Left Hand Finger Stretching Exercises

April 29, 2005 at 05:05 AM · I'm finding it particularly difficult to keep my left hand in a steady position as I play through a song, epecially if its a fast passage. I've analyzed this over & over again & think it may be due to a lack of flexibility. When I place my fingers down (especially on the E string), if my 1st & 2nd are down (on F# & G), I find it VERY difficult to hit the A with my 3rd finger, without having #2 slide up the string & make the G slightly sharp. Or if I start with the A & go down, its nearly impossible to put the 2nd down, & the 1st next to it. To compensate, I usually rotate my hand slightly, or place the fingers down independently, etc. After a few minutes of playing, my whole reference point seems to be off in the first position. I have a few questions: 1) does anyone play without the left hand touching the neck (at all) when on the E-string? (or other strings for that matter) and 2) Are there any exercises or stretches that I can use to increases the distance that my fingers can spread? This problem has been frustrating me for sometime now. I've tried rotating my wrist, playing way up high, etc. I was hoping that Sevick would automatically fix it, but its not happening.

Replies

April 29, 2005 at 06:44 AM · check out dounis opus 12. but if you choose to do them only do a tiny bit every day to avoid injury.

April 29, 2005 at 12:42 PM · THere are 2 I use. One is to anchor your first finger and see how far you can stretch your 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (don't hurt yourself though). THe other one is to start in 1st position, and slide your hand all the way up near the end of the finger board and tap your hand on the left side of the violin. Do this alot. Your fingers will eventually become more flexible.

April 29, 2005 at 01:48 PM · With me, it was certain movements causing a finger already down to lean differently and alter the pitch. In my case recognizing it and consciously not letting it happen when it usually did for awhile fixed it. The Dunois that Owen mentioned is really good stuff. If you do a search here you might find the link to download it. It's out of print and the copyright has expired.

April 29, 2005 at 08:22 PM · Try Kreutzer No.9.

April 29, 2005 at 08:23 PM · Yep. Here's Op. 12.

link

April 18, 2016 at 04:36 PM · If you check for the Dunois on Petrucci's music library, you should be able to find it (although the copyright issue is country-specific).

April 18, 2016 at 04:50 PM · I never really had the kind of problem about left hand set up you describe, but I started practicing Sevcik opus 7 and found out it improved my left position a lot, after a few weeks; even Sevcik can't fix a problem automatically. These can be found on IMSLP. But never do more than 2 or 3 lines a day, because you don't want to risk injury.

April 18, 2016 at 05:26 PM · I have some finger flexibility,stretching exercises that I can send you

if you email me privately. Bruce

April 18, 2016 at 06:10 PM · Kevin make sure your wrist is not pushed away from you too much. This is often the source of the problem you describe. As beginners we are told to keep the wrist straight but we often overdo it. It is actually fine if the wrist is a bit pulled back towards you just to allow staying relaxed. The other thing (in combination with the previous item) is to always play "from the fourth finger", meaning that you make sure your hand is positioned so that the fourth finger is nicely rounded on the string, then you reach *back* with the other fingers to form a nice classical left hand frame. For the reaching back you can indeed do stretching exercises.

April 18, 2016 at 08:11 PM · There are some excellent exercises for finger strength and flexibility in Harvey Whistler's 'preparing for Kreutzer'

April 18, 2016 at 09:44 PM · Greetings,

sevcik can be enormously valauble for many ihings but it has to be done correctly rather than as a ,curative in my opinion. In this sens eit can be quite dangerous.

The basic fucntion of the hand is to stretch bakwards from the fourth finger. Starting stretching exercises from the firts finger in your current state could be highly counter productive. When you do sevcik or other finger type exer ises take the time to set the hand from the fourth ,finger first. Even if yu remove it but retian the sensation of the hand balanced that way it is still okay.

Simon Fischers Warming up is a cheap volume that contains a whole range of exercises that will resolve this problem very efficiently over time. I strongly recommend you simply work from that. Anything you get from Dr Berg can also be trusted to work.

Cheers,

Buri

April 19, 2016 at 01:43 AM · Inadvertently repeated Jean's comment. Sorry.

Buri

April 19, 2016 at 02:16 AM · I wonder what resurrected this thread from 2005. :-)

April 19, 2016 at 11:40 AM · Oops Lydia! Cheryl did it! :-)

April 21, 2016 at 05:24 AM · It stretched over the years. Like metaphysical chewing gum and my gut.

Cheers,

Buri

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