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Pinky Finger, D note, G string... Need a little help.
Need some input on my pinky finger...
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Pelagato
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July 17, 2014 - 5:14 pm
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Greetings... I am new to the whole violin scene, its a bit of a long story, but to make things shorter, lets say that I used to play Piano long time ago, then I drop it cuzz of some life stuff going on.Now I am back into music, playing once again Piano and hopefully I will get into violin too.

The thing is that after watching some video tutorials, hints and info about the violin and doing some of the fiddleman exercises... I notice I have some issues with my pinky finger in my left hand...

Its like reaching the D note in the G string is so hard, I feel like something is twisting in my wrist or somewhere  between my elbow and wrist when I try to reach the D note in the G string with the pinky finger... Its a very strange sensation...

I know intonation is hard to master but I have a hard time reaching the D note with the pinky finger, Ironically, I can reach the D note on the G string easier with the middle finger, but I suppose that is cheating.

I was wondering if you people care to share how you reach that D note in the G string  with the pinky finger... I was thinking on posting a picture about how I am doing it but I am so afraid of the embarrassment ...

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RosinedUp
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July 17, 2014 - 8:14 pm
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Congratulations on giving attention to the pinky early on.  I made a pretty big mistake early by avoiding its use.  I've mostly figured it out by now though.

The most basic concept for the left hand is that the posture of the whole left arm and the violin hold and even the posture of the whole body have to be arranged so the left hand fingers can do their work quickly, efficiently, and sustainably.  For one thing, that means, unless you are crossing strings or shifting, that movements other than finger movements should be minimized.  In particular, your hand shouldn't be moving or twisting much at all during fingering.  There are other details that I won't go into much, such as keeping the fingers curled and pressing the strings with the "left" sides of the fingertips.  That means left from your point of view as you play.

Now addressing your particular problem, unless your anatomy is unusual, the most important thing is to distribute the stretching between the first finger and the fourth finger.  The hand should not be too close to the nut.  That means the first finger has to be pulled in tight and square so as to reach back to its target.  Since you can keep the hand farther from the nut that way, the fourth finger doesn't have so far to reach, and that makes it way easier.  Practice fingering four notes on one string at the same time, and adjust everything else to accommodate that.  That will make it more likely that your hand position and general posture are close to optimal.

You are smart to look for wisdom on this and to not try to figure it out all by yourself.  You'll find great pictures and detailed explanations of it in Galamian's Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching, pages 14-18.   Ten bucks for a hardcopy or free pdf at

                    http://archive.org/details/pri.....viol00gala

My guess is that it's the best book ever written on violin fundamentals.

Edited Sun Jul 20 22:48:17 CDT 2014 to repair the link.

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Pelagato
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July 17, 2014 - 9:19 pm
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Hey, thx for the help... I look into that information and try out some of your hints...  I really need to sort this out...

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suresh
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July 18, 2014 - 12:16 pm
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Hi Pelagato!  Let us think differently.  What I am suggesting, is only for strengthening the pinky.  Put your little finger on 'D', go for 'A' with the first finger; repeat this quite often(no bowing) without causing any serious injury.  You can try this on all strings for the fourth and first finger notes.   Good luck and welcome to the forum. 

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 18, 2014 - 12:53 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Great tips RU,

In case it makes you feel any better Pelagato, that is your toughest reach and string until you get into more virtuoso music. Granted, the D# is more of a stretch but you have to start somewhere.
Hold your hand without the violin with your palm facing you. Now try to turn the hand clockwise (thumb away from you). As you notice it's not all that easy. Try the same thing while bringing your elbow to the right and you'll notice that the hand turns a bit automatically.
Without hurting yourself, when on the G string bring your elbow as much under the violin (to the right) as possible and see if this helps you.

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

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coolpinkone
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July 18, 2014 - 1:19 pm
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Great tips. I am  trying these tips this morning.  Thanks RU, Suresh and FM. :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Pelagato
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July 18, 2014 - 3:11 pm
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Omg... That just did it... The elbow, the thumb??? Reaching the D note on the G string is possible now..

 

Thx for the help....

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 18, 2014 - 6:25 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11706

Good deal :)

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

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Ferret
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July 20, 2014 - 10:19 pm
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@RosinedUp

I' getting an error on that link 

I'd really like to see it mate :)

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

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RosinedUp
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July 20, 2014 - 11:39 pm
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Ferret said
I' getting an error on that link 

Yeah, hmmm, it didn't work for me either.

I'll try again: http://archive.org/details/pri.....viol00gala

I "repaired" the link in my previous post, so hopefully they both work now.  All I did was paste the link in again though, and it didn't look any different to me.  I'll write it off as an anomaly in Wordpress or flakiness of the archive server.

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Pelagato
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July 21, 2014 - 12:05 am
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oh snap, i forgot to mention that the first time, I had to find it a bit manually in that very site... or at least that is how i got it a few days back... but hey, everything is back in business it seems...

Just in case, I have to get some strings...

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suresh
Tuticorin, India
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July 21, 2014 - 12:24 pm
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