Elbow Swing or Spider Hand?
Rummaging in the archives (instead of practicing) I found "Pain in 1st finger when playing low 1" from Annie Mason.
In the dicussion there was much agreement, but some conflict over how to adjust to each string:
- elbow swing with straight wrist but a constant hand shape; or
- hanging elbow with groping fingers like a drunken spider (guess which I prefer!).
- Oh, and what about The Gap between index-finger base and fingerboard? (Especially for first-finger vibrato).
Of course we all need the Spider Hand for arpeggios and double-stops. But for many of us it leads to a distorted wrist.
I suspect that the Spider Hand faction have nice long fingers, but slender-handed ladies, and children with over-sized violins may prefer to be Elbow Swingers. Not to mention violists.
Thoughts, and above all, experiences?
Elbow swinger. Such an elbow swinger.
Swingy all the way! But discovering more and more contexts for wrist bending in all directions, particularly since allowing the thumb to curl and uncurl for side to side wrist deviations, and going all Ricci for back and forth. Fingers are not long enough to lead a string cross with finger extension.
Elbow swing -- when I'm not being lazy.
I like beginners to swing, to keep their hard-earned finger patterns, and then gradually corrupt them with spidery arpeggios and double stops.
I agree with Adrian. Pedagogically, preserving finger shapes for finger patterns is advantageous. Differentiate those brain maps early.
Sorry I'm scared of spiders.
Slight elbow swings here too, very short pinky.
That sounds painful Adrian. It reminds me of some of the finger independence exercises I do. All sorts of hand contorting shenanigans for little benefits. Nice to know the pain might one day have a use ;)
I agree with Charles.
For beginners, constant hand position because they don't yet have the capability for real-time corrections. Over time, they can evolve into the spider hand, particularly when vibrato is introduced (a good time to talk about it because we have to separate from the neck to vibrato anyways).
"..we have to separate from the neck to vibrato anyways.."
Ultimately all that matters is how we can get out of the way of the fingertips, enable them to achieve their function (finding and altering pitch.) Little else takes precedence.