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The Correct Way to Put your Fingers Down?
Can't get ringing sound on the d string
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Meowch
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September 14, 2012 - 6:56 pm
Member Since: September 8, 2012
Forum Posts: 7
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Hi all,

I have a question about the way you place your finger on the strings. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're generally supposed to use the left side of the tip of your finger, right? You don't place the whole pad of your finger down, and you don't place the entire tip of the finger, just a bit of the left-ish side of it. This way you can put down the other three fingers comfortably.

I've been practicing intonation using ringing notes, and I noticed that with the first finger on the d string (e), I can only get a ringing note if I place the entire tip of my finger down on it. As soon as I change to the left-tip, I can't get a ringing sound no matter where I put my finger. I've tried it a billion times, and it just won't work. Actually, I have a harder time in general getting my notes to ring on the d string. I can get it to work sometimes with the third finger on d, but it takes a lot more effort than all the other strings, except when I use all of the tip. Then it comes easy, but my understanding is that this is not the correct way to place your finger on the string.

Anybody have an idea why? Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? Or do I need to change strings? The strings are at least a year old, but I've only started to actually play the violin around mid-July and August. My play time varied, but generally it was about an hour or two a day, skipping a few days sometimes.

Any advice is welcome. Thanks a bunch :)

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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September 14, 2012 - 11:08 pm
Member Since: June 25, 2012
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Meowch said
Hi all,

I have a question about the way you place your finger on the strings. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're generally supposed to use the left side of the tip of your finger, right? left side or right side if you are playing double stops to avoid hitting another string you are also ringing. You don't place the whole pad of your finger down, and you don't place the entire tip of the finger, just a bit of the left-ish side of it. It is best to learn to use the tip for accuracy of intonation. that being said plenty of people play with thier pads, they just adjust for the intonation. This way you can put down the other three fingers comfortably. if you cant press the strings comfortably then you are holding it wrong.

I've been practicing intonation using ringing notes, and I noticed that with the first finger on the d string (e), I can only get a ringing note if I place the entire tip of my finger down on it. As soon as I change to the left-tip, I can't get a ringing sound no matter where I put my finger. I've tried it a billion times, and it just won't work. Actually, I have a harder time in general getting my notes to ring on the d string. I can get it to work sometimes with the third finger on d, but it takes a lot more effort than all the other strings, except when I use all of the tip. Then it comes easy, but my understanding is that this is not the correct way to place your finger on the string. The only correct way is to achieve an in tune note. there are lots of opinions and ways to do this. Some are more efficient than others. FM has some great video tutorials on this.

Anybody have an idea why? Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? Or do I need to change strings? The strings are at least a year old, but I've only started to actually play the violin around mid-July and August. My play time varied, but generally it was about an hour or two a day, skipping a few days sometimes. make sure your strings dont have a glazed over buildup of rosin. mine has been doing this lately, clean it off and the string rings nicer. All you have to do is press the string enough to damp it (shorten it and stop it from vibrating past your finger). so when you attempt to press with the side of your finger, you arent damping it enough, so you get a dull sound. I liken the correct finger orientation to that of a trumpet player, slighly turned towards you but from the above down. I find that I am much more accurate and faster when my fingers are poised at the ready. FM has great vids that show all this. I assume you have rosined your bow. If you are trying to play a double stop you dont aim for the string rather the space next to it on the side where no string is being played or a lower note isnt being played. FM has a vid on double stops too.

Any advice is welcome. Thanks a bunch :)

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 14, 2012 - 11:55 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

You can play with the tip or the flesh. It all depends on what you want to do. With the flesh of your fingers you get a fatter juicier sound with great vibrato. With the fingertips you can get a clear solid sound (Maybe that is what you mean by ringing notes) and if you press hard enough the sound will sustain. Also, using the fingertips gives more clarity in real fast passages.

Left side of the finger is more for the purpose of strength and balancing the finger angles from having to come around the neck of the fiddle.

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

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