Should You Stand Up or Sit Down when Playing the Violin or Viola?

by | Jun 16, 2015 | Play Comfortably | 4 comments

Should you ALWAYS stand up straight when practicing the violin or viola? Is it bad to practice sitting down?

Lots of teachers tell their students to always stand while playing and not sit down. I’m one of them. The reason for me isn’t that it’s impossible to sit down while playing.

Most students have a straight back when they stand up. Also they are more alert when they are standing. When they sit down they tend to slump (is that correct English?).

When you sit up straight on a chair that is not too soft, you can play just as well as you do standing up.

If it would be bad to sit down while playing… trust me, all professional orchestra’s would stand. The fact that they all sit down, proves that you can play just as well sitting down as standing.

I practice a lot sitting down. I just can’t stand up for hours every day, because my legs and feet start to hurt quite soon.

Sometimes I use a chair, but sometimes I use a training ball (like this one, click here). These are bouncing balls for adults (yes, have fun!). A training ball gives you all the advantages of standing, while not standing. Your back will be automatically straight (otherwise you will fall of the ball), the ball moves all the time which keeps you alert and your blood circulating.

If you struggle with playing while sitting down and standing up is too tiring for you? Get yourself a bouncing ball in the right size.

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 Lounge TV episode to answering your question!

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  1. Paula

    Dank voor je video. Mijn lessen en repetities voor lessen doe ik staande; mijn orkestspel en orkest repetities thuis zittende. Wat helpt tegen gebogen rug is een wigvormig kussen (dikke kant achter) in combinatie met een barkruk. Een andere oplossing is een zadelkruk al dan niet op wieltjes. Je ziet ze ook wel bij de kapper en tandarts. Die zijn duurder dan een barkruk. Ik heb geen goede ervaring met gewone stoelen, omdat de zitting iets naar achteren helt. Dat nadeel hef ik op met mijn wigvormige kussen. Overigens heb ik geen rugklachten, maar vind ik het wel belangrijk om goed rechtop te zitten als ik speel. Hoop dat je hier wat aan hebt, eventueel voor een vervolg video.

    • Violinist Zlata

      Bedankt voor je tips, Paula! Ik zie deze wigkussens regelmatig in orkesten. Ze zijn er ook in opblaasbare variant: die vind ik zelf prettig.

  2. Nancy Williams

    Thank you for this informative video. I would much prefer to stand when I practice, however, I have compression fractures and disc bulges in my spine so sitting is more comfortable. Having said that, I also have pain when I sit. Your suggestion of sitting on an exercise ball to maintain good posture is a fantastic idea. I have one and will use it tonight when I practice. I look forward always to your recommendations and suggestions as well as the great violin information you provide.

    • Violinist Zlata

      Thanks for sharing, Nancy. Let us know how it goes with the ball.


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