Four fingers in the left hand, set closely

Four-fingered stuff in my left hand is fine, as long as it’s all widely spaced. The minute everything closes up though, as in scales, my ring finger doesn’t like things much and feels as if it’s popping out of joint a bit.

I’ve been noodling with ways to do this and make it feel less iffy, and I’m happy that I can almost do a decent if extremely slow four-fingered scale.

Still pleased about the progress on this, but I need to keep going with it. It’s fun to be at this level where I’m learning basic things, and still able to apply them to whole pieces.

Close work in the left hand and my ring finger

I have no troubles using my ring finger on my left hand when my hand is wide open, when I’m working a spread-out chord. When I’m trying to do something like a four-finger ascending scale though … meh. I don’t know why, but when I change my hand position to do that, it suddenly feels like the last joint on my ring finger is trying to click out of position.

In order to deal with this, I’ve started just placing all four fingers and then looking for a position where I can play the ring finger without it feeling off. I think I’ve got one, but it does mean really “wrapping” around the string with that finger. Not hooking over it, but it certainly isn’t a matter of lying the side of the finger against the string and flicking it, which is when it feels loose and as if it’s trying to click out of place. I’ve really got to make an effort to grab it and pull the string to one side, back toward the palm. The problem this creates is that I can’t “wrap” the thumb like I should when doing an ascending scale, making the thumb stiff when I play it.

To be honest, both my thumbs sound best when they sort of push the strings stiffly, almost like a hitchiker’s thumb, held straight with a flat pad. I’m not sure what this means for my future play, and I’m too cantankerous, asocial, and cheap to get a teacher and ask them. I’m happy to work it out, and it’s actually more fun in the end to work things out myself. Doing otherwise feels like asking for help on a crossword puzzle.

Anyway, this is one more thing I need to work on. There’s scales, the Friou exercises, chords, rolls, and now this. As well as my blue-sky ambition of a good four-fingered trill. We’ll see where it all goes.