Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Violin Hands?


Tarinus25
 Share

Recommended Posts

Is there such a thing as having hands particularly suited to playing the violin?

Do teachers/students out there think its a relevant factor in one's ability to play?

e.g. are long slender fingers better than shorter stubby ones!? Or does finger dexterity/agility/ability all get back to that one word... 'practise'!?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have small hands. I remember clearly to this day how upset I was in my first year of conservatorium to be told by the Director in a masterclass that my hands were too small to ever play violin really well. He had hands like big bear paws. I certainly do have trouble with some stretches and some stops because of my hands.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is most definitely tougher to play with small hands. I really have small hands, I've never met any violinist with smaller hands. However, my friend Ryan who also plays the violin has hands about twice as big as mine, and I have a better stretch than him, so don't give up hope! Just do scales and work on stretching the hand out and don't listen to people who try to put limits on you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO, I feel that fat, fleshy fingertips are a real BONUS to making a nice sound. Small hands can be a real pain, or like me you could just have hands that don't work very well!!

There is a teacher (un-named) who advises all his students to play with very flat fingertips to enhance the tone (and vibrato warmth I suppose), it's a technique that works, especially with Viola and if I had slim fingers I'd probably try it.

It's interesting how physical shape affects sound - I'm large with fat fingers - my romantic repertoire is large and fat! My favourite girl at Music College was very slight and had thin fingers - her Classical playing made up for her lack of looks.....if you catch my drift....heavenly.... .....dream on T_D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just remember this - people do manage to play violas - and they are big things!

I have tried putting a full-size violin into the hands of a 7-yar old girl, and she could play it - it was about 18-inch viola size reolative to her 1/2 size violin, but she could reach the notes.

I recall (30 years ago) meeting at a master class, a young (18-year old student) of Heifetz USC course, she had hands half the width of mine. She was "put on the spot" early the first morning and did the Bruch #1 Concerto, and a series of fingered octaves and scales in tenths.

These days I know a pro violinist whose hands are small enough that she places her left thumb on the back of the neck to support her lush wrist vibrato, but she is also a professional violist.

There are lot of ways to get one's hands "around" these instruments. I think the key is having the right amont of hand on the right side of the neck, and you can do that by appropriately selecting the placement(s) of your left thumb and the angle(s) of the violin to your shoulder.

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's advantageous to have a fourth finger that's not too much shorter than your other fingers. This can lessen the extent and frequency of radial-ulnar rotation. Most of the outstanding players I know have supple, compact, somewhat fleshy hands. Long tapered fingers per se aren't much of an advantage and neither are bony-looking knuckles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Same here, though I'm not near to the skill level of most of you guys. My fourth finger is slightly crooked on the last joint, which makes it even more difficult. Not to mention my pinky is about an inch shorter than my ring finger. To combat this, I've start playing EVERYTHING I can with 4th finger. Hopefully, I'll gain more flexibility so that it is reliable. Any suggestions on technique so that I can gain more use out of my 4th?

Also, my joints don't line up evenly when I play. I noticed that my teachers fingers line up evenly when she has 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers down. With mine, there is a gap between my 3rd and 2nd finger knuckles. I think this is because my hand isn't as flexible as hers yet (or ever will be.) It could be the angle I am hold my hand on the neck, but she said it seemed alright. We'll see what my new teacher says when I have to find a new one (my current one is expecting.)

-- Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes Carlo.....grandmothers and egg sucking!

It gets exercised (like an old dog) but rarely gets used for show (also like an old dog) and sounds terrible (similarly, like an old dog).

I will heed your advice and treat it as a new puppy from now on.

How many surrealists does it take to play a quartet?

Fish.

Oh my, what a strange mood.........day off tomorrow, madness (brought about by close euphoria).

T_D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with using the fourth finger when ever possible to strengthen it. Since I work at a computer all day long I have taken to tapping my little finger and also drumming all four fingers and trying to make it even and rhythmic. I think it is helping because I feel more certain about using it. The only thing I don't really like about it is by itself it's kind of weak, or at least the sound is weak. If I put my third finger down also I get a better tone then if I use just the fourth finger. I've only been doing this for 16 months so I'm sure it will improve if I just keep using it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...