Here are the steps on how to hold a violin correctly. This is a fundamental skill for violinists so make sure to do this correctly right from the start.
Full guide on how to hold a violin
Here is a comprehensive guide on how to hold a violin. If you were to take our violin lessons, our teachers will also coach you on how to hold a violin.
Position your body
Stand or sit up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Maintain good posture and keep your shoulders relaxed. The violin should become an extension of your body.
Hold the violin neck
With your left hand (assuming you are right-handed), place your palm under the violin’s neck. The base of the neck should rest between the knuckles of your index and middle fingers, while your thumb gently grips the back of the neck. Keep your wrist straight and aligned with your forearm.
Balance the violin
Hold the violin’s neck securely but not too tightly. The violin should rest on your collarbone and the side of your jaw (chin rest). The chin rest and shoulder rest (if used) should help support the violin’s weight, allowing you to focus on playing.
Support with the shoulder
Place the violin’s tailpiece on your left shoulder, and rest the chin rest against your jaw. Some players use a shoulder rest to help secure the violin and distribute the weight evenly. Make sure the violin is stable, and your left hand is free to move along the fingerboard.
Check your chin rest and shoulder rest
Ensure the chin rest is adjusted to fit your jaw comfortably, allowing you to hold the violin securely without excessive pressure. If you use a shoulder rest, set it up to maintain a good angle for the violin’s position.
Maintain a straight bow arm
Your right arm should extend comfortably, with the bowing arm parallel to the violin strings. This arm will control the movement. Keep your wrist flexible and your fingers relaxed. If you want to learn more the bow instead, here is how to hold a violin bow correctly.
Find the right balance
The violin should rest naturally between your chin, shoulder, and left hand. Experiment with slight adjustments to achieve the most comfortable and balanced position.
Use the right amount of chin and jaw pressure
Use just enough pressure with your chin and jaw to keep the violin stable but avoid squeezing too hard, which can lead to discomfort and tension.
Learning to hold the violin correctly takes time and practice. Begin with short practice sessions to build muscle memory, gradually increasing your playing duration as you become more comfortable.