Left hand help ?

This topic contains 15 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Steve Srader Steve Srader 3 months ago.

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  • #71218
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    Ok for proper left hand form and position , I can’t believe I have not got this fixed yet and I am approaching the two year mark !

    Can someone explain ? how much thumb pressure and thumb position related to the first and 2nd finger ?  and how much of a mouse hole between the fiddle neck and hand bottoms out ?

    Should the thumb ? hold Constance light pressure towards the first finger ? , [fist knuckle] ? In order to maintain that mouse hole and keeping the wrist strait ?

    The fiddle is constantly trying to slide down to the bottom of my hand also sliding out from under my chin , Since I am trying to correct my fiddle posture / hand wrist position , So my bad hand position I have been using allows my fiddle to stay put and stable , But makes it hard and impossible to do any vibrato and hinders my intonation , ?

    I need some guidance to keep the fiddle stable as trying to make corrections is causing havoc for me ?

    #71219
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    Do you use a chin rest?

    I don’t press the thumb and 1st finger knuckle together against the neck….I create a “V” just above the knuckles of both digits by very slightly bending the thumb back and trying to hold the same distance between them while fingering, sliding, or using vibrat0.

    for vibrato, is usually just roll the fingertip back  & forth to give it a  “deeper character” or just vary the pressure for a “shallower” one…I don’t actually slide at all.

    I’ve found a good test of form & pressure, for me, is to practice slides between first & third position…you not only need the right pressure, but also keep an eye on the fiddle to make sure it’s not moving up, down, or to the side when you make a slide.

    Hope some of this helps…

    #71223
    Edmo45
    Edmo45
    Participant

    Wow, Dave,

    Using your explanation of varying pressure, today, with the left Finger, to do Vibrato, is the first time, I have been able to do any type of Vibrato! Thank you for sharing that technique….I am going to explore it further…

    #71224
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    That’s great!

    Glad I could be of some help Ed.

     

    #71226
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    Dave yes I do have a chin rest and can easily hold the fiddle with my chin , I will try bending my thumb backward some to create a V

    #71227
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    I guess it could be called straightened out instead of bent back…sorry the second one is blurry, but the thumb is the same in both…the neck just rides atop the knuckles…now if I could just get that pinkly to stay straightened out :roll:

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by fiddlewood fiddlewood.
    #71229
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    Dave it would be helpful , to see the hand from behind the scroll underneath view while the person is actively playing a tune , this would require a second person to film the hand thumb and fiddle neck while the player is playing through a complete tune ! Maybe someone here at BGD will make a video to share , I could make the video except my form is not right , I kind of believe in monkey see monkey do ! Ha

    #71230
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    I have been watching Johns metronome lesson videos and the side video to the right that shows his fingers and thumb , His thumb appears to be bent outward and making contact with the neck behind the first finger position , He appears to be holding pressure against the neck and 1st finger knuckle , He seems to be constantly repositioning that thumb ?

    I am just trying to figure it out as I don’t wont to keep relearning what I am already trying to relearn ? ha

    #71231
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    I re-position very slightly also, depending on what strings I am playing and the amount of “stretch”.

    String-wise, I will have my thumb more under the neck as my hand rotates a bit to make it easier to hit the lower strings. …for the higher strings I am more worried about avoiding the first string whistling form the base of my first finger touching it, so I move my wrist more toward my thumb to compensate.

    If I’m making a huge stretch, I may tend to slide my thumb a bit more toward the head-stock compared to when playing in a closer position.,,mostly due to the angle I need my hand at to comfortably make the big stretch.

    None of this was thought out, but rather I’ve noticed later what was comfortable and worked well, and consciously let it become a habit.

    My left hand goals when playing are comfort, accuracy, economy of motion, and as little pressure (anywhere) as possible to get the desired sound.

    I probably work on pressure and economy as much as anything lately. Not playing harder than I have to has helped quite a bit with speed, when I can pull it off.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by fiddlewood fiddlewood.
    #71239
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    Thanks Dave I really appreciate all the in put !

    #71240
    fiddlewood
    fiddlewood
    Participant

    You’re welcome Steve.

    Hope some of it helps.

    #71241
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    This whole left hand thing is a definite set back , everything I do well is now trashed , I am back to the beginning can’t do any of the tunes I do well , It’s a hurt full thing at this point . But I suppose it’s my fault . Rats

    #71242
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I shouldn’t even attempt to answer because I don’t know anything.  But, my inclination if the fiddle keeps slipping around would be to get shelf-liner stuff, that rubbery kind, cut a little square and drape it over your shoulder to make your shoulder less slick.  Your clothes might be too slick.  Of course people do study how to hold the thing, etc., but I always just play and say to myself, ” this grip doesn’t work, try this, or this or this, etc., ” until i get something working for me.  I know people would rather do it the right way…lol…afterall, the right way has been studied for centuries as to what works and what doesn’t, over the long haul.  I like holding the fiddle down on my knee sometimes…and it wiggles around some, but I figured the only way to manage that is to learn to play a wiggly fiddle…yet my playing is severly limited holding it that way…no slides or anything like that.  Anyway, like I said before, I shouldn’t say anything because I don’t actually know anything…but hope you find what works and helps your situation.  I personally think, as much as I love fiddling above all other instruments, the doggone thing is near impossible to hold in any comfortable or ergonomic way…I think I said one time on here about some fiddler in some band somewhere in this region…saw them at the BG jams when I used to go…once in a while they’d show up…he held it in his lap like a little bitty cello…you’d think that would hurt his playing…I mean, that means he’s bowing all upsidedown, backwards…etc.  But he can rip through Orange BLossom Special or any of that as fast as lightning…clean…amazing. Sometimes I wish I woulda turned my fiddle that way back when I first started playing…but it’s been just over 10 years now and ain’t no changing at this point in the game.  Still…I think the worst thing about playing is that the instrument is so ridiculously awkward to hold…the best thing is the instrument is so amazing and sweet we just all play it anyway…lol.  Good luck figuring it out how it’ll work for you, Steve!  We’re all in the same boat…ain’t easy.

    #71248
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    Cricket thanks for the in put ! I am playing as much as twice weekly , So when push comes to shove , I will play the way I sound the best ! But during practice I will work on it till it is corrected and learn to add in the blue grass reserved and moderate vibrato ! So enough of My balling , crying , whining as I have no Jeanie in the bottle , I do appreciate in put from everyone !

    #71249
    Avatar
    mccraackle58
    Participant

    Thanks, Cricket, for giving me permission to hold the fiddle in my own way. Having had a frozen left shoulder that went through a lot of therapy, but still doesn’t act normal, and after right shoulder surgery a year ago, I really can’t hold or bow the fiddle in the classical style, and that’s not going to change in this lifetime. So, I hold it like my Grandpa did, at chest level to the left of center, which worked for him. It might not look too sophisticated, but it has personality.

    #71250
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    I found this video !

    https://youtu.be/Jbge9yDTc9Y

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