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I finally took the tape off

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Dec 6, 2018 - 8:31:39 AM
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237 posts since 8/10/2017

I had secret stealth black tape on the finger board, like a child, only you couldn't see it from far away. I finally took it off and I'm doing okay. I think I need some new tape to find super high notes, like high D. It really helped me having it for the first position notes. I know people scoff, but I recommend it because it seems like it trains your muscle memory. I was surprised how I didn't really notice it was gone last night while playing at the jam.

Dec 6, 2018 - 9:07:49 AM

2375 posts since 7/12/2013

Good for you! Though people shouldn't be scoffing at that. Do what you gotta do. There's a reason we put tape on kids violins, it helps! There should be no shame in it.

Dec 6, 2018 - 9:45:45 AM

1421 posts since 8/27/2008

That's good. I wouldn't fault someone for using tape very early on, but it's a crutch and used too long will hinder progress. I never used tape on the fingerboard. But I did have a toothpick taped along the lower outside edge of my bow frog to help keep me from slipping off when I switched to thumb under hold.

Dec 6, 2018 - 12:12:20 PM

1222 posts since 12/11/2008

I'd point my finger at you but my fingers are too sticky from the tape...

Dec 6, 2018 - 3:02:29 PM

1998 posts since 10/1/2008

Congrats ….. Play on!

Dec 6, 2018 - 3:33:13 PM

Peghead

USA

1517 posts since 1/21/2009

Great news. Yes, markers are a good thing to get your fingers in the ballpark, then your ears to fine tune and adjust the note. A very good listening exercise is to start using the open G,D and A strings to check your ring finger placement on the next higher string. Keep returning to them often as to practice. As always the fiddle must be tuned well.

Dec 7, 2018 - 4:32:28 AM
Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2339 posts since 2/3/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Peghead

Great news. Yes, markers are a good thing to get your fingers in the ballpark, then your ears to fine tune and adjust the note. A very good listening exercise is to start using the open G,D and A strings to check your ring finger placement on the next higher string. Keep returning to them often as to practice. As always the fiddle must be tuned well.


Also work with using your pinkie on the lower of two strings and compare it to the open string.  I use both as a warm up when my fingers are tight and they just won't hit the notes accurately.  I alternate back and forth between them.  I also include the double stop.  So that's the unison, the octave, and the double stop.  Good ear training.  I usually start with the G and D string pairs because of the longer reach and move up to higher pairs as well just to add movement.  When I played cello as a kid, one of my first instruments had tape.  I couldn't feel it very well and I sure couldn't see it very well up next to my jaw like that.  It never did me much good.  When I changed instruments I never missed it.

Dec 7, 2018 - 8:45:20 AM

237 posts since 8/10/2017

I find it hard to put my pinky on to make a unison, octave double-stop. It's one of those things I need to work on more. I do use my pinky frequently when it's easier than crossing the bow, but I'm not good at a clean double-stop.

It's a marathon for me, not a sprint.

Dec 7, 2018 - 2:39:59 PM
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Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2339 posts since 2/3/2011

I like to invent finger exercises that do more than one thing. In the above exercise, if the stretch to the G string is too long, go to the D/A instead or the A/E.

Go back and forth between the two strings individually and also play them as double stops. You can hear the unison start to match, the octave to match, and then the double stop starts to ring. Using the open strings that way keeps you from wandering out of tune. Go as slow as it takes to get good bow contact. In the meantime, you gain more control of those wayward fingers.  As you warm up and get a little looser, try the lower strings that you couldn't do earlier.

I often use this as a cold weather warm up before playing if my hands are cold and stiff. Single digits out there every morning lately and already a foot and a half of snow (at least) in the yard. You can't just grab a fiddle and start playing after moving snow, but it's a nice part of knowing the hard work is done.  If the G/D stretch is clumsy, I move up to D/A and then back down when my fingers start to move.  Then some other double stops on the low strings.  Less than a minute's work and you've worked on bowing and fingering and intonation and tone.  Make up additional work as needed.

Edited by - boxbow on 12/07/2018 14:44:57

Dec 7, 2018 - 4:34:33 PM

237 posts since 8/10/2017

The hard part is not so much the intonation but not touching the other string inadvertently.

Dec 8, 2018 - 10:54:32 AM
Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2339 posts since 2/3/2011

As your hand tires, which it might do rather quickly, finger placements become more difficult. That's why I only do it for a minute or less. To compensate, I do it often, and it's been helpful. Fatigue makes me clumsy. When my accuracy suffers enough I move on to other things and come back to it a little later, if only for a few seconds. I really only use it as a warm up, but it does this other stuff if I work it. It gets me oriented on the fingerboard.

Dec 8, 2018 - 11:04:34 AM
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1222 posts since 12/11/2008

Diane -- one of my three fiddles always gave me trouble when it came to accurately fingering one string while not touching/muting the one next to it. Then, taking a cue at the way my various guitars spread out their strings at the nut, I took the offending fiddle to a luthier and got him to simply make me a nut with increased string distances. The fiddle soon came back considerably easier to drone. It's still not quite as easy to drone as the other fiddles, but this broad-fingered, heavily calloused fingertip guy is now a whole lot happier.

Dec 8, 2018 - 7:21:45 PM

1492 posts since 10/22/2007

Well put Ed.
I've also had an otherwise fine fiddle with a too slender neck and fingerboard. (Couldn't play Sally Good'n, nor back up and push)
Just so you know it might not be you to blame.

Edited by - farmerjones on 12/08/2018 19:25:41

Dec 9, 2018 - 4:39:53 PM
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237 posts since 8/10/2017

I think for me it's just a matter of being working at it. If my giant friend with his huge sausage fingers can do it, and if my tiny friend who probably buys clothes in the children's section can do it, I should be able to do it with some practice.

Dec 10, 2018 - 11:21:59 AM

2375 posts since 7/12/2013

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

I think for me it's just a matter of being working at it. If my giant friend with his huge sausage fingers can do it, and if my tiny friend who probably buys clothes in the children's section can do it, I should be able to do it with some practice.


My nine year old has started playing the violin and I've been playing it every now and then, it's pretty funny to try and play double stops on the 3/4 size violin ... possible but hard!

Dec 10, 2018 - 4:45:50 PM

Peghead

USA

1517 posts since 1/21/2009

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

I think for me it's just a matter of being working at it. If my giant friend with his huge sausage fingers can do it, and if my tiny friend who probably buys clothes in the children's section can do it, I should be able to do it with some practice.


I have thick fingers too and I'm always touching two strings, even when I'm playing one! It can be distracting at first but all that matters is the string(s) that are actually being bowed. Playing with the edges of finger is totally OK and sometimes necessary with some double stops. With open string drones, when you need to keep an open string clear, scoot you noting finger over, off center away from it and play on one side of your finger pad. Imagine the tip of your finger as having 3 potential contact points. When you play on an edge you'll feel like you're noting the the string on the other side, it may feel a little weird at first. Perfectly fine. It's actually a very comfortable way of playing. Anything that creates room on a finger board that's shorter than my foot! (I compared them) Also, strings don't need to be pressed down to the finger board to get a good note just touching can be enough. Personally I think the tone is better and rounder when you are not pressing down too hard. Hope that helps!

Edited by - Peghead on 12/10/2018 17:00:02

Dec 10, 2018 - 8:43:31 PM

506 posts since 9/4/2007

Anybody still remember Jr. Dougherty (Jr.'s Waltz?) He had THE BIGGEST hands I had ever seen wrapped around a fiddle and Could He Play!! His New Mexico version of Sally Good'in was a sock knocker! Side track here. Who was that great Missouri fiddler of several (maybe more) decades ago. His breakdown style was sumthin. Maybe Pete somebody...Probably committing some sort of old time fiddler sin to forget his name. He just jumped right in the middle of a tune like a fiddler should!!

Dec 11, 2018 - 5:19:52 AM

3845 posts since 9/26/2008

McMahan. Pete McMahan.

Dec 11, 2018 - 10:00:18 AM

27 posts since 8/17/2015

Another way to practice without tape is to use a reference tone called a drone. If you're playing a tune in G or the G major scale, you'd play along with the tone and your ear would naturally adjust. Here's a lesson on how to do it: wp.me/P8OLq8-4dH

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