Pinky help for violin bow

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Redding Farlow said: Jan 30, 2013
Redding Farlow Soderberg
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Myrtle Beach, SC
20 posts

Does anyone have a suggestion to help keep the pinky finger nice and round (and to help it stay put) on the violin now for beginners? I used to use the Dr. Scholl’s corn pads, but they don’t make little ones any longer and the ones they do make now are too big for little bows and come off too easily. I have a couple little students who could benefit from this. Any suggestions are appreciated.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” -Sir Winston Churchill

Redding Farlow said: Jan 30, 2013
Redding Farlow Soderberg
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Myrtle Beach, SC
20 posts

Violin bow (not violin now)…autocorrect :/ !!!

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” -Sir Winston Churchill

Hannah Doucette said: Jan 30, 2013
Hannah Doucette
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Fort Washington, PA
1 posts

Have you tried a CVS? I was having a hard time finding the small versions as well, but I discovered CVS does sell them :)

Zoe said: Feb 1, 2013
Zoe NixonViolin
1 posts

I’m going to try the 0’s from foamy sticky back letters from Michael’s crafts.
I used them for a computer keyboard once and they definitely stick really well.
They are also really colourful.

Redding Farlow said: Feb 2, 2013
Redding Farlow Soderberg
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Myrtle Beach, SC
20 posts

I did look at a couple CVS stores, but I still couldn’t find the small ones. I found this youtube video (link below) where a teacher teaches how to make “pinky houses”. I’m going to try it for a couple of my little students. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiIM8XDcH7o&list=FLIPuLysBvRVggrkqWjJb_Sw

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” -Sir Winston Churchill

Ruth Brons said: Feb 3, 2013
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

The Hold Fish® accessory, available on its own or included in the Bow Hold Buddies® set for violin and viola:
Directs the tip of the pinky slightly to the rear of the top of the stick.
The sloped walls of the opening allow for maximum finger flexibility.
The accessory securely slides along the stick, to rest next to ring finger, allowing for a custom fit for all hand sizes, age 3 thru adult.
The accessory does not preclude the normal points of contact with the stick; it simply assists the pinky finger from wandering out of position.
Made of durable medical grade silicone rubber.
Washable; uses no adhesives to install; infinitely re-usable; made in USA.

Sue Hunt said: Feb 3, 2013
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
389 posts

I would advise against anything that holds the pinkie in place. These can cause technical complications. Most children that use corn pads and pinkie nests, push against the edge. They are in effect, learning how not to keep the pinkie curled on the bow. You have already noticed, that the other problem is, that a corn pad is too big for a small child’s hand.

The inability to keep a pinkie curled on the bow is caused by several things:

  • Hugger fingers not hugging. The more they hug, the more curly the pinkie has to be.

  • Sweaty hands. This makes the bow feel like a banana skin, and the child grips and slips. Sticking a spot or strip of shammy leather on the bow will help stop this from happening.

  • It’s a new skill for any beginner and has to be worked at. Take it slowly, one step at a time. When you think you have “got it” Play LOTS of bow hold games away from the instrument. When my students have an important teaching point, I make them a set of games to be played between practice assignments.

Sue Hunt said: Feb 3, 2013
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
389 posts

Sorry, I went away in the middle of writing by the time I posted my comment, noticed the preceding post. Can a very small child use a bow hold buddie, without having the pinkie pulled away from the hand? How old is the child in the picture?

Kiyoko said: Feb 5, 2013
 84 posts

Another way of marking the pinky spot that doesn’t interfere with the bow hold, is to place tape markers on either side of where the pinky should be. They can feel the tape, but there isn’t enough material to push against.

Trish said: Feb 14, 2013
Trish Clair (Horrocks)
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Nanaimo, BC
25 posts

Kiyoko, I really like that idea! I have used “pinky parkers” (corn pads) in the past but I don’t like using those kind of external tools. I will definitely try the finger tape approach with the next “pinky pirate” student!

Suzanne said: Oct 30, 2013
Suzanne SchwindViolin
San Francisco, CA
3 posts

I have been using open strings (G to D slurred down bow, then separate bows E, A, E, A, E slurred to A up bow). I tell them the purpose is to play this sequence with a nice “professional” curved pinky that sits nicely on top of the bow.

I play the sequence first and by the second time, they usually can play it. I remind them about their pinky and have them check to make sure their pinky is nicely curled and placed on the bow.

I have seen great results. I have been implementing this sporadically throughout the lesson. They seem to enjoy it!

Phankao said: Nov 2, 2013
Phankao WanPiano, Viola, Violin
128 posts
Phankao said: Nov 2, 2013
Phankao WanPiano, Viola, Violin
128 posts

I squash the pencil grip flat and put its center in between a hole puncher and punch a hole through. One end would be good for the Pinky Reminder, and the other side, I cut out a U-shape following from the hole so it fits over the frog.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5531/10625396353_5fb633925a_c.jpg

Pencil Grip for Pinky

Pencil Grip for Pinky. With holes punched on the pencil grip. Can be easily slipped on/off.

Image by Phankao Wan

Can be easily slipped on/off and used for any bow as they change from size to size or bow to bow.

Mengwei said: Nov 2, 2013
Mengwei Shen
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Cello
Jersey City, NJ
119 posts

I use a sticker—a small round one, the kind I give out at the end of the lesson. You get an extra sticker today for your bow! Please make sure pinky stands curved on top of it.

Janet Poth said: Nov 3, 2013
Janet PothViolin, Viola
San Clemente, CA
5 posts

This is a great discussion. My students do hundreds of pinky taps by the time they’re ready to finish book one. Also Leslie Webster of New Jersey uses a duct tape holder for early pinkys and it seems quite flexible. I intend to try the pencil grip version Phankao has shared. Thank you.

Christiane said: Nov 4, 2013
Christiane Pors-Sadoff
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
New York, NY
47 posts

Great ideas!
I think as long as the pinky is given the space to rest on the bow “plane” that is facing the player, many of these gadgets can work. I tend to use the large Dr. Scholl’s corn pads, as they do just this—they allow the pinky to rest on the plane, but at the same time they keep the pinky from wandering around.

I’ve also used the Frog Bow Hold Buddies for those kids who cannot possibly keep their minds on the bow hold and violin hold at the same time. It solves the issue of having to think about it until they get a bit more adept at dividing their brain power!
(usually only for 3-5 year olds).

Christiane Pors
Violinist
Mikomi Violin Studio
Kaufman Music Center
NYU Steinhardt

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