Home For Passionate Violin Learners of all Levels
Complete violin learning platform made easy through:
    - Step-by-step lesson modules
    - Instant access to all content
    - All music and resources provided. No need to buy books
    - Private feedback channel with Beth Blackerby

Why Choose Violin Lab
Become a Member
You must be a member to respond to discussions.
Discussion

Ray
Taking Beth's most excellent advice, I am working on both the right hand and left hand flexibility issues (in the wrist) and squeezing the neck of the the neck of the violin while using the left hand.  

It has been about a week and the wrists initial in finding out that it can in fact become flexible.  There is a lot of room for improvement in the flexibility of the wrists before I will see any improvement while playing any piece of music.  The tendons and muscles are slowly stretching out.  But today I have noticed the back of the hand is now objecting to this new idea of stretching.  The flexibility exercises I am doing is still with the pencil but while I am traveling on the ferries or watching a movie I am faithfully doing my exercises.  Soon I will progress enough to use Beth's bow hand flexibility video exercises.

As for the left hand it's muscles have been trained to hang unto that neck like there is no tomorrow.  I am on http://violinlab.com/videoLibrary/lesson.php?id=680 Left Hand Set Up: Part 3 Thumb Placement.  I am stuck on the very first concept or I suppose exercise which is to hold up the left arm with the back muscles and not the upper arm muscles.  I suppose the first step to this exercise is to understand this is even possible.  I don't have any understanding how that is possible let alone putting this very first exercise of not squeezing with the left hand in practice.  Every time I try I can feel the upper arm tighten which is what I do not want.  Maybe I have to study how the muscle groups are interconnected.  Then I can control them.  I obviously have to work on both areas.

Just rambling folks to people who would understand.  Thanks for listening.


Ray
6 Responses
Posted: October 4, 2019
Last Comment: October 6, 2019
Replies

Ray
Posted: October 6, 2019
I like that Dianne.  A step by step approach to not squeezing the neck.  For the next while I work on playing scales and the my reportera without the thumb.  I briefly tried it and that instinct to have that thumb there is very strong.  For me anyway.  And I like that once that step is more natural that I could say not only start the shifting videos but so that I do not slide backwards I could start removing my thumb every once in a while.  I  seem to recall Beth mentioning about this exercise but I may be mistaken.  No matter sounds like a good exercise.  Thanks.

Dianne
Posted: October 6, 2019
Ray, now I remember what ultimately worked for me to sop squeezing the neck- shifting exercises! Have you started shifting? It was truly the thjng that solved it, after these initial things were done, so even if you do not require shifting in the pieces, it might just be the answer! There is no way to shift while squeezing. That was faster to learn. A good incentive to try it!

Going through the entire VLab curriculum is so helpful for me to solidify what I have learned, and I am remembering a great deal now. Also, there are many new/redone videos I have not seen.

Ray
Posted: October 6, 2019
Thank you, Dianne, sounds like a very good exercise especially for someone like me who enjoys focusing on one thing at a time.  

Dianne
Posted: October 6, 2019
Hi Ray, I'm almost finished watching the 17 left hand tutorial videos before the 1st Twinkle exercises, and Beth mentions needing left hand/finger strength in order not to squeeze the neck when putting a finger down. If you are secure in the violin hold with the left hand at your side, then maybe check for the strength of the left hand. The way I tested this was to put fingers down without the thumb contact at all, just to show it could be done, that the thumb wasn't needed. The finger taps would have to be light, but contact could be made. Then slowly introduce the thumb with finger taps. I remember doing this exact thing because all the muscles in my hand thought they had to be involved in putting fingers down. It didn't take more than a week or two for it to start to take effect, but it was hard to retrain. Keep releasing the thumb from the neck while playing, and it will eventually create a new muscle memory.

Ray
Posted: October 4, 2019
Oh Heavens Dianne advice is always welcomed and thank you for taking the time to post. Very thoughtful and considerate.   Perhaps you are right.  Hmmmm  Maybe I have to look at the videos on the set up.  Bad habits means sloppy thinking from me.  I will check out my set up and posture and compare that to what is considered a proper set up and posture.
Then I will be able to progress and identify my left hand bad habits and work on those.  Thanks Dianne, always great suggestions for improvement.

Dianne
Posted: October 4, 2019
I just watched this video a minute ago as I prepare for my next lesson. I think it takes having a good setup with shoulder rest and light friction of neck on the chin rest in this case so that you don't feel the violin will drop. When you let the left hand drop to your side, do you feel you might actually fall asleep holding the violin it feels so secure and comfortable? I think it needs to feel that comfortable and relaxed in order to be able to isolate the left arm from the violin hold since the left arm does not in any way hold up the violin. The job of the left arm is for finger action and momentary counterpressure of the thumb (just watched the two previous videos!) Hope this is of some help. I know you weren't looking for advice, but by coincidence I just finished watching this video!