I am left-handed and I play the violin!
It was my first violin lesson. I was introduced to my violin teacher, feeling a bit overwhelmed that the big day came.
One of the first questions the violin teacher asked my mum was 'Is Bibi right or left-handed?' My mum, sensing that this was a tricky answer, responded 'She is left-handed. Is that a problem?'
All I heard was PROBLEM. The violin teacher further elaborated to my mum that I might have problems along the way. The right bow arm was very important and if I do not use my right arm a lot it might cause issues.
Thinking of it today, after many years, I agree with my then violin teacher that being left-handed might be a challenge. BUT, not a problem.
It is very important to hold the violin correctly, whether you are left or righthanded. Are you holding the violin in the right way? Checkout a few excellent tips at www.takelessons.com!
Yes, I experienced challenges with my bow technique. The Rieding violin concerto didn't sound right, etudes were challenging. For many years the right arm was stiff and I struggled with a raised shoulder. My bow technique basically was not good.
I did practice a lot of Ševčík bowing exercises, but it didn't really help very much. I looked for other ways to improve my bow arm. A thought occured to delegate more daily chores to my right hand. For example start writing with the right hand. That falied as I started having headaches.
One evening, ironing a shirt I observed the movement the arm was making while ironing...and yes, that was it! Why not iron with my right hand? The movement is quite similar! I finally got it. After a few weeks my bow arm really improved and finally playing the bow became comfortable.
So, if today someone asks my if one can play the violin as a left-hander, I answer, yes you can! Just don't make a big deal out of it. That might have been the block I had in my mind for years when my first violin teacher said 'problem'.
Are you left-handed? What are your experiences?
Founder of Let's Play Concertos, violin performer and teacher