You Don’t Have To Be Ambidextrous To Play A Left Handed Violin!

Ideally, a purpose-built left handed violin would be the obvious marriage for left-handed violinists, however it should be duly noted, that there are also right handed violinists who both prefer, and are more comfortable in using the bow with their left hand! This fact has both perplexed and frustrated many a teacher of the instrument and their students have, for the most part, been greatly encouraged to practice with their right hand – which is not necessarily the ‘wrong hand’ – save for a few technicalities.

To overcome one of these technicalities, some violinists simply string their violins ‘backwards’. However this is not an optimum solution as it places both the bass bar and the sound post, in the wrong positions. Also for left handed violinists playing within an orchestra, they are literally using their bows in the opposite direction, causing bumping, distraction and ultimately disharmony to their fellow right-handed counterparts!

Music and instrumentals have come a long way in recent years! It is possible to have a ‘right-handed’ violin converted to easily satisfy a left-handed player or better still – to purchase a specially made left-handed violin. The basic ‘look’ of the left-handed violin has the same dimensions, image and characteristics of it’s ‘right-handed’ counterpart and in fact there are absolutely no changes at all to the back, or to the sides, of the body of the violin. In other words, visually identical.

To adapt to the ‘left-handed’ violinist, the changes that are necessary, are all located in the top, and the neck areas of the violin. Strings from the right to the left will be G-D-A-E. Shape of the bridge requires adjustment and also the positioning of the peg-holes require modification. Importantly, the chin rest on a left handed violin is totally the opposite as for a right-handed, and is specially carved to accommodate the right side of the chin.

In conclusion, a ‘left-hand’ violin can produce music as beautiful as a ‘right-hand’ violin. The comfort and practicality of the instrument being of paramount importance to the ‘player’!


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