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Professional Violinist Warm Up Routine

Musicians, like athletes, place a great deal of repetitive stress on their joints, ligaments and muscles. You can help avoid injury by developing a routine with which you warm up your body before you begin a practice or playing session.

Step 1: Warm Up your Violin

Don’t forget to include your violin in this routine! Open the case and allow it to acclimate to the environment. The goal is to gradually bring the temperature of your violin up to room temperature. For example, if you've been traveling in a cold car and you're going to be playing in a warm room, you need to slowly acclimate the violin.

While your violin is acclimating, you'll want to do some stretches that help prevent musical injuries.

Woman playing a violin while sitting in front of a maroon theatre curtain

Step 2: Your turn to warm up

Practicing your violinist warm up routine prior to playing can reduce the incidence of muscle cramps. Spending time working on your body's overall flexibility is your best tool for both avoiding injury now and extending the length of time you're able to play the violin.

Doing simple yoga stretches, like mountain pose and downward-facing dog, can stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back, neck and arms. To limber up your fingers, try simple hand stretches, like laying your hand on a flat surface and lift and hold up one finger at a time. Don't forget to work on the flexibility of your wrists as well to avoid ligament strain.

Once your violin has acclimated to the temperature of the room, you'll want to perform some violin warm ups such as easy fingering and bowing exercises.

Final note: The importance of good posture

While giving your violin time to warm up, stretching, and practicing warm up drills are an important part of keeping your instrument and body from incurring music-related strains and cramps, almost nothing is more important than posture. As you know, good posture is critical to anything you do repeatedly throughout your lifetime, whether it's sitting at a computer, cooking or jogging. If you don't have proper alignment, you will undoubtedly experience muscle and joint issues over time.

As a violinist, you spend a lot of time concentrating on all of the fundamentals of playing your instrument, but do you also focus on playing posture? Good posture is essential for ease of playing, injury prevention and tone production. For practice as well as playing sessions, a very helpful accessory is an adjustable chair that supports your quest to maintain the all-important proper alignment

A good choice is the Johnson String Instrument small adjustable seat for violinists. It's lightweight and foldable for easy transport, has 6 different seat heights to match your needs, and is easy on the wallet!

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

Located in Newton, Massachusetts, Carriage House Violins is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument.

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Johnson String Project

A charitable foundation whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in under-served communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts.

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