Stringed instruments like the cello, viola, and violin are well known for their demanding technique and degree of difficulty.

That said, there are so many people for whom playing the violin would be a dream come true. For many though, there are several misconceptions. Firstly, some people believe that learning how to play, and then progressing, in violin is too difficult. And like most instruments, the violin accessories are a major part of the setup which can seem overwhelming, especially without the guidance of a private violin tutor or advice from a leading music store, like Marshall Music for instance.

So even though playing a violin can be a challenge, learning to play right handed violin is possible, and probably more affordable than you can imagine.

In this article, we will look at the violin right handed position for right handed violin players, as well as some of the other frequently asked questions about playing the violin that you might have.

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Choosing a Right-Handed Violin

In general, if you are right-handed, it is likely that you will lean towards the violin right handed position. If you are a left-handed musician, you can find more information on left-handed violin playing in this article.

For the violin right handed position, it means that you will hold the bow in your right hand and place the violin on your left shoulder. In this right handed violin position, the left hand manipulates the neck of the instrument in order to create the notes.

To use the violin right handed position, you are required to use your right arm and right hand to play the strings with flexibility and dexterity.

If you are wondering how long it takes to learn the violin, the answer is different for everyone. But one thing is for sure, playing the violin is an arduous task that can take time which is why beginning violin lessons as soon as possible is advised.

Taking violin lessons, whether those are online violin lessons or in-person are essential to ensure a number of important things, such as:

  • Adopting the correct posture
  • Avoiding the picking up of bad habits
  • Learning music theory
  • Reading sheet music
  • Understanding the violin right handed position
  • Understanding the left handed violin position

Not unlike learning anything new in life, learning how to play the violin can feel demotivating in the beginning, which is why a private tutor and resources like good violin books are essential for your journey.

How do you play the violin right-handed?
You'll notice that you rarely see an orchestra with a lot of left-handed violinists. (Source: YannaZazu)

A Note on the Left-Handed Violin

When it comes to playing the violin left-handed, it is a mirrored version of the instrument used for right handed violin.

Strings are placed in the opposite order while the nut, bridge, and bass bar are reversed too. To teach left-handed violin, tutors will need to adapt their teaching style, unless they are left-handed players themselves. This can be challenging so it is therefore important to consider whether you aim to play right handed violin or are going to be playing a violin left handed when you find the right tutor for you.

Did you know that only 1 in 10 people is left-handed, so with fewer lefties around luthiers make fewer left-handed violins which is why you may even find a left-handed person playing right-handed violin!

Being left-handed has never held back any famous virtuosos of our time, in fact, both Beethoven and Schumann were left-handed.

How much do violin bows cost?
I don't think any of these are your new violin bow. (Source: Pexels)

How to Hold a Violin Bow

After you have tuned your violin and applied rosin to your bow, you’re going to have to learn how to use the bow which is guided by the forearm and wrist.

Holding the bow correctly is absolutely fundamental to producing quality notes – in fact, it is both an art and a science!

Holding the bow is one thing, but holding it while accurately moving it to produce notes can be complicated.

Place the bow with the middle part of your index finger by the pad next to the screw. After that, place your baby finger on the flat part at the base of the bow, while keeping your finger curved. Your index and baby finger will naturally envelop the top of the bow where your thumb will be placed underneath.

When it comes to your hands for playing the violin, your hand should be relaxed, yet rigid as though grabbing small rocks on a climbing wall.

To achieve the nuances of good sound when playing the violin you will need to achieve the right speed when using the bow. This is achieved by applying pressure to the strings of the bow, but it also has to do with how the bow is positioned in relation to the bridge.

The technical term for this is called resonance.

After this, whether you are playing left or right-handed violin, you will need to learn how to move the bow through the air. One of the best techniques to achieve this is to trace figure eights in the air, rather than circles. Ask your tutor to demonstrate this for you.

How do you play a violin comfortably?
A physiotherapist could help with those aches and pains. (Source: whitesession)

Loosen Your Right Hand

Once you are in the right position to play with the violin (meaning that the instrument is placed between your chin and collarbone), you have to start playing with your right hand.

Our recommendation is that you start with open strings to get the gist of holding the bow. Here, ensure that you stay in the right position.

Keep the hair of the bow placed halfway between the neck and bridge so that the bow hovers over the soundbox. Move the bow across the strings in a fluid and smooth motion. Remember that the more pressure that is applied to the bow, the louder you will play.

Usually, you would not remove the bow from the strings as this is what creates a continuous sound. When it comes to achieving the right sound, it is all down to how you move the bow.

Find out about exercises you can do with open strings, then once you get the hang of one string, move on to another until you become used to all the varying heights on your instrument.

Once you have achieved this, start playing notes by introducing your left hand into your practice. Once you can correctly play a note, place your middle finger further up from your index, then your ring finger, all while you play one string with the bow.

How do you get a good sound out of a violin?
Your technique will dictate how your violin sounds. (Source: Pexels)

Other Violin Techniques

Remember that to progress in violin, you can’t just stop at basic techniques. Like playing the guitar, or any other instrument, you can’t become a master in one day.

The art of mastering your violin bow technique will take hours of dedication and practice.

In terms of other techniques, there are many others too:

  • Legato
  • Louré
  • Jeté
  • Sautillé
  • Spiccato
  • Martelé
  • Détaché
  • Collé
  • Staccato
  • Vibrato

Whatever type of method you choose, here are some tips:

  • Try to position your elbow as though playing the D string.
  • Straighten your elbow when you change from one string to another.
  • Lower the position of your elbow for the reverse motion.
  • Provide the impression that the bow is horizontal.
  • Move the bow downwards as you move towards the G string.
  • When playing a single string, keep your elbow at the same height.

Remember that at the end of the day, private violin tutorials will be the fastest way for you to progress. There are many advantages to using Superprof tutors, consider these as you find a violin teacher near you.

  • The credentials of Superprof tutors are verified to offer you extra peace of mind.
  • There are Superprof violin tutors in every corner of South Africa.
  • Superprof tutors are available to teach you online via webcam and a meeting platform like Zoom or Google Meet, or in person.
  • Profile pages of tutors may display reviews from past students.
  • Many Superprof tutors offer their first lessons for free, which makes it helpful to ascertain whether your tutor suits you, and your goals or not.

Remember that with private lessons you will be the only student in the class. This means that lessons are tailored to your own needs which will help you to progress faster.

Finally, remember that even the best violins in the world can sound annoying to those around you so don’t forget to include a violin mute into your kit of violin accessories so that your family and neighbours remain your supporters, and don’t become your adversaries while you dedicate time to your violin practice.

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Niki

Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.