How to Keep the Space between your Index Finger and the Neck of your Violin | Violin & Viola TV #203

by | Oct 13, 2015 | Start to Play | 6 comments

In this episode of Violin & Viola TV I answer a question from my Violin & Viola Academy student Ryan. He asks…

I am having trouble keeping space between my index finger and the fingerboard when playing on the lower two strings. Any tips?

The assumption that there should always be space between your index finger and the fingerboard is not really correct. In the video I show you exactly how the violin should rest in your hand.

Your violin should rest on your collar bone mainly and should be supported by your left hand. The contact points are the lowest knuckle of your index finger and your left thumb. These two are your reference points for the position you are playing in and support the violin at the same time.

The advantage of supporting your violin also with your left hand is that it’s stable, comfortable (you don’t strain your neck too much) and your intonation will be better (research says). And no, it won’t get in the way of your vibrato if you do it right.

Don’t hold your violin just with your chin and shoulder. This is true for the violin, but even more for the viola as it’s bigger, longer and heavier.


Is this video helpful to you? Please let me know in the comments below! If you like it, share it with your friends!



PS: Do you have questions or struggles on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to and I might dedicate a Violin & Viola TV episode to answering your question!


  1. Ripton

    Thanks Zlata, makes sense but a quick snapshot view of what your explaining would also be helpful. I continue to struggle with my left hand grip.

    • Violinist Zlata

      Hi Ripton, here’s a picture of my left hand hold as you would see it when playing. Left hand hold Zlata

      • ripton

        that’s great, thanks. I keep working on the small details. It’s a bit frustrating cause I don’t seem to be progressing, but people tell me they hear an improvement.

      • Violinist Zlata

        It’s hard to notice your own improvement. Perhaps recording yourself once in a while is helpful to become aware of your progress.

  2. Ann Cantrell

    Thank you, Zlata, for including a picture of your student concert. I very much enjoyed seeing that. I know you must be so happy. I am thrilled for you. I am sure a lot of work went into making that happen – all your time and work with the students, helping them to be proficient enough to participate together in a concert, plus setting up for the big day. How exciting!

    Thanks for sharing,

    • Violinist Zlata

      Hi Ann, thanks for your enthousiastic reply! I was a bit nervous about organizing the whole event, haha, but it worked out to be a wonderful experience for everybody.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *