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Oops. Ouch. No little pinky :)
No, I have not 'lost' my pinky lol
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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September 27, 2014 - 1:37 am
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What if I have had an horrific accident and lost my right 'pinky'?

Could I ever become a good violinist without a 'pinky' to put on my bow? Or am I doomed to forever to be a 'mediocre' player at best? :)

Please keep replies within the idea that there is 'no' pinky :)

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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Feathers
Colorado, USA
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September 27, 2014 - 2:19 am
Member Since: November 22, 2012
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You most definitely would not be doomed. smile

I realize these are some extreme examples, but it might help put things into a slightly different perspective.

Here's three guys with no pinky:

 

Adrian Anantawan

 

Leonard Smith

 

Luther Caldwell

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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Barry
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September 27, 2014 - 7:28 am
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are you familiar with Siobhan Peoples ? The daughter of the great Irish fiddler Tommy Peoples  ? she plays with just two fingers and if any of us can get half as good as her we'll be doing alright. Here is a a little from her interview with fiddler magazine :

 

You've had some trouble with your left hand?

I lost the power of two fingers -- just for fiddle playing. They're perfect otherwise. It's just such a controlled space and a very small space, very limited, and the hand just kind of said "No." It was like that for a long time and just progressively got worse. I went to lots of people who could tell me what it wasn't, but there didn't seem to be much of a fix for it. So I just developed my own style of playing after that, which is basically with two fingers. I use these two, my index and middle finger mainly, and I have some little power back in this [ring finger] now, so I could use that for high B's. I'm going between first and second position all the time; it's not as difficult as it sounds. If you saw it, you wouldn't actually notice it. I position between the two, so it's all in the wrist.

And you can still get the rolls and the ornaments?

There's lots of things I can't do.

When did you first have that trouble?

When I was about sixteen or seventeen, I'd get a cramp, but it would be gone after a couple of minutes. Then a couple of years later it just kind of gave up altogether. I think a lot of it was panic. When I'd take out the fiddle I'd just tense up because I didn't know what was going to happen; you couldn't rely on it to be right.

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 27, 2014 - 1:13 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11702

Basically the pinky on top of the stick allows you to lift the bow to reduce pressure, especially useful at the frog. That is not to say that you must use it that way. Whatever works for you is great..... Obviously, players can achieve greatness without it. :)

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

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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September 27, 2014 - 10:26 pm
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Fiddlerman said
Basically the pinky on top of the stick allows you to lift the bow to reduce pressure, especially useful at the frog. That is not to say that you must use it that way. Whatever works for you is great..... Obviously, players can achieve greatness without it. :)

@Fiddlerman 

But can't this be done with he 'ring' finger? It's what I've been doing, or attempting to do.

I find that my pinky 'hovers' near the bow, and sometimes even touches it lightly.

However, as soon as I try to make 'continuous' contact, my wrist seems to lock and I loose my wrist flexibility. Something even worse than not having the pinky on the bow IMO.

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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DanielB
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September 27, 2014 - 11:03 pm
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Well, I'd say that if someone lost their bow hand pinky finger, then they might look into other bow holds.  The pinky does serve a pretty important purpose in the Franco-Belgian bow hold.  But that isn't the only way to hold a bow, just the one that is most popular in current times. 

But there are certainly other bow holds, and they have been used by some really excellent players.  You just have to look around a bit.  Check this guy out. His bow hand pinky sure isn't staying on the top of the stick.  Doesn't seem to hurt his playing, though.. 

"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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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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September 28, 2014 - 1:08 pm
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Yep, i believe You can be awesome without pinkie.

No, i don't think keeping pinkie all the time on the stick is necessary.

And definitelly it IS very helpful if You use it.

PS> If You are so lucky to have all of the 5, then ring finger is better to use for control of horizontal bow movements, and also very useful for staccato/spiccato. =)

If one doesn't have some of those - one have to adapt in any other acceptable way.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 28, 2014 - 4:33 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11702

Yes John. :)

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

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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September 29, 2014 - 3:40 pm
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Great discussion on the pinkie on the bow.  I have even heard conversations that explicitly tell the student where on the bow to place the pinky.  And it wasn't put as a choice.  It is always good to see how others are playing and some of the most beautiful music that can be achieved with different bow holds.

I, for now have that pinky perched on the tip as I was told by my teach... but I find it wants to be rebellious at times.

I also was conflicted with my fingers on the bow. My teacher was telling me to spread them out.. and I was instructed here on the forum to put them closer... I asked my teacher at the time and her comment was.."I am your teacher right.?"   :)

Anyway... I love to hear all the input and see the videos on technique. 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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suresh
Tuticorin, India
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September 30, 2014 - 1:17 am
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If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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suresh
Tuticorin, India
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September 30, 2014 - 1:51 am
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If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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