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How to preserve your finger cluster shape
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February 28, 2015 - 10:46 am
Member Since: April 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 450
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Hello again,

I'm starting to build up my own site again, and I've got a lot of things to post on it.

Here's one : 

Clustering. No, not clustering up on the sofa after beers and the game :) ... but, finger clustering.

What's it all about?

The advanced players here will know right away, but for those who are still learning the basics, here's what it is, how it works, and how it can help you.

Suppose you play a simple scale in D major, starting on the open D string.

Your fingering is 0-1-2-3 on the D string, then 0-1-2-3 on the A string.

Assuming you keep your fingers down until you need to lift them again, your fingers 1-2-3 will be down on the string. That's your "cluster" - that shape you've just made.

So, if you start on the D string, and play 0-1-2-3, now lift your finger cluster (as a unit) and repeat on the A string.

It's about striving for economy of movement, physical and mechanical ease.

Two advantages for this simple, but very effective technique : less movement of the fingers, and better intonation, because you don't have to re-do all the individual fingering from scratch. Each finger will be 'hovering' above the note, in readiness for playing each successive note.


February 28, 2015 - 12:37 pm
Member Since: January 14, 2013
Forum Posts: 888
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thumbs-up LIKE

Ponta Grossa, Paraná - Brazil

February 28, 2015 - 1:25 pm
Member Since: November 19, 2012
Forum Posts: 229
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This is one of those things I knew about, but didn't know how to explain. I use it a lot when I play guitar, and of course also when I play violin. Thanks for the explanation. :D

Skype: augustoad Email: [email protected] Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)


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