I actually talked about this yesterday in the webinar classes. It is very important to have good left-hand technique, and you might be surprised how much more you can reach notes (and be more comfortable), when you make a few adjustments. There have only been a few times that I came to the conclusion that a student’s technique was perfect, and they just couldn’t find the notes because of having too small of a hand. Most likely it is just technique!
1. Have higher hand contact – When you are playing the large viola, it is especially important to have a high hand so that you can easily drop fingers down with minimal effort on the fingerboard when changing from one string to the next. Try squeezing your fingers back instead of moving the hand when placing notes on a different string. Only fingers should move to find notes, never the hand.
2. Don’t reach for notes – This relates to the point above. Reaching for notes causes your hand to move, which causes your hand to be positioned more perpendicular to the fingerboard. You want your fingers to point as parallel as possible to to the fingerboard (while the hand is still) which allows you to find notes more efficiently by just letting them fall.
3. Don’t press down to hard on the fingerboard– Over-pressing on the fingerboard causes tension in the hand which restricts vibrato, shifting, and playing fast. Work on pressing just enough for each note, which will allow you to be more flexible with being able to reach notes on the fingerboard.
Hope this helps!