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My poor left hand

Posted by Rissa on Thursday, June 6, 2013

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It just doesn't want to move. Ah that stretch is so different from the little stretch on the fiddle. Tried some exercises yesterday, and oh did they show just how far I need to go before I can really do what I need my hand to do. I have to compensate for a previously broken finger that likes to bend in the wrong direction (it curves to the right...great for fiddle since the second and third finger typically touch anyway when playing) it makes that stretch on the 5th and 6th frets a little tough. I'm going to give myself several weeks (6-8 weeks) to work on this, and maybe on this issue, before I move on to picking tunes. I want to feel comfortable and right now my left hand is so very not comfortable.

4 comments on “My poor left hand”

TSSN Says:
Monday, June 10, 2013 @6:36:19 AM

Hi Rissa. I like your blog. Sounds like you are working through your 4-finger, closed positions. And you should. But just know that, especially further up the mandolin neck, there are some simpler 3-finger positions that work just as well, may sound better, and are easier on your hands. Keep it coming.

Rissa Says:
Monday, June 10, 2013 @10:31:23 AM

Thanks for your comment. I've been trying to work on hand strength in general, and chords seem like a good way to do that. Right now I play (in jams) mostly open 2 finger chords, with the occasional 3 finger chord thrown in. I'm still behind on my chords, but slow progress is better than no progress.

TSSN Says:
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 @4:19:36 AM

You have the right attitude. Keep at it, and keep posting. Your blog is fun to read and reminds me of several practices that I should be reviewing.

OregonGal Says:
Friday, July 5, 2013 @11:16:55 PM

Scales are good to work on. Then double the notes so you are doing two of each. Next step is to work on arpeggios - first, third, fifth notes and go up the scale like that. Try the easy chords - two note ones are best for starters as you've been doing, and some of the easier three fingered chords. You can also use just two of the strings of a chord and only play those strings. It all blends in. Since you can do fiddle, try picking a few fiddle tunes on the mandolin - you know they are the same. Actually, it works best to do the picking tunes first, and then progress to the chords, otherwise your left hand will hurt if you play chords too much in the beginning. You're doing double strings which is much harder than one string as you well know. (So that makes chording harder, too.) I've been playing in jams also and I am can play my chording up to speed if the tune is not too fast, otherwise, I just hit the chord at the beginning of each measure and change as needed. It is less stressful on the fingers that way. Eventually you'll get it. Since you're younger, it might be easier for you to build that strength than for me (being a lot older). And oh yes, remember you can move you hand to reach wherever you need - eventually the stretch will come and you won't have to move it to reach. I've been doing this for 5 months and finally it is working and only occasionally do I have to move my hand to reach in first position. Good luck.

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