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Elke Meier
I think I had a real epiphany two days ago :).

I have been revisiting the "Left hand squeezing" series. Actually, I don't think I tend very much to squeezing, my thumb is loose (mostly), it is easy to disengage with the hand from the fingerboard (mostly). But I still revisited the series because of my young student. I wanted to make sure I was aware of the things she is watching. 

And guess what: I really had the light go on with the third video of this series, Restructuring the Hand. I noticed that while in general I did not squeeze I definitely did not use this movement upwards of the thumb that Beth introduces in this video. It was always counterpressure INTO the neck. And in certain notes, especially anything having to do with a low second finger, I pressed into the neck for all it was worth, because low second fingers are so difficult for me!

As I concentrated on the difference between this counterpressure INTO the neck and the tug on the skin of the thumb in the upward movement (and actually FELT the difference very clearly!) I noticed that my low second finger all of a sudden became so much easier to place. Wow! I could not believe the difference! I also noticed that vibrato exercises all of a sudden seemed to work. It was quite unbelievable. 

Then I tried a few measures in a piece where I have to shift to third position to get some high notes in a fast section. I never was able to even get close in the intonation there. Now I realized why: The moment I am insecure I press into the neck! When I consciously keep this "upward" tugging movement of the thumb, all of a sudden even intonation in third position is much more secure. 

I am excited - to put it mildly!
Elke Meier
1 Responses
Posted: November 13, 2019
Last Comment: November 14, 2019

Timothy Smith
Posted: November 14, 2019
I am also working through this at present...I haven't mastered it yet. Nice way to look at how pressure is applied. My teacher was having me play with no thumb on the neck at all.
Just a slight amount of weight resting on my palm off and on. I didn't think it was possible.

Feels good to have an epiphany doesn't it!!!!!!!!!!!

Go ahead you can dance around the room!! Congratulations!