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1st finger to 3rd and 4th Finger stretch issue
Hiw do you manage the 1st to 3rd or 4th finger stretch?
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March 3, 2019 - 2:47 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 2023
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I am wondering how you, as a cellist or cello student, tackled the issue of the long stretch between the index finger (1st) and ring finger (3rd) or 4th finger, without your index or 1st finger moving. I have been trying to do this all day. I had been moving my index finger forward to make reach since my first lesson in 2013. Three days ago I found out that is not the right way and will cause issues later.

My fingers will not stretch that far and at 64 1/2, my joints are not too willing to cooperate. How can I get to be able to do this? Going up the C scale is much harder with this issue than going down, for some reason. I Googled it and one cello instructor said he does not advocate 90° contact for finger to string because of this issue. He advocates a slight angle of your knuckles towards the nut end. This is easier, but it still does not allow my stretch from 1st to 3rd or 4th fingers without my 1st finger moving forward. I move it back very quickly after using the 3rd or 4th fingers. I am not sure my new instructor is an advocate of the angled version.

Allowing my 1st finger to do this, what issue will be encountered later?

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

New Hampshire
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March 7, 2019 - 10:07 am
Member Since: July 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 58
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One thing that has helped me with finger placement and movement is to get your thumb somewhat centered under your fingers. It will give you the ability to make the move from 1st to fourth finger easier. Also, it could be a matter of time and practice to get your hand muscles to open up and make the stretch easier.

March 7, 2019 - 10:35 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 2023
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The thumb part I have actually got down pretty good now. I struggled breaking my bad habit all week when my instructor mentioned it last week at our first lesson. He noticed the improvement yesterday.

He did give me a tip. It was actually something I read when I Googled the issue last week. I usually don’t like to do that so that I can be in line with my instructor.

If I angle my my index finger just a tad towards the nut, it will anchor that finger in place better. We were watching how my fingers land and he said that my natural finger span is almost perfect for the cello, but for some reason, I tense up when I hit the fingerboard. Probably because of the curve. It could be just from having that issue and it being on my mind. Maybe I can get rid of it over time and getting more comfortable.

I played my cello this morning and that angle does help. I just have to make it a natural position so I don’t have to pay attention to that. It really does help. 

Since I corrected my thumb issue, I noticed my thumb no longer gets sore. Yippee! 

It is great to finally have an instructor that pays attention to the mechanical aspects. I hope he continues on this route. Two lessons with him, even that is better than all my other lessons. I am much more excited this time and feel like I will actually get somewhere.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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