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Hi Beth, I'm thinking of buying a violin. I am using a rental which is 4/4. I need to stretch my arm a bit to get to the bow tip on D, G strings (need a smaller violin?); but when doing upbow on E, my thumb knuckle often hits the violin body and it seems that I need more room or to consciously adjust the angle. (smaller violin would make this situation worse?) Would it be easier to do vibrato, on high notes, on a smaller violin? In videos, you mentioned your violin is 7/8. How do I determine what's the best size for me? Thank you!

3 Responses
Posted: April 15, 2011
Last Comment: April 17, 2011

Posted: April 17, 2011
Look forward to it Beth !

Beth Blackerby
Posted: April 16, 2011
No, not yet. That's on down the road.

The webinar will be Sunday, May 1st at 7:00pm. I'll be posting it on the members' news reel as well.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: April 15, 2011
Hi Jonathan, I don't think switching to a smaller violin will correct the problems you are listing. Even if you were to go to a 7/8 violin, you would still use a full size bow, and would still have the same issue playing at the tip. It's ok if you don't go ALL the way down. It's more important to go all the way to the frog.

The thumb knuckle issue is probably because your elbow and wrist level are to low. Also if you rotate the bow slightly away from you as you approach the frog, your thumb should move out of the way.

I play a 7/8th because my hand is small, and playing octaves and such was easier on a 7/8ths. I have several colleagues with hands smaller than mine who have no trouble with a full size instrument.

I originally began looking for a smaller full-size instrument and just happened to find this violin. Really good 7/8th violins are rare and very hard to find. And because of their size, they will typically produce a smaller size. My suggestion is to see what is available to you in the way of a smaller model full-size and work with your technique a little longer.

Your post is reminding me to schedule a webinar on "what to look for when purchasing a violin". I'll look at our schedule today and put that on the books.