How To Play The Violin With A Long Neck
In today's video, I'm going to address exactly a common issues amongst violinists. How do you play the violin with a long neck? We will be taking a closer look.
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Let's address the long neck problem.
"Do I need a high chin rest and or do I need a high shoulder rest?"
Well, probably neither of the two. Because, I'll tell you a little story before we get to the whole tutorial. I actually got injured by adjusting my chin rest and adjusting my shoulder rest. And, it got so bad where you know your feet fall asleep you get the needle feeling in your feet?
Well, I was feeling that in my fingers. It took my about a year in music college to really find, while working with a professor, figuring out how I'm supposed to hold my instrument and how I can avoid injury for the future.
And by then I had a very tall chin rest, and a very tall shoulder rest. Because my neck is kind of tall and it's kind of long and all of a sudden I put my violin on my shoulder and I have so much space left.
And you're probably thinking, "Should I, even myself, need a high chin rest?"
That's actually not the case.
A lot of students and a lot of teachers who teach oftentimes say, "Okay since you have a tall neck let's raise the shoulder rest, or raise the chin rest." If I had to choose one of the two, I would lift the chin rest a little higher and not the shoulder rest.
Let me tell you why.
Because, when I lift the shoulder rest up my angle on my shoulder is actually going to be a lot higher and I'm actually going to experience a lot of pain in my shoulder.
So, when I am relaxed, the whole point of my setup right is so that I can play for long periods of time. I teach for 6 or 7 hours every day, and I want to make sure that I have enough space for me to move my head, for me to have a lot of weight down on the string.
If you're a beginner watching this video, you don't need to slouch, you don't need to have a high shoulder rest or a high chin rest. All you need to do is that your head is relaxed, because your head is quite heavy.
You don't want to be too much at an angle if you can see by my neck. (check out the video above for more) If I do this, this is no good. If I do too much straight, then it's also no good because my head has no contact with the chin rest. I want to be able to have the luxury of lifting my head off if I get tired. But also I have to avoid bending my neck at an angle.
So, I want the violin to be as close to me and as snug to me as possible to me so that way all I have to do is rest my chin on the violin. I have a couple videos regarding some shoulder rests that you can use like the Kun, and the Mach One, and the Bon Musica. So, whatever floats your boat, whatever helps you get the best result, that is a shoulder rest that should be good for you.
Take note that we want the violin to be close to the head as possible. When our neck high is too high, we want to rest it down just a little bit. Because then we're going to injure our shoulder and parts of our neck just enough so you can lift your head up, and you can move around as so.
I like this approach because it allows for a lot of relaxation in the neck, and also a lot of flexibility you can adjust your head movements accordingly. And that's pretty much it! It's a short video, but there's actually not much more to it!
Number one thing you should achieve as a violinist is to relax. When we're playing the violin, there will be tension in other places of the body. The head and the neck should be relaxed as much as possible.
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