I have always struggled to get my bow hand and my left hand fingers in synch. My left hand always lags behind, and as a result it sounds really messy. Does anyone have any suggestions for improvement?
Drilling Sevcik and Schradieck will help a lot. Start slowly, fingers should be relaxed and almost percussive when they fall onto the fingerboard. If you can master clean playing with these exercises, speed up. Slow practice on your current pieces also really help.
I haven't asked yet
Definitely something to ask in your next lesson. Hopefully, your teacher will be able to suggest something specific to help you with this issue.
I agree with that advice. The first two pages, and I think page 4 of Schradieck op. 1 book 1, ought to be drilled daily with a metronome. Hold yourself to extremely high standards in terms of evenness of the fall and rise of the fingers when you do that drill.
Right and left-hand coordination is easily fixed by practicing in groups and rhythms.
First: the left hand must lead the dance: the bow mustn't even think about moving until the string is firmly held down. So as with all multi-tasking we have to separate the component motions before (apparently) uniting them.
It's usually the opposite for me, the right hand lags, mainly because I fail to shorten my bow stroke enough as the speed increases or use too much bow arm rather than fingers and wrist. Slow left hand could be because you raise your fingers too high and/or apply too much pressure, hence tension. The more the fingers travel, the longer it takes. Practice subtle finger movements. As always, when it comes to violin playing, less is more, so try gradually increasing speed while using as little finger (all 4) or bow movement as necessary and possible to make a clear sound, then increase one or the other and see where things fall appart and start getting out of synch.
Roger, are you left handed?
The standard exercise for that in Simon Fischer's "Practice" is to exaggerate in the other direction: play each note early instead of too late. So, at the very end of every note, already tie in the next note, and practice the passage in this way. For example CDEFG in becomes (C..D=)(D..E=)(E..F=)(F..G=)G where the notation (C..D=) means a C tied to a very short D so that the total length is the same as the original C in the passage. Afterwards it should feel easier to play the passage correctly.
@Adrian, Right Handed. Just speaking from my own experience.
If your left and right hands aren't in sync, slow down. Get both hands working together, then try to slowly increase the speed.