InvincibleViolinist Left Hand Cheat Sheet Videos

Nail it on Day 1, with perfect violin hand and arm posture!

How To Touch the Violin

How to Hold and Touch the Violin Cover
Quick Review: Video Summary Cheat Sheet

Left Hand Video Cheat Sheet

Use these 30 second videos throughout your Beginning the Violin course as a quick reminder of proper technique. Check back frequently!

Video 001: Knuckles High, Fingertips Low

Video 002: The Tapping Exercise

Video 003: Rotation and The Backwards Telescope, Part 1

Video 004: Arm and Elbow Position

Video 005: Hand and Wrist Position, Video 1

Video 001: Knuckles High, Fingertips Low

Much like typing on a keyboard, the left (“violin”) hand works with a light touch. Another similarity to typing: your fingertips drop well below the knuckles.

  • Fingernails super short. You play on the fleshy part of your fingertips. Nails will force your fingers back to a very poor playing angle.
  • Fingers are slightly angled or inclined, the fingers are not vertical or leaning over on the nail side.
  • Fingertips drop below the joints.  Fingers are “tall.” They contact the string just left of center of each fingernail.

Video 002: The Tapping Exercise

The natural (but not helpful) tendency of players young and old is to grasp or grab the instrument. Instead think of touching or tapping the violin. It’s a much healthier image to keep in mind.

  • Use a light touch. The fleshy part of the fingertip settles into the fingerboard with barely more than its own weight.
  • Visualize touch typing. It’s a crisp, effortless motion.
  • Constantly scan for tension.  Probe the palm, fingers and wrist for any sign of excessive effort.

Video 003: Rotation and The Backwards Telescope

Get those fingers in position, floating gently over the strings at all times! Doing this involves a rotation of the arm and hand. It’s a bit unusual, so this exercise is intended to demonstrate the proper amount of rotation while increasing the flexibility needed to make it comfortable and natural. This becomes easier over time.

  • Starting Position. Sight down a loop telescope formed by your left hand’s fingers and thumb.
  • Rotate arm from the elbow on up. You should now be able to sight down the reverse side of the telescope with your right eye.
  • Your palm will run parallel to the violin neck.  This enables the fingers to arch over the strings.

Video 004: Arm and Elbow Position

Gravity is your friend! A left arm free of tension should hang freely, with elbow pointing toward the left toe. An elbow jutting out one direction or another is a sure sign of trouble.

  • Think pendulum. Left arm is free to move through a range as needed, but generally centered and straight down.
  • Troubleshooting: If it doesn’t look right, check video 3, which is closely related.
  • Constantly scan for tension.  Probe the palm, fingers and wrist for any sign of excessive effort.

Video 005: Hand and Wrist Position

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  • Neutral Wrist. The fleshy part of the fingertip settles into the fingerboard with barely more than its own weight.
  • Loose and Floppy. The correct wrist is easily wiggled back and forth and inch or two.
  • Not a platform.  The left hand provides a small amount of lift for the violin, mostly by balancing on the thumb. The palm is not a platform to hold the violin horizontally. Most of that work is done by the weight of the head on the chin rest.