Sevcik beginner advice
I've been playing for about two years but mainly fiddle music, and I've just started looking at Sevcik Op.1. The very first page has me a bit stumped... a simple series of notes on the A string, but the 3rd bar wants me to leave my 2nd and 3rd fingers down and then hit an E with the 4th, and I just cannot do it. I've been trying for nearly three weeks now!
I have small hands anyway but my pinky finger is tiny, it stops about halfway up my second finger so getting my hand into this position feels incredibly uncomfortable and the E isn't in tune even if I do hit it. Hitting it also results in my pinky either being completely flat (bad) or crooked at the end knuckle (also bad). I can hit it fine if I lift the second finger but obviously that's not the point.
I don't want to give up but I'm really stuck as to how to approach this. My teacher is away at the moment so if anyone's had a similar issue I'd really appreciate any input, I'm loathe to carry on just in case I'm ironing in a bad habit.
Hand rotation issue? Posture problem? Some other thing I've not yet identified?
Very likely a hand rotation issue and a posture problem ...... :)
I'm male violist, but with short fingers, especially the pinky, so I sympathise!
Try it with your thumb opposite your 2nd finger.
Marco - any tips on how to correct it? Trying to get my base joints parallel to the fingerboard is very difficult and makes my arm very tense, even if I rotate at the shoulder.
"I... sort of shift up or down"
Hi Emmy! I remember being in your position. (Edited to add that I've not done this Sevcik book - I work out of Schradieck and my teachers have had me leave the fingers down when not in use until the fingering patterns were in my hands, then I was allowed to raise the unused fingers.)
Emmy for such exercises also allow the wrist to ease inwards a little bit, that helps to do what Adrian prescribes. At any rate make sure you are not pushing the wrist away from you because that makes your fingers only shorter, so to speak.
That Leaving Fingers Down instruction is overdone. It's OK for beginners as they are learning the interval distances between the fingers. But after that, leaving fingers down causes muscle fatigue, cramping, and worse intonation. Lift the fingers you are not using. Then they will be free to start doing prepared fingerings, which is a different topic.
In agreement with Joel, the impression I got was that Sevcik just uses the maths of combinations and permutations to generate miles of (un)musical spam.
Emmy, I've quite small hands with a short fourth (and arthritis). I returned to the violin 9 months ago. At first the only way I could use my 4th was with a major shift of my entire hand with no other fingers down. This does interesting things to intonation for a returning beginner :-)
A few comments--I'm far from professional.
good reply Tim!
Thank you all so much for the replies. I’ll leave it alone and speak to my teacher!
continued-- The only Sevcik that I have ever used, or assign, are: Op. 1, part 3 (scales and arpeggios), Op. 8,(shifting over all intervals), and Op. 3, (40 bowing variations).