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Thumb tension
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John Rafeek
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June 16, 2014 - 4:49 pm
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When I play I often have a pain or tension in my thumb i try to lower my thumb but not works much it makes my vibrato stiffer and hard to play as the pain continues 
it is really an annoying problem any help

The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love.

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Mad_Wed
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June 16, 2014 - 6:16 pm
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Only one solution - relax your thumb.

It's hard i know, but anyway You have to!

One exercise i know, called "rub the violin's neck" - play something (schradieck or wohlfahrt exercises, scales or whatever You like to play as a warm ups) and while You playing, move your thumb, just like You want to rub the violin. You'll probably will be out of tune while doing it and make strange sounds, but it's the one thing that helped me to relax the thumb.

Good luck with it, You're not alone there!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 16, 2014 - 6:50 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Good advise Naska.
I would like to see a picture of your hand position when holding the violin. I may have an idea.

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Schaick
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June 17, 2014 - 8:01 am
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My Teach had me play without my thumb.  Actually holding it away from the violin.  It was difficult to do at first, but I learned you can play without your thumb!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

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FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 17, 2014 - 8:31 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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This is true. If nothing else it teaches you to be free. The violin still rests in your hand but in a freer different way.
I feel it's important to not be bound at the neck either. A nice connection with your jaw and collarbone but not necessarily any pressure there is optimal. I love the feeling of balance with the violin just resting and not taking up valuable energy. :)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
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John Rafeek
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June 17, 2014 - 4:50 pm
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The EV weight won't let my shoulders and chin only hold the violin but i will try to play without the thumb

The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 17, 2014 - 6:12 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I guess that is confusing. You need the thumb but not the top of the thumb and you don't need to squeeze. The violin rests between the thumb and rest of the hand. In that groove so to speak.

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

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John Rafeek
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June 17, 2014 - 7:18 pm
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FM I think I exactly understand what you mean

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RosinedUp
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June 17, 2014 - 10:40 pm
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I'm thinking that the root of the problem of thumb clenching is often or usually that the player doesn't feel secure in their hold.  They feel that the neck or the whole instrument is falling.  Some signs of a problemmatic hold: shrugging (raising) the left shoulder, neck pains, unusual or uncomfortable neck or chin posture, and an instrument that is heavier than normal.  I would look to the fit of the shoulder rest and chin rest.  Some people can do well without one or both, it seems.  Some others do without them for the sake of image, to the detriment of their playing and/or their health, IME.

If merely holding the instrument requires much use of muscles, you are making tension part of your normal playing. If, in holding, you are permanently using muscle tension to raise the shoulder, I think you should change something.

How long have you had this thumb clenching problem?

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John Rafeek
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June 18, 2014 - 8:59 am
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for long time it comes and goes sometimes when i play for long time but it happened on the acoustic

The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love.

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coolpinkone
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June 18, 2014 - 12:10 pm
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My thumb and grip... grrh.. it changes a lot.  I feel I have a good fit with my shoulder rest.  I like Naska's exercise that makes sense.  When I am practicing right now when I feel the grip,  I slow down  and open up my hand.  Looks silly but it reminds me to let go.  

When I play a song that I learned a year ago, it is funny sometimes the fingers remember that hold and death grip and that little pinky soldier.  I have to unlearn the incorrect grip that I learned when I learned that song.

Of course new songs, and new level of skill and I have new incorrect holds.

I am finally at a point where I stop and try to correct hold, grip, tone, wandering bow.

Keep up the good work John. 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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RosinedUp
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June 19, 2014 - 6:12 pm
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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 19, 2014 - 10:16 pm
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LOL,
That was funny, like seeing my video for the first time. I have a great memory, except very short. ;)

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

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John Rafeek
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June 20, 2014 - 7:01 pm
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Well thanks alot Fm and Ru that helps much

The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love.

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