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How long will it take?


vi01in
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Hi!

Okay, I've got this seven year old student, and she says that it really hurts her fingers to play simply because she doesn't have the calluses. How long will it take her, if she's already been playing for a month and practicing fifteen minutes a day, to build them up? Should I encourage her to practice a bit more for a week, tough it out, and maybe they'll be there?

Thanks

Lavender

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Everyone's fingers are bound to be different, but it seems that 15 minutes per day would be a nice, gentle way to slowly build calluses.

What I am wondering is whether her set-up is OK (i.e., is the bridge or nut too high?). If she is having to press the strings really hard, her fingertips are bound to hurt whether or not she has calluses.

Or maybe she is simply stopping the strings harder than necessary.

Or she would be more comfortable with a different string gauge.

Edited to add: Are you *sure* she's definitely practicing 15 minutes per day?

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My teacher is over 50, plays several hours a day and has no calluses. His fingertips are as soft as a baby's butt. In fact, he says that soft hands are important for good vibrato.

When I started I had an awful rental with a high bridge that caused me a great deal of pain in my fingertips. It went away when I bought a decent violin that was set up well.

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Thanks for everybody's replies.

The setup is VERY good- I've made sure of that. However, I'm not sure about how hard she pushes the strings at home- I have to keep reminding her at her lessons not to press so hard. And yes, I'm sure, fifteen minutes a day- her mother enforces it, shall we say... Thanks! I'll check about the pressing...

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I am sometimes known as "Martin from this World" so a friend's daughter doesn't confuse me with Martin the Warrior from Redwall! The daughter and friend have not met me (yet), as they live in America.

I've been playing 1 to 1 1/2 hours a day since the end of June 2003, and I can't say I have calluses (like I got when I played guitar or mandolin), just slightly hardened skin, yet even when I first played my fingertips never hurt from playing.

I think it much more likely that the strings are too high above the fingerboard so the girl has to push down really hard to get a clean note - or as above that she is just pressing too hard anyway.

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