Reply To: Elementary string questions???

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Is this an issue of being double jointed or having knuckles that collapes? If so, I would physically set up her left hand position and let her know you are going to try to collasp her knuckle (gently of course!) Often when kids concentrate on one knuckle at a time, without other distractions (notes, bowing etc.) they will start to understand the concept of strong fingers. You can even bow the note for her while she works on the left hand. Tapping the string with a firm finger (try to make a sound) will also help build the strength needed to keep the fingers square. Another possiblity is to show her the grove in your fingertip after you play a note or two. Ask her if she too has such a grove. It is hard for some of us to remember the pain we experienced in our fingertips when we first started playing! As for the thumb….I have used a piece of velcro under the neck (sticky back) and then wrapped a loop of velcro around the thumb. When you consider that a typicall musician reading a piece of music make approximately 5,000 decisions per minute, find a way to minimize the multitude of things beginners have to deal with! Out of curiosity, I would be tempted to give her a brief lesson on the violin just to find out if these issue are present in a smaller instrument. Hope this helps! Jan Davis NAfME mentor.