I’ve given myself one year to master the violin.

As an adult beginner, I should be playing Twinkle Twinkle; instead, I'm playing Paganini's 24th caprice.

Good news and bad news

I think all this work with scales and arpeggios is making me considerably faster with the violin.  For example, I returned to the Kreutzer etude #2 and found that I could fairly easily slur 8 notes to a bow.  That’s the good news.  Unfortunately, while Danielle watched me play the Kreutzer, she noticed my left hand fourth finger curled up in a rather childish way.  Here’s what I’m talking about:

Do you see the pinkie?  After it plays, it curls up against the third finger, as if it’s afraid:

Yeah, well apparently that’s not a good thing, and here comes the bad news.  The fourth finger there should hover above the strings ready to splash down at any second.  Remember when I mentioned that thinking about some things throws other things out the window?  Playing fast throws intonation out the window, playing in tune throws making any kind of good sound out the window, etc?  It turns out that hovering that little pinkie above the strings throws EVERYTHING out the window.  It’s deceptively difficult, and as such I don’t even have a video of it yet.  It’s that ugly.

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5 Comments on “Good news and bad news”

  1. JRV says:

    LOL — such is life!

  2. Bart Meijer says:

    There’s more good news: you’re not alone. I got this pinky thing too. And it’s getting better.
    And more bad news: it has taken me two years, and it’s still going on. But then I had done it wrong for a longer time than you have.
    Good luck!

  3. Lili says:

    Great!! I mean: “Great that a bad practice was found so early in your training!”.

    The longer we spend with a bad habit the harder it is to get rid of it later on.

    Now I have to go check if I do this too (which I probably do, as I have all kinds of issues with my 4th finger!!)

    Thanks!

    • rrvaughn says:

      Hey Lili, that curled up fourth finger is really difficult to break. Danielle had a very advanced student recently who had that issue and it took a long time to get over. Her sound went down quite a bit during the painful process, but now she’s better than ever. It’s nice to have Danielle watching me at every moment! (even though sometimes I wish I didn’t 🙂


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