Another student asked, โ€œThe tone on open strings is great, but when I finger a note tone frequently deteriorates. Am I pressing too hard with the left hand?โ€

Thanks to all who attended this office hours session and asked questions ๐Ÿ™ย

Further learning and practice

  • This is a completely normal thing to happen.
  • As a beginner, it takes time to get fingered notes to sound better.
  • Use drones for each fingered note.
  • Alternate between the fingered note and an open string.
  • Also, you donโ€™t need to have a vise grip with the left hand. Try to soften and relax the hand. Make a conscious effort to do this before you begin to practice things.
  • Check in with your body throughout a practice session.

This micro-lesson is an excerpt from an office hours webinar I gave on June 17, 2020. View the entire live-stream with indexed questions here.

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2 responses to “Am I pressing too hard with the left hand?

  1. This is such a great question! I will practice this– and you even chose the D string as an example. My fingering on D 1, 2, and 3 CONSISTENTLY sound awful. Here’s another question: when do you know you need new strings?
    -Sandra from Hawaii

    1. Hi Sandra,

      Isolate D1, D2, D3 fingerings. See if you can make each one sound better on its own, then in simple combinations.

      At a certain point the strings will be dull and not as loud. You may also notice rosin buildup and skipping from that. If you’re in doubt, just get some new strings: Helicore or Dominants are reliable.