A few days ago I saw a lecture by a violist -- a very petite woman -- who said very decisively that she preferred to play a viola that was 17 inches or larger.
That's a big viola! Someone in the audience observed that this seemed unwieldy, even for a large person, but the violist responded that her hands are actually pretty large.
The size and shape of our hands does make a difference in how we experience the various difficulties in playing the violin, and yet people of all sizes and shapes make it work.
If Itzhak Perlman can play the violin with such precision with his large, thick fingers, so can the rest of us! But that doesn't mean there aren't challenges. I've known a number of players that have a pinkie that is substantially shorter than the other fingers, and they cope by using alternative fingerings and, on occasion, substituting some notes.
Having long fingers would seem like a great advantage, but it can also require a technique that is different from the way most teachers set things up: for example, a higher-looking thumb in the left hand. Being double-jointed has its own set of challenges - it just might not be possible to shape the hand in the way that most teachers and textbooks advise.
Do you have any issues with your hands? How have you or your teachers coped with them? And when it comes to teachers, what are strategies for students who have these issues?
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