Lilting Fiddle

Learning to Play Fiddle as an Adult

Learning Violin- Personal Challenge

Posted on January 26, 2019

After almost a full week of practice, I’m starting to identify a number of challenges for me. First – the quality of the cheap violin I bought. I didn’t think it would make much of a difference as I only plunked down $30 to see if this was something I could do. But now, I’m identifying things: the default shoulder rest was very poor shape/quality (replaced), the chin rest is too high for my comfort (replacing tomorrow), the strings are poor quality (will replace), and the bridge was not properly cut (will replace). 

I’ve been very tempted to take the plunge on a more expensive violin, but I keep telling myself to back up and take it slow. Mostly because I’m also having a lot of trouble with my left hand positioning, and I’ve only been doing this for a week. Time may help.

I have short arms, small hands and rather short fingers. All of this leads to a lot of difficulty twisting my palm to finger higher strings without accidentally covering the A and E strings. I’m having trouble arching around far enough without tension. I was hoping the new shoulder rest would help with this (and it has a bit), and replacing the chin rest with a more flat style may also help. Maybe replacing the bridge with lower action and putting new strings on will also improve the situation.

I’ve even considered backing down to a 3/4 violin to see if it fit my reach better… or searching out an elusive 7/8 size instead. Maybe a 4/4 violin is just too large for me… or maybe more time practicing and improving the kit I have will be the answer.

I don’t know. I just know my practice is limited and strained because I’m struggling to put my hand where it belongs on the strings without hitting other strings. I’ll update on this once I’ve got all my upgrades in place.

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