Chinese Proverb

"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I'll understand." - Chinese Proverb.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lesson #116A (2/17/13): Band-aids and thumb

So I think I made another break through with my left hand!!! Yaay!! :)
But I'm back to basics again... booo!! ;(

Band-aids again...
  • I was complaining that it seemed like every time I made some progress, I had to step back and revisit old technique again. Adam commented that it was better fixing it now, instead of 5-10 years down the road, which he's had to do with some of his technique. 
  • This reminded me again of something one of my dance instructors used to advise - "Don't ever use the band-aid method!" That is, don't do quick "fixes" to cover the current problem, always address the underlying issue first and foremostIn theory it sounds simple and easy, but in reality, it's so much easier to pile more and more "band-aids" on top of the problem! I understand that it's better to pull off a band-aid once I realize that I've used one, but pulling off a band-aid sucks!  
  • In my case, I realized my band-aid was the way I was forcing my hand to be in a C-shaped position, so I'm "starting over" with my left hand ...*sigh*... I was able to play "okay," but my incorrect technique has finally festered so I can no longer get past where I currently am to play vibrato. Unfortunately, we didn't realize anything was wrong until I started learning how to do vibrato, so I'm kind of glad that I started learning how to do vibrato sooner than later. 

Thumb placement
  • Since I was having issues with my vibrato, Adam recommended that I revisit my left hand again, which led me to experimenting with my thumb placement and shape. I felt that I was forcing my hand into a certain shape, so I asked Adam if my hand was too "C-shaped." At the end of my lesson, I ended up relaxing my thumb more so it's currently flatter than it used to be to allow more of my thumb to touch the back of the neck, instead of holding it in a more fixed C-shaped position.  
    • Adam also mentioned that some people use that shape because it's more difficult to squeeze the thumb and fingers together, but since I no longer have that problem I can allow it to be more flexible and relaxed, which happens to be flatter than the previous shape I had. 
  • Incidentally, it has also fixed my issue with my arm flapping around too much because my thumb seems to be securing or anchoring my entire arm to the neck (if that makes sense...) and my intonation seems to have improved too. 
  • However, we putting vibrato on hold until I feel more comfortable with my new thumb shape and placement. I tried initiating vibrato with my new thumb placement and shape and it just felt too weird and awkward, so I agreed that I would hold off for awhile longer to start learning how to do vibrato. 

Wow, I'm way behind on my entries and YouTube postings again. I'll try to post Minuet No. 1 this's going to be HORRIBLE, but it's been 3 months since I've posted a video!!! Yikes!!!

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