Good comments. I played the violin with a shoulder test until I was about 50. I have been playing the last 20 years without it. I still struggle a bit on fast music with keeping it from slipping. (e.g. Presto of BWV 1001. )

My major discomfort with VDS is playing the string that the finger is on I.e. finding the string level. I don’t have enough experience to say what the right approach is but I think that a certain amount of stability is important. Not rigid but not random.

I have a friend who is a virtuoso violinist. When he plays my VDS he has no problems. He knows exactly where the string is all the time. It’s a gift.

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Oh yes, I know that feeling! Sometimes it still happens to me (I am practicing Violoncello da Spalla since a couple of years, but very randomly), but especially when I have doubts on the key I am reading (the note I have to play). I cannot just put the bow down and bum, if I don’t know which note I have to play before I start. With the viola I can, I have a faster reaction. So, it seems that if I am insecure, of the note, even if by the time my bow hits the string I know the note, it takes my brain more time to tell the now on which string to go and where it is. Sounds a bit confusing, sorry, but I think you can get it, as it is about confusion.

So, I would say it is a matter of practice and experience. One year of spalla cannot match X-decades of violin or viola practice X-hours a day. X-decades of violin will help in reaching our steady da Spalla technique faster, yes, but for me it was not a matter of days. Not as long as when I switched to viola, but not days!

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