Ok - I know this question has been asked A LOT - so I truly am sorry for asking again! But after spending a significant time reading posts and books and blogs and responses I feel more confused than when I started. Quick info before question.
I am an adult, female, beginner (started January '18), very small framed, short arms, small hands, short pinkies. I have a teacher that I take weekly private lessons from. Aaaand I have LOVED the violin forever and am SO GRATEFUL I get to learn finally! I *think* that covers the basics.
I started out with a chin rest/shoulder rest combo. My teacher uses a shoulder rest. I have experienced so much tension in my neck and jaw because I couldn't stop clenching. I have spent the past several months researching and trying countless combinations of chin/shoulder rests. One day I decided to try out no rest with a high-ish, center mounted chin rest.
It's perfect *for me* there is no tension or pressure, my bow arm is set up just right, everything just feels right. It sits perfectly on my collar bone and my shoulders don't slope so there is only a smidge of space between the back of the violin and my shoulder. It feels wonderful :)!
Here is my question - left hand support? My teacher has only ever played with a shoulder rest and so she keeps her thumb to the side of the violin and nothing else. That clearly doesn't work for me if I don't use a shoulder rest. I need some sort of support from my left hand.
So when I follow some of the advice I have seen and rest the violin on the 3rd index joint and the nubby-bone-ish part of my thumb pad - - - it seems ok until I get to the E string - my index and middle fingers are cramped for space and the area just seems congested.
Also it gets a little iffy on the A string as well as having the mobility to move around on the strings. For some reason - swinging my elbow up to get my hand to G doesn't seem to bother me - my thumb rolls under the violin neck momentarily and then rolls back to the side when I move back - I think that is ok???
I am paying attention to not clench my thumb and index finger, there is something that just doesn't feel right with my set up. The closer I get to the index finger side of the violin, the less mobility I have. My teacher's left hand structure is based off a comfortable use of a shoulder rest (aka very minimal support) so she recommended I ask around with people who do not use one. She is a great teacher - so I don't plan on switching to one who is restless. She is open to me using a set up that best suits me - so I am looking for some input from those who do play without a rest. How do you position your left hand?
I seriously appreciate any insight and time invested in answering my question. Thank you so much!
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