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Fingering questions: ok to touch adjacent strings & other questions
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thrashercharged
Kokomo, IN
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December 22, 2011 - 5:19 pm
Member Since: December 20, 2011
Forum Posts: 12
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Actually, I've a few related fingering queastions. As a beginner, I tend to put all my lower fingers on the string.  For instance, if I'm playing a G on the D string (1st position, 3rd finger) I usually put fingers 1 & 2 on that D string too as it helps with my intonation to find the right spot.  I don't necessarily press down very much with fingers 1 & 2 but they're in position. Is this ok, or a bad habit to get into?

 

Second question: I find the placement of the 4th finger to usually be a bit lower than I'd expect to get the proper note. It's low enough that I usually have to slide my hand towards the bridge a bit, enough that I lose the proper placement on fingers 1-3 (i.e. they'd be sharp). Should I move my whole hand, or should I be trying to keep my hand in place where fingers 1-3 are right where they should be and try to get some more separation between finger 3 and 4?  This is much harder for me to do.  It seems fingers 2 and 3 just fall naturally in place (relative to finger 1) but my natural placement of 4 is always flat.  

 

Third question: I noticed my fingers tend to touch adjacent strings.  For example, when I play an "A" on the D string (in 1st position with the 4th finger) one of my other fingers is touching that A string slightly - usually finger 1. So if I wanted to play that open A, I always need to lift the offending finger and get it out of the way. Is this ok, or should I strive to place each finger very cleanly on only the string it's suppose to be on?  I suppose this relates to my first question as I wouldn't have this problem if I kept my unused fingers off the strings entirely.

 

Thanks for any responses!  I wish I'd stumbled on this site sooner!  Would have loved to participate in the Christmas project, if only to contribute to the beginners portion!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 22, 2011 - 6:21 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

thrashercharged said

Actually, I've a few related fingering queastions. As a beginner, I tend to put all my lower fingers on the string.  For instance, if I'm playing a G on the D string (1st position, 3rd finger) I usually put fingers 1 & 2 on that D string too as it helps with my intonation to find the right spot.  I don't necessarily press down very much with fingers 1 & 2 but they're in position. Is this ok, or a bad habit to get into?

 Great to do this. No problem at all. Keep fingers down and lift only when necessary. Lift as little as possible too.

Second question: I find the placement of the 4th finger to usually be a bit lower than I'd expect to get the proper note. It's low enough that I usually have to slide my hand towards the bridge a bit, enough that I lose the proper placement on fingers 1-3 (i.e. they'd be sharp). Should I move my whole hand, or should I be trying to keep my hand in place where fingers 1-3 are right where they should be and try to get some more separation between finger 3 and 4?  This is much harder for me to do.  It seems fingers 2 and 3 just fall naturally in place (relative to finger 1) but my natural placement of 4 is always flat.  

Keep your hand in one position and learn to extend the fourth finger or bring your arm around a little more to extend your reach. If you come around a little more, your fourth finger might even land more on the tip instead of flat. Flat is not bad but it makes it harder to vibrate while pulling back.

Third question: I noticed my fingers tend to touch adjacent strings.  For example, when I play an "A" on the D string (in 1st position with the 4th finger) one of my other fingers is touching that A string slightly - usually finger 1. So if I wanted to play that open A, I always need to lift the offending finger and get it out of the way. Is this ok, or should I strive to place each finger very cleanly on only the string it's suppose to be on?  I suppose this relates to my first question as I wouldn't have this problem if I kept my unused fingers off the strings entirely.

It's fine to cover several strings with one finger. If you are playing a G with your third finger on the D string and want to play it together with the open A, simply cover the G and D string instead of D and A. There are occasions when you need to be on the tips of your fingers and just touch one string but not often. I play a lot of Bach and even with all the chords I can touch several strings simultaneously. Often you need to cover several strings for the chord anyway.

Thanks for any responses!  I wish I'd stumbled on this site sooner!  Would have loved to participate in the Christmas project, if only to contribute to the beginners portion!

You're welcome and those are great questions BTW.

exactly

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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thrashercharged
Kokomo, IN
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December 24, 2011 - 1:17 am
Member Since: December 20, 2011
Forum Posts: 12
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Thanks for the quick response.  I think I may not be keeping my left wrist straight enough, I tend to bend it and rest the neck on my lower palm, but I feel I need to do that to support the fiddle.  Perhaps I need a shoulder rest?

 

I've been predominantly playing my Cecilio Silent Electric lately and being thinner than a normal violin I could probably really benefit from a shoulder rest.  I notice you (FM) use one in your video, but I'm curious, how does it fit back in the case with a shoulder rest attached?  I assume the shoulder rest isn't something you take on and off every time the fiddle goes back in it's case?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 24, 2011 - 7:43 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Actually the shoulder rest is easy to take off and you must take it off in order not to put unnecessary pressure on the bridge. I usually don't use a shoulder rest but almost have to on the Cecilio Electric Violin without a better chin-rest. Since I don't normally use one I had to use one of the cheap ones that came with the other Cecilio violins. I suggest trying to find a good chinrest such as the Stuber that I have on my fiddle and then figuring out what you need under. A shoulder-rest, or pad.......

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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screeeech
Regular advisor
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December 24, 2011 - 2:00 pm
Member Since: December 14, 2011
Forum Posts: 196
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Awesome questions I really needed the answers too. Thanks

dancing

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