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  • #8267 Reply

    Mona T
    Participant

    As I have started practicing scales, within a couple of minutes I am experiencing cramping between the thumb and first finger of my left hand. Not sure why, but I think I am tensing up that area, and I don’t tense up like that when I’m doing more just unstructured playing around on my violin.

    Also I’m noticing my bow hand creeping up the stick as I play. I start out with a good bow hold- I don’t remember this being an issue when I was younger and played all the time.

    Lastly, silly and insignificant as it may sound, when I play I bounce around a lot. I want to get that under control more but i think it inhibits my playing when I try to be still.

    Any suggestions???

    #8270 Reply

    Danny Block
    Participant

    Both of those issues lead to one question. How tightly are you holding the violin and the bow. I’m new to this forum but I’m sure it’s been pointed out here that you supporting the violin with your neck and shoulder. This leaves your hand looser to move more freely in positions and for vibrato. It also makes it harder for your hand to cramp. A bouncing bow is many times the same issue. You need a relaxed bow hold and a loose wrist to bow properly. For some reason the bouncing bow usually happens on the down rather than the up bow for most people.it could also be a bow thats not well balanced. Better bows track better and are easier to play.

    #8276 Reply

    Mona T
    Participant

    Thanks for your input Danny. I will reevaluate my instrument and bowhold. Clarification—my bow does not bounce…its me…my person…somewhere on the video forum is one of me playing. I think I look silly moving around as I do…maybe I need to bike a few miles before playing…I think it is distracting and silly looking to whoever sees me play

    #8283 Reply

    Danny Block
    Participant

    I looked for the video of your playing-no luck. Anyway as long as the your body moving doesn’t effect your playing why worry. I also play sax and clarinet, although violin was my first. Sometimes people catch me contorting my mouth in a difficult passage on the violin.

    #8724 Reply

    To prevent the bow hand from creeping up, try putting a ring between the bow and your pinky. This should help you remember to think about your bow hand and keep the pinky anchored to the bow in the correct place.

    #8733 Reply

    Mona T
    Participant

    Love that idea, thanks!

    #8793 Reply

    Suni Norman
    Moderator

    Hi Mona74,

    I used to have this same tight left hand problem a while back. The easiest way to fix this is to break the scales into 5 note increments. Experiment with how little hand pressure you actually need to make the note sound. You will be surprised that it doesn’t require much pressure at all. When you find the right L hand pressure, practice the 5 note part of the scale with just enough pressure on each note to get it to sound. practice it fast and make sure to keep the same amount of pressure. I think this will help a lot! It doesn’t matter if you hold your violin with your neck and chin or your left hand. I use my left hand.

    Also, being still does inhibit your playing if you are used to bouncing around. If you practice whatever it is in small increments and make a point to not move, you will find (after it becomes comfortable) that it actually helps your playing. Then once you can play your piece well when you are still, then you might be able to play it even better when you move around. I was once in a masterclass with the famous violin teacher Robert Lipsett. He told me to stop bouncing around while I played and he held my scroll in place so I couldn’t move… It was very awkward.

    If you would like additional help, you find me here: http://violintutorpro.com/private-lessons/?show=details&performer_id=2693

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
Reply To: Creeping & Cramping hands
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