Double Jointed Right Hand Pinkie

January 3, 2021, 9:13 PM · Thanks to everyone who helped give me advice on practicing, I made my own semi rigid practice schedule, and I’m very happy with my progress and order(my life outside of practicing is a mess).
As I mentioned in my last post, I am having major issues on my right hand finger flexibility, which mainly stems from my pinkie. It collapses on the middle joint when I plant it upon my bow. I have worked on it with my teacher and finally i can get it to curve, but the problem is it renders my pinkie incredibly stiff as it is completely unnatural and uncomfortable.
Is there any excerises I could work on to make this any easier? I’m completely lost and I would appreciate some advice and guidance.

Replies (5)

January 3, 2021, 11:31 PM · Without the bow, Ive imagined that I have droplets water on my curved thumb and fingertips that I can sprinkle outwards by the straightening my thumb and fingers. Perhaps you can get your pinkie finger to contract and straighten in the same way as your other fingers.
Edited: January 4, 2021, 10:01 AM · My left pinkie does that. 55 Years ago my violin teacher tried to correct it, then gave up and let me get on with it. I don't believe I have had any problem because of that. Maybe a little with extensions.

The right pinkie's job is much easier than the left pinkie's; it just helps balance the bow and doesn't have to do any hard work. I wonder if this nice curve is more an esthetic than a functional concern. I'd be tempted to play with the finger you have rather than the one you wish you had.

Another option would be to try the Russian bow hold where the pinkie does nothing (if I remember that correctly).

January 4, 2021, 10:08 AM · Instead of "planting" your pinkie on your bow, how about just touching as lightly as you can. Try that with a few slow scales and easy detache studies like K2 and see what happens. You might need to ask a physical therapist. I know one who specializes in upper extremities who has worked with musicians. She has helped my daughter with cello bow-hand issues.
January 4, 2021, 4:23 PM · With the other three fingers, can you try to pull the bow closer to the palm, so that your pinky needs to be really curved to sit on the top of the bow? Practicing such a hold may help? Just a suggestion.
January 5, 2021, 12:29 PM · One thing that sometimes helps, but not always, is to build a little pinky house that supports the sides of your pinky tip so it stays bent. For extra bendy joints, you need to build it quite high, at least as high as the nail bed. The way I make them is to cut a thin strip of semi-flexible cardboard a bit higher than the height of your nail and long enough to wrap around your finger. Make it into a circle and use electrical tape to seal it and then cover the rest of the cardboard for extra support. Use two strips more of electrical tape to secure it to the stick and frog of your bow. Here's a video on how to make the tape part of it -- I added in the thin cardboard for my daughter whose joints at first needed more support.

You can also buy these commercially but I haven't had as much luck with those ones working -- the size is usually wrong and they tend to be too rigid.

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