The Angle of the Wrist

Updated: September 5, 2016

Here's something that we covered in our first research session of the season last week. I wanted to share it with you quickly, before we add it to the online courses:

The Angle of the Wrist

When you're playing the violin, it's very important that the fingers can move freely without causing any tension in the hand or arm. But if the angle of the wrist is incorrect in relation to the arm position, then it's easy for that unwanted tension to appear.

Even if your wrist is incorrectly bent, it might not feel like a problem until you use the fingers. But once the fingers are dropping down from the knuckles, you'll start to feel a strain in your arm if the wrist is not at the correct angle.

A nice way to think of this is to line up your bow against your arm, and imagine an axis that goes right down the middle of the hand, wrist and arm in a straight line.

Wrist Angle: Too far 'Out'

Wrist Angle - Too Far Out

Wrist Angle: Too far 'In'

Wrist Angle - Too Far In

Wrist Angle: 'Straight Axis'

Wrist Angle - Straight Axis

And now with a violin...

Here are the same arm positions again, but with a violin so that you can see how this works with the instrument itself. In this example, the violin is being played in the 3rd position.

Wrist Angle: Too far 'Out'

Wrist Angle - Too Far Out 3rd Pos


Wrist Angle: Too far 'In'

Wrist Angle - Too Far In 3rd Pos

Wrist Angle: 'Straight Axis'

Wrist Angle - Straight Axis 3rd Pos

(When you start going into even higher positions - i.e. 4th position and above - the angle of the wrist changes as we move around the instrument. But we'll cover that in future modules!).

Big thanks to our model, Prof. Worswick, for the loan of his left arm! 😉

Topics like these are usually easier to understand by watching a video, so I'll film an explanation about this soon. If you've got any questions about this topic that you'd to cover in the video, then please let us know via!

- Simon

eLearning for the Violin.

15 Palace Street
Westminster, London

Phone: +44 (0) 20 3051 0080
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