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Pinky Gremlin
Need your opinions.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 

September 16, 2022 - 4:38 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 6235
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How & how much do you use your pinky on your bow?

I need to figure out if I'm getting too anal about this, because I had honestly thought I'd gotten past all my pinky problems. 🤨 

What really disturbed me - I saw in my En La Mar video I'd completely changed the way I've been using my pinky on my bow.  I wasn't feeling very good that day, but seems I've gone from nice springy contact that I'd worked so hard on last year, to stiff finger laying on top of the bow!  ...and I'm pretty sure that affected my tone. 

I've had a terrible problem with not feeling like recording this year, partly just getting to know my 5-string Viola (Edgar) & partly feeling apathetic, because it's only after I play something fairly well I think, "oh, yeah - too bad I didn't record that". 

I'm beating myself up a bit here, because I'm aware that recording can help catch problems before they become bad habits - feel I should know better. 😔

Anyway, decided to take a closer look at one of the videos I submitted for County Down.  At least my pinky is relaxed here, but I think it has become pretty USELESS! 



Don't I need to have the tip of my pinky finger resting on the top of the stick? 


In the long run, will my playing & tone suffer if my pinky doesn't join the rest of the family? 

...of course, now it feels so friggin' unnatural to try to do it any other way. 😖 

So, is it worth trying to fix my pinky?

- Emily


September 17, 2022 - 4:07 pm
Member Since: August 23, 2020
Forum Posts: 1677
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looks good to me, sounds good too.

I confess most of the time I dont use my little finger at all, a fiddler on you tube said its not really needed for fiddle tunes, dont know if thats ttue, but I feel a lot more comfortable only using it for classical stuff. With fiddle music it was making my hand lock up with no flexibility.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]


September 17, 2022 - 7:18 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 6235
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@stringy -

Thank you. 

I started feeling too culpable... and mad, that I let a lot of work go down the drain - but also afraid I'd miss out on something down the road, so worked on changing it last night & today.

It's ridiculous, how just changing from the pad of the finger to the tip seems like such a big ordeal to me. 😣 

Suppose at least one good thing coming out of all this focus - nice sense of getting back in touch with my right hand.  I was too concerned with my left hand & the fingerboard to notice anything else - my right hand could've snuck off to rendezvous with someone else's hand, for all I know. (lol)

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hmLJRxqkeO8/UbJ0biSiayI/AAAAAAAANI0/LFRMkvpyMSQ/s1600/Head+and+Rear+Meeting.jpgImage Enlarger


September 27, 2022 - 7:56 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 6235
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Here it is, 10 days later... 

I feel it's worth mentioning that it is NOT, in any way, easy for me to change my bow grip - even though I'm only trying to return to something I was previously doing correctly!!! 

Don't know how, or when, I went astray, but for right now - it's annoying, I really have to focus.  I still have to make sure I can FEEL where my fingers are on the bow - AT ALL TIMES.  When I don't focus, I slip back to the video position!   

Also, it was actually more than just my pinky that I had to change. 

My middle 2 fingers were off!  My fingerpads were NOT resting on the side of the frog! 

I looked at my video, again, slowed it down to .5 speed - and sure enough, right at 0:51, this is confirmed.  My 2 middle fingers were up on the stick - NOT along side the frog! 

Turns out, it's really those 2 middle fingers I have to focus on, right now - when they are down over the eye of the frog far enough (and my hand is relaxed), it's easier to keep my pinky in the right spot. 


I do notice I sound better... hope it doesn't take too many more weeks to make sure I keep it that way! 😞  


I don't believe it's easy for anyone to change anything they've been doing, playing the violin! 



- Emily

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