What Is a Left-Handed Violin?

A left-handed violin is a non-violin designed for people who use their left hand as their dominant hand. It’s a mirrored version of the traditional violin, which is a soprano stringed instrument played with a bow and held under the chin.

Traditional violinists use their left hand to support the instrument and perform fingering. They use their right hand to do all of the bowing. This makes sense, given that the violinist’s ability to produce sound with his instrument is largely determined bow control. Traditional violins, on the other hand, are problematic for left-handed players because they must control the bow with their non-dominant hand. A left-handed violin should solve this problem allowing left-handed players to achieve the same level of tonal richness, responsiveness, and overall technique virtuosity as right-handed players.

A left-handed violin is strung in the opposite direction of a traditional violin, with the lowest string, G, on the right side rather than the left. Some people attempt to adapt regular violins simply restringing them, but this is ineffective. Because of the differences in string and overall performance positioning, the peg holes, base bar, and sound post must all be reversed. Bridge and chin rest adjustments are also required.

A left-handed violinist who uses a left-handed violin may eventually be able to play at a higher level than if he used a traditional violin. However, left-handed violins have some drawbacks. The first is that demand for left-handed violins is lower because more people are right-handed than left-handed. As a result, left-handed violins are difficult to come by. People frequently have to order them specifically, and when they do, the instruments are more expensive because the manufacturer must absorb the additional costs of a customized product.

Those who want to play left-handed violins are also limited in their educational options. Because most violin teachers and method books assume that the violinist is right-handed, a left-handed violinist may have to mentally flip all of the directions given if the teacher forgets. Some teachers insist that playing the violin right-handed is the only way to play it, and they try to force right-handed playing on their students, much like some left-handed students were forced to write with their right hand in the past.

A left-handed violinist’s performance opportunities are also limited. It is usually not a problem to play in a small group. Seating in larger groups, such as orchestras, allows for right-handed bowing and is designed to maintain a uniform appearance as members play. Unless the group gives him more room, a left-handed player may have trouble with his bow interfering with his neighbor’s bow. Even if the group does this, the audience will notice the left-handed player, which could distract them from the performance.