Tension on hand, shoulders and arms
I tend to squeeze my thumb on the neck of my violin and it’s always so sore. However, I don’t understand how you would vibrato on the violin without squeezing it? Also, my shoulder and bowing arm gets very sore after playing for few minutes.
I’m sure playing the violin shouldn’t be this tiring right?
For me the violin neck rests
I feel the same. But have exercises from my teacher which I try and implement.
Perhaps review your chin-rest and shoulder rest set-up. You should have the violin very stable, with only a little help from the thumb or first finger.
Let your right arm sag (drop) into the string. You may be putting too much physical energy into pressing the bow into the string
Learning to play without tension takes time, and perhaps even a little help to start with:
I had a revelatory moment today I'd like to share. I'm a newbie after an almost 60 year break (I played violin from ages 8-12). I too have been squeezing the neck, though I try to keep my thumb relaxed.
Beverly--congratulations on the progress. Chin-rest: I ask all new students; is that the chin-rest that was on the violin when you bought it? They usually say yes, and then I say; then it is probably not the best one for you. The cheapest and quickest way to find your optimum chin-rest is to go to a full-service violin shop. It will be about $30 + travel. A lot of violins have the Guarneri chin-rest. The Luthiers prefer it, but it fits only a minority of players. We re-evaluate our set-up at several stages; when we start position-shifting and vibrato.
Joel - great to read your last statement. I had a setup change early this year after noticing a lot of tension and stiffness in my neck and left arm, then spent several months learning to play without that tension. Then my teacher asked me to work on my vibrato (I have a natural wrist vibrato, but I do not like how it sounds - even after extensive wood-shedding)... que: lots of tension in my left hand and shoulder, stiff and erratic vibrato, and I realized I needed to try out some different setups (my chinrest is custom made). I still have some kinks to work out but overall I'm a lot happier with my sound and vibrato only a week into my new setup.
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