Bending at the joints

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Bethelbass1, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. I always have trouble keeping my fingers arched in thumb position. My finger bends at the top joint, which is hard on the joint. Does anyone else have this problem? I find it's the biggest detterent in my forward progression of skill.
  2. I'm not sure what you mean by the 'top' joint; I'll assume that would be the one closest to your wrist. The way I play, those joints are not arched, rather they sort of cusion the fingers. They're neither fully arched or collapsed; they go a little either way depending on where on the instrument I'm playing. This way I can achieve the best angle for my wrist, which makes it easier (and more comfortable) to transfer the full weight of the arm into the fingerboard. With my anatomy and playing style, arching those joints would put my wrist at a rather severe angle whick I think would be possibly damaging to both it and other parts of the arm and elbow and definately wouldn't help my playing. Hope that helps.
  3. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I had the same problem. For me, it was simply weakness. Over time with exercise and patience, my hand has strengthened and I don't do it any longer.

    Yo Yo lets his fingers bend back at the top joint, including thumb position, when he plays cello. It doesn't seem to deter him much, for what it's worth to us.
  4. Sorry, I was unclear what the technical term for the finger joint at the end of the finger past the knuckle.
    I find it very annoying when simply collapse as if I had no control.
  5. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Sounds like you need to move your whole left hand 1/4" toward the E-string. That way, you will be playing more on the finger-tips and less on the pads. You may need to lift your elbow up more, too.

    Or, "What does your teacher say?"
  6. oh, ok. that joint. :) yeah, those shouldn't be collapsed; the best way to get around that is really just practicing and building up strength. But what will make it easier is if you make an effort to play more 'on top' of the bass. Try to get your body around it, so you're totally in control, and put the whole weight of your arm into the string, rather than trying to pinch or squeeze it with your hand and fingers.
  7. That sounds right. I always have trouble staying off the pads, and that might be the way to do it (I'll hvae to try it in the practice room today). I do let my elbow rest from time to time as well (bad habit) Thanks for the advice (and I will, of course, consult my teacher)
  8. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    Letting your fingers collapse is definately bad news. You would be surprised how much clearer and more crisp the sound is when you don't let your joints collapse and the string is fully depressed. For me, practice and patience was the best way to overcome that barrier. It was simply a matter of being aware of the problem at all times during my playing. I think that awareness at all times is the key to solving any technical problem that one may encounter.