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Zlata Brouwer

How to Get a Strong Left Pinky for Violin Playing?

September 4, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Violin Lounge TV Q&A about training your left pinky:
"What can I do to have a more flexible pinky?Exercises maybe to make it stronger, instead of just tapping it down repeatedly as a 4th finger while playing? When I tap it down, it's not flat but a rather rounder shape like it should be but it feels so weak!Actually applys to other fingers too, to make them more flexible but the pinky is yet the weakest of all :(I'm even thinking about buying a finger exerciser on the internet haha :)"

- Bianca

So... should you get that finger exerciser? Can that hurt?

How to get a stronger left pinky?

How to play in such a way that you don't feel that your left pinky is too weak?

Watch this video to see some strategies I share around how to train your left pinky and how you can burden your left pinky a little less playing the violin or viola.

Is it useful to you? Please let me know in the comments!



PS: Do you have questions for me on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on September 4, 2013 at 8:06 PM
Dear Zlata, thank you for this video! This have been and will always be a personal struggle of mine :) In addition to having a delicate pinky, a narrow hand does not help to spare it as the fingers have to spread very much to cover a same gap (which means more work for the pinky). I envy the great players who's pinky is bigger than my index lol

Still, exercice the pinky can just help... I also heard Repin say something very similar to you in a masterclass but with other words. He told, if you have a big stretch, give most of it to the index (index side of the hand) which is stronger than the pinky.

Thank you for your blogs :) I'll suscribe to your channel hihi

From jean dubuisson
Posted on September 5, 2013 at 9:39 AM
thank you Zlata for posting all these videos. I watch them every time. I love your positive spirit and honest willingness to contribute. In that I think you are very similar to Heather Broadbent. perhaps you two should team up in some way (you even suggested that yourself in some earlier posting, I seem to remember). Since I have read most of Simon Fischer's writings, I can't say I learn much from your videos, but at least I can attest that everything you say makes perfect sense and is very much in line with what Fischer writes on the same subjects. so people who have not read Fischer will learn a lot from your videos. The only thing I want to criticize is that your videos are a bit long-winded, you beat a lot around the bushes before coming to your point. You also repeat points often, which is good, but you repeat them every time using slightly different wordings, which tires the student, as he/she has to listen carefully to what you say only to recognize that what you are saying has already been said before in another wording. It is great to repeat points as a teacher, but make the repetition very clear. Just some didactical tip there. Many thanks and keep up the spirit!
From Zlata Brouwer
Posted on September 6, 2013 at 5:23 PM
@Anne-Marie Yes, you are right! It's very important to stretch from the (stronger) index finger and not from the pinky.
From Zlata Brouwer
Posted on September 6, 2013 at 5:24 PM
@Jean Thank you very much for your compliments and tips. I will sure take it into account making future video's. BTW: Heather and I are working together in lots of things, so your guess is totally right!

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