Welcome to our forum. A Message To Our New and Prospective Members . Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.
A couple questions...
First, are you sure you are playing the B on the A string in tune? If you are, then C natural should be played right next to the first finger B, as in, your 2nd finger should touch your 1st finger to play that C. But if you are playing the B even a little sharp, you will not hit the C and your first finger will indeed be in the way.
To answer your question, there is nothing "dangerous" about playing the C by moving your first finger out of the way if you are able to play it smoothly. I am more concerned why you have to move it at all. The two positions are really not in the same place when played in tune.
The high B on the E string should be played with the 4th finger, and yes, it is a stretch. You need to practice that motion over and over, going from your G on the D string up to the B. Your only alternative is shifting to second position on the D string, but in this case it will not make sense to play that run from second position.
I am not sure what is hanging you up in measure 14. That run begins on A on the E string, first position and you should be able to walk down those notes relatively easy. It begins after the open A you play before that so you are not stretching for the high A on the E string. However, the G is natural, and is a whole step. You may be having stretch issues on that string, in which case you will need to repeatedly practice that.
Let me know if I am completely off on what I believe is your issues here.
- Pete -
If I do a G# there is no problem. I have been trying to hit the C and G naturals for many months now. If I could get my fingers a tad narrower, I would be fine. LOL
My only advise here is to play right on the tips of your fingers. And remember Itzhak Perlman's fingers are quite large, as you know, yet he plays all positions, all over the fingerboard at any speed. Not that we should be expected to play at that level, but just to point out it is possible.
As long as lifting the first finger for a second while I play the C or G naturals won’t cause a bad habit in the future, I will do that jus to get done with this song.
I am not saying this is a great way to play, or that I recommend it. But I do not see it causing you really terrible habits. I know that Perlman says he will play fingers on top of others when necessary. Do whatever feels right and allows you to hit the notes.
Somehow when I had my first lesson, I knew my instructor was going to do that song. I mentioned that to him. I told him I should have ripped it out of both books I have it in. 😂
I usually play ahead before my teacher presents a song for me to work on. We have a joke where I tell her whether I hate the song coming up... meaning, I have played it and it is more complicated than others. So she knows there will be work to be done on that song. LOL.. it's hilarious!!!
I think my issue is, or one issue is, I am having to control the violin itself because I cannot keep it tight enough under my jaw.
Yeah, this sounds like a setup problem. You should not be fighting your violin to stay balanced on your shoulder. This causes stress, tension and issues with your hold/reach, as in how you reach the notes. This will cause you nightmare intonation problems, and I suspect it is making some of those notes very difficult to properly play. I would be much more concerned about your chin rest and shoulder rest, more than whether you can place those fingers properly. You will be amazed at how maintaining proper control of your violin will relax your left hand and arm, allowing you to play notes correctly and naturally. This will also affect your vibrato tremendously... Even your bow arm is affected. This needs to be addressed.
Also, be aware that the goal is NOT to clamp down on the violin with your jaw. This is, in fact, counterproductive and it WILL cause you injury over time. You can certainly hold the violin with your chin, but this should be a natural, easy hold with no tension whatsoever. The concept is a combination, or partnership with your chin hold and a light left hand which cradles the neck of the violin, allowing you to effortlessly shift, switch, play naturally and beautifully. Everything depends on it.
Tension is always the enemy of string players.. ALWAYS! Find ways to eliminate tension... this will be your answer to just about every aspect of your playing.
Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.
Anytime!! You'll get this! It's a matter of just a little practice and proper hold.
- Pete -
Of course you might have fingers like Itzhak Perlman, but it's not likely. My thought was similar to @Pete_Violin. Make sure you're using the tips of your fingers. As beginners we tend to lay off our fingers somewhat. Have you asked your teacher about this? There are a number of ways to make adjustments, so he may be able to suggest something. Elbow angle, wrist angle, height of your hand on the fingerboard, how much the palm faces the fingerboard, etc. Can all affect this.
I apologize to have reiterated things you already know... I know you are aware of a lot of this... Sometimes I write with the idea that many people could be reading this and may need to hear some of it.
I know this will not be a miracle cure to get me to hit my mark with those issues but, it did make it less “strenuous” when doing it. I am hoping that I can come up with some kind of setup that will fit my current needs with the two chinrests and two shoulder rests I ordered from Fiddlershop and think will arrive tomorrow. It will certainly help me get used to the proper positioning of the second finger for those notes, and the stretch for the B on the E string. I won’t be fighting the setup, I will be concentrating on my playing.
After I did all of that and played through the rough patches over and over, I then created my own little exercise.
It's a matter of reversing the tension which you have become used to. Using better chin and shoulder rests will help this. You can consciously concentrate on relaxing. This will help to reverse the issue faster.
Does this make sense? I have forgone the martele bowing my instructor wanted me to do. I need to get those notes down pat first.
Yes, but make sure you can get to that bowing quickly. You will be surprised how quickly you can do this.
- Pete -