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Teresa Redding
Now that I have a 7/8 violin ( WOW!!! SO MUCH easier to reach the notes)  I am using my fourth finger instead of open strings and have discovered I really need to work on finger independence especially the third finger.  It wants to follow my pinky!  I am doing the recommended exercises but just wondering if there are any other tips or tricks? 
Teresa Redding
11 Responses
Posted: January 10, 2020
Last Comment: January 28, 2020
Replies

Barbara Habel
Posted: January 28, 2020
Dear Steph

I had to smile at your "tic" explanation. One of my all time favourite German films is "Vincent will meer" :-)

Steph
Posted: January 26, 2020
Hi Barbara,

thanks for your tips. The "air"-practice is good to do in small breaks in between, when I'm at work.
Of course in Psychiatry that looks a bit like having a tic - but I can live with that.

Thanks for the video. I'll take a look right away.

Greetings,

Steph

Barbara Habel
Posted: January 15, 2020
Dear Steph

You are German like I am if I remember right. Here is a good exercise for the hands.

It shows from 3:20 to 9:00 minutes.


Barbara Habel
Posted: January 15, 2020
Dear Steph

..... and another finger exercise I like is to hold the hand in the air and straight and just try to wave or tap in the air with the pinky whilst keeping the 3rd finger and the others next to it straight. You need to make lots of brakes between trying. 2 seconds break is enough. And I kind of glue my 3rd finger to the 2nd finger. That helps to keep them straight.

Let me know how you like this one.



Barbara Habel
Posted: January 15, 2020
Dear Teresa

Yes that would be interesting to hear that comparision.

Dear Steph

Have you tried lifting up the 3rd finger with the other hand (thumb and index) and pulling against it and then to let go of the finger to drop down hard? And all the while trying to stay relaxed? It helps. I now can make a noise.

Teresa Redding
Posted: January 14, 2020
Thank you, all for the tips. Steph, great exercise that can be practiced any time. Beth, after reading your notes I am paying special attention to release tension of the index finger.  Melodia, my 7/8 violin is wonderful.  The sound is so sweet. Much nicer than my full size.  Iíll try to find the time to video both the 4/4 and 7/8 so you can hear the difference. 


Steph
Posted: January 14, 2020
Hi Barbara,

you're welcome.
I do this for nearly six month now, and I went from not being able to lift the finger, to being able to lift it while doing exactly what you describe.
Lately my other fingers seem a little more relaxed when I lift the 3rd one. Still I'm not at a point where I can hear any sound.

Happy playing.

Steph

Barbara Habel
Posted: January 13, 2020
Dear Steph

Thank you for the excerise. I can lift the 3rd finger independently but I can not make a sound with it and the other fingers are so tense and press very hard on the surface whilst I try the 3rd or 4th finger.

A fun thing to experiment with. Thank you Steph

Steph
Posted: January 13, 2020
Easy "on the go" exercise you can do anywhere and anytime: put both hands down on the table (or whatever), palms down.
Then lift your palms slightly, so that only your fingertips touch the table and your hand looks a little bit like a claw.
Keep it that way and tap on the surface first with fore, then middle, then ring finger and in the end pinkie. Try to make a sound you can hear.
Each finger has to move independently, the others have to stay on the surface!
You will probably find, that it's easy to do that with the first two fingers, surprisingly not that hard with the fourth and nearly or completely impossible with  the 3rd (because the second wants to move with it).
If you find, you can't lift the 3rd even the slightest on it's own, help it along with your other hand: lift it, let it fall, repeat.
Do a short(!) sequence of this exercise anywhere you can, every time you think on it, every day.
As always in violin playing keep in mind: it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 12, 2020
Good for you, Teresa! Try to keep reminding your hand muscles to stay relaxed when you're working with 3 and 4. Sometimes, I forget just how much I'm unnecessarily tightening.  Also let the index finger loose from the neck so that it's not the culprit of any excess tension.

Make sure too that your hand level is high enough so that your pinky has less far to reach. Ultimately, a strong finger action will get the best results. Keep doing those pinky taps!

Melodia
Posted: January 12, 2020
Teresa, that's great that your fingers can reach the notes more comfortably now with the 7/8 violin.  How does it sound compared to your full size violin?

I don't know of any practice tricks, but I would spend time on the area that needs to be improved the most.  Hope you will post a video of your 7/8 violin.