Correct posture on violin and 4 common misconceptions
Due to nature of posture when playing violin, position in which you hold violin is especially important. Incorrect posture for holding piano will cause neck to be tightly clenched by tiger's mouth or hands to become stiff, which will create significant learning problems in future.
There are usually two types of postures for playing violin: 1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Relax your whole body. The center of gravity of body is distributed equally or alternately on left and right feet. 2. Transfer center of gravity to left foot and place right foot slightly behind right. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and your body facing music table. The height of music table should be equal to height of eye level.
The angle of piano's hold can be determined from length of right arm. Typically, angle between piano and center line of body is about 45 degrees. The head is in same place as usual, and eyes look at same level. The headstock should be as high as possible so that strings are parallel to ground. This will give left hand maximum freedom and relaxation when changing handlebars. At same time, it can also ensure that bow is naturally held in middle of neck and coda when it is working.
Stand straight, upright and relaxed. Sit only on front 1/2 of chair. Cannot play or exercise while leaning on back of a chair. Step on ground with your left foot towards piano with your right foot behind your right, and use only front of your foot to touch ground to make sure toetail does not touch your right foot while playing. upper half of E-string pommel. The other requirements are about same as in standing position.
Don't hold your neck with your jaws. Hold bar with first and second knuckles of thumb and root of index finger, and remaining four fingers should be bent (1, 2, 3, 4, while pressing G string first finger, three knuckles try to get on neck). This can ensure that fingertips touch strings, which facilitates application of force to base of fingers. Thus, climbs and descents are flexible, and sound is bright and clear. Getting this correct hand shape is critical when learning to play two notes. Make sure entire left arm is relaxed.
Mr. Zhang Shixiang's video tutorial: How to hold a piano?
Four misconceptions about how to hold a piano
Point 1: "Shoulder pads should not be used to hold piano, masters generally don't use shoulder pads"
In general, main reason for not using shoulder pads is to improve sound. But is it really so? The answer is no, at least not necessarily. Because when shoulder pads are not used, main purpose is to use shoulders to support piano, i.e. to actually "clamp piano".
All "masters" who are often said to not use shoulder pads, such as Lu Siqing, Mutter, etc., play piano. I also know that there are a small number of relatively mature players who usually don't pinch violin when not changing knobs, but they do pinch violin when changing knobs, especially when distance is relatively long or speed is relatively high to free their left hand.
So, since this is a violin, this means that body will stick to backboard to a certain extent, thus preventing violin from vibrating and negatively affecting sound. However, using a shoulder rest will significantly reduce contact between body and body of piano, and contact with backrest is almost nil. This is sound advantage of holding a piano with a shoulder rest.
As for saying "without shoulder pads, if you put your body against piano and vibrate along with piano, it will improve sound", editor believes that this is just an illusion. People who say "masters don't need shoulder pads" probably don't know craftsmen enough, at least they don't know contemporary masters well enough.
In old days, shoulder supports like ours were not invented or produced. But today, far more players use shoulder rests than they don't, and far more professional violinists use shoulder rests than they don't.
Point 2: Don't shrug your shoulders when holding piano.
In principle, you should not shrug your shoulders. In fact, a slight shrug is almost inevitable, even with shoulder pads.
In fact, as long as it doesn't affect relaxation and freedom of movement in principle, and it doesn't accumulate fatigue and tension in shoulders, a slight shrug of shoulders will have no effect.
Of course, holding piano should not be rigid, unless you need to change handle or vibrate strings intensely, you can temporarily hold piano with your left hand to completely relax your head and shoulders. Excessive shrugging should be completely avoided.
Point 3: "Keep piano on a 'double support'"
By "double support" here we mean holding piano with your left hand, using your left hand, head and shoulders to hold piano together, not just holding piano with your head and shoulders.
Editor's opinion: piano can be held with left hand, if it does not interfere with free movement of left hand. The reason it is necessary to hold violin only by head and shoulders, without using left hand, is to free left hand and take load off left hand to support violin, which will make it easier to change crank and vibrato, etc. without interference.
Piano holding should have a certain degree of flexibility, instead of always using a single or double rest, it can be adjusted.
Point 4: "Shoulder pads affect tone"
Shoulder pads affect sound slightly, and different styles of shoulder pads affect sound differently. However, effect is really weak, almost none.
If you're using same violin, you can compare sound without shoulder rest and sound with shoulder rest on several times and find little difference. Otherwise, you won't be able to tell difference.
This difference, compared to difference between different pianos and difference caused by different methods of playing same piano, can really be ignored...
Compared to not having a shoulder rest, impact on sound of using a shoulder to support piano is negligible.