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How to Play the Fiddle While Standing

 

ArtistWorks Fiddle School, taught by Darol Anger, covers fiddle techniques from beginner to advanced levels. 

Many fiddlers envision themselves playing their instrument while standing, allowing them to own a stage during a performance or add more personality to their playing. Darol Anger shares his expert tips on how to stand, and play, without sacrificing your tune: 

 

Step 1. Master how to stand. 

 

Darol recommends looking down at your feet, assuring they’re directly below your hips and slightly narrower than your shoulders. Your feet should be slightly angled out, so that you’re comfortable and supported. Once in this position, ensure your knees are not locked! Your knees should be slightly bent forward, allowing for back and forth flexibility. 

 

Next, check your posture. You should be standing up straight. Take a deep breath, allowing your chest to expand. Ensure you back is straight, supporting your neck (which should also be straight). Darol recommends envisioning a string running from the top of your head to the bottom up your spine. Finally, pull your head up. 

 

To check and see if you’re standing correctly, ask a musical pal to try pushing you over - your stance should hold steady. 

 

Step 2: Master holding the fiddle. 

 

Bring the violin up, placing the shoulder rest on your shoulder. Ensure that when you do this, you’re looking forward with your neck up. Make sure you bring the violin up at an angle, slightly forward from your arm’s wingspan. 

 

Once the fiddle is place, take your head and gently drop it on the chin rest. Darol recommends practicing this movement several times, until it becomes second nature. Once your head is in place, take your left (or non-dominant) hand away from the instrument. This fiddle should stay in position. 

 

Once placed, the strings on the violin should be almost exactly parallel to the ground. This is important, as the violin holds up the bow. Fiddle players use the force of gravity to help tone, and make the bow move. 

 

Darol can’t overstate the value of good posture when playing the fiddle from a standing position. He jokes that fiddle playing always bring an element of discomfort, or even pain, but bad posture will add to the pain of playing tremendously. Practice good standing and positioning, and you’ll set yourself up for success. 

 

Eager for more tips from Darol? Explore free sample lessons from the ArtistWorks’ Fiddle School. 

 

 

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