How to Position Your Left Arm on a Violin

Learn about left arm position from musician Julie Artzt Becker in this Howcast video.


Okay, so once you know where to place your hand on the left hander's which is what we touched on in a previous video, then you need to think about where does your arm fall when you're playing. It depends, that's the answer. Because it depends whether your fingers are on the E string, the A string, the B string or the G string.

Now this is first position. It also depends on whether you're going to different positions. The third position up here or even second position your arm has to come around a little bit more. But let's just stick with the first position for now and say that when you're on the E string, your arm is at the lowest level. Probably a little nit under the violin, right about here, you should feel your elbow hitting. And then, as you go to the lower string, the A string for instance, here I go. First finger on E string is now going to first finger on A string, the elbow comes around a little bit more.

Now going to the D string, first finger. Now going to the D string, first finger. As you can see, the elbow did have to come around a bit in order to compensate for the lower strings. It's not so important to thin about your arm position if your fingers are really hitting the strings in the right place. Fingertip placement is even more important because, especially for a younger child, you don't want to think too much about the arm but it does move a little bit. Again, though, if your finger is in the right place on the string, the elbow will follow. So that's how you position the left arm on your violin.

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