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It is very important to learn the correct positioning of the violin and bow from the start. Let's start with how to stand.
Stand tall with your feet placed together. Next, keep your heels together and separate the upper part of your feet. (Your feet should now look like a "V".) Now, keep your right foot in place and take one small step (about 4 inches) with your left foot, keeping the foot facing the same direction. This is how you should stand.
I will describe different aspects in holding the violin. Then look below to the pictures to double check your positioning.
In placing the violin under your neck on the chinrest (refer to violin diagram), I find it easiest to lift your head up and look to the sky. Place the violin on the left shoulder and then lower your head. When the violin is placed properly, your chin should sit in the chinrest on the violin. The violin should not be in front of you, over your belly, or straight out from your chin. It should be slightly to the left. Your violin should be parallel to the floor, not to high, not to low. Your left arm should never rest on your body. If it is, you should consider yourself a "fiddle" player!
The bow hold is a little tricky. But here is a little saying we teach young students to remember some key points of the bow hold.
Up like a rocket,
The most important aspects of the bow hold are a curved thumb and a bent pinky.
So, let's do an exercise first. Take a sheet of notebook paper or a ball and pick it up off the floor. When you do this, you will notice that you pick the item up with your fingers, and it creates the shape of the object in your hand. This shows us the basic bow hold. Find the frog of the bow (refer to bow diagram). Place your curved thumb on the left side of the bow, just above the black part of the frog looks like a black rectangle). Now your other fingers will wrap over the stick part of the bow and lay on the right side of the frog. The thumb and middle finger should be across from each other. All of the fingers go over the stick (wood) of the bow EXCEPT for the curved pinky which will stay on top. Here is a picture of a correct bow hold. Note that when the bow is being held properly, it creates a circle with the fingers.
When playing the violin, your bow should be in the middle, between the bridge and the fingerboard.
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