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fat fingers
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Gordon Shumway
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August 31, 2019 - 6:06 am
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In Thursday's lesson it was found that my fingers are too fat to play a semitone between 3 and 4 in third position, so I have to learn how to budge them. Itzak Perlman had the same problem. I wish I had his talent.

Andrew

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MoonShadows
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August 31, 2019 - 6:43 am
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I also have Itzak's fat fingers, but not his talent. 

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

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cid
August 31, 2019 - 8:40 am
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Thought you might be interested in this.

Violinist Itzhak Perlman Talks About His Large Hands

There is also cello and viola 😂

I anticipate that problem as I move up the fingerboard. Although, I think that is already my issue with 1st position E flat, B flat, C and G. My index finger is in the way. One of the little ditties  in the book I have has a lot of C and B, or B and C action. I feel like when I stepped on my thumb and sprained it in school. 

So far, I don’t have that issue with cello, but we are working our way down the fingerboard with closer fingerings. I am hoping we run out of fingerboard before it is an issue. I am doing viola on my own, for now, so I am only doing 1st position songs. No fat finger getting in the way issues, yet.

Oh. I don’t think Itzhak Perlman would be willing to give up his talent to anyone, yet.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Pete_Violin
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All this did was make me feel pathetic for even complaining at all about my playing and how my hands are.... LOL!

I'm really kidding.  I cannot compare myself to these incredible musicians.  Their 30+ years to my 1 year, 9 months... It's simply an unrealistic comparison.

My hands are actually average and well suited to play violin.  My challenge is not the size, but rather my dexterity that I have to work on, which actually is good news because dexterity is something I can improve.  Physical size is not quite as easy to change.

- Pete -

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Gordon Shumway
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August 31, 2019 - 1:58 pm
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Perlman has big hands though - note how he doesn't need to move his thumb, whereas I have to take mine away from the neck completely and move it around the rib by the E string to get a high F/F#, which makes me afraid I'll drop the violin.

Andrew

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Jim Dunleavy
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I think many, if not most, players need to slide fingers about to get semitones up at 3rd position and beyond. The notes are just too close together.

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HP
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Indeed Jim, or have other issues regarding their hands. I've slim fingers, even in 4th position I got some wiggle room between semitones. Which is great I suppose. The problem is that my hands are so small that I have a hard time hitting anything higher than 6th position. No way that I would be able to play in 11th position. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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AndrewH
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September 2, 2019 - 5:47 am
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Gordon Shumway said
Perlman has big hands though - note how he doesn't need to move his thumb, whereas I have to take mine away from the neck completely and move it around the rib by the E string to get a high F/F#, which makes me afraid I'll drop the violin.

  

At this point, you may need to swing your elbow much farther to the right so that your entire hand is above the upper bout. If you do that, you should be able to reach at least 9th (most likely 11th) position with your thumb still in contact with the saddle. It may take a bit of time to train the flexibility to do it; don't rush it.

My fingers are probably shorter than yours -- I've literally never met any adult with shorter fingers than mine, including people as short as 4'8". I barely reach an octave on a piano. My thumb still stays in contact with the saddle all the way up to 9th position on a viola. My thumb is not under the neck at that point, but it also isn't all the way out on the rib. Note: when you're in that position, you may have more difficulty using the 4th finger, especially if you have a short pinky. I tend to avoid 4th finger in 5th position and beyond; I either shift or extend my 3rd finger when I can.

I actually have terrible hands for any string instrument. My fingers are both wide (on violin I start having to move my fingers out of the way to play semitones in 2nd position) and extremely short.

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starise
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September 2, 2019 - 8:04 pm
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Mt teacher had me slightly moving my fingers to the aside as a way to not hit strings I don't want to hit. It seems to help for people who feel they have larger fingers.

Perlman is a real source of inspiration to men that they can play both well and fast.He admitted in the video that it was a bit easier for someone with smaller fingers to play some of those higher positions. He never let it stop him.

I went through a phase where I was trying to convince my teacher it was my fingers. 

She never bought it lol.

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Pete_Violin
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starise said
Mt teacher had me slightly moving my fingers to the aside as a way to not hit strings I don't want to hit. It seems to help for people who feel they have larger fingers. 

@starise 

This plagues me constantly... not the size of my fingers, but hitting other strings.  It has gotten better, but I still have to deal with it.  Mostly when I am reading instead of watching my fingers.  I play a lot more cleanly if I look at my fingers, but I am trying to quit that habit.

Which direction do you move your fingers that is helping you avoid hitting strings?

- Pete -

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starise
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September 3, 2019 - 11:32 am
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Hi Pete,

More often I'm using 4th positions as a way to occasionally avoid hitting side strings in string crossings. It is a fine art that I haven't yet mastered. The concept is simply putting sideways pressure on a string when two fingers are down. Even just a few mm shift to the side can help.I'm generally moving away from the E string since this is the one that gets me a lot. Moving them too far can bend the tone and do other things so we are talking very minute moves. 

Sometimes it feels like cheating the system, but I do whatever works so long as I don't break any laws. BFF- Big fingered Folk? do whatever is necessary. My hands aren't especially big for a man but they are big for a woman whatever that means. Now a large handed woman will comment....I can't win. Ok - the most common women's hands are dainty in comparison to us would you not agree?

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cid
September 3, 2019 - 2:16 pm
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Oooh, @starise You are indeed skating on thin ice. Being a woman with hands that are not the skinny long size of those hands you constantly see in ads, etc, I believe there is a misconception of how many women actually do NOT have those skinny fingers and hands.

Why? Because women of average build, or healthy build, are not seen in ads, movies, photos, etc by millions upon millions of people. Because those few (in comparison to the number of women in the world) women are all that most people see. Therefore, people think that is the average woman size. There is definitely a bias against any woman who wears a size 10 or larger, does not have skinny hands, does not have a flawless face (I say get rid of the makeup and plastic surgeon), etc.

Phew! Sorry, it had to be said, lest more people started thinking the average woman has small skinny hands.

 The men I see around here have average hands, not really that much larger than the women. It varies. 

Had to be said, as you were expecting it and I did not want to let you down. roflol

This is all in semi-jest. No offense taken by the women generally having small hands. Tell me, if a woman has such small hands, how does a woman manage to do all that housework a woman does, the gardening, slap herself on the side of her head in disbelief so often because she cannot believe her husband did that, YET AGAIN? 

Wow, that was a lot of fun to type up. Hope it was as much fun to read. It was meant to be.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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starise
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September 3, 2019 - 2:58 pm
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cid, I stand corrected 🙂 

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cid
September 3, 2019 - 3:18 pm
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Starise, you may sit now. 😂

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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bocaholly
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Cid said:

Had to be said, as you were expecting it and I did not want to let you down. roflol

Wow, that was a lot of fun to type up. Hope it was as much fun to read. It was meant to be.

  

Cid for President!... what a fun read!

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cid
September 3, 2019 - 9:28 pm
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@bocaholly Thank you. Sometimes a thread eventually cries for some fun. Starise opened that fun door wide open with that post. What a hoot.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Pete_Violin
Utah
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September 3, 2019 - 9:29 pm
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I was ganna say something....

But I know better.

- Pete -

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Fiddlerman
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September 8, 2019 - 12:48 pm
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In positions it's common to budge fingers with the next finger to get an interval which is small enough.

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

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