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Mentioned in the Vibrato Without a Shoulder Rest Thread that I stopped using a shoulder rest. It's been 3 weeks without one, now - guess I'm done with them for good!
I even played Mortimer a few days ago, mainly to see if I'd have trouble switching back to violin after playing Edgar this many months and also to see if the glossy finish would be a problem with no shoulder rest - all fine! 🤗
I'm finally getting better control over my Left thumb, letting it balance the neck while I do vibrato & shift.
It was hard to keep the Left thumb relaxed at first, but much easier when I discovered a better way to use it.
I had to practice opening/closing my Left thumb to the side of my hand only using the CMC joint (see photo), while also navigating all around the neck. The tip of my thumb points outward, with pad 45° up and springy - not forcing hyper extension. Kinda like thumbing for a ride with 4 fingers straight. (lol)
My whole thumb may form as much as a 90° angle open to my hand when I reach around & up to 3rd position and higher - or when my thumb needs to be under the neck, near the scroll, I can close the angle to be right next to my hand for security (only up to the IP joint), but most of the time my thumb/hand/index finger look like the square root sign (√).
Hands & Fingers Stretches For Musicians