4th finger snapping

Crystal R said: Oct 18, 2011
 Violin, Voice, Piano
9 posts

Hi, I have noticed that quite often when I use my 4th finger (left hand) it tends not to move in a steady/smooth motion but rather snaps back and forth. It doesn’t hurt but does tend to interfere with speed of motion and playing. I was working with a new student on bow hold and was trying to work on getting her 4th finger to stay on the top of the bow and be nice and round. We realized that her 4th finger (right hand) does the same type of motion as mine when she extends it. Does anyone have any thoughts of why this might be happening or exercises to help it? Thanks!

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 27, 2011
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

snap? As in makes noise—like cracking knuckles or something?

or snap—as in uncontrollably fast all at once?

Crystal R said: Nov 3, 2011
 Violin, Voice, Piano
9 posts

Snap—it reacts quickly. It doesn’t make a snapping sound though and it doesn’t hurt.
Any suggestions?

Karen said: Nov 9, 2011
Karen Huffman
Suzuki Association Member
Piano, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Portland, OR
28 posts

Well, and this is a pretty extreme possibility, but I was talking to a friend of mine who recently started having that problem in her pointer finger (finger 1 for violin I think) and it ended up being that the tendon for that finger was inflamed … or something? Hers was an extreme case and she had to get cortisone injections and later surgery to fix it. I am not sure that is your problem though. Pinkies can be really awkward. It took me eons to train mine to move smoothly and strongly. I have also just been playing with my hands and noticed that if I hold my pinky straight up and away from the rest of my fingers (especially on the left hand), it does that snapping motion too. Maybe (and I have only a very rudimentary knowledge of how to play violin) you should be sure the finger is relaxed and bent at the large knuckle. It could be because that is the position mine are in when I play the piano but when my pinkies are dangling they move very smoothly and are much more relaxed. Hope this helps :)

Barb said: Nov 12, 2011
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Karen, I think what your friend has is probably trigger finger.

I think I know what you mean, Crystal, mine does that, too, if I mimic what I think is an extended 4 violin position, but not if I move it right next to the 3. It seems as though the base joint is out of position when I do that.

I never did like using my 4th the two years I played violin. I found it easier to use on the cello. Still, it’s a weak point for me and I’ve never developed a nice 4th finger trill (it’s also double jointed).

Anyway, Karen might be on to something talking about it being relaxed…

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Karen said: Nov 13, 2011
Karen Huffman
Suzuki Association Member
Piano, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Portland, OR
28 posts

Yeah I talked to her just yesterday and was about to hop on here and say so :P

Tension is my biggest sin. It is hard to break.

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