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Thread: Left handed violinists.

  1. #16
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    I have an eight year old daughter who picks up my violin often and plays left handed. I've tried to get her to play right handed, but it's so unnatural for her that she just puts it down. And then a few hours later she's playing again and doesn't even realize she's playing left handed.

    I had thought, before doing a google search and seeing this post, that lefties had to play right handed. But I see that is not the case. She is so obviously left-handed in playing the violin that it seems I either chose to let her play left handed or she probably won't be interested in it.

    Now the search for a teacher who's willing to teach a leftie!

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jurianbai View Post
    I've asked this question in QA thread. The bridge is not symetrical in violin, is this need to be altered?
    Its not just the bridge. The body of the violin is not symmetrical inside. Under the G string side of the bridge inside the violin is the bass bar and on the other side, inside, is the sound post. A left handed bowed violin has to be altered so that the bass bar remains under the the G string, and the sound post on the opposite side. This is why it is likely to be cheaper to buy a new violin that has been built this way round.

  3. #18
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    Over the years I've played a few different types of instruments with varying degrees of success, even the accordian for 7-8 years. Now after a very long hiatus I want to make music again and have decided to take up the violin and learn to play. It's not because I aspire to perform in concert, but because this instrument has the ability to sing in a way that truely moves me. The biggest obstacle for me to overcome is the stigma of being left-handed in the string world. The majority of the opinion I've encountered is very negative and less than helpful. The available technical information for left-handers (lessons, charting, videos, helpful hints, etc.) is pretty thin. I have acquired a true left-handed instrument and have started to teach myself the fundamentals by reversing the right-handed materials. It's not easy, but I will not be deterred from the goal. Still the question remains. Why does the general population of professional string musicians have such a distain for left-handed players and why is it next to impossible to obtain high quality training materials. For me, it's about the music! When I listen to talented musicians play good music (regardless of genre) I don't hear with the left or right ear, but both. Beautiful music crosses boundaries and lifts the soul. I may never be capable of playing at a concert professional level, but with the right materials and training I can certainly provide quality music for those in my household or local community. So if anyone out there can help provide some positive direction or help me score the proper materials I need to become the best version of myself, it would be greatly appreciated.

  4. #19
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    This video will inspire you. Left-handed adult violinist after 3 years.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP5qccKwdiE&feature=plcp

    Find a teacher who is willing to teach you left-handed, and I hope you enjoy playing music! As long as you don't have the goal of playing in an orchestra, you should be OK.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jurianbai View Post
    I've asked this question in QA thread. The bridge is not symetrical in violin, is this need to be altered?
    The violin is not symmetrical. If you look into the f hole on the bass side next to the G string you will see stuck to the inside of the top a long piece of wood, this is the bass bar. On the other side near the E string is the sound post. It is not just a question of having a new bridge, you need to get a violin that has been built the other way round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunasong View Post
    This video will inspire you. Left-handed adult violinist after 3 years.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP5qccKwdiE&feature=plcp

    Find a teacher who is willing to teach you left-handed, and I hope you enjoy playing music! As long as you don't have the goal of playing in an orchestra, you should be OK.
    I can't see why playing in an orchestra would be a problem, it wasn't to a pro string chamber orchestra that I heard some years ago, who had a violinist who played the other way round.

  7. #22
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    I am left-handed but it never was even brought up that I might play left handed. My father was my first teacher, and he was a violinist in the NY Philharmonic. But it never occurred to him either. I don't think it has hampered me, but I don't know for sure. None of my teachers ever even mentioned it. I remember reading old method books which said to switch the strings around, and play left-handed,but I have never seen it done. There is a picture of Charlie Chaplin playing a violin left handed. He and Heifetz seemed to know each other, and Heifetz tried the violin that way, and couldn't play it at all. It least that is what I remember reading. I guess anyone, even Heifetz, would have to relearn how to play if they suddenly switched from right hand to left hand playing.

  8. #23
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    Default Lefty Violin

    Quote Originally Posted by mmark View Post
    I have an eight year old daughter who picks up my violin often and plays left handed. I've tried to get her to play right handed, but it's so unnatural for her that she just puts it down. And then a few hours later she's playing again and doesn't even realize she's playing left handed.

    I had thought, before doing a google search and seeing this post, that lefties had to play right handed. But I see that is not the case. She is so obviously left-handed in playing the violin that it seems I either chose to let her play left handed or she probably won't be interested in it.

    Now the search for a teacher who's willing to teach a leftie!
    Hi there- I am glad you are letting nature take it's course. My music teacher fought my need for a lefty violin for 2 months and set me back in the very beginning stages. I am still a beginner only 3 months in but now feel I can dance as I play with the lefty violin. It tuely makes a difference for us. Great job mom!!!

    PS. This is my first response to the forum, not sure I did it correctly, under your message and all...
    Hugs,
    Moni

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    This thread has been very helpful, thank you! I'm concerned though, if an electric violin can be "flipped" to left-handed orientation, as there are in effect no options for left handers in this area. The soundpost in acoustic makes a slight difference in that case, but I was wondering if there is something similar in the piezo-pickup of most electric violins. Thank you.

  10. #25
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    It sounds like your bridge is cut correctly! The bridge should dip lower as the string pitch gets higher.

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