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Suggestions For The Young At Heart
But With Older Other Places!
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
USA
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July 29, 2021 - 4:28 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 2601
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Many here starting to learn Violin, Viola, Cello
are at a very 'young at heart' age,
but we're feeling older in places! 
😉  😁  😉 

Thought it would be great if anyone has any suggestions to help us adjust,

make playing easier, as our body's change with older age. 

💥 My skin is more delicate - difficult to keep hydrated and more easily damaged. 

Using a non-greasy moisturizer has been suggested elsewhere... and my fingertips do best with a tiny amount applied several times a day. 

💥 My finger pads have really thinned, lacking cushion.  It can effect how I place my fingers on the strings, but also a huge problem with my bow grip, my thumb. 

When my hand was relaxed, it would slowly creep up the stick - I would catch myself squeezing to prevent that.  I didn't realize a solution for my problem until my most recent bows - which I've used, WITH GREAT SUCCESS, since last May!  The difference?  A narrower space between the frog & pad!  For me, it's best to have the frog touching the pad when the hair is loose - so when I tighten the bow hair, it's the perfect space.  

My suggestion, for people like me, or maybe even for little children, is extend the pad toward the frog (or have it moved)  - so the edge of your thumb has the perfect spot to nest while maintaining a proper curve. 

💥 Think it's important we remind ourselves that every muscle that is not absolutely essential to a task - needs to remain relaxed!  Don't need extra muscle/joint strain.

 

@AndrewH & @Gordon Shumway - 

💥 I don't think I've ever thanked you both for recommending (elsewhere) to move the left thumb away from the scroll - more across from the middle finger (instead of the 1st finger) for better reach with the pinky.  I never used to pay much attention to where my thumb rested, up and down the fingerboard, until recently.

I have been making an assertive effort to do this... and it helps!   Let's my poor old hand stretch differently!  

THANK YOU!  ❤  THANK YOU!  ❤  THANK YOU! 

 

I would love to hear about things that have helped YOU! 😊 

giphy.gif

 

...don't worry Kitties, I'm not THAT old, yet!

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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July 29, 2021 - 12:23 pm
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Seriously, if you are old enough for your body to be playing up, you should consider a few lessons from a proper teacher, so that your posture is good.

Andrew

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ELCBK
USA
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July 29, 2021 - 12:47 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
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@Gordon Shumway -

https://s3.amazonaws.com/pix.iemoji.com/images/emoji/apple/ios-11/256/woman-facepalming-medium-light-skin-tone.png

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 6, 2021 - 9:36 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15626

ELCBK, I, and most of my students, have a better reach with the thumb where it lies naturally, in my case at the curve of the head of the violin. If I need to move my thumb closer to my middle fingers, my pinky gets inhibited.

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

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ELCBK
USA
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August 6, 2021 - 12:19 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 2601
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(edited)

@Fiddlerman -

Thank you!

Think I understand your point of view - learning the correct way from the start IS best.  

Even though I can get my elbow well under my violin and place my thumb where you suggest - after 2 years I still can't twist my arm/wrist enough to reach well (I do still try), it's very painful.  Surgeries, broken bones/poor healing may just be an issue for me. 

I believe there's alternatives for almost everything - was looking for suggestions to help work around some age-related problems older adult beginners might encounter, instead of having them getting frustrated to the point of dropping out altogether.   

https://www.gifmania.co.uk/People-Animated-Gifs/Animated-Women/Old-Women/Modern-Grandmother-86133.gif

 

Don't any of your late starters, '65 & older' students have ANY issues? 

...not that I'm ever going to quit. 😊

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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August 6, 2021 - 12:31 pm
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Everyone's hands are a different shape and size, so there's no formula other than get comfortable. I have arthritis in my pinky and forefinger, so my thumb has to comply with what they want to do.

Andrew

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ELCBK
USA
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August 7, 2021 - 6:32 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
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@Gordon Shumway -

That's a good point. 

Arthritis can be a VERY hard thing to work around! 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 10, 2021 - 10:36 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15626

Yes, of course, everyones body is different.
My hand gets more tension if I bring it closer to my other fingers but if yours feels better the other way, by all means do it. :)

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

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ELCBK
USA
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August 13, 2021 - 2:08 pm
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@Fiddlerman -

I want to thank you for your input here.  I may seem obstinate much of the time, but in the back of my mind - I keep working on what you say. 

Thank you for giving me reason to revisit what is going on with my thumb on the neck! 

I've been working on ways to have it better positioned underneath more & it's been very helpful. 🥰

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 8, 2021 - 11:29 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15626
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You're welcome.
We're all built differently and what works for some people may not necessarily work for others.

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

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