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.

The tone I get from my thumb

It’s not my very favorite thing. I’m just not happy with the citrus tone I get out of my thumb. I also need those 8″ legs, I think. I’m half-tempted to ship the 5″ ones back to Dusty Strings and I may, but for now, I think I’ll hold onto both as I work out which I really need. It may be that what I really need is a slightly lower chair, but the piano bench is very comfortable for me, and I’m not interested in acquiring any more furniture.