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Finger pressure
I’m working on it.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (3 votes) 
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Katie M
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January 25, 2022 - 2:07 pm
Member Since: December 8, 2020
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I know one of the things  I struggle with is pressing way too hard on the finger board. I’ve been watching a Nathan Cole vid which is really good. I think I’ve found the pressure point where I get a clear sound but I’m finding I get a bit of a whistle. I’m wondering , how do I know if I’m not pressing hard enough or is the whistle where the hair isn’t catching the strings ? I’m definitely making progress and I think this will really pay off I’m just a bit unsure of the difference between the two.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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ELCBK
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January 26, 2022 - 5:56 am
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@Katie M -

Hope this helps (I've posted this a few times) - Prof William Fitzpatrick is still my favorite video for this. 

How much pressure to use on the violin with your left hand?

He shows you that you don't have to smash the strings to stop the vibration - my image of a 'bungee jumper'. (lol)

I try to keep in mind it takes VERY little pressure for the E string & more for the G string. 

...and every once in I while, I still have to take a few moments to remind myself that my left hand is supposed to be completely independent from my right hand. (lol) 

I still work on articulation. 

It's natural to want to press harder to 'accent', but I find it's really about the extra split second of time you sustain a note to accent is what's important - especially when faced with playing fast notes of equal value.   ...at least I'm trying to get better at this.

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Katie M
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January 27, 2022 - 5:33 pm
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Thanks for the link Emily.

I definitely feel better about my playing now that I’m paying attention to the finger pressure. I have to practice it everyone I play. It feels much more relaxed and liberating .. I think.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 4, 2022 - 11:03 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15989

Though it's common that players press more than they have to, there is a time to put down more pressure. With too little pressure your sound will suffer. To get an idea of what I am talking about, do a bit of experimenting. Play with your finger lightly pressing on the string and then do the same thing with more pressure and you'll see a difference.
A deep juicy sound usually not only comes from your instrument, bow, volume, vibrato, but also from good solid downwards pressure.
I'm not saying that you should press hard or not work on pressing less, just that you should avoid going too far in the direction.
A time for not pressing hard is when you play fast. Unless you want the crisp hammered fingerboard sound, you press less and lift less. 😁

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

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Katie M
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February 4, 2022 - 2:20 pm
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I love your advice Fiddlerman much appreciated!! I am working on an epic piece at the moment  that I’ll put in critique corner in a few weeks time! Also on vibrato  which is hard going ! I’m taking it slow. Thanks again 

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ELCBK
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February 4, 2022 - 3:50 pm
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@Katie M -

Glad you aren't giving up on the vibrato! 

I'm still doing some every day, all over the fingerboard - it's slowly feeling more natural, even on my Viola.  

Btw, how long have you had your strings on? 

I've mentioned elsewhere on the forum - when I start feeling like I need to press more than usual, it can be time for me to put on new strings. 😊

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Katie M
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February 4, 2022 - 5:25 pm
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Emily , had them on 4 months. Yes my vibrato hard to explain but if I do a slow bow I can do 16 oscillations in 3rd position. I’m practicing in 1st position too. I think it’s getting a bit more controlled maybe less erratic.. maybe .. who knows !! I’m not really in a hurry to get it into my pieces just doing the exercises,

Thanks for the update on yours… sounds like it’s going well. 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 23, 2022 - 2:26 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15989

@Katie M - I'm glad to hear it. Looking forward to following your progress. 😁

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

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