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Can't Make My Wrist Turn Enough For G String
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Teska
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February 27, 2015 - 10:28 pm
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Hi, everyone. I've been learning the violin and noticed that I can't turn properly without discomfort in the left wrist when I'm trying to play any notes on the G string. I've tried looking online for information on this and although I did find little information on it, it did not help.

Has anyone had any experience with a wrist that won't turn all the way? I would love to know a solution to this. Thank you!

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MrYikes
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February 27, 2015 - 10:53 pm
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I'm not really good enough to give a reasonable response, but I'll do it anyway.  I just went through the same experience and made adjustments to eliminate the problem.  Without a chin or shoulder rest, I put my chin on the right side of the tailpiece, which moved the violin rearward and made it more difficult to reach over to the g string and I soon had pain in the shoulder.  I put a chin rest on, putting my chin on the left side of the tailpiece and I also point the violin more correctly.  The pain has stopped.
If the violin is pointed towards the front, it is more difficult to play.

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Fiddlestix
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February 27, 2015 - 11:31 pm
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@Teska:  You need to tuck your left elbow in closer to your tummy. That will allow your left wrist to turn over more on top of the strings, which will make it easier to finger the D and G strings.

 

Ken.

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Ripton
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February 27, 2015 - 11:31 pm
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gotta follow this, I have the same challenge with my C string. Outside of exercises and stretching not sure. Will watch other responses. ==

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Uzi
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February 27, 2015 - 11:48 pm
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Welcome to the site, @Teska.  First, if you are holding the violin correctly, with a correctly adjusted chin rest and/or shoulder rest, there is really no reason to turn your wrist to play any of the strings.  Throughout, the wrist should remain essentially straight.  I'll include a video clip showing you how to properly hold the violin, just in case you aren't holding it correctly.  

To reach the G string more easily, however,   move your left elbow a bit more toward the center of your body.  As you do that it moves your hand farther across the fingerboard.

While holding your violin in the playing position, hold your fingers over the fingerboard in a natural position. Then move your left elbow a bit farther toward the center of your body and notice that your hand moves in the direction of the G string.  Move your elbow a bit away from the center of your body and you'll notice that your fingers shift toward the E string.  There are really no contortions of any kind required to play the violin correctly and any unnatural or painful feeling (assuming no physical disabilities) indicates that what you are doing is incorrect in some way.

To make sure you initial set up is correct:

 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Fiddlestix
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February 28, 2015 - 12:09 am
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Uzi said

To reach the G string more easily, however,   move your left elbow a bit more toward the center of your body.  As you do that it moves your hand farther across the fingerboard.

 Then move your left elbow a bit farther toward the center of your body and notice that your hand moves in the direction of the G string.  

Is that not what I said ?

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DanielB
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February 28, 2015 - 2:59 am
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Teska, you haven't mentioned how long you've been learning to play. 

If you just started recently, it can take some time to develop the necessary flexibility.  The moves are within the normal range of movements the human body is capable of, but you as an individual may need to work up to it a bit for making the G string reach. 

Kinda like if you've ever taken a yoga class or known anyone who did.  At first one can't do all the moves or do them very far, but over even a few weeks more flexibility develops as the body gets used to it. 

A lot of teachers don't start beginners on the G string, because it is a bit of a reach and it will come easier after the body gets more used to the wrist being turned that way.  Some folks are naturally flexible enough to do it easily or have done other activities in life that developed a greater degree of flexibility, while others need to take a bit more time and work up to it.

If you are running into discomfort, I would really suggest not pushing it too hard.  You can injure yourself enough that it can be a while before you can play comfortably again, or even play at all until you heal.  Patience is a virtue you need with this instrument, especially in the early stages.

You've gotten some good advice from the folks who have replied here about elbow position and instrument angle and etc.  If you are following all that and you still can't reach that G without discomfort, then work on the other strings until you've given your body a chance to get used to turning the wrist like that.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Uzi
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February 28, 2015 - 10:26 am
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Fiddlestix said

Uzi said
To reach the G string more easily, however,   move your left elbow a bit more toward the center of your body.  As you do that it moves your hand farther across the fingerboard.

 Then move your left elbow a bit farther toward the center of your body and notice that your hand moves in the direction of the G string.  

Is that not what I said ?

I opened the editor before you posted your response. Please accept my apology for having the same opinion on the subject.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Fiddlestix
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February 28, 2015 - 12:29 pm
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Uzi said

Fiddlestix said

Uzi said
To reach the G string more easily, however,   move your left elbow a bit more toward the center of your body.  As you do that it moves your hand farther across the fingerboard.

 Then move your left elbow a bit farther toward the center of your body and notice that your hand moves in the direction of the G string.  

Is that not what I said ?

I opened the editor before you posted your response. Please accept my apology for having the same opinion on the subject.

There's no apology needed here, Uzi. Sometime's I read a thread then post without reading all the other comments, not saying this is what happened here.

Please forgive me if I sounded out of tune. It certainly wasn't meant that way.

 

Ken.  cheers

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Teska
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March 1, 2015 - 7:04 pm
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DanielB said
Teska, you haven't mentioned how long you've been learning to play. 

I've been officially learning the violin for about 6-7 months now. I used to learn it on and off but I wasn't dedicated. Thank you all for your replies, I'm going to try out this technique and see if that works. Hopefully it does!

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