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a fundamental question ...


Pete
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Hi, this is as basic a question as one can ask, but ... is it best to bend the wrist when pivoting back and forth between the low and high notes, or best to keep the wrist straight and just slide like a type writter?

Just starting to play,

Pete

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Can you be more specific? From what I understand, you mean when shifting. If you are shifting to third, or second, the wrist can be straight. But, when you start playing in fourth and higher registers, the wrist will bend more and more.

But, if you vibrato, then the wrist thing shouldn't be a problem. Or maybe you mean playing from maybe first finger on the e-string, to third or fourth on the e-string (same position). In that case, the wrist should hardly move. Maybe a couple of cm but now significantly.

Once again, I can't give great info, so please supply more if you don't mind smile.gif

Diana

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Thanks Diana.

I was talking about along each string, from 1st finger to 4th. I have really short fingers that don't reach that span without a huge slide or pivot.

I think you answered my question though. Now I have to find a way to span these notes.

Pete

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Pete,

I read the other post (Sounds Like a Conspiracy) and wondered just how short your fingers are... Now I find myself wondering again. Before you answer my question though, let me answer yours. When shifting from one position to another or as in your case from one finger to another, the left hand wrist should remain fairly straight. If it bends in any direction it should not bend backwards. The very bottom of your palm should not touch the neck of the violin which is what bending your wrist back would do. When you bend your wrist back, you lengthen the distance that your fingers have to travel. If you keep them so that they hover just above the strings it's much easier.

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Here's a revolutionary idea: Do what you have to do to play on each finger in a relaxed, efficient manner.

If you have short fingers and don't move your wrist, then you will need to move your whole arm a little bit to go from 1st to 4th finger. Whether you compensate with a little arm or a little wrist, avoid straining the hand as much as possible. The hand must be soft enough to be flexible.

Good luck,

Brian

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My teacher very tactfully noticed I had small hands and his solution was for me to move the elbow when changing strings, to the right when to G and back to normal when to E. I presume you can reach all 4 notes in first position on the E string without too much difficulty, so moving the elbow when you go to the other strings will give a lot more reach. After a while, this movement will be unconscious. Also, try to stretch your fourth finger rather than your whole hand, you can try keeping just the third finger down and lift the first two slightly, you probably won't be keeping them down for vibrato anyway. That's how I play, and it's all a matter of practice, there's no need to dispair. I have fingers so short I can't play octaves in piano pieces, I can reach them with careful placement but my palms are too close to the keys, so if I can play the violin, you can too.

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