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I am at  the point where I can make a good solid, long bowed sound on open strings. I am now moving on to the left hand, and  in Lesson 30 you suggest practising playing stopped notes (if that is the right expression), with the same volume and tone quality as open stringed notes.

I have been practising with D on the A string as it is a ring tone. I play open A then stopped D, take my hand off and repeat the process. About seven times out of ten I get it pitch perfect. My logic is that I can improve my tone and accuracy at the same time.

This afternoon I suddenly realised that if I put my first three fingers down at the same time then my accuracy increases. Is this a valid practice method or should I persist with just placing the one finger for the D. I don't want to get into bad habits!

Many thanks, Nick

2 Responses
Posted: October 23, 2011
Last Comment: October 24, 2011

Posted: October 24, 2011
Dear Beth. Thank you for your  prompt and encouraging response. It's satisfying to know that I managed to discover something for myself, but I suppose that is what practice is all about. 

Best wishes and thank you for your support, Nick

Beth Blackerby
Posted: October 23, 2011
Hi Nick, That's a really good question. I've been working on the 3rd position unit and I was actually talking about this issue. That is,

I believe we have a stronger connection to 1st finger than any other finger, and that we "map" where the notes are in how they  are placed in relation to the 1st finger. In this case, I think it's quite natural and fine to have the other fingers placed (with harmonic tension) in support of the 3rd finger. However, when it comes time to play the note, only add pressure to the 3rd finger, so that you don't create a dependence on the added pressure support of the other fingers.