How to HOLD the VIOLIN (from all sides) | Violin Lounge TV #368

by | Jun 3, 2020 | Play Comfortably, Start to Play | 14 comments

Learn how to hold the violin properly, so you can play the violin comfortably with a great sound

This video shows your full body posture, including your feet, knees, hips, spine, arms and hands

I explain differences per string and 3 ways to reach high positions

Your violin posture is of great influence to the sound you make

In this video I show you my violin posture from tip to toe and explain how your violin hold can differ.

Your violin hold is personal AND flexible: it changes while playing

Your violin hold will change throughout your whole violin journey, don’t let anyone tell you there’s an absolute way it should look. Watch famous violinists! Try things out.

Your violin hold depends on which string and in which position you play

In the video above I show you 3 different ways to hold your violin in high positions.

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This helps you hold your violin properly:

Properly means you are comfortable and make a great sound!

  • Your left foot is bit forward or your feet are next to each other
  • Knees slightly bent (not locked)
  • Hips above your feet
  • Back straight (don’t use it as a joint)
  • Keeping the strings parallel to the ground can help your tone production (doesn’t work for everybody)
  • Tilt the violin a bit to easily bow on the G string
  • With or without shoulder rest is both possible and is personal
  • Position of your left arm depends on string and position

Let me know in the comments which of these pointers is most helpful!


  1. Carol Emmons

    Thank you. 🙂

  2. Sydnie

    Thank you for the video. It is good to be reminded of proper posture. I am having problems with my shoulder rest now and then so I think I need to check how I am holding my violin.

  3. Sonia

    Thanks Zlatan. Just recently playing in very high positions has caused me no end of headaches. My hand is neither big enough not flexible enough for the first option and a thumb along the fingerboard doesn’t work for me. I have settled for my thumb alone the edge of the top plate. Thank you for the clarification.

  4. Eugenie van Zyl

    Thank you Zlata for all the detail in which you described the way we should be standing and where the violin should be sitting when playing on the E of G strings. I, for instance, always dat in a high chair when playing and came to the conclusion that this is wrong. Standing now works better for me. It also boils down to whether you are tall or short, not so? Violin playing is a challenge but we will overcome all obstacles Thank you Zlata for all the handy tips! I like the tip of standing with two feet apart and one foot a bit more to the front to give a good balance, the best!

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Thank you, glad it’s helpful, Eugenie! Yes, sitting down can work as well (otherwise ALL orchestras wouldn’t play that way), but certainly depends on your body type.

  5. Luke Shediak

    Zlata I have found your tips and explanation of nowing techniques very helpful, and quite liberating I must say

  6. Sylvia Ladan

    Very helpful. I think it will help me to relax my left hand and arm.

    • Zlata

      Awesome, Sylvia!

  7. Pamela Clevenger

    Thank you Ziata! This video gave me some very helpful ideas of how to improve the way I hold my violin. This past year I have been working on improving my posture so that I am standing much straighter without rounding my my back. It has been challenging to adjust how I hold my violin when practicing so that I don’t continue to round my back when playing as I have done for years. I wonder if I should try a higher shoulder rest as it is difficult to use my current one and hold my violin so that it is almost level. Thanks so much for providing all these great tips!

    • Zlata

      You’re so welcome, Pamela, a higher shoulder rest could be a solution… or perhaps a lower one. Experiment with the shoulder rest you have and see what works. Good luck!



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