Adult self-taught violinist here. I've been learning for about three years.

I've developed a habit of allowing the left-hand thumb to protrude rather high above the fingerboard, so that the neck of the instrument rests close to the base of the thumb. From various YouTube instructional videos and observing good players, I understand that this is sub-optimal, particularly with regard to eventually developing a good vibrato. So I am trying to correct this, keeping the thumb lower down, with the end of the thumb touching the side or base of the instrument's neck. I understand that the thumb and index finger should form a quasi-circular arc, almost as if pinching something.

The problem I am having is that the side and base of the violin neck are insanely slippery and I am having trouble getting the tip of the thumb to stay in position when in contact with that area. It just slips around all over the place.

Any advice about how to deal with this issue would be appreciated.

Creative but probably bad ideas that I've had include using sandpaper to roughen the back of the violin neck and make it less slippery, or gluing something non-slippery e.g. a piece of velcro there. I realize also that some advice might be along the lines of "get some in-person lessons", however finding a suitable teacher where I'm located at the moment is hard, especially under pandemic conditions.


You can pretty well taught yourself, depends on determination, talent, love for music and your instrument, ... my boyfriend is self-taught piano player, and because of his late discovered enormous talent, he is progressing a lot faster than anybody I know from music school.

First thing important is to make sure your wrist and lower hand are aligned or slightly bent away from violin. You can press your thumb on the rosin a bit, it will "stick" on the neck better, for hand and brains to adjust at first. You can place a small piece of finger bandage on the neck to fill it and for it not to be so slippery


Any advice about how to deal with this issue would be appreciated.

Very simple. Get a teacher! Have lessons!

I've been playing for two years rather than your three. Apart from when lockdown has prevented or I've been on holiday I've had a lesson every week since the first time I picked up a violin. I started doing vibrato after about 6 months. I ventured into third position after about 3 months and fifth after about 8 months. That's the kind of progress you can make if you have regular lessons and practice a lot.

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