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Choosing Fingerings
Here's some help.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (3 votes) 
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ELCBK
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July 15, 2021 - 8:30 pm
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We are shown that different hand/finger positions can be played along the fingerboard. 

Sometimes it isn't very clear when we should use some of these. 

Here's an article by Penny Kruse at Violinist.com: 

Demystifying Violin Fingerings: Guidelines for Making Good Choices

It covers help choosing: 

  • String crossings. 
  • Open strings vs stopped notes. 
  • Using one finger for multiple notes. 
  • Shift vs slide. 
  • Using harmonics. 

While you're pondering where to place all 4 of your fingers, here's an article from The Strad by violinist Clayton Haslop. 

Why I Had To Learn To Play The Violin With Two Fingers

 

giphy.gif

 

Sometimes feel a little clumsy?

- Emily

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Mouse
July 15, 2021 - 8:33 pm
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Thank you, ELCBK

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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Hope it's helpful. 😊 

I forgot I wanted to share another linked article from the Violinist.com, about the 'Dreaded Pinkie', by Paul Stein. (lol)  It's a good thing, if you are capable of using your Pinkie.

We need to be kinder to our Pinkie! 

The Fiddler's Fear of The Fourth Finger

giphy.gif

 

No more torture!

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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July 16, 2021 - 1:27 am
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If your pinky rarely reaches far enough, it may be that your thumb is too close to the scroll.

There's also this idea: people tend to position their first finger and thumb then stretch "up" to their pinky. It's better to position pinky and thumb and then stretch "down" to the first finger.

I look forward to reading Penny's article in full, but it may be a bit too pedantic in places - where she says "don't use the same finger more than twice", I disagree. Sometimes glissandos are more than useful, e.g in Elgar's Salut d'Amour, where also there are several places where you can and should use the first finger 3 times in a row for semitone shifts/half shifts because bow direction changes mask them and prevent unwanted glissandi.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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@Gordon Shumway -

Thank you!  You got me thinking! 

https://www.memesmonkey.com/images/memesmonkey/52/52c25c9f85d97c5e369146264ccd954c.jpeg

 

I just realized, maybe I should mention this for Violinists new to trying Fiddle music.  

Fingering for Fiddle music - if you run across music where the fingering seems unnatural, consider that the tune may have been meant to be played cross tuned or tuned down. 

Many times no one tells ya! 🤣  

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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ELCBK said

Fingering for Fiddle music - if you run across music where the fingering seems unnatural, consider that the tune may have been meant to be played cross tuned or tuned down.  

Yes, this is possible.

Also something I wondered about the other day is music written for different instruments doesn't necessarily always work. A (folk) flute or banjo piece may not work on a fiddle. And some Vivaldi etc is very annoying to play on a piano.

I was looking at Django Reinhardt's Nuages a few months ago. I forget what the problem was, but it may have been to do with how many fifths there are in it, combined with chromatic scales - these aren't much of a problem on guitar, but they require quite a lot of technique on the violin if they are to work at all. It's easy to imagine Grappelli playing it in your head, but I think Django was the only one to play it. I'll look at it again some time.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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@Gordon Shumway -

I get that! 

Some accordion pieces can give me trouble on the violin - off hand I can think of at least one mazurka I really wanted to play that was hard for me as written, but luckily a found another Key to be sooo much easier. 

Of course, if I had to play along with that accordion key, maybe trying to harmonize might be an option vs difficult fingering.

So trying another Key might be an option, but I think if I had trouble finding an easier Key I would probably consider a different tuning, next. 

Do you know what tunings Django favored?

giphy.gif

 

I don't know much about guitars or what they might use for Jazz or Blues tunings.  I'd also have to think about what would work best for my 5 String. 

- Emily

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JohnG
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Suggestions wanted. For this measure would the best fingering be 1-3-2-2-1-2 or 1-3-2-1-1-2?

IMG_20211122_1517491382.jpgImage Enlarger

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The old curmudgeon!

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AndrewH
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I'd play it 1-3-2-2-1-2. Crossing strings to the same finger while shifting is awkward.

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stringy
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Are you talking about first position here John, if so I would play it in third which would be easier.

In third Andrew is bang on, in first it would be 3,1,4,4,1,2 fair stretch in first

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

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JohnG
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Sorry!!!!! That measure is on the ALTO clef, hence the confusion! Sorry!!!!!!

As such, it is first position.

The old curmudgeon!

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stringy
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didnt realise that, lol, I was sat here thinking thats fairly tricky

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

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JohnG
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@AndrewH - That's the way I've been playing it, but it seemed difficult to move from F# to F♮ with the same finger without sliding (or getting lost).

Thank you, guess I should keep practicing!

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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@JohnG -

You might find this chart helpful - I LOVE IT! 

First Position Viola Fingering Chart

 

https://1funny.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/turkey-cat.jpg

 

 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

- Emily

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Fiddlerman
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December 2, 2021 - 8:33 am
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JohnG said
Suggestions wanted. For this measure would the best fingering be 1-3-2-2-1-2 or 1-3-2-1-1-2?

IMG_20211122_1517491382.jpgImage Enlarger

  

Of your two options I would choose the first one. Gives you time to place the 1st finger on the G for better intonation. Also, your shift to the E natural would be a simple non audible half step movement. Not so sure about your E natural to G with the same finger. Both suggestions can be executed well in case the latter works better for you.

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

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Gordon Shumway
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JohnG said
@AndrewH - That's the way I've been playing it, but it seemed difficult to move from F# to F♮ with the same finger without sliding (or getting lost).

Thank you, guess I should keep practicing!

  

I agree with AndrewH and Fiddlerman. The thing about sliding on 2nd finger is that, with a little practice, you use the change in bow direction both to mask the slide and also to correct the intonation of the F♮. 

Andrew

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JohnG
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@AndrewH, @Fiddlerman, @Gordon Shumway, thank you all for your input, and that's the way I've continued to play it (not well, but I'm a work in progress).

The old curmudgeon!

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Fiddlerman
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December 29, 2021 - 3:25 pm
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Work in progress is all you need. 😁
Baby steps forward will inevitably lead to better playing.

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

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