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Right thumb tip hurts!


chueh

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I've never felt comfortable with my right thumb against the frog, yet I was ok with it.

Since I'm a beginner cello player, I only practice 10-15 minutes each session, one or twice a day about 5-6 days a week.  These past few days I was out of town, so I did not practice.  Today, after not even 5 minutes of practice, my thumb tip hurts quite a bit and became numb.  Is it because I had not practiced continuously or a result of accumulative aggravation to my thumb???

Thanks

 

 

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First of all - do not take cello instructions from a violinist!!!!

I suggest you get a copy of the book "NEW DIRECTIONS IN CELLO PLAYING" by Victor Sazer - especially if you don't have a cello teacher (even if you do).

There is no reason for your thumb to touch the frog.

EDIT: because yesterday my computer was misbehaving and some keys were jamming - so I could only write a little.

I learned to stop trying to stick my thumb into my bows many years ago: When I inherited my father's F. N. Voirin violin bow 70 years ago I noticed the "thumb notch" showed some wear so I continued to place my thumb there for some years until I noticed some metal poking through - so I patched over that and stopped doing that with my thumb. That damage to a bow like that decreases its value by many 1,000s of dollars. Bows have THUMB LEATHER for a reason.

By the way I have violin, cello and viola bows because I play all 3 instruments and they are all held differently, although violin and viola are similar - but cello is different as my cello teacher informed me by smacking my right hand with his cello bow at my first lesson almost 76 years ago and cured me of holding my cello bow like a violin bow at my very first cello lesson. I never forgot.

 

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3 hours ago, Andrew Victor said:

There is no reason for your thumb to touch the frog.  :o

Are we talking about the same part??  The black ] shape???  My thumb always lands at the  ] shape more so at the top of the ].

Yes, I purchased the book a while ago, yet no time to read it thoroughly yet but only some pages

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Hi Chueh,

I added some more to my original reply while you were writing again.

I suppose you could say it is that ] opening in the frog. Actually my thumb will not fit comfortably in that opening, although it did when I was a kid (unfortunately).

About the Sazer book, I bought my first copy about 29 years ago when I returned to cello playing after not doing it so much for almost that long - just to see if I was still doing it correctly (I was).

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Andrew, thank you.  I was taught numerous people not to nest my tip of the thumb in but only go and rest against ].  That's why my tip going against the top (mainly) creates a lot of pressure, for I cannot hold the bow without losing the balance.  Unnoticeably, I hold the bow and push my thumb tip to hard.  However, if I don't push hard, I really have problems holding the bow... :(

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1 hour ago, chueh said:

Thank you GTone

You're welcome:)

And while Andrew may have a point about them(bow holds)having differences they all need to be understood by arm mechanics,relaxing and using pressure in the right place and time.

This is from someone whom plays Double bass,violin and viola and cello and teaches.

Your problem is not unique but it needs to be addressed and understanding how the arm is working

regardless of whether you're slapping your leg or using a bow is addressed well in the video presented.

 

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I agree with Gtone about "arm mechanics," but the mechanics of a raised arm (violin or viola) and a lowered arm (cello or bass) are completely different. Find holds that don't hurt.

I'm reminded of the day my father and I had to cut  down (with a 6-foot, 2-man saw)  a very thick cherry tree that had been mostly destroyed in a storm. He taught me "Let the saw do the work!"

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2 minutes ago, Andrew Victor said:

 

I'm reminded of the day my father and I had to cut  down (with a 6-foot, 2-man saw)  a very thick cherry tree that had been mostly destroyed in a storm. He taught me "Let the saw do the work!"

"Let the saw do the work!"

Yes this is what is needed.

Chueh now apply it to your technique.... and adjust thumb pressure and perhaps more "pad of the thumb' displacement on the bow.

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16 hours ago, Gtone said:

"Let the saw do the work!"

Yes this is what is needed.

Chueh now apply it to your technique.... and adjust thumb pressure and perhaps more "pad of the thumb' displacement on the bow.

Yes, thank you GTone, I've tried adjusting how much the pad of the thumb I need.  Watching different people on the video and even one temporary teacher where they put their thumbs, theirs are still not MINE, LOL.  Thus, I have to adjust according to what my own physiology is, no matter what most others do.  

Thank you both GTone and Andrew

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