I remember that when I was young taking violin lessons I always tried very hard to improve and have good intonation, but it caused me to tense up my left hand and feel very stressed. When my teacher would try to tell me to relax my hand, I couldn’t understand how to do that and also try to play well! I wish that he had given me specific exercises to teach me to relax, like playing with the thumb off the neck of the violin or moving te thumb under the neck rather than to the side of it, which helps compensate for my small hands and short pinkie. Also, playing a totally different and fun style, like fiddle music, may have helped. Anybody else have this experience? Any other ideas on how to effectively deal with it? Just saying relex was an oxymoron for me!
I still suffer from the “death grip” on the neck and when I catch myself I try to relax but it can be hard to do. I was never given any advice on how to relax either so it has been a trial and error thing with me. I do think that as I play more and get better I am able to relax my hand more. And of course playing happy fiddle music helps. I will be interested in what other people have to say about this.