Double jointed thumb


Karen said: May 1, 2012
Karen Walls
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Indianapolis, IN
18 posts

Hi to all you fellow teachers,
I have an 8 year old student who has a double-jointed bow thumb. She cannot straighten it and I’ve had her as a student for over 2 years now. The student’s mother has had a few lessons as well and also has a double-jointed thumb that she said is hard to keep bent.

I would appreciate any advice for this issue.

Thank you!

Karen Walls
Indianapolis Suzuki Academy
Instructor of Violin and SECE

Constance said: May 1, 2012
Constance BarrettCello
11 posts

Hi, Karen.
I, too, have a double-jointed thumb. When I was younger, my teachers wanted me to bend my thumb the correct way, saying that my way wasn’t natural. I would bend my thumb back and say, “It bends that way!”
What corrected it, eventually, was Body Mapping; specifically, correcting the mismapping of my whole hand. I highly recommend Jennifer John’s book, What Every Violinist Needs to Know About the Body. Most people do not recognize that the muscles of the thumb take up approximately one-third of the hand. Another mapping error is that the base of the thumb connects to the wrist, not further up, like many people believe to be the case. The thumb is much, much longer than most people believe. Here is a third common mapping error: the “pincer grasp” between the index finger and the thumb is NOT the strongest grasp. We think that it is, but test your other pincer grasps, specifically between the thumb and the pinkie, and you realize that the thumb and pinkie actually has the STRONGEST GRASP. This is due to the ulna and radial relationship. You can go to and get some more information.
Hope this helps!

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