeks to learn one song when i learned the same one in less than an hour.im sure its quite possible...(I hope!)

Amie Jo

November 4, 2006 at 08:04 PM · I'm left handed too. I don't think it makes much difference because both hands are doing something and they're trained. However, I disagree that being left handed is an advantage because in my opinion the right hand is slightly more important, and it's harder for me to do things like finger stroke and staccato, but it's still fine.

November 5, 2006 at 12:35 AM · There are plenty of famous left handed musicians/composers. here is just a short list

1. Mozart

2. Beethoven

3. Rachmaninoff

4. Ravel

5. CPE Bach

6. Prokofiev

7. Paganini

8. Schumann

November 5, 2006 at 01:03 AM · Many violinists are left handed.

I am left handed as well, but play the traditional way.

November 5, 2006 at 01:11 AM · I just got through talking about this elsewhere--see what works best for you.... If you google left-handed violin you will see that some conform to learning right handed, and some do not. It's a personal choice...

For no other reason than that in the past south-paws were forced to learn to write right-handed, I'd suggest that you have to figure this out in the spirit of what's best for you.

November 5, 2006 at 07:14 AM · Are there any right handed violinists over here??? This makes me feel out of place...;)


June 6, 2012 at 06:09 AM · 'Right handed' playing is truely left handed as mentioned before. I've only been playing for a year and a half and I'm already playing grade 3-4 level pieces well. I say you learn violin the traditional way before in my opinion,it's easier to master bowing with your right hand than mastering fingerings.

June 6, 2012 at 08:11 AM · There is a higher proportion, than in the general public, of famous violinists who are/were left handed but played the violin with the normal orientation. This statistic shows that left handedness may be an advantage.

Statistics also show that if you have 13 letters in your first and last names combined this is also an advantage.

Cheers Carlo

June 6, 2012 at 11:59 PM · From what I've heard, Nicola Benedetti is left-handed.

It really shouldn't affect you, don't worry!

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