The High Thumb Position: Learning Old School Violin Technique.

  • 🎬 Video
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💬 Comments

This is definitely a thumbs up presentation.

Author — Robert Padgett


Great explanation! It's a whole exposition on what Milstein said: "Hold it with your HAND!"

Author — Christopher Bonds


Thank you so much for presenting this option for holding the violin. You presented the information very thoroughly indeed. I love when you show us violin players from long ago. Thank you again and keep up the excellent work.

Author — Nayr Dinuir


Wow. I’ve been self teaching for a year and I thought my thumb was wrong. Turns out I was kicking it old school

Author — Lisa Forsyth


Thank you for this video. I am a violin teacher too. As The UK is currently in COVID19 lockdown, I have spent the last 2 weeks working out how to play without a shoulder rest and position my thumb correctly. I am very please with the result as my intonation (especially Double stops) is more secure and reliable and my sound improved dramatically. I have more control over my technique, it is a lovely feeling. I am so glad to see that my conclusion of where to place the thumb is exactly the same as your explanation!

Author — Justin Fung


I have been thinking that it was a manufacturing defect that i couldn't put thumb under violin.. Now im happy 🤣🤣🤣

Author — richards varghese


My shoulder hurt like mad as i use my neck to hold too much. Will start learning how to hold with left hand more. Thanks for teaching

Author — Supercell 55


You are an excellent, articulate, enthusiastic teacher. I am very very impressed to see these qualities in anyone, let alone in someone so young. Thank you for this excellent video.

Author — skeptical llama


Love this. I've ditched my shoulder rest a couple of years ago (I'm a violist) and never used a pad or a cushion despite having a very long neck and very sloped shoulders. I've learnt holding the instrument with my hand entirely but there are a lot of inputs here I'm going to try soon!
I would have quoted even Menuhin in the video, he was one of the violinists that used these kind of techniques the most!

cheers x

Author — FCarraro1


Wow, thank you very much! I am an elder student with many years of piano background. I have been playing violin for 2 months and I have wanted to avoid shoulder rests and find a more healthy way to play and support the violin. I am thrilled to put my thumb to work. Leopold Auer should have included the thumb technique in his book "Playing as I teach it". He assumed that the world would always play with the left hand supporting the violin. Still working first position, , but now with greater support. Thank you, Deb


Author — Debra Cranwell


I am so deeply grateful to you for this video. I play viola without shoulder rest or chin rest, primarily for tone but also to avoid that locked-in experience of holding the instrument with chin and collarbone, which I’ve never been comfortable with. You’ve opened up a new world of fluid technique for me. Especially by pivoting the high thumb toward the instrument's neck after bringing it between 1st and 2nd fingers. You are my hero, sir.

Author — davidfelber


Thank you! I will definitely experiment with this! I'm an older player with past neck injury and arthritis. So much emphasis when I was young was on "correct" technique and position. Now it's about how to keep playing as well as I can for as long as I can!

Author — SAS 78


Thanks for this. The wedging thing that I found myself doing, and others not doing, got me thinking if I was putting my thumb too far up. Now I feel more normal.

Author — Axl Crush


I have played the violin for over 50 years with a high thumb and thought it was something I shouldn't really be doing. It was so good to find your video last night and discover that what I was doing a) had a name, and b) was something people aspired to. I will be doing your arm vibrato exercises though to improve the consistency of my vibrato - husband has already told me that if I am going to shake anything it needs to be quieter than the aspirin container I used this morning - I have replaced with salt to save his sanity!

Author — Pupilparticipation


Thanks for this! I have had to discover (just recently) this for my self after watching some of the old greats. I have large hands and have always struggled to find a nice shape until I adjusted my thumb to a high position! I wish I saw this 15 years ago!

Author — tamil rogeon


Nice one I never knew. Better 4th finger and g string already! Thanks

Author — Nicholas Hill


This is wonderful. This is a very important aspect of technique. As a Heifetz student from his Heifetz Masterclasses I appreciate this very important point. Thank you.

Author — santuit


What is the piece you use on your intro??. I love it

Author — Jezreel Ranan


Ahh.. the thumb pain. Oh that's good to know it's not going to be damaging
Thank you 😌

Author — John Bat


After experimenting with both positions i feel like this one works for me best, and i have alot of practice with the other position where the thumb is not as high. When i did that my hand was always uncomfortable and my neck hurts alot. Using this however freed up so much tension. And i actually have giant hands so i shouldnt have trouble with the other position but this one feels right to me

Author — Russel Dioneo