QUOTE(jojo @ May 24 2012, 06:43 AM)
QUOTE(Misterioso @ May 23 2012, 06:14 PM)
QUOTE(katemorrisviolin @ May 23 2012, 02:15 PM)
When I started learning violin 2 years ago I got confused about whether or not the left hand should be involved in holding up the violin or not. There seemed to be conflicting opinion about it. I decided for me personally (and I know some people will disagree) I would like to be able to hold the violin up completely independently of my left hand, so I use one of those shoulder rests that hook over the back of your left shoulder.
This is absolutely right; it isn't really the job of the left hand to hold the violin in position. Later on, when you are using shifts into much higher positions, it will be made very much harder if you have become accustomed to letting the left hand hold the instrument in place for you. You are putting very good habits in place, katermorrisviolin.
Sorry Misterioso but I whole-heartedly 'disagree', you can say you have a preference and that is ok, but you 'cannot' absolutely say that you 'have' to 'not' hold the violin with the aid of the left hand and if that you do so you develop bad habits! I hold my violin with my collarbone, slight pressure/touch from my chin AND my left hand, just like many many other violinists do (who play with or without a shoulder rest), I shift ALL OVER the fingerboard up to the very end, fast or slow and I NEVER have a problem in doing so!
If you want not to use the involvement of the left hand in holding your violin that 'is fine', your choice, but don't say I or other people who use the involvement of the left hand have 'bad habits' for doing so!
Hi jojo, nice to see you back!
Sorry - I responded to this thread yesterday when I was short of time, and probably generalised a bit too much. Yes, the left hand does, I suppose, act as a guide / semi-support some of the time, but (my own personal view, since I am a small-handed person) in the very highest positions, I would not be able to support the violin using the left hand since the hand must come so far round and underneath the violin to reach where needed. This means that the thumb can occasionally leave the neck behind, and (for me) other methods of support must take over. Perhaps for this reason, I tend not to support the violin with the left hand. However, I may have used the left hand for support before a qualified, much-respected RSAMD tutor took my playing apart and re-structured it (very necessary since, looking back, I had some really bad teachers in my earlier years!) But obviously what is better / necessary for each individual player will vary. I am really glad you have found your own perfect set-up.
I don't think I was implying that a player using the left hand in this way was developing bad habits! - Rather that (in my view) another player was laying good foundations, and (again in my view) it's probably better to learn not to rely on the left hand like this, in part because I find that young players who do this find it harder to shift later on, often because they grip the neck too tightly. I know many other teachers who teach in the same way that I do, but (as with many things) one size does not fit all. If your own technique works for you, that's good, and no-one has any right (especially over the ether!) to argue otherwise.
Apologies again - I didn't mean to cause any grievances, so I will bow out of this thread now.