FORUM

Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Rising Left Pinky Finger
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (10 votes) 
Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
November 14, 2018 - 10:12 am
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 551
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I have progressed to the point where my weekly drills call for extensive use of the left pinky finger (fifth finger including the thumb).  I noticed today that the pinky remains close to the fingerboard when I use the ring finger, but lifts substantially skyward when I press down with the middle or second finger.  It seems to be an unintentional reflex.  It is like the pinky thinks I am holding a cup at a formal tea.  

I would think that they all should be immediately available for use hovering slightly above the strings.  Is what I am experiencing normal or should I drill myself to get out of this habit?

If wisdom were offered me with the proviso that I should keep it shut up and refrain from declaring it, I should refuse.  There’s no delight in owning anything unshared.  —Seneca

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

Avatar
Andrew Shumway
London, England
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
November 14, 2018 - 12:57 pm
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 334
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You just need to work on Pierre's dexterity exercises, I think.

Pinkies need training on a lot of instruments, as they are physically the weakest finger.

I find that to get a strong, clean, pure tone requires quite a lot of work on careful pinky placement and controlled pressure. Slightly less with the ring finger, but still a little more than the first and second fingers.

There is a physiological issue with how many tendons there are in the back of the hand and how many fingers they control, but I don't think I've ever seen it mentioned in reference to music, so I guess it's irrelevant.

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

Avatar
Bella86
Sweden
Advanced member
Members
November 14, 2018 - 3:54 pm
Member Since: June 12, 2017
Forum Posts: 73
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I've seen/heard people mention that fingers flying into the air when pressing a different one down means you're pressing too hard. But I am not convinced of this, not that it's the reason with everyone. My pinkie goes up too but not always and it does it even if I don't press hard, so I think it's about dexterity and tendons. I think mine does it always when putting down 2nd finger, but I haven't practiced in almost a week so I'm not entirely sure.

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
November 14, 2018 - 4:02 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 551
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Bella86.  I am not using a lot of force on the string.  I can work on it but I don’t want to create a new behavior (looking at hand while playing) to defeat this behavior (flying pinky).

If wisdom were offered me with the proviso that I should keep it shut up and refrain from declaring it, I should refuse.  There’s no delight in owning anything unshared.  —Seneca

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 15, 2018 - 11:12 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13725

Andrew Fryer said
You just need to work on Pierre's dexterity exercises, I think..........

I started doing stretches recently and can assure you that the only dexterity I have is my left arm/hand.... If I try to do the same things with the right arm, it's a big joke. LOL

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

Avatar
Andrew Shumway
London, England
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
November 15, 2018 - 4:12 pm
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 334
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

These are the ones I'm talking about, in case you haven't found them, Irv.

Playing them and monitoring your pinky should work a treat.

Or maybe it's your hand position - it's surprising how many things change  when you get it right - do you have a teacher? Today I had a lesson, and we did the G harmonic minor scale over two octaves. I always had big difficulty getting from the Eb on the A string to the F# on the E string - that first finger just couldn't reach. Turns out it was my hand placement. When I got my left elbow across and rotated my left forearm a lot more, that also repositioned my forefinger (i.e. not just my pinky) and brought it round to where I wanted it. (that was from memory. I'll have to get the fiddle out later and check I haven't written rubbish)

Fiddlerman said

I started doing stretches recently and can assure you that the only dexterity I have is my left arm/hand.... If I try to do the same things with the right arm, it's a big joke. LOL  

Do you mean play left-handed? There's a twoset violin video where that's one of the challenges. It's pretty funny.

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
November 15, 2018 - 6:01 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 287
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Can you think of it in terms of keeping a consistent hand shape?

One suggestion: for me, at first, it was easiest to drill hand shape by getting used to moving my fingers independently in the air with no instrument. Then I progressed to guitar-like position where I'd start to feel the resistance of the string, and finally at the shoulder.

Avatar
mookje
The Netherlands
Members

Regulars
November 15, 2018 - 10:17 pm
Member Since: July 29, 2018
Forum Posts: 129
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

My pinky is also raising up, I’m working on dexterity excercises now. I saw that there where already excercises mentioned above! Good luck with practicing 😃

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

Avatar
bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
Members

Regulars
November 16, 2018 - 7:02 am
Member Since: July 8, 2018
Forum Posts: 333
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Irv said
... I don’t want to create a new behavior (looking at hand while playing) to defeat this behavior (flying pinky).  

@Irv, You mentioned this a couple of days back and I've been thinking about it.

My take is that we have different phases in our practice routine. For example I begin my practice by bowing open strings while looking in a mirror. Part of that is useful. But obviously I don't want to ingrain the bit that involves turning my head to the right to see the mirror and don't think there's much risk there.

Similar with my efforts to relax my left hand and keep 4 fingers hovering closer to the finger board all the time. I start those exercises looking at my hand. After a few minutes, I'll focus on the Schradieck exercise book to continue variations of the same. Every now and then, I'll look back at my hand for a short passage of the exercise. 

I hope more experienced players will continue to chime in but I've noticed that accomplished players also glance at their left hand when it suits them. Conveniently, we can play so that the fingerboard and our sheet music are both pretty much in our line of sight simultaneously dancing

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
November 16, 2018 - 10:34 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 551
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

I just got done looking at some Alison Sparrow videos on YouTube, and her pinky was moving around a lot more than mine.  So I am starting to think that I have 99 problems and my pinky is not one of them.

If wisdom were offered me with the proviso that I should keep it shut up and refrain from declaring it, I should refuse.  There’s no delight in owning anything unshared.  —Seneca

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

Avatar
Shane "Chicken" Wang
Regular advisor
Members

Regulars
November 17, 2018 - 12:45 am
Member Since: October 25, 2018
Forum Posts: 156
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Irv said
I just got done looking at some Alison Sparrow videos on YouTube, and her pinky was moving around a lot more than mine.  So I am starting to think that I have 99 problems and my pinky is not one of them.  

@Irv That's one of those things that has really been bugging me. I watched 8 different teachers show 8 different ways of doing things, each one acts as if their way is the only right way and if you watch them in several videos, it is as if they missed their on video. 

I am at the conclusion that Bruce Lee's philosophy of "keep what you can use and let the rest go" may solve a lot of my problems. I have to work on relaxing, letting go of the death grip. I did discover today that the practice mute keeps the bow from jumping the bridge and hitting me in the nose, so there's my stepping stone. 

Avatar
Andrew Shumway
London, England
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
November 17, 2018 - 4:32 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 334
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Andrew Fryer said
 maybe it's your hand position

I realised last night that I have exactly the opposite problem - my pinky's OK; it's my index finger that sticks up in the air!

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

Avatar
pchoppin
Utah
Advanced member
Members
November 17, 2018 - 7:04 am
Member Since: March 25, 2018
Forum Posts: 89
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

I tend to agree with @Shane "Chicken" Wang on this.  I do not wish to minimize your concerns, @Irv but I also allow certain fingers to raise during play and it’s not my biggest issue.  It depends on many factors.  And, indeed, in most cases you want to keep your fingers down, the purpose being, among others, to help intonation and to anticipate notes played on the next measures.  

However, I may correct my fingering in this manner if specific problems arise due to where my fingers are.  For example, if I am not getting smooth transition from note to note, if intonation is a problem on notes preceding or after any note with fingering issues, is the fingering causing any kind of timing or distracting issues at all. 

If there is a problem with a particular area I will practice it with the finger down over and over until I play it correctly.  

- Pete -

Avatar
Andrew Shumway
London, England
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
November 17, 2018 - 8:04 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 334
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

pchoppin said
I tend to agree with @Shane "Chicken" Wang on this.  I do not wish to minimize your concerns, @Irv but I also allow certain fingers to raise during play and it’s not my biggest issue.  It depends on many factors.  And, indeed, in most cases you want to keep your fingers down, the purpose being, among others, to help intonation and to anticipate notes played on the next measures.  

However, I may correct my fingering in this manner if specific problems arise due to where my fingers are.  For example, if I am not getting smooth transition from note to note, if intonation is a problem on notes preceding or after any note with fingering issues, is the fingering causing any kind of timing or distracting issues at all. 

If there is a problem with a particular area I will practice it with the finger down over and over until I play it correctly.    

Exactly.

I don't think I'd choose Sparrow as a teacher. She seems to avoid using her pinky, but when she does, I suppose she has prepared mentally, and that's the difference - holding your pinky in the air until you need it, and holding it in the air because you are not prepared for its use are two different things.

It's the same with guitar - keeping your fingers near the strings aids speed and precision.

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
November 17, 2018 - 12:10 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 551
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

It was previously asked on this thread if I had a teacher.  In fact I have two—J. Frederick Muller and Harold W. Rusch.  I am currently half way through book 2 of their string method. 

If wisdom were offered me with the proviso that I should keep it shut up and refrain from declaring it, I should refuse.  There’s no delight in owning anything unshared.  —Seneca

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

Avatar
Shane "Chicken" Wang
Regular advisor
Members

Regulars
November 17, 2018 - 12:34 pm
Member Since: October 25, 2018
Forum Posts: 156
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
16sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

@Andrew Shumway That is a really hard decision for an adult to make isn't it? Choosing teachers? If you watch Allison on her other channel, Allison Sparrow, she is quite good. For me, her appearance and the way she speaks would be a distraction, due to attraction, not ability.

I thought taking on the violin would be easier than it is because of my background, but my fingers don't want to cooperate. If I pay to much attention to my left hand, my bow hand trys to finger notes, and vice versa back to wood wind. Teachers here are almost non existent so I am actually thinking of calling on my high school band teacher for advice.He played so many different instruments violin may have been one of them. At least, I believe, he could hook me up on a local strings teacher. Wish I had some of those big city options.

Avatar
Andrew Shumway
London, England
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
November 17, 2018 - 12:45 pm
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 334
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Shane "Chicken" Wang You have to choose a teacher with good paper quals, and they don't come cheap. In the UK it's pretty easy - you find someone who has a performer's diploma and/or a teacher's diploma (many have both) from the RCM or the RAM.

When I was a kid I was on a piano scholarship, and so I was lucky enough to have such teachers provided for me.

But my experience of guitarists on a CG forum I won't name, is that some guitarists will take a lesson from a guitarist who has had one lesson from a guitarist who has had one lesson!

I'm lucky - my violin teacher is a friend with a performer's diploma on the viola and who charges me mates' rates and cooks for me, lol!

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
November 17, 2018 - 12:46 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 551
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

The violin is the first instrument I have attempted without a coach.  When I observe a difficulty, the solution is often available on internet.  Greater help would be available if I utilized a more current method.

My progress would likely be a little faster with a coach (my pace is typically a page a week), but I don’t see any great impedance to my progress to date and employ the saved funds for instrument and accessory purchases.  As a result, I have gained a great deal on the technology surrounding the violin.

If wisdom were offered me with the proviso that I should keep it shut up and refrain from declaring it, I should refuse.  There’s no delight in owning anything unshared.  —Seneca

I consider any plane that I design a success if it rises high enough to crash.  —RA Heinlein

Avatar
Andrew Shumway
London, England
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
November 17, 2018 - 12:48 pm
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 334
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

The violin is one of the most technically difficult instruments, so a teacher is, unfortunately, recommended.

Technique is the key word - I was taught piano by highly technically trained teachers, so I know the value of technique.

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
November 17, 2018 - 2:57 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 287
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

Alison Sparrow is... controversial. Her vibrato is unorthodox, and she has the exact same faulty bowing technique that I eventually had to spend a whole summer correcting because it was causing me back pain when playing viola. (Namely, she keeps her right wrist very high rather than leading with the wrist, and she has to raise her right shoulder a lot as a result.) It works fine for what she plays, and it will at least get you playing tunes quickly at beginner level. But it can be dangerous in the long run -- that bowing technique sounded good enough for me, but caused injuries when I started to play in high-level orchestras.

The best step-by-step instruction I've seen online is at Violin Lab. I also like violinmasterclass.com and Red Desert Violin.

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online:
55 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming Reacher, Andrew, Prudence, Lajer, Lenicus, wookieman, Gil, MrWilf, Diana Ungaro Arnos, Longstride46, marta, bocaholly

Top Posters:

Mad_Wed: 2849

.: 2671

Fiddlestix: 2647

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Kevin M.: 1969

damfino: 1833

cdennyb: 1814

TerryT: 1726

Ferret: 1575

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 2

Members: 17406

Moderators: 0

Admins: 6

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 58

Topics: 7393

Posts: 92422

Newest Members:

Krenfap, joanmy2, jimmiecp3, carmenjs1, renekk16, ramonfq4

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 13725, KindaScratchy: 1728, coolpinkone: 4141, BillyG: 2608, MrsFiddlerman: 0, Jimmie Bjorling: 0