I have called this technique, "Thumb position" because I don't know if it has a correct name. Obviously it is not the same as in cello playing.
I have very small hands (only my hands are small ;-) ) and I find that when I shift into high positions in the traditional way I cannot reach easily. What I do is leave the neck of the violin and place the tip of my thumb against the ribs and bring my hand up and over the body of the violin and my elbow forward. This enables me to play easily. I don't find the transition difficult, either up or down, as I prepare my hand shape before shifting.
I have commented before about my use of shoulder rests and have stated that I don't use one unless I want to. I will clarify. When I don't shift high (below 7th) when teaching, I don't use a shoulder rest. When playing concertos I do, as with my thumb leaving the neck entirely, I don't find the transition easy or safe.
I was talking with my colleagues, and only one uses "thumb position". He too has small hands. How common is it? Does anyone here do it without a shoulder rest?
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